App Game Kit – Write Once, Deploy Everywhere

Being able to code your game once and then deploy it to a variety of devices has been a programming holy grail for as long as I can remember. When you factor in the huge range of mobile devices on the market today, there must be a massive amount of time spent by devs porting from one platform to another. So I have been following the progress of the App Game Kit (AGK) with interest, especially as this is the very issue it claims to solve.

Created by The Game Creators, a team perhaps better known for development tools like DarkBASIC and their hit iPhone games, AGK was created to solve an internal development issue: basically they were fed-up re-coding for each new device. So AGK was born. It comes in two versions – a BASIC interpreter with game and media specific commands (like LoadImage and CreateSprite) and for seasoned developers there’s a set of C++ libraries to use. Games are automatically scaled to different screen resolutions, and issues such as input commands differing from device to device are abstracted away from you.

According to the press release AGK supports iOS, Mac OS, Windows, Samsung Bada and MeeGo from the get-go. Which means you can target App Store, Mac Store, Samsung Apps and Intel’s App Up Store. Phase 2 of the product will add Android, Windows Mobile 7, Blackberry and WebOS to the mix. I don’t have any technical details on what happens “under the hood” just yet. I.e. is the BASIC code compiled down into a native runtime, or run via some kind of vm or interpreter. I also can’t comment on actual performance once your app hits the device, but the videos TGC have posted to YouTube looked fine as do the game examples, although I admit they are very simple.

It’ll be interesting to see how this one evolves. If you make anything with it, let me know!

More info at the AGK web site:

Posted on August 15th 2011 at 2:42 pm by .
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  • Philippe
    August 15th 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Elephant in the room: no Android support?

    Still looks cool – way to go.

  • August 15th 2011 at 2:59 pm

    This looks interesting.

  • NaN
    August 15th 2011 at 4:01 pm

    Considering the poor performance of Adobe’s AIR (old version – 2.5, on a prehistoric iPhone 3G), I’d say that anything that provides a smooth gameplay (even if it is a simple game) on iOS is worth mentioning.

  • August 17th 2011 at 10:23 am

    If Adobe can harness Molehill performance across all mobile platforms, and come up with a more streamlined publishing workflow then Flash/Actionscript could be just as powerful.

  • Rick
    August 18th 2011 at 5:24 pm


    I agree that the old air on 3G was really bad, but I have to believe Adobe is in it to win it. This is their whole Flash business at stake. 5 years down the road we dont know where HTML5 (or newer) will be compared to flash. I have to believe they want to master the write once deploy anywhere more than ever now. HP and MS dont have a large foothold like iOS and Droid does (blackberry in the middle somewhere) but I can’t see it staying like that forever. Whoever can master 5 platforms with 1 code base is going to be very strong

    Curious as to Mr Photons thoughts on Unity?

  • August 18th 2011 at 6:21 pm

    My thoughts on Unity are a bit mixed. I have tried (several times) to use it myself, but it has never ended well. The first time it constantly crashed and I barely got the first tutorial done. The second time the plugin kept crashing. I’m sure it’s a lot better now, and I even have a book on my bookshelf waiting to be read about using it, but I just don’t have the time. I’m not massively interested in mobile development, hence my lack of enthusiasm for trying again with it. If they make it export to Molehill, well that’s a whole different kettle of fish then! and I look forward to that massively.

  • April 18th 2013 at 12:19 am

    AGK has come a long way in the past few years since this article.
    It has full support for Android, iOS, MacOS and Windows. (and Blackberry, I think)
    I makes coding a lot easier and simpler and I definitely recommend it.
    I’ve been using it for around 4 months and I’ve already published 3 apps for Android (and made a few more which never got around to being published). I don’t even use it full time, this is just as a hobby!

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