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Should I be pessimistic about the iOS game development under VM? A virtualized environment will run on AMD (4-core 2.8 ghz Phenom II)/ATI/Linux/VMware host.

Not talking about any 3D engines, may Xcode's emulator bring at least 15-20 FPS for a simple 2D game like, errr, Airport Mania?

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3 Answers 3

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I ran some cocos2d examples on a weaker PC than the one in the question, running snow leopard through VMWare with sufficient FPS, but that's all i can say. I also remember running some stuff that was more GPU intensive than this on a Mac Mini, and than running it on the device. It actually ran faster on an iPhone 3GS, i assume it's because the emulator doesn't utilize the GPU, but i might be wrong about that one.

Hope that was any help to you :)

Other stuff to consider:

In anyway, you're really going to want to test your game on a device frequently no matter what, and not just because of performance related issues, but compatibility as well. When working with OpenGL ES (and not only!) often stuff that runs on the simulator won't run on the device and the other way around.

And another thing to keep in mind might be the most important one, assuming you're talking about some kind of an "action" game - getting your gameplay to feel right and intuitive depends alot on it being tested with real input, as opposed to simulating clicks with the mouse.

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Check out here and here for some related questions ans their corresponding answers.

The biggest pain I'm told is setting up the virtual environment for leopard / snow leopard to run and facilitate. Honestly, I'd recommend just getting a Mac mini or the full MBP and devving on that. You'll save yourself a lot of pain and headache setting up the VM environment.

But it's entirely possible, baring that you can get a 10.5 / 10.6 OS install. XCode won't really run on anything else. And I definitely wouldn't use the machine to build a distribution version for submission.

Also, there's nothing to be pessimistic about! Learning a new language on a new environment is exciting (about as exciting as learnin' Zerg if you're a 'Toss player on SC2 as I tell one of my dev's). I'm simply recommending the best tool for the job ("best" being qualified as the one that'll get you started the quickest without any headache and fit in your monetary expenditures - time vs money that is.)

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You can find an already installed 10.6.2 VMware image. Upgrade it to 10.6.7 (the latest version) using the Mac OS X updater, install the VMware Tools (otherwise is slow as hell) and after XCode 4.

I've done this, it runs a little sluggish (Win 7 x64, Intel quad core, 8 GB RAM, 3 GB for VM) but it's usable. Don't know if it will work on AMD.

OpenGL ES 2.0 also works, but very slowly. Yes, shaders work. From my understanding it's software emulated. Some Mac OS X native OpenGL applications I've tested cause a kernel panic.

If you tell me how I can install Airport Mania in the emulator (I'm new to this) I can test the FPS for you, assuming it's displayed somewhere (please tell where).

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