Making a Mac OS X game project suitable for MAS
If you currently have a Mac product and have not already done so, you may be considering submission to the Mac App Store (MAS).
In the upcoming series of posts, I will be detailing the process that we went through to get Pretty Good Solitaire Mac Edition, and some of our other game products, successfully submitted to MAS. There were a number of rejections along the way, as the App Store Review Guidelines [note: requires Mac developer agreement], while extensive, are not comprehensive (nor are they 100% consistent, as we had some products accepted and others rejected with identical behaviors).
Over multiple submissions, and fewer rejections, we developed a submission checklist which I will detail roughly (some items are specific to our games) in these upcoming posts:
- Part 1: Project modifications
- Part 2: Property List (Info.plist) changes
- Part 3: Data and Resource guidelines
- Part 4: Source code modifications
- Part 5: Mac App Store receipt validation
- Part 6: App Sandboxing implementation
We have had product in the Mac App Store since launch day, more than a year ago. If you already have a game that runs on Mac OS X, it makes sense to make the several modifications to get it into MAS, another channel to find customers. However, in our experience, it is not a viable substitute for direct downloadable sales. The channel is not (yet) the primary ‘go to’ location for Mac software, although the availability of Lion (Mac OS X 10.7) only on MAS should shift more customers. Additionally, there is the same downward pressure on pricing (towards free) seen on the iOS App Store, sales are lackluster, and (of course) you are giving 30% directly to Apple.
I would certainly not recommend developing a project solely for the Mac App Store, nor eliminating a direct downloadable sales channel in favor of MAS, but with an existing project it may be worth the fairly limited extra effort it takes to be there, too.