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patches9774

What do you recommend?

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I've been looking into diving further into mobile development and am looking for recommendations on what sort language/framework/libraries I should use. I've done a decent amount of research but I still would really like to hear from people at this moment in time and what they like to use and why.

 

I have a decent amount of experience programming, studied OOP and design patterns, know a handful of languages and am comfortable in taking on something totally new if need be. Assume I'm just as happy to learn a totally new language as I am to make use of a familiar one, but I do insist on doing things correctly and professionally over quickly. Assume I'm looking to target the widest possible audience (iOS and Android minimum) without having to write a lot of code over again. Assume that my projects will not be very large or resource intensive—simple 2D games or productivity apps. What you recommend and why?

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If you didn't say "productivity apps" I would suggest GMStudio(Gamemaker from Yoyogames) or Unity.  They have pros and cons.  Both are single language to all ports.  GMStudio has GML, which is a "C-ish" scripting language missing features from other languages, but quick and easy to learn and use.  Unity can use Unityscript(similar to Javascript in some ways), C#, or Boo(a python dialect).  Like I said, all the languages available for the software work for all the platforms. Both also export to many of the same platforms, iOS, Android, etc.. with a couple differences in minor ones.  GMStudio exports to HTML5, while Unity exports to a webplayer(requiring a plugin).

 

Price may be another concern.  The free version of Unity is hands down much more powerful.  It is actually designed for 3d but can do 2d as well.  The majority of the exports are free, though there are certain limitations, like only one lamp casting a hard shadow, the splashscreen, the GUI skin for the IDE, among others, that may not really affect you if you are primarily doing simple 2d games.  GMStudio however is much better on the 2d side, including a many 2d dedicated things, physics engine, tile system, sprite animation system, shaders.  But the free version feels more limited compared to the paid version compared to Unity's free version.  Also, it doesn't come with mobile device/OS exports like Unity's free version.  So if you want free, Unity will be better, but if you are willing to pay and only are doing 2d games, GMStudio will be better most likely.

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