Brok: The InvestiGator is doing well. In fact, while CowCat Games has repeatedly expressed concerns about it not being viral, I honestly feel it's doing far better than I expected for something I was involved in. Granted, part of the publicity was the result of discovering scammers posing as Steam curators, but even beyond that, I'm honored to be involved with a project that's doing as well as it is.
All this in mind, I received an interesting offer from CowCat the other day that ties into my hobby-level interest in technology in general. As of that day, I'm also doing a chunk of the porting of Brok to the macOS platform. To clarify, however, I'm not touching the code for the most part: we just reached an agreement to use my 2019 Mac Pro, which is apparently newer than the Mac Mini he has, for compiling and deploying it all.
The process has been interesting so far, to say the least. First, until this point, I was used to compiling Mac programs for personal use and thus didn't need to worry too much about Apple's steep validation requirements: all I needed beforehand was a valid Developer account in order to compile, and codesign locally. Now, however, I have multiple certificates on behalf of CowCat Games, plus, the apps need to be submitted to Apple's servers for notarization, an aspect that, unfortunately, the engine used to make Brok (GameMaker Studio) cannot handle automatically.
Second, it was only as of late last night that we finally managed to get the Steamworks API cooperating with the builds. Granted, this phase isn't required for DRM-free stores such as GOG and itch.io, but even so, initial builds saw failure to load the API properly: XCode debugging revealed that it would look for the library in the wrong place. For any other gamedevs hoping to build Steam games on Macs via GameMaker Studio, I only barely found the solution: while a Hardened Runtime is required for notarization, there need to be two runtime exceptions specified:
-"Allow DYLD Environment Variables"
-"Disable Library Validation"
In my experience, only the latter option is required for testing builds, but the other is required for when it's submitted for notarization.
I realize this is a long read over matters that are technical but not musical, and I apologize for that, but in the end, this is related to a project I did compose for, so I feel it is worth a mention. Needless to say, an official Mac build of Brok is also guaranteed in the works.
There also is more on my plate, but I'll save that information for a future entry. In the meantime, Brok is currently available for Windows via Steam, GOG, and itch.