And Yet Another Problem Takes Care of Itself

One of the issues I’ve got with BlitzMax programming was the fact that I felt I would not be investing in better development practises, since BMax can only cater for Windows & Mac. For this reason I’ve looked a bit of Unity3D and Shiva which both can handle multiple platforms, web and iphone development included.

But then I was facing a new dilemma: The learning curve.

I started Blitz3D coding in 2001 and then moved to BlitzMax few years back, and I feel that I have pretty solid understanding on how these blitz machines work. I’m looking at iPhone/other game dev possibilities and with Blitz I was stuck.

Learning Shiva or Unity wouldn’t perhaps be a massive amount of work, but nevertheless it would take some time to get familiar with the tools.

Something mysterious happened yesterday. By accident, I came across with this blog post by the maker of Blitz-series. He had announced month ago that there will be this new Blitz version that’s directly aimed to support different platforms (HTML5, Java, iPhone, Android etc.).

Here’s the solution, dropped right into my lap

I was thrilled to see this happening. I could build on top of my existing experience, and simply continue working with BlitzMax with the knowledge that at some point there will (most likely) be this mobile opportunity. Of course there’s still question marks in the development (what stuff is really supported, how will iPhone stuff be done, what’s the time schedule) but as I’m keen to get my hands dirty with coding (rather than invest time in learning a new engine) I feel that the solution is simple:

I just do blitzmax stuff, and see after few months how’s the new blitz “iPhone” doing there. I’m building a game prototype, yet getting more experience which can help me with the iPhone development.

And this also means that I get a few months to see how the iPhone OS4 really works and if it’s something worth diving into.

It’s nice when pieces fall into right places effortlessly.

UPDATE: Looks like it might not be possible to do iPhone stuff with this new bmax. The Apple licence is somewhat iffy on this part. Trying to figure out how it really goes. I’m slightly positive about this.

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. The Blitz3D command set is simply genial. It’s so natural and simple, that you don’t even need to learn it, it just comes from your intuition. All game engines should use Blitz3D command set, and you can also write your own Blitz3D command set wrapper for most, so you save a lot of time and money when porting a game from one engine to another.

  2. @jtrencsenyi Are you doing 2D games? I felt like it complicated 2D development. Do you have an opinion on this?

  3. My Unity3D learning curve was short (less then a month) and it’s a robust, high quality 3D engine and multi-platform.

  4. I am not sure if I am not too late, but also http://www.phonegap.com/ would probably be an option for mobile game development using HTML and Javascript. You could combine that with some Javascript game engine.

  5. I have met Mark (creator of Blitzmax) a few times. (I live in the same city) and have seen the new Blitz language working. A friend of mine is doing some of the proto-types/demo applications for BM2.

    However, I think it might be a ways off before all the functionality of Blitzmax is duplicated in BM2.

  6. lol…. typo… meant “The newS for Blitzmax is very cool.”

    I’m surprised you aren’t using it. Jake put a lot of time into compatibility issues that seem totally worth the effort of learning it.

  7. Phil, What you mean by “new bmax”? :)

    (I also have a copy of GAF btw, not using it though ;)

  8. I completely agree with building a prototype in a language you know really well. Even if you have to throw it away, I believe it is more important to flesh out your idea in the fast most streamline way. Worry about the technological and platform issues after you’ve proven/discovered the core game play.

    PS The new for Blitzmax is very cool. Makes it more appealing to me, especially since I’m one of those luck people with a license to the now closed Grey Alien Framework!

  9. In this case I’m not: my primary goal is still to do PC version and wait & see how the bmax2 version does when it gets out. I also have trust in these guys, I’ve seen what they’ve done with blitz technologies. It feels more like that they are “stripping away bmax functionality and keeping only necessary modules”… and also that “they are essentially building a converter functionality: easy way to port bmax to mobile & other devices”

    After all, my current project is going for PC, not for mobile – so in this case it’s not delaying my project.

    If they were a totally new player, I’d be more worried.

    I’ll see what they cook within the following months.

  10. I’m always a little concerned about new technology or bleeding edge versions. They are not stable in most cases.

    Using established technology like Shiva or Unity3D would be less risky. Firstly because they already solved their teething troubles and secondly because the new “bmx2” has to catch up the expected standards of game development (e.g. missing features). Both issues may delay your project unnecessarily.

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