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Supporting Multiple OS for a one man band

I'm planning to develop a 2D video game
on a wide range of platforms :

- PC
- Pocket PC
- Palm
- Mac OS
- Linux

Do you think that supporting all of these for a one man band is possible.

What I'm afraid is even if I get my game
working on all these platforms is of all the customer support I will have to provide :

NewPocket PC is release : "My game is not working on this new fabulous piece of harware ?!, why?"

"I got this new joystick for my mac and it's not supported by your game, why?!"

Basically I currently have a day time job and unless I get a lot of orders for my game I'm not going to quit my day time job


What do you guys recommend me ?
Should I only focus on 3 platforms only ? less ?
is more manageable ?

Any advice or inputs from people who have got cross platform development and support experiences here ?

Thanks in advance for your inputs!

FairLight
Sunday, November 09, 2003

Don't bite off more then you can chew.

sedwo
Sunday, November 09, 2003

Start with one platform and build for that.  Try and design for cross-platform but you're not likely to get it entirely right.  Move to the next likely platform and build for that; probably have to change some of your design.  Then try the next platform and so on...

Obviously try and look for some existing cross-platform gaming frameworks to see if they will fit with your project.  Then a lot of the work is done for you.

Almost Anonymous
Sunday, November 09, 2003

First write a game for a PC in somewhat portable style. If you actually finish then try to sell it. If it actually sells then offer a port if there is demand.
Keep it simple.

Tom Vu
Sunday, November 09, 2003

What's your target market?  A game that's amazing for a handheld won't necessarily translate well to a PC game, or vice versa. 

I'd pick your strongest target platform and build for that.

Robert Jacobson
Sunday, November 09, 2003

I dont know of any gaming platforms that support all of those platforms.

SDL ( http://www.libsdl.org ) Has Linux, Windows and Mac OSX support.

Start out by writing a prototype game for one platform, but make sure all platform specific functions are fully abstracted.

Eric DeBois
Sunday, November 09, 2003

Eric :

I had in mind the SDL Library,
So there might be some re-coding to do on all the other unsupported platform.

Another alternative would be to team up
with some other developers and port SDL on other platforms, but that might be a hell of a job... but
in the long run it's worth it

FairLight
Sunday, November 09, 2003

If you take your company (and your customers) seriously you'd probably have a lab of test machines. Probably 7-24 machines to a major platform.

Li-fan Chen
Sunday, November 09, 2003

I think the only way to make sure its portable without a huge rewrite is to target 2 systems from the beginning.

anon
Sunday, November 09, 2003

Li-fan Chen :

I will take this company and the customers seriously
but at this stage I cannot have such testing lab
at home.

As my software will be shareware, I'll highly recommend
to my prospects (as they have not purchase the game yet)
to try the evaluation version of the game to ensure
that it work on their hardware.

I was planning to fix bugs when they're reported
by people who try the software before buying it.

I'm assuming that if the trial version work fine on the target platform, the full version will do to
(it's will be the same release, version, compile build)
Unless I manage to stick a bug in the routine which check
if the Serial No entered is correct ;-)

Do you think that his approach is unprofessional ?

FairLight
Sunday, November 09, 2003

> I was planning to fix bugs when they're reported
by people who try the software before buying it.

I feel uncomfortable with this plan. If you go this way, try a very small release initially before you do much marketing. When the interest for the program shows up, you want the program to be very stable, otherwise you'll either be overwhelmed with support requests, or destroyed by bad reviews.

anon
Sunday, November 09, 2003

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