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I have a succesfull Facebook poker game that is running very nicely. I was asked if I can port my game to other platforms - mainly mobile devices (phones as well as tablets, would tablets need a separate version)?

I am currently a PHP programmer (and game designer) and I simply don't have the time to learn Android or other languages - so I have decided to pay third parties to port the game for me (if possible).

  1. Which programming language is needed for the following four devices - Android phone, iPhone, iPad and tablets?
  2. Can they all run off a central SQL database? If no then I don't think I'm interested.
  3. Do any of these run Flash?
  4. Have I covered all my main bases here?

For example is programming for an Android phone that much different from programming for an Andorid tablet? They will have slightly different graphics (because the tablet has a greater screen area might as well use it) but does either version need to be developed separately, from scratch?

Same goes for iPhone/iPad, do they really need to be programmed separately if the only difference is the graphics?

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2 Answers 2

Often you can "port" a web-based application to a mobile device by just providing a mobile version of the webpage. iOS and Android both provide various mechanisms to "install" a webpage (or portable site) onto the device; iOS supports HTML5 offline storage, and Android allows you to bundle up your pages into an application bundle that is then served by a WebView. However, this will only work for static content; dynamic content (such as that generated by a PHP application) will still have to run from a webserver, and the user will need to have a data connection to use it.

As far as Flash support goes, you can install Flash on Android, but users will generally be unhappy about it.

If the game is particularly successful and you want to allow offline operation and have it run well on a variety of devices and you don't want to learn Java, your best bet is probably to hire someone else to port it for you.

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Wouldn't a port be very slow? I am prepared to hire somebody but what am I looking for?? –  James Clifton Apr 7 '12 at 9:37
    
A port depends on how they go about doing it. Since the original application is written in PHP+Flash, likely it would have to be a rewrite no matter how you go about doing it. What'd you'd be looking for is someone who can read PHP and ActoinScript and write Java and who has a track record of being able to port things successfully. –  fluffy Apr 7 '12 at 19:21

I don't have first hand experience with it, but I'd like to mention a framework I've read about:

http://www.haxenme.org/

Quoting the about page:

NME is a free, open-source framework that enables development for iOS, Android, webOS, BlackBerry, Windows, Mac, Linux and Flash Player from a single codebase. Unlike most cross-platform frameworks, NME applications are not written in a low-level language (like C or C++) and does not require a virtual machine or runtime (like Java and Adobe AIR) in order to run on a target platform.

The language that powers it is supposedly very similar to ActionScript 3 which I assume someone with Flash experience will already know.

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Thanks for that, have looked at the web site and have also bookmarked it. –  James Clifton Apr 8 '12 at 5:32

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