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Unity Desktop: still a target platform?

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I was reading this thread about the restrictiveness of Apple's iPlatform, and it re-stimulated thoughts that have been on my mind lately. Is the desktop (Windows/OSX/Linux) still a viable platform target? I believe so, but do you all think so? And do you think this will continue to be the case? As an indie developer developing for the desktop, this greatly interests me. Mobile platforms are of course booming right now, but there are cons that make me want to stick with Desktop for now: * Difficult cross-platform development: Hitting all phones seems to require a lot of personalized development work for each target (at the moment) -- you might have to limit your audience. Contrast this with cross-desktop development, which by now is made pretty easy if using the right libraries. * Artistic expression: I want a larger canvas (screen) for my art, with possibilities of gamepad/keyboard and an immersive audio setup. I guess consoles are good for this, but as an early indie developer the desktop doesn't have nearly as many 'hurdles' towards getting a game released. In addition, I see these pros for Desktop: * Stability: A new version of Windows or OS X comes out every now and then, along with new Linux distributions, but I find it's pretty easy to keep a game running on all of them (using the right cross-platform libraries and compilers). * Freedom: Apple (or Microsoft, etc.) can't take a cut of the revenue, deny my game from the market, control where it's sold and how it's delivered, etc. And that's just for the business side, there's also great freedom in terms of development: broad range of programming language choices, libraries, etc. * Cost-effective: Can develop with just about any computer (provided it has the min-level of resources you need). Free compilers, tools, libraries. No "Developer's License" required. However, there's the possible con for desktop that concerns me: * is the desktop-market diminishing? How significantly? In a decade will all desktops (and even consoles) be gone, replaced by phones that wirelessly connect to televisions & stereos? Obviously the desktop is still alive as a platform and will probably be a fine target for an indie (who doesn't require 'everyone in the world' to buy his game to make success) within the near future. But I'm curious what people think about platform trends. I love desktop development for its stability and freedom, and while I'd like to expand to other platforms eventually, as an indie getting started, the desktop seems to make the most sense.

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Sure it is!

In my opinion, a game for a mobile platform is something totally diffrent from a desktop (or console) game, and not because of the limited resources of a mobile device. When playing a game on my Iphone, I want to kill some time quickly. I never play more than 10-15 minutes. If I had that much time, I would be using my laptop (they are considered desktop machines, right?).

As an indie, the only mobile platform I believe is worth considering right now is the Iphone one.

Yeah, the desktop-market is diminishing. Buy a console people! That is called pure propaganda.

And I don't think that in a decade or two computers will be replaced with phones.
And making plans for the next decade is just silly. Hey, we'll all die in 2012, remember? :P

EDIT: Ahm, are you sure this has anything to do with general programing?

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Yeah, I agree with Chris. The desktop isn't going anywhere soon. It seems to me that the people who say that the desktop is "out" tend to be the ones who stand to benefit from it.

...and don't even get me started on "the cloud" (/me rolls his eyes.)

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Original post by Gamer Gamester
However, there's the possible con for desktop that concerns me:
* is the desktop-market diminishing? How significantly? In a decade will all desktops (and even consoles) be gone, replaced by phones that wirelessly connect to televisions & stereos?
That isn't your biggest worry from the perspective of an indie developer - the desktop market is still considerably larger than any of the other platforms you can easily get access to (iPhone, Android, XBox Live Indie, etc.).

Piracy is a common reason to prefer embedded platforms. Piracy on some PC titles has been estimated as high as 90%, likely fuelled by the ease of illegal downloading. Piracy on embedded platforms generally requires significantly more effort/premeditation to achieve: jail breaking for iPhone, mod chip for XBox 360, etc.

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Thanks for the replies guys.

Yes, I've been confident of the desktop (including laptops, of course) as a viable target platform, but every now and then all the 'propaganda' creates little seeds of insecurity.

Desktops/Laptops will still be around. And concerning myself with the landscape a decade from now is silly (especially considering my next [first commercial] release is scheduled for only 4 months from now).

The fact that my game requires low hardware specs and is targeted towards children/schools (who often aren't on the cutting edge anyways) makes my concerns even more silly.

Long live the desktop platform!

Note: I realize this thread probably belongs in the Business section, sorry for the mistake.

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