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: http://www.appgamekit.com/
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