I’m talking about iPhones, Androids, iPads and whatnot (here’s a handy picture about the iPhone and Android differences). And I’m talking about doing games for these devices. I know iPad for example is brand new and has quite many similarities with a rock, but it’s coming and increasing the size of the platform.
Android is relatively new thing in the mobile genre, but it’s going bigger.
I’ve never owned any smart phone (I’ve always thought that the owners need to be smarter than phones), only dumb ones. Now, lately I’ve been sliding into this mobile area. Why? Not sure, but here’s some thoughts on top of my head (these are all just thoughts and ideas in random order – I’ve yet to make any decent moves):
- Non-game development wise I’ve seen that a handy camera recorder would come… handy. These new mobile phones have it. And then there’s of course that email and web and… stuff. But enough of these, now more on the game dev thoughts:
- Scope: indie projects on PC have the risk of becoming Grand Projects (been there). Somehow the whole scope of mobile apps is smaller. Budgetwise this also sounds pretty neat.
- Coolness factor: starting mobile development would give me bragging rights in parties. I could show off what I’ve done.
- Many board games could possibly translate well into a mobile games. I’m a board game guy too, and this is one reason for thinking mobile game development. Some big names like Reiner Knizia have mentioned that they would want to see more board games in the video gaming world (didn’t specify platforms though).
- I’ve been looking into Unity and Shiva game engines and both have good opportunities to do PC and Mac and iPhone/iPod/iPad games (Shiva raises the bar by supporting also Android). I’m currently checking Shiva and going through tutorials (liked Unity resources/tutorials/examples and syntax slightly more I must say)
- Android market is totally new. It has tons of potential (which fellow indie dev kindly reminded me, alongside the fact that you can try development without a Mac). One small concern with potential market size for Android games it that they support Flash. And pretty close to every top seller iPhone app is a direct Flash clone. (So Android owners can just play these Flash games for free, maybe). This is just me thinking out loud, no any solid stats to back up any claims.
- Market is not saturated. Well, I don’t think “casual games” market or “PC games” market for that matter is any more saturated. Heck, they keep saying that “PC gaming is dead” for decades now, and it’s doing better than ever thanks to digital distribution. Some people say that “iPhone games market is saturated”, but hell… there’s only a some million iphones sold and 6 billion people on this planet (I recall there’s over 6 billion mobile phones in this planet to put things into perspective). Smart phones app market is going to be much higher, ask any unbiased mobile analytic.
But all these boil down to “what do I want to do?” and “what would be fun for me?” Right now I’ve stopped prototyping with BlitzMax and testing the Shiva waters (Unity in my back pocket) since I see that these tools have so much things done & ready for me… and they are also good for the next wave of gaming.
Bottom line is: I’ll test things with Shiva (and have backup plan to test more things with Unity, and glimpse of iPhone 2D stuff like Cocos2D), and see how this thing goes. First I can try PC development with this, but then I keep in mind the fact that the mobile stuff is moving fast. Couple of days ago I was thinking how Android market wields such an opportunity that one gotta act now to be in the front lines.
I really don’t know. All sort of mobile stuff circling inside my head. What you think of all this, what you think of mobile gaming?
The good news is that my next step is clear: whether I want to do mobile dev or not, I’m on solid waters with Shiva since it can do everything that I could want. Continuing learning…