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Best approach for creating a cross-platform mobile SDK


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#1 Lysergide   Members   -  Reputation: 692

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 01:05 AM

Hi,

 

I'm planning the development of a cross-platform SDK for games, that will also have a Unity plugin later on(currently supporting Android and iOS).
 
Currently i'm thinking of the best option for doing developing an SDK that will be cross-platform.
 
From research i've done, looking over many mobile SDKs for games, it seems that most of them actually have a separate implementation per supported platform.
 
At first this seems counter-intuitive and not the right way to go (who wants to maintain 2 or more code bases that do the same thing?)
 
Obviously it isn't a "clear cut" as many companies still choose to implement per platform.
 
 
I'd like to know what are the pros and cons for each approach (one implementation per platform vs. a "single" shared code base), and what questions should i be asking myself when deciding which option to choose.
 
 
Any info or advice is appreciated.

Lior Tal
Game Developer/Software Engineer

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#2 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 21341

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 02:05 PM

If you are going to make a cross-platform library, usually one of the best things to have is prior experience on all of the platforms. Do you have that? It is possible to venture out into the unknown, but generally it means you will make bad decisions and the library will reflect it.

You also mention making a Unity plugin. Again, things are easiest if you have prior experience doing thing.

As for listing pros and cons, well, it depends on your implementation choices.

Some things must be specific to each platform. Some things have the potential to be merged. Modern games are exercises in software architecture, and there are thousands of decisions to be made. You can decide to have a separate implementation for each platform, and with the right architecture this is the correct choice. Or you can decide to have a single monolithic implementation, and with the right architecture this can also be the right choice.

Right now Google can find thousands of libraries designed for cross-platform mobile development. Even so, a very small number of high-quality libraries have become popular. Perhaps you could study out each one and learn (on their websites and forums) why each of them became popular. Each one has made different design choices, so I suggest you find out why the 0.1% of them succeed and why the 99.9% of them fall by the wayside, and learn from their mistakes.
Check out my personal indie blog at bryanwagstaff.com.




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