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wodinoneeye

Investigating common library/language for handheld/mobile mini-games

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wodinoneeye    1689
I am looking at the possibility of creating mini-games/applications for a MMORPG on as wide a spectrum of handheld devices as possible (smartphones, tablets, netbooks).

The issues would not be so much screen resolution, but common libraries/programming languages for the interface and graphics (to minimize the variation code that would have to be programmed). The network component would not be real time (would not be multiplayer, and would play mini-games local in the Client and would pass data to Server as batch transfers). I understand it would mostly have a lowest common denominator screen pressing interface for inputs. Graphics can be limited to pixel sprites for the interactive type games and menu type data applications (ex- in-game task management/crafting, mail retrieval, auction house access, etc...)

Is there any one 'game' type library set/language that is runnable on most of these different devices (Flash in a browser would probably be too limited in performance for some of it --- but if nothing else works....).

A further reason to keep as much in common as possible: is to try to allow the Players to create and submit the mini-games (or variations) and have a SDK ( Application Development Kit (ADK) now?) to provide high level skeletons to streamline creation by 'semi-skilled programmers'.


It may be that the really old (a few years old now is 'old') handhelds are too feeble/proprietary, but since they can have a much faster obsolescence cycle that may be moot (unless the cheap vending machine quality devices will still be widely used and will have to be written off, leaving the more powerful devices to be used by the game).

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frob    44908
These days there is little point in supporting more than Android and iOS.

The only good, stable, cross-platform systems I'm aware of that hit both of those are[url="http://www.gamedev.net/page/reference/faq.php/_/mobile-console-development-r10"] listed in the forum FAQ[/url]:

[list]
[*][url="http://unity3d.com/"]Unity3D[/url] engine ($400 to start)
[*][url="http://xamarin.com/"]Ximarin[/url] C# SDK ($400)
[*][url="http://appmobi.com/"]appMobi[/url] HTML5 - Javascript (SaaS subscription)
[*][url="http://www.madewithmarmalade.com/"]Marmalade[/url] C++ SDK ($150)
[*][url="http://www.dragonfiresdk.com/"]Dragonfire[/url] C++ SDK ($100)
[/list]

If you do come up with a longer list let the forum know so I can update the FAQ.

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wodinoneeye    1689
So alot of the handheld phones are too proprietary/limited for the uses I talked of (or are pretty much limited to Android or iOS for any commonality for proper app development)..

The most important 'apps' are the data retrieval/task management for the 'offline' 'convienence' playing in the MMORPG (which could probably be handled by HTML if all else fails)

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wodinoneeye    1689
Is there someplace on the Web that is a clearinghouse list of the various Handhelds and Tablet devices and what OS they use (so I can get a handle on how broad the compatibility is --- trying to be inclusive in the palmtops) .

Additional info like screen resolution/Processor/memory/input formats would also be of use in guaging where to place the bar for target machines.

I figure that many of the mini-games I forsee could use sprite graphics (that low end PCs from 20+ years ago had no problem with) and it is more the rewriting the same code for too many different different platforms (including input methods) that would be problematic Edited by wodinoneeye

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JWalsh    498
[quote name='frob' timestamp='1339189012' post='4947479']
These days there is little point in supporting more than Android and iOS.
[/quote]

I'm not sure I would say that. Windows Phone is gaining huge momentum and is already extremely popular in the international markets. It has the fastest growing app marketplace and with the shared core between Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, and the ability to write native C++ apps, that's only going to increase over the next year. I'm not a fanboy, but I think telling people not to bother with Windows Phone isn't good, long-term advice.

Full Disclosure: Yes, I do work for Windows Phone.

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