Renpy games on iPhone

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ComputerArt.Club
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Renpy games on iPhone

#1 Post by ComputerArt.Club » Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:36 am

So even though I prefer Android over iPhone, I often wonder about creating iPhone app distributions. There are many challenges related to this, however.

1) you need a apple computer to create the distribution
2) huge fees for developers
3) code would probably need to be adapted (for in app purchases for example.
4) I dont know how easy it is to test you app on an iphone.

Has anyone here done it?
Any solution to the issue of building the distribution without an apple computer?
Anyone tried apps with in app purchases?

I have an iPhone lying around thst someone once gave me as a gift, but I never really used it much and for a number of reasons I am thinking of experimenting with it. I don't see many people discussing Renpy for iPhones, perhaps because of the above reasons.

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Re: Renpy games on iPhone

#2 Post by Morhighan » Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:03 pm

I had an iPhone 6s until last year when I made the switch to a Google Pixel. I've always wanted to use Android but struggled with some of the UIs, and the Google Pixel was the first android that didn't make me want to rip my hair out with frustration. But when I did have my iPhones (4 and 6s) I attempted to make Ren'Py apps on them.

It is depressingly difficult for the reasons you listed above. Besides needing to have a computer running OSX and pay the annual developer fees ($99/year in my case), using X code was very unintuitive for me, and I struggled to find any basic guides. All of the documentation I found was targeted at high level programmers working for large companies.

When I finally did manage to test the app on the phone, it ran well, but I was never able to create a build due to the Xcode throwing errors I could find no solutions to. PyTom was fantastically patient in walking me through steps, but we both came to the conclusion that it's really more trouble than it's worth.

As for your questions:
-I've tried to do it and ended up crying in frustration, even with generous handholding.
-There's not a normal solution to building a distribution without a Mac computer. OSX and iOS apps require a valid Mac computer to build and distribute their apps. Now, I built the apps on both a valid Mac (2014 Mac Mini) and a Hackintosh (a PC that I tricked into running Mac) and saw no difference, but I know that Mac gets angry when you run their software on hardware that is not made by them. (They claim it's illegal, but that's up to debate.)

I want more than anything to be friendly to iOS and OSX as a distributor, but Apple does not make it easy in any way for small developers, and generally leave game developers out to dry in other ways. It was frustrating enough to me not only as a developer, but as a consumer that I switched to Android and PC and never looked back. From what I've heard, it's only gotten worse since 2016/2017.

If you still wish to proceed though, there is some hope! On PyTom's Patreon, we are creeping ever closer to the $1000/month mark, the goal for which is:
Renpytom Patreon wrote:I'll be able to offer a Mac build service for Ren'Py creators. You'll have to enroll in the Apple developer program yourself, but once you do you'll be able to build Mac and iOS distributions on our servers, rather than your own computer.
So hopefully Pytom can reach that goal and we will be saved by his dedication and hard work! :D


EDIT:
Huh. Well, according to this new MacOS update, OpenGL is deprecated in 10.14 Mojave. So now that Apple is no longer updating or maintaining it, it'll be so much more difficult to publish games to Mac or iOS. They really are playing hard to get, sheesh.

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Re: Renpy games on iPhone

#3 Post by ComputerArt.Club » Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:40 am

Thanks for your reply!

I noticed in your other thread Imperf3kt was arguing that the OpenGL issue might not affect Renpy, I hope that it does not.

Very disappointing to hear that X code was difficult to use, I was hoping that it would be a straight forward process. This is another spanner in the works.

If I continue to consider this possibility I might look into whether it is possible for me to emulate a Mac (Hackingtosh) as you mentioned, though I am also curious if there are any affordable cloud services/servers that you can rent for a couple of hours for these kinds of purposes. PyTom is still at the 700 mark, so although Renpy 7.0 could bring that up a bit more, I would expect that it will take time to climb up to 1,000, but I hope he is successful.

I definitely prefer Android myself, but the iPhone that was given to me would solve the space issue that I have with my Android phone (the iPhone has 128gb, the Android only 32 with no expandable storage options - I am constantly running out of space and there are factors that would make it difficult to sell the iPhone too). Indeed, if Apple weren't so hostile to developers I could get a whole lot of better apps for the iPhone and port my games over and there wouldn't be any kind of problem switching. Apple suck.

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Re: Renpy games on iPhone

#4 Post by Imperf3kt » Tue Jun 05, 2018 5:39 pm

Do note that is just a guess, about OpenGL

As it happens, "OpenGL" is a blanket term that could include OpenGL ES. Only way to find out is to wait and see what Crapple does.
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Re: Renpy games on iPhone

#5 Post by Morhighan » Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:54 pm

Imperf3kt wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 5:39 pm
Do note that is just a guess, about OpenGL

As it happens, "OpenGL" is a blanket term that could include OpenGL ES. Only way to find out is to wait and see what Crapple does.
I quite agree. Hopefully they don't shoot themselves in the other foot, but since they've done such a great job at that in the past, it'll be hard to say until it comes to pass. Bummer though, I used to really like using Macs. I need to check out Linux sometime.

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Re: Renpy games on iPhone

#6 Post by Remix » Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:17 pm

The Apple post-runner for OpenGL is afaik called Metal and Ren'Py will integrate with it smoothly (if all things go well), so there should be no worries about that future change.

So saying, I'm droid here... who wants to pay an extra x00% for tech just because S.Jobs back in 2012 could draw a nice curve...
Android 85.9%
iOS 14.0%
https://www.macrumors.com/2018/02/22/io ... 9-percent/

Plus, if you release on iOS you have to behave my their rules...
The writing has long been on the wall, if you want to distribute a mobile game... avoid big brother iOS
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Re: Renpy games on iPhone

#7 Post by ComputerArt.Club » Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:23 am

Remix wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:17 pm
The Apple post-runner for OpenGL is afaik called Metal and Ren'Py will integrate with it smoothly (if all things go well), so there should be no worries about that future change.

So saying, I'm droid here... who wants to pay an extra x00% for tech just because S.Jobs back in 2012 could draw a nice curve...
Android 85.9%
iOS 14.0%
https://www.macrumors.com/2018/02/22/io ... 9-percent/

Plus, if you release on iOS you have to behave my their rules...
The writing has long been on the wall, if you want to distribute a mobile game... avoid big brother iOS
Ok, that is good to hear about Renpy and Metal.

Yes, it sounds like Apple is quite anti indie in many ways. I was never a big fan of Apple, but there are things that make me interested in it. I teach at a school where many students and parents have Apple phones. Given that my games are either educational or aimed at kids, this is certainly my target audience. In the short term it might not be a good investment, however. And it definitely feels unfair that they are charging developers so much.

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Re: Renpy games on iPhone

#8 Post by robcolton » Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:49 pm

You can use Microsoft's AppCenter to build iOS apps. I've done it with Xamarin Forms apps, but it works with Xcode projects as well. If your source is on Git to VSTS, you can even have it build automatically when checking in your code, then have it send emails to your collaborators and testers.

But to be honest, you really do need a Mac otherwise you have no way of testing on physical devices or with the simulator.

The built-in support for iOS in Ren'Py works surprisingly well. The only thing that might be an issue is it doesn't support iPhone X size displays properly, and that may be an issue with submission in the future. I think that can be fixed pretty easily by using a storyboard launcher instead of those static launch images.

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Re: Renpy games on iPhone

#9 Post by ComputerArt.Club » Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:43 am

robcolton wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:49 pm
You can use Microsoft's AppCenter to build iOS apps. I've done it with Xamarin Forms apps, but it works with Xcode projects as well. If your source is on Git to VSTS, you can even have it build automatically when checking in your code, then have it send emails to your collaborators and testers.

But to be honest, you really do need a Mac otherwise you have no way of testing on physical devices or with the simulator.

The built-in support for iOS in Ren'Py works surprisingly well. The only thing that might be an issue is it doesn't support iPhone X size displays properly, and that may be an issue with submission in the future. I think that can be fixed pretty easily by using a storyboard launcher instead of those static launch images.
Thanks for the reply, that sounds very interesting. I'm definitely still interested in creating iPhone distributions. You mentioned that there is no way of testing on physical devices without a mac, does that mean I can't load the app onto an apple phone without an Apple computer? I have access to an iPhone 6 plus.

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Re: Renpy games on iPhone

#10 Post by robcolton » Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:15 pm

Without a Mac, you'll run into provisioning issues with any devices you have.

If you have a Mac, you can use Xcode to provision a device by connecting it to your Mac. Xcode will then allow you to deploy builds to it.

You also need a Mac to upload builds to App Store Connect, either with Xcode Organizer or Application Loader. Once you upload the build, you can use Test Flight to deploy to any test devices.... But again, you need a Mac to get the build to Test Flight.

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Re: Renpy games on iPhone

#11 Post by robcolton » Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:17 pm

The cheapest option would be a Mac Mini.

As long as it supports the latest Mac OS versions, you'll be good. If you get a used Mini, make sure it supports the latest OS, otherwise you'll run into issues where the latest versions of Xcode aren't supported, and then you'll run into issues because you won't be able to compile with the latest SDK.

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Re: Renpy games on iPhone

#12 Post by ComputerArt.Club » Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:27 am

robcolton wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:17 pm
The cheapest option would be a Mac Mini.

As long as it supports the latest Mac OS versions, you'll be good. If you get a used Mini, make sure it supports the latest OS, otherwise you'll run into issues where the latest versions of Xcode aren't supported, and then you'll run into issues because you won't be able to compile with the latest SDK.
thanks for the reply. I guess it is back to square one for now though, it does not make sense for me to make that kind of investment at this time.

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