Mobile Game Development from a Developer’s Point of View

Posted Apr 27, 2012 at 10:36 am in Threads > News

I just finished up my Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science with a Concentration on Video Game Development and I (obviously) am an Android enthusiast, so I eventually intend on having my two passions cross paths in some way in the near future (funny enough I have done most of my Mobile Development on WP7 because C# and XNA are awesome).

But I came across this article on Tom’s Hardware interviewing developers from four major sross platform (iOS and Android) mobile developers (I’m also a Computer Hardware enthusiast, talk about nerd trifecta right?).

It was an interesting read as it’s clear they aren’t really biased to one platform but give pretty honest feedback on the growing mobile gaming industry.

Here are some noteworthy quotes form the article:

Some interesting comments on their preferred mobile platform to develop for.
- “Mediocre: We originally planned to release our game on iOS-only. Everybody we talked to said the same thing: an Android port would not pay off. However, we strongly believed in Android as a platform, and in retrospect, that turned out to be a good investment.”
- “Fishlabs: In combination with the fact that porting from iOS is fairly easy if you have a C++-based engine running your game, we expect Blackberry to become the second attractive platform next to iOS, at least for premium developers.”

And of course the status quo mentioning of piracy and fragmentation.
- “Fishlabs: Android is a bit more tricky. On the one hand, the enormous install base of Android-based smartphones and tablets makes it almost impossible for us to deny that platform completely. But on the other hand, the huge fragmentation of the Android market (with dozens of manufacturers producing hundreds of devices with a myriad of different hardware specifications) and its high level of software piracy make it pretty hard for us to release a title on Android and still turn in a reasonable profit. We hope that this will change, at least to some extent, with our first free to play title out.”
- “Madfinger: Regarding the challenges that we are facing, the biggest problem is the fragmentation of Android versions and device types, and thus increasing testing and polishing. On the other hand, we observe the biggest audience for hardcore games mainly among the Android users. Apple, to the contrary, does not provide developers with dev kits or information before it releases updates and new devices, meaning developers cannot get ready for this change or develop apps considering what will come next.”
- “Vector Unit: With that said, the challenge on Android is support. Fragmentation is an issue, and supporting multiple hardware specs can be a pain. Support and compatibility testing on iOS is much easier, but then the marketplace is much more crowded and competitive, so there are trade-offs.”

Some interesting takes on “HD” and what it means to them.
- “Mediocre: I have personally never been that keen on higher resolutions in games. For e-reading and Web browsing, it is obviously a big win. But in an action game where everything is moving, I doubt anyone will even notice. I am much more impressed by a game running at 60 frames per second on a low-res display than a game running at 20 frames per second at “beyond-HD resolution”.”

Anyways it’s a long read but definitely worth it if you’re into mobile gaming (I’m looking at you Taylor!), so I won’t spoil the rest for you guys.

Here’s the full article:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/android-ios-game-developer,3169.html

FYI, The one part that is probably most interesting to us Android enthusiasts is here:
Apple Vs. Google Vs. Microsoft: Which Rules Mobile Gaming?

I’d like to hear what you guys think about Game Development progressing on Android.
Thanks for reading!