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MannyG

Unity New to game development and looking for reccomendations and advice (Cross platform suggestions)

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Hello,

I am an intermediate developer with minor experience on enterprise mobile applications for iphone, android and blackberry looking to build my first ever mobile game. I did a google search for some game dev forums and this popped up so I thought I would try posting here as I lack luck elsewhere.

If you have ever heard of the game for the iphone and android platform entitled avatar fight then you will have an idea of the graphic capabilities I require. Basically the battles which are automated one sprite attacking another doing cool animations but all in 2d. My buddy and I have two motivations, one is to jump into mobile Dev as my experience is limited as is his so we would like some trending knowledge (html5 would be nice to learn) . The other is to make some money on the side, don't expect much but polishing the game and putting our all will hopefully reward us a bit.

We have looked into corona engine, however a lot of people are saying it is limited in the graphics department, we are open to learning new languages like lua, c++, python etc. Others we have looked at include phonegap, rhomobile, unity, and the list goes on. I really have no idea what the pros and cons of these are but for a basic battle sequence and some mini games we want to chose the right one.

Some more things that we will be doing include things like card games, side scrolling flying object based games, maybe fishing stuff. We want to start small with these minigames and work our way up to the idea we would like to implement in the future. We only want to work in 2D.

So with these requirements please help me chose a platform to work on (cross platform is what we are ideally leaning towards). Please feel free to throw in some pieces of advice you may have for newbie game developers like myself too.

Thank you for reading,

Manny


Edit: I just wanted to say a great big thank you to everyone who is responding to this thread, I posted this question all over other forums and never received as much acceptance and interest then on this forum and I really do appreciate it. From the bottom of my heart, thank you all! Also the search is still going so feel free to chime in ;) Edited by MannyG

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Two options for you pop into my mind.


For the broadest platform availibility, you can't really beat Unity. Yeah, it's a 3d engine, but quite a lot of 2d stuff is being produced on the platform. Unity uses C#, a version of JavaScript called UnityScript, and a version of Python called Boo. You can choose either, or all of them.

The other option is quite limited, depending on one factor. XNA give you probably the easiest road ahead on the 2d front, but it's limited to Windows, XBox and Windows-phones. However, there is a Mono-port of XNA to loads more platforms.

I don't know how far MonoGame (the XNA port) has come, though, so you might want to check that out. With MonoGame and XNA you could probably use the same codebase for almost as many platforms as Unity. And the best part is, it's free.

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Monogame is free but on iOS and android requires the respective mono licenses (monodroid and monotouch) which are $399 per year EACH.

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For a corporate group i'd go with Unity. Use the free PC version for prototyping, and if you like it you can move your stuff directly over to the handhelds. The licenses cost less than the salary it would take to build an engine from scratch.

For a no-budget indie I'd go with cocos2d-x. It will take more work to get started but you cannot beat the price. You will spend many more hours on platform and tools development, but if you have no money then building your own is sadly your only option.

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Monogame is free but on iOS and android requires the respective mono licenses (monodroid and monotouch) which are $399 per year EACH.


Unity Pro is $1500 for the Pro version, and you need that if you're doing professional work. Each of the other platforms cost an additional $400 I believe. All of these prices are per seat as well. But then again, if one wants to make money, one unfortunately have to spend money. And with the cost of time per seat, it's a couple of days work.

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Apologies, but I don't see how to edit my post above.

I checked the prices on Unity, and there are in fact two versions for iOS/Android etc. A standard version for $400 and a pro version for $1500. I don't know the difference between the two sets, given that you need Unity Pro editor for both the standard and pro mobile platform versions.

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Unity would be my top option with all the research I have done before posting this however the price point is pretty offsetting. I mean it's about 1500 for the pro version + 400 for the iphone and android platforms respectively. That's a little steep for us, I don't even imagine we would have an ROI until about 6 months after release. Has anyone here ever used Corona? I know Lua is quite popular, angrybirds was developed with Lua too.

Sigh, the decisions seem to be endless but my main de-motivation for Unity just seems to be price. Does anyone know if Angrybirds used a cross-platform engine or was it native?

Also I recall reading in numerous threads using OpenGL/OpenAS (?) which are compatible for both the ios and android. Can someone shed some light if this is a viable option? And if so how would that work...as far as I know OpenGL (and Box2D for ios) are simply frameworks for graphics.

P.S Thank you all for replying and helping me figure this ordeal out smile.png Edited by MannyG

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Another option might be jMonkeyengine. That is a Java-engine with a bunch of different platforms because it's Java. But from what I can tell, it suffers from the usual open source disease. The main devs aren't very enthused at the moment and may have found another shiney, and the last update to the engine was a year ago.

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Does anyone know if Angrybirds used a cross-platform engine or was it native?

On android C++ and the NDK with SDL for drawing and Box2D for physics. I am not sure for other platforms. I assume the same again as C++, SDL and Box2d are all available. Only exception would be windows phone 7 which because of market restrictions must have been a C# rewrite using XNA (I believe there is also a pure C# port of Box2d somewhere which they could have used). Lua I can't find much reference to its usage but it would certainly be a quick way of defining locations of the pigs and blocks in levels and the score needed to pass a level with a certain star rating although that could also be done as part of the main C++ code.

Basically it used its own engine.

Just because it uses an engine does not mean it isn't native though. Ultimately an engine might well just be the framework and the game still compiles to 1 native executable.

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