At WWDC 2023, Apple announced a new tool called Game Porting Toolkit to simplify game porting from other platforms to Mac. The new Metal game porting toolkit eliminates months of upfront work, allowing developers to optimize their games for Apple Silicon quickly.
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New Game Porting Toolkit works similarly to the software Valve uses to run Windows games on its Steam Deck
At WWDC 2023, Apple unveiled macOS Sonoma along with other gaming-related updates, such as the new Game mode, Metal 3, Game Center, and a growing library of games. As part of the gaming announcements, Apple revealed a new Game Porting Toolkit that makes it easier for developers to port Windows games to macOS.
Game Porting Toolkit
The new Game Porting Toolkit is powered by source code from CrossOver, a Wine-based solution for running Windows games on macOS. Wine is an open-source compatibility layer that allows Windows software to run on Unix-like operating systems, such as macOS and Linux.
The Game Porting Toolkit uses Wine to translate Windows APIs and instructions to the corresponding APIs and instructions on macOS, allowing developers to launch unmodified Windows games on a Mac and see how well they run before fully porting a game.
Game Porting Toolkit’s Benefits and Drawbacks
The Game Porting Toolkit is really useful for developers since it includes a number of features that make it easier to port games, including:
- An emulation environment that allows developers to run their games unmodified on macOS
- A variety of tools and resources to help developers troubleshoot and optimize their games
- A compatibility checker that identifies potential problems with a game before it is ported.
- A tool for converting Windows DirectX 12 calls to macOS Metal calls.
- A library of code that can be used to port games.
Although the GPT is a positive development for the Mac gaming community. It has the potential to make it easier for developers to port Windows games to macOS and to increase the number of Windows games that are available on macOS.
However, it is not a magic bullet and it will not work for all Windows games, so it can be difficult to use, it may require some technical knowledge and it is not yet clear how well the tool will work in practice.
GPT is available for free to all game developers. To learn more about Game Porting Toolkit or to download it, please visit the Apple Developer website.