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October 29, 2020
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3 golden rules to pick your cross platfrom developement framework

by Jonathan Raveh on 01/10/14 06:39:00 am   Featured Blogs

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


The world is full of false promises.

Remember 2009/2010? Smartphones were suddenly everywhere, mostly iPhones, and many ad networks promised advertisers complete and accurate conversion tracking methods. Most of these promises were fulfilled only 1-2 years later. 

Mobile development arena is repeating these mistakes today. With dozens of them emerging every year, and 3 big market leaders (Unity, Corona, Marmalade), you will hear a lot of about cross platform development. Yet the idea of cross platform development itself is still vague. How can you separate true and false promises when it's time to choose a framework? 

To solve this dilemma, you have to stay focused on your objectives. These 3 important questions are relevant to any mobile game developer :

  1. Number of mobile platforms – Are you sure you are only interested in iOS and Android? What about RIM, a largely ignored platform with hundreds of millions of users worldwide? What about HTML5 that fits mobile and web browsers? Have you given any thought to Smart TV, considered to be the next big thing? With such a dynamic environment, it would be a shame to concentrate only on the 2 leading mobile OS. You might regret this someday. 
  2. Amount of work – Take a look at some of the development platforms’ websites. They all promise you a quick transformation of your game from one OS to the other. sounds easy, doesn't it? Might even sound too easy, and rightfully so. In many cases, adjusting  a code to fit an additional operating system will require a lot of extra work. And don't forget about the various screen sizes and resolutions. What you need is a platform to do all that extra work for you, with no unnecessary adjustments on your end, giving you a code that fits all screens and devices . If you settle for less, picking the development platform might only generate extra work for you.
  3. Performance – development platform that promise you to get the job, will most likely keep their word. Most development platform are able to deliver on that promise. Yet the question of quality in never truly answered. turning a native code into a different code has a price. A near native experience is what you desire, with over 90% identity in performance. Most platforms will get you to 70%-80%, and some even lower. This has great effect on user experience.    

A good cross platform development tool will be able to generate a game that fits as many digital platforms as possible, with little or no extra work for you to do once the native code is ready, and with the outcome as close as possible to the source. Paying the price of settling for less might  be long term, but it's still quite high. Check the forums, read reviews and talk to other developers. Names and brands are important, but only if they keep their promises. It's up to you to find out. 

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