Picking directions for making a little (mobile) game app

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I bet many have an answer for this one

For fun, I'd like to make a little game app. But I've been using ancient programming languages so far mostly (Delphi 7, Visual Studio 2008, Qt), plus I'm ancient myself meaning I have little idea about the (mobile) platforms out there, other than  "Windows, iOS, Android".

Anyhow, before just picking a random language or platform, I'd like to ask some advice. For example, is there a (multi-platform) gamedevelopment such as XNA, suitable for mobile platforms such as Android or Apple tablets? As far as I know, Android apps are often made in Java with Eclipse, and probably it has some gamedev or rendering libraries too. But would that be easy to port to iOS or Windows?

While googling, I also saw a new version of Delphi, XE5. I always LOVED Delphi (see my little Tower22 baby) but I'm realizing I'm getting more and more in the past with D7 (2002!!). Delphi XE5 seems to be capable of compiling Windows, iOS and Android programs though, so maybe that is a good excuse to FINALLY make a step forward. But since Delphi isn't exactly cheap, and always had a bit of an underdog position -thus less support for popular (gamedev) libraries- I'm not so sure if it would be the wisest decission to head that way. As for the "game app" idea, I just want to make a little game without too much hassle, so having some "ready to go" libraries for rendering (2D) graphics, sound and pysics would be very nice.

Well, I'm sure you guys can give me some directions or share experiences on Delphi XE5.

Merci beaucoup!

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There are many cross platform libraries and utilities out there.

Right now two of the more popular cross platform libraries are LibGDX (mostly Java) and Cocos2d-x (mostly C++), both are free and have very active, supportive communities. Both Marmalade (C++) and Xamarin (C#) are paid products that also seem to have a following and some support. There are probably hundreds of others out there as well, pay attention to their quality, community support, and lists of customers and finished products before investing too much in any of them.

If you are looking for a bigger engine, you might consider GameMaker:Studio (they are having a huge discount sale right now, see the first post at the top of the For Beginners forum), GameSalad, and Unity3D, just to name a few. Also like above, there are many more and their quality, support, and general usage are also widely varied. Study them carefully before jumping in.

I'm not aware of any Delphi / Pascal based libraries on mobile, but considering how many individuals and groups build their own little projects and cross-compilers, it wouldn't surprise me if some exist. I'm sure you realize that the language is out of favor and is in the holding pattern of slow decay and eventual death, but there are still some supporters out there. Of course, there are supporters of languages like Snobol, Algol, and so many other languages; programming languages are still new enough creations (within the past sixty years or so) and so many of their creators and fans are still living that the languages don't really die, they just asymptotically approach zero. Edited by frob

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Many people have had success with GameMaker Studio and many more people with Unity3d as well.  Which you prefer depends on what your project requires and what kind of budget you have.  As far as actual viable exports, I'm going to call them about the same.  There are a couple of differences, but generally they both have the important stuff covered.

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