Sunday, October 9, 2011

Cross platform SDK or Ease of Use SDK?

This is the thougth process i have been wearing out lately. Which is what i need more?

If for example i had the easiest to use SDK for prototyping or even completing a game, then i could get more games created faster. However...

If i had a cross platform SDK, then i would only have to write a game once (even though it might take me longer) adn have two versions of it for different platforms.

As i have been back and forth it got me to reading a lot of Blog posts and Summaries by a lot of knowledgable people. And i have come to some conclusions. Some you may agree with and some you may not.

1. Xna seems to be the easiest to pick and develop a game with. I know this can be subjective based on previous coding experience etc, but the libraries are really good and you can have a windows game going so fast.. Which then you can easily port to #wp7 or of course the Xbox. This is also one i am very familiar with and i do think it was easy to get going.

2. Some of the cross platform SDKs seem to make you have things like separate assets for each version, and not automagically adapting whatever your source artwork was and applying it to the new platform. This is a bit of a downer as for fast prototyping you do not want to be altering assets on two machines until the game is mostly done for all machines.

Final conclusion:-
 Surprisingly i came up with what i think is a revelation. If i had a cross platform SDK that was also really easy to pick up and use. That would be the best bet to move forward and make more games with. So i did some more research to find what people think is the best cross platform SDK for phones. Now the information is not very well researched and there is not a plentiful supply of peoples opinions in this area, but I did manage to glean what i hope to be accurate information. In the end i came up with an option i am Very VERY excited about.


This SDK looks to be what i need. It has quite a number of recommendations and i hope to get some time to try the trial version soon. I will start by seeing how easy it is going to be to port my Xna WP7 game 'Cards on Fire' to it. Heck, i will even blog about that process once i start it.

If you have any comments or knowledge or opinions on this exciting subject, please email me or comment below. Especially if you believe i am making a mistake with this SDK and i should try a different one.

Da Voodoochief

I do love the look of Untiy, However i have read several blog posts about getting stuff going in 2D and it seems a bit of a trial. Not bad, but still not what i would call ease of getting going. After it is setup and yiou have used it a couple of times, i am told it is simply amazing. What i really need is something i do not have to think about setup for if i can help it. So i can get straight to the coding (i am also a lot more used to C++ than C#, and i LOVE (yes love) pointers.

The single machine license sounds a bit iffy. I had that on one of my NCH Software programs called Wavepad. It wasn't fun when my pc crashed and i added a few new pieces of hardware when i also upgraded to Win7 from Xp. Bah! Not sure if this will effect my decision or not. the main thing is... Could i start programming the game immediately.

As i am still working more than full time on my day job, i still have some time to kep trying to research my best choice.


  1. Did you ever heard about Unity?
    Man, it doesn't handle XNA or WP7 but it does handle all the rest: iOS, Android, Mac, PC, web, XBOX (no xblig), Playstation and Wii.
    Doing working prototypes is a matter of hours. XNA made my dev life easier but Unity changed it!

  2. I like Marmalade so far. I have two small problems with it so far:

    1) Stupid naming conventions. Whoever is responsible for the type names really deserves a kick in the pants. I have to assume that one of the tools they target has shoddy namespace support or something.

    2) No free version available. I love going to game jams, and having my past code available to draw from is really nice. But since I can't expect any of my team members to have Marmalade licenses, it's not much use. (I'll probably continue to use XNA for jams. Most jammers aren't interested in using C++ anyway.)

  3. Oh, I thought of a third thing. Your license is tied to your computer. So if you're like me and enjoy working on multiple machines (I have my home desktop, a desktop away from home, and a laptop), you're out of luck without buying addition seats. I'm not sure how I feel about that.