Mobile Gaming SDKs

The Search for a Good Cross-Platform Mobile SDK

There is no shortage of mobile SDKs nowadays and finding one is easy. However, finding one that can handle compiling to both iOS (iPhone/iPad) and Android phones is a bit harder.

There are solutions like Phonegap and Appcelerator Titanium that allow you to use web technology (HTML and JavaScript mostly) to create these. I have used both and found Appcelerator is better in this regard as it provides more native widgets for both Android and iOS which makes a cross-platform app look and behave like a native app on support platforms.

Cross-Platform Mobile Gaming SDK?

As I wanted to try my hand at making a mobile game however, I needed something that performed better than the HTML & Javascript-based solutions. Again, there are a couple SDKs that target mobile gaming. I first looked at the Unity framework, a popular choice for 3D games. It comes with its own powerful IDE that lets you see most of your work in real-time. I was only looking for 2D acceleration however so I continued looking and found some Flash-based ones (such as Flash Builder from Adobe) but found performance to be somewhat lacking.

The Final Answer

I eventually came across 2 Lua-based solutions for mobile gaming. One is Moai which looked fantastic and is open-source. The only problem was that getting started with Moai is a little harder as the documentation is lacking — it was designed for experienced Lua-game developers and since the project is relatively new, documentation is virtually non-existent.

The SDK I settled on is the Corona SDK. It’s Lua-based, has a nice Simulator, performance is good on both Android and iOS and has great API documentation. It’s a bit pricey (around $200 for compiling to a single platform and ~$350 for compiling to both Android & iOS) but does come with a free full-featured trial so you can try developing an application before purchasing.

Hello world!

Welcome! Enjoy!

For those interested in the weblog setup, this blog is powered by:
* Linux/Apache/mySQL/PHP (LAMP stack)
* WordPress with wp-svbtle theme