• Announcements

    • khawk

      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
vividcode

Unity
Gaming Platform question for iOS (and possibly Android) Game

7 posts in this topic

Hello GameDevs!

This is my first post here, so thanks for stopping by!

I am newbi to this group, but a programming professional since more than a decade.
I am a recent entrant into gaming, and have couple of game ideas to publish on my own.
I have been researching the net for obvious questions - have tried half a dozen mobile game IDEs so far, and still unsure if I am missing something crucial here.
Can anyone lead me into proper direction?

1) I have a very simple game idea.
Does not require much graphics but simple view-only DB operations (can be handled through flat file too, but the content should be private)

With my experience so far, I can do it in any language - be it c++, C#, javascript or Lua - looking at the online resources so far.

As for Game IDEs, I know Unity 3d (toughest), Shiva 3d (OK for me), Eclipse (OK for me) and Titanium (bit awkward structure, also, can't get how much it costs for pro version)

2) I want to publish on iPhone platform first. Later I may choose to publish on Android too.
I want to minimize my development efforts.
I don't have mac, neither I am intending to buy it.
I have 2 windows PCs - xp and Vista
(Lately I have been reading that there are services that allow you to compile against mac and publish it, but I need specific details)

3) Last but not the least - I want to minimize my costs - at least until I make a break-even revenue with my game.

Questions:

a) What is the best IDE to go for, which will require me to do minimal coding, and the app will be ready with just some drag-drops and event handlers?

b) Will this IDE allow me to create
- iPhone app on my windows box - if not, how much is the minimum cost to get it done?
- android app on my windows box

c) What is the total cost involved including hardware, licensing and publishing?
- considering iPhone as the only target
- considering iPhone + Android both

I think anyone who has been through this phase definitely knows where I am, and what's best for me.
Specific answers, please, as I have searched and googled too much, and I am tired with answers like "it depends on how you want to do it" sort of stuff!

Thanks to all in advance for reading me this far :-)
-vividcode
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The "Breaking In" forum is for posts about preparing for, or getting, employment in the game industry.
Moving this to a more appropriate forum.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='vividcode' timestamp='1337074367' post='4940334']
a) What is the best IDE to go for, which will require me to do minimal coding, and the app will be ready with just some drag-drops and event handlers?
[/quote]
Minimal coding means you need to pick an existing engine. There are many different engines out there, exactly which one you choose depends on your target game and your available funds.

Even with that, "minimal" probably means several hundred hours of effort.

[quote]
b) Will this IDE allow me to create
- iPhone app on my windows box - if not, how much is the minimum cost to get it done?
- android app on my windows box
[/quote]
Apple requires all iPhone development to be done on a Mac. iPhone app on windows is not a supported configuration... although you can search for "Hackintosh" to see how some people have done it.

Android on Windows is just fine. Download the Android SDK. It is written in Java so you can develop on any platform.
[quote]
c) What is the total cost involved including hardware, licensing and publishing?
- considering iPhone as the only target
- considering iPhone + Android both
[/quote]
Hardware for iPhone will include a mac and a phone, you'll need to register as a developer. If you don't own any of them it will run about $4000, almost all of that for the hardware.



Check [url="http://www.gamedev.net/page/reference/faq.php/_/mobile-console-development-r10"]the forum's FAQ[/url] for a list of cross-platform engines. So far there are no free cross-platform engines out there.
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='vividcode' timestamp='1337074367' post='4940334']
a) What is the best IDE to go for, which will require me to do minimal coding, and the app will be ready with just some drag-drops and event handlers?
[/quote]

To be completely honest, you'd likely have to say a little more about the app you wish to make in order for anyone to give you an idea about whether any particular game development suite or ide is going to be suited towards towards creating that game. There are quite a few options, some of which won’t meet your needs and some of which might be overkill.

Just as an example...gamesalad is aimed at doing minimal coding via drag and drop game creation and thus given what you’ve said it might fit your needs. But without a little more info on your app I couldn't tell you whether it was appropriate or not.

IMHO…you'll be best off just furthering your trials of the various options to the extent where you actually try to put at least a part of your game together. This will tell you much more about what the best solution is for your needs than any subjective answer on a forum.

[quote name='vividcode' timestamp='1337074367' post='4940334']
b) Will this IDE allow me to create
- iPhone app on my windows box - if not, how much is the minimum cost to get it done?
- android app on my windows box
[/quote]

I think there is one solution that does allow you to create an iOS app on your windows box. Unfortunately I can’t remember the name of it and even a google hasn’t helped. I wouldn’t actually recommend it anyway because every time people have discussed it on another forum I subscribe to - the feedback has been generally quite negative and this has been from professional game developers who I trust.

So…if you wish to develop on windows you’ll likely be targeting Android first and then porting it to iOS at a later date, or developing for both targets side-by-side. You’ll naturally want to have a solution that supports both platforms well then.

Again, I’ll be up front with you. If you really want to target iOS you should just get a Mac and an iOS device. Why?
Well, first…if you want to create a game for both platforms it’s best to trial the platform specific support for each solution. However, in your case because you do seem to want to stick to Windows based development I really would suggest you evaluate the full workflow of developing on Windows for Android and then switching across to Mac/iOS. Bear in mind you may wish to evaluate switching targets regularly as you might in a scenario where you develop for both platforms side-by-side and/or you may want to consider evaluating for the workflow of developing the game in its entirety on one platform, then porting to the other.

If you really do want to avoid getting a Mac now and cannot evaluate this 'feature', I would personally just stick with a known entity like Unity for now. This might be overkill for your app though.

Incidentally, there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing everything for Android in a Windows environment. But bear in mind that even if you don’t evaluate the multi-platform support now you’ll still need a Mac and iOS setup eventually regardless.

[quote name='vividcode' timestamp='1337074367' post='4940334']
c) What is the total cost involved including hardware, licensing and publishing?
- considering iPhone as the only target
- considering iPhone + Android both
[/quote]

4GB Mac-mini (So mac-mini @ $599 + 2GB of extra RAM OR Mac-mini @ $799 which already has the RAM)
SDK licensing @ $99.
Minimum iOS hardware (8GB iPod touch) @ $199.

Read: you can get in to iOS from scratch for about $1000

That is a minimum but also sufficient. I wouldn’t recommend going for the $599 mac-mini without getting the extra RAM - do not be tempted by this..yes it will work, but you need the extra RAM to get sufficient speed from the development environment for your workflow.

The iPod touch is also a minimum but also quite/more than sufficient unless you want to target specifically or optionally support a tablet or you’re using features that would only be in a phone (such as GPS).

To add Android to this I assume you already have a windows box given your comments about sticking to that OS as your development host. So your cost here is really going to be the cost of a tablet or phone (the SDK is free). A decent-ish tablet will run @ $399 although there are deals to be had here and there. A phone can be much less or the same (mine was $150 although I don’t use it for development as it’s Android 2.2 and not very powerful – I stick to the tablet devices instead). Bear in mind performance and features vary somewhat wildly and you'll likely at least want something supporting at least Android 2.3 at this stage.

If you are looking to develop cheaply on tablet you could also consider a Kindle Fire. Some people do use these for development, although they require a small modification to .ini files on your PC to work for that (takes about two minutes) and personally I don’t think they are the best for development. As such I would only recommend this for the lower end apps, but some people do indeed development more than lower end with this. Cost of Android SDK is free.

If you want to make it even cheaper, then you could try not buying any hardware and using the emulators/simulators. This would also reduce your iOS SDK cost too. You could try this, but I would generally advise that you’ll likely (depending on your game) meet the limits of these very quickly and end up needing the target hardware either way. You would obviously need an IDE or SDK that supports this if you took that route. Again, I would steer you away from this in general…I only mention it because it has some validity as a solution if you have a limited budget. If you are interested in this, I would at least suggest you consider it only an interim solution.

Some people might say you need a more powerful Mac. So…I’ll mention that incidentally, I am developing an fps game via porting a PC engine to both iOS and Android. I’m doing something that would generally be considered higher end and I am using the $599 mac-mini with extra memory and an iPad 2 for iOS and a Windows 7 PC with a Motorola Xoom and a Kindle Fire for Android. Prior to the company buying the tablet hardware I actually developed for iOS using my own iPod touch.

Bear in mind...all costs quoted here are based about getting a development environment set up. If you're doing all the work yourself, there will be no other development costs unless you have to pay for an IDE. If you need others to do some work, there will be additional costs to pay those people.

It also doesn't cost anything to put an app out there for sale but bear in mind that your app may need a cash spend to assist it have even some small success. Therefore publishing can include costs for marketing and promotion, which still don't offer any guarantee. What you spend on this (if anything) is really up to you though. Edited by freakchild
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
@Frob and [b]freakchild[/b] - thanks for your replies.

@Frob - I know about Hackintosh. However I am search of something simpler than that - like building on PC, then getting it compiled on mac - some kind of cheap service that will do this - cheaper than owning a Mac.

I also know that right now there is no tool that allows to produce mac binaries on a PC.
But I have heard about websites / independent services producing iOS target binaries for us.

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?

@Freakchild - indeed very in-depth analysis from your end - mine is very simple 2d app and I am using it just to build my developer profile.s l
It's a game, doesn't require any special features like accelerometer, web or anything. Just a small 2d game with need for compact db - or an encrypted flat file.

At the same time I do not want it to fall big time, I need some returns for sure.
I have other games to be developed but I wouldn't spend a fortune right now just to build this game. ($1000 is quite big for me)

Once on my feet, I would venture more.
As for the tool, so far I have seen, unity 3d is too big to try for it - both from learning curve and cost perspective.
So suggest me only other alternatives.

As for Android, right now google doesn't allow to sell / buy from where I am located.
I hope that will change soon.
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.
In any case, tell me if you differ on this - but I don't really smell success here.

Thanks again!
-vividcode
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='vividcode' timestamp='1337104698' post='4940477']
So suggest me only other alternatives.
[/quote]

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:[list]
[*]Cocos 2D ([url="http://www.cocos2d-iphone.org/about"]http://www.cocos2d-iphone.org/about[/url])
[*]Corona 2D ([url="http://www.anscamobile.com/corona/"]http://www.anscamobile.com/corona/[/url])
[*]Marmalade ([url="http://www.madewithmarmalade.com/"]http://www.madewithmarmalade.com/[/url])
[*]Gamemaker ([url="http://www.yoyogames.com/make"]http://www.yoyogames.com/make[/url] & [url="http://www.yoyogames.com/gamemaker/studio"]http://www.yoyogames...amemaker/studio[/url])
[*]Gamesalad ([url="http://gamesalad.com/"]http://gamesalad.com/[/url])
[*]Torque ([url="http://www.garagegames.com/"]http://www.garagegames.com/[/url]) – they have a number of products
[*]Monkey/MonkeyCoder ([url="http://monkeycoder.co.nz/"]http://monkeycoder.co.nz/[/url])
[/list]
Some of these are API level SDK’s/frameworks and some are more the IDE type you’re looking for.

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 3[sup]rd[/sup] 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.

[quote name='vividcode' timestamp='1337104698' post='4940477']
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?
[/quote]

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.

[quote name='vividcode' timestamp='1337104698' post='4940477']
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.
[/quote]

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.

[quote name='vividcode' timestamp='1337104698' post='4940477']
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.
[/quote]

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. Edited by freakchild
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
@freakchild - that's very reasonable reply by you - Thanks a ton!
I agree - the best reason to do this is for fun - and nothing else.

It has given me a direction, and you have convinced me to get a hackintosh - and I can also arrange for somewhat old iPod touch for testing.

Reading for Hackintosh - I got many sites, but I want specific to mine case (you know, formatting business I have rarely done)

I have two PCs - one with windows xp and other with Vista. Both have 2 GB RAM, 100+ GB HDDs.

1) which one can I dual boot on hackintosh?
2) where exactly do I look for step by step instructions?
3) I need specific mac os version details that will be compatible with latest iOS versions, as well as legal ways to get them so that there won't be any Afuture issues compiling / distributing my iPhone App.

-vividCode
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I see two options for you,
Shiva 3d allows you to develop the game on PC, but you can build it for iOS only on a Mac with the authoring tool. You can use MacInCloud which allows you to build your application on a Mac. Totally legal.

Or you could wait for Leadwerks 3.0 to come out with iOS and Android support, you could do the same thing with MacInCloud. No hackontosh required.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Similar Content

    • By ilovegames
      The boy and the Golem were friends for a long time, and have traveled together.
      In search of the boy's father, they go to where he grew up, places now devastated by war.

      The player can at any time switch the characters and manage to solve a specific task.
      The boy is small and weak but is clever and an archer.
      Golem is big and strong, but slow, and prefers melees.

      The game includes the boom (required for archery) and apples (to restore his health). Golem Health is restored automatically. On the way our characters will encounter enemies and locked doors, and to open the door you must activate rock platforms nearby (decorated with blue stones that are activated by Golem from on the ground, and green that are activated from an arrow launched by the boy). Some doors will open only with simultaneous activation of a few (two or three) different types of stone platforms.

      Controls:

      Movement - W, A, S, D
      Switch character - Tab
      Direction of impact \ shot - mouse (cursor position)
      Attack:
      Golem - LMB
      Boy - When sandwiched RMB (Aim), press the LMB, for a shot
      Jump - Space



      TheBoyAndTheGolemSetup.exe
    • By KaiZerg
      Dear Colleagues,
      Can you please advise on the issue below:
      I have got several Folders(paper), to keep cheat sheets, practical guides, Lists of sequences ect.
      What is the best way to separate Folders?
      1)
      -Unity all
      -Unreal Engine all
      2)
      -Game art
      -Game Design
      -Game Engine
      -Game Programming
       
    • By suerozcelik
      Hi everyone, My name is Arda Süer, i’m a game developer and producer of Pocket Universe : Create Your Community. Pocket Universe is on pre-order and soon the early access to Steam. I need your help and I want to introduce you to my game. Please read the game story and website content etc. If you have any suggestions tell us and we can develop. Example:"Story is good but you need more faction","You need add bla,bla to the game". Anyway I will put links here to help you to understand Pocket Universe. Story : http://www.pocketuniversegame.com/?page_id=7 Features : http://www.pocketuniversegame.com/?page_id=180 Factions : http://www.pocketuniversegame.com/?page_id=54 Press Release : http://www.pocketuniversegame.com/?page_id=237 If you want to help more, please buy my game Kinguin : https://www.kinguin.net/category/38680/pocket-universe-create-your-community-pre-order-steam-cd-key/ G2A : https://www.g2a.com/pocket-universe-create-your-community-steam-key-global-i10000070716001 Press Relase.rtf
    • By NA-45
      I'm currently working on Metroidvania style game that I was inspired to start by Hollow Knight and Beksiński's art.

       It's built in Unity using C# and has quite a bit done already.  I'm handling the programming myself and have a working model (besides combat which is a WIP) that can be expanded greatly depending on where we decide to take the project.  You can see the current test area here: https://streamable.com/mp5o8  Since I'm not artistically gifted, its all rectangles but can easily be skinned once we've desired on designs.
      I have professional experience using Unity and C# working on both a released game and a prototype as well as having extensive Java knowledge.  I also dabble in Python with a little bit of C++.
      I have worked on and completed many projects before, the most recent being a 2D stick fighting game written ground up in Java Swing (don't ask why): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4Bkoyp_f0o
      I'm looking for a 2D artist (potentially more than one) to create concept and game art and a designer/writer who can help flesh out the story as well as map out and create challenging and eye catching areas.  I can handle most if not all of the programming side of things though if there is anyone who is extremely passionate about this sort of thing, I'd consider splitting the load.
      The end goal is a completed game that can be sold however profit isn't really a concern to me as it's mostly a labor of love from my part.  Any profits would be split between team members however that's pretty far off so don't make that a reason to join.
      ______________________________
      The story I have in mind is something like this:
      A man wakes up in a chasm that stretches seemingly endlessly in both directions lined with enormous statues.

       He discovers a temple with text above a closed gate that tells of the failed kingdom that lies below.  After finding a way around this, he drops down into the subterranean kingdom.  Adventuring through the labrynth below, he comes across different cities in which the residents succumbed to different sins such as Greed, Wrath, etc.  Each city tells a story of how its fixation on something lead to their demise leading up to a fight with the personification of their mistake.
      ______________________________
      An very rough idea for Waterways, a potential area:
       - To enter you must be wearing a pair of glasses that you find somewhere earlier in the ruins.  There are similar glasses found in every home.  Everything appears incredibly beautiful however something seems wrong.  After triggering some event, the glasses break and it's revealed that the glasses are made of some sort of stone that makes everything appear differently.  The city is in ruins and absolutely disgusting as everything was neglected.  
       - The only thing that remains intact is in the center of the city, an incredible statue of a goddess holding up a large sphere of the same material that was used for the glass.  You slowly learn the story behind the statue: the goddess came from the sea that the city lies on and brought prosperity to them.  
       - After opening up the the temple of the goddess that lies right on the edge of the waters, a giant sheet of the glass covers an opening in the back of the temple that reveals the goddess behind it.  You shatter the glass and it becomes apparent that the goddess is actually a disgusting creature half beached and mostly immobile that appears to secrete the material that makes up the glass. Fight ensues.
      ______________________________
      The combat is pretty up in the air and part of the reason I need a designer to bounce ideas off of but I think it will be something like this:
       - 4 orbs equipped at a time
       - 2 orbs selected at a time
       - Pressing the cast button will cast a spell determined by the 2 orbs that are selected
       - Spells cost mana however you can use spells with 0 mana and it will cost health instead
       - These spells in addition to being useful for combat, are the Metroidvania "gating" metchanic.  For instance, one of the conceptualized spells is a water orb + water orb to create a ice pillar that can be either used to block projectiles/enemy paths or to jump on to reach high areas
      ______________________________
      If you're interested or have any questions, contact me through discord.  My id is NA-45#3692. 
       
    • By Qwertyman
      My game (built on the Unity platform, making use of EZ GUI) requires players to log into Facebook. However, when the player is using a language other than English on Facebook, I'm unable to display the localized Username (which is the same as the FB Username) within the game. Any ideas on how this can be tackled?
      PS: Detecting the OS language doesn't really help here because, for all you know, the player might be using one language for the OS, but another one for their Facebook, so.... 
      TIA!
  • Popular Now