Single Dev Game Dev: Choosing a Platform

Choosing a platform is the first difficult and potentially dangerous decision you will have to make in your project. Because there are so many choices you can make, there are a number of drawbacks you will have to deal with as well. First thing I believe you should consider when making this choice is how much “re-inventing the wheel” you will have to undergo when working on your project. Starting with a platform that does not have a lot of educational material for game creation will leave you stuck or frustrated in many situations. Also try and find the drawbacks in a platform before starting. As you are starting your project, if you feel that there is not enough freely available educational material about your goal, I would recommend you re-evaluate the platform you use.

Example platforms and drawbacks come in many flavors. I will run through my own experiences and hopefully make the decision a little easier to look at. The reason we decided to create Android apps was situational at the time. Back then I had just gotten a Nexus One and was eager to start working on Android. Google’s tutorials for 2d game development are easy to understand and worked well. We has looked at building apps for iPhone but we did not want to spend $100 at the time on being able to do that. We had also heard horror stories of people finishing their projects and having Apple hold up their app for months (however now I hear its a lot better)

If I were to choose again I would have picked an engine that could deploy on multiple platforms. Currently our Android apps are stuck on Android without a lot of rework. Examples would include Flash or Unity 3d. Also XNA can deploy to PC, xBox, and WP7 and has a ton of great tutorial material.

Currently our next game is being developed in Unity 3D which uses Mono-Develop for cross platform support. If we pay all the licensing fees we could deploy to all major gaming consoles, iPhone, Android, PC, Mac, and Web Players. However we are starting with the free version.


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