So suggest me only other alternatives.
Here are a bunch of options. I’ve excluded Unity from this list due to what you’ve said about that and I don’t think I’ve repeated others you’ve already mentioned:
- Cocos 2D (http://www.cocos2d-iphone.org/about)
- Corona 2D (http://www.anscamobile.com/corona/)
- Marmalade (http://www.madewithmarmalade.com/)
- Gamemaker (http://www.yoyogames.com/make & http://www.yoyogames...amemaker/studio)
- Gamesalad (http://gamesalad.com/)
- Torque (http://www.garagegames.com/) – they have a number of products
- Monkey/MonkeyCoder (http://monkeycoder.co.nz/)
I know you’re looking for more of the IDE type with more drag and drop solutions, but you might find something even slightly lower level offers a better support structure for you. Development is all about trading one problem for another thus some of the options above may not be exactly what you are looking for but you might find the community and 3rd party tools available make up for whatever is lacking. Some of these options do have tools or simulator solutions that might help alleviate your need for hardware, at least for the short term.
I don’t think cocos2d is for you but I’ve listed it because I think you might benefit from reading about various options to understand the entire range. Knowing the extremes will help you to zone in on the correct solution.
My question about costing is also derived from the same - given that when I chose an IDE that does produce an iOS code for me, how much will it charge me for the licensing?
Best to look up licensing fees for SDK’s from the websites as they are all different. Bear in mind some are free, some are typically free in specific circumstances and some have varying licensing costs depending on your success. Beyond the cost of the Apple SDK, you won’t have to pay a licensing fee to Apple or Google, they will however take a cut from any revenue your app generates.
But somehow I feel that developing for Android initially will not give me the 'required' boost to be a fulltime game developer, that's why I have chosen iOS path first.
You really should either get that Mac then, or try and set up a hackintosh as Frob suggested.
If either of those aren’t for you then it is likely Android for you.
There is also another option of just developing on Windows/for Windows (to prototype and further the idea) and porting to iOS later when you think you’ve made a hit game and are more prepared to spend the cash on a Mac.
At the same time I do not want it to fall big time, I need some returns for sure.
In any case, tell me if you differ on this - but I don't really smell success here.
It’s not unreasonable to want returns, but I’d be cautious with expectations. Many people get $0 back for their mobile games. It’s only ‘risky’ and you will only ‘lose your shirt’ if you’re throwing a lot of money at it, but you’ll need to be prepared to lose at least your time either way. Spend only as much as you’re willing to lose, in terms of both time and money because there is no guarantee but also bear in mind that success if often brought about by persistence. Many people put an app out there, have no return quickly and give up there and then. This will generally fail but persistence on the other hand does still not provide any assurance of success and will at least require more time (if not more money) well beyond an initial release.
Really, the best reason to do this is not success or money, but fun. If you need more than that I would at least think twice before parting with any cash.