Game developers can now develop games for Apple devices more easily using Windows machines, thanks to Apple’s new set of Metal developer tools.
This year, Apple quietly released a set of Metal Developer Tools for Windows 10 at WWDC, which enables Metal Shading Language compilation on Windows into Metal Library Objects targeting Apple platforms, which means that game production teams can use PCs to compile games developed on Windows for macOS as well as other Apple operating systems.
A lot of game development studios have established game or graphics asset production pipelines using the Microsoft Windows infrastructure. One of the major final steps in the asset creation process is to compile the graphics and compute shaders for inclusion in the game.
As Apple is transitioning the Mac to custom silicon, developers who bring their games to Metal will be able to run them on iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and tvOS. Apple’s API translates automatically all inputs to whatever available input method might be, such as touch, controller, keyboard, and mouse. Developers who target the Apple platform can now develop for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV simultaneously. This may help the Apple platform become more attractive to game developers since they will have access to a much larger market share than on iOS or macOS alone.
Although it is impossible to entirely develop games for Apple devices on Windows because a Mac is still needed to sign software and for testing, the gaming-oriented Apple developer tools’ availability for Windows marks a significant step in gaming on Apple devices.
Since Apple moves the Mac to custom silicon, where it will no longer support Boot Camp, it is amazing that Apple is releasing developer tools specifically for gaming with regards to Windows. It is now easier for developers to port native PC games and AAA titles to the Mac, considering that these new developer tools allow Windows games to be compiled into Metal for Apple platforms, rather than being rebuilt completely.