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Yeah yeah I know, best is probably a bad way to phrase this. But I need some pros and cons. I need a new phone and if I'm going to get a smartphone and pay all that money, I better get one that I can develop for, and games are what I want to make (not apps).

So the way I see it is the iPhone would be a bit too expensive to get into. I currently do not own a Mac and do not know Objective-C, so both of those things would be major road blocks to getting an iPhone for game dev purposes. Are there any really good or bad things to know about iPhone game development?

Windows Phone 7 is pretty attractive to me, since I already have a basis in XNA and it would be pretty easy and cheap to pick up. For game development it looks pretty attractive.

After that, my research kind of dies. I have no idea what the deal is on Android, RIM's OS or any other mobile OSes. Does anyone have any experience on these?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Josh Petrie Oct 24 '14 at 17:40

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

The iPhone can be developed for with Windows and C++, if you want. – The Communist Duck Nov 7 '10 at 15:57
@The Communist Duck: Really? You can develop everywhere, but the official SDK is still only available on Mac OS X last time I checked, meaning you do need a Mac for final deployment and submission. (Or you can jailbreak it, but I assume if askers doesn't mention jailbreaking, they'd rather not do it.) – user744 Nov 7 '10 at 16:46
-1, Subjective. iPhone: mac/objective-c, c++/opengl es; Android: mac, pc/java, c++/opengl es; WP7: pc/c#/directx?; RIM: don't bother. Is cost your only concern or are you trying to reach a larger audience or be able to go multiplatform later? There are differences in the stores, the number and breadth of platforms (hardware and software) you have to/can support. – Tetrad Nov 7 '10 at 16:50 This seems to give the impression that you can, though I'm not entirely sure. – The Communist Duck Nov 7 '10 at 17:00
The dragonfiresdk lets you dev in windows using their SDK but not the iOS SDK. The final app, which you hand them your project, will be built for the iPhone using their macs. Unfortunately, it means you will have a hard time testing on the device which is critical for iPhone development. – 5ound Nov 7 '10 at 18:53
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Your two options for low-cost hobby development are the android and WP7 platforms. The WP7 platform has a $99 yearly fee (same as the iPhone developer agreement, for reference). With that you get XNA which is going to get you up and running without additional middleware pretty quickly, plus you said you have experience in that platform so you'll spend less time trying to learn the tech and more time making games.

However your best bet from a purely dollar-cost perspective is probably the android platform. It's an open platform (read: free). With the native development kit you can write your apps in C++. The graphics API is OpenGL ES (same as the iPhone, more or less). It's a lot more barebones in the sense that there isn't nearly as much of game-related things in the SDK like XNA has. However, given that it's a fairly standard/open interface, there's a lot of existing middleware (like this) that can help you get up and running on that platform quickly.

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Thanks, this is extremely helpful. I like how cocos2d-android (java) is based off cocos2d-iphone (objective-c) which is based off cocos2d (python) :P I'm pretty sure the MS fee is free for me since I'm a student (I know i get the xbox one free). I guess what it's going to come down to is me finding which phone I prefer (Win7 or Android)... (I'm taking a bunch of animation courses next semester that use OpenGL so that makes me lean towards Android) – Jeff Nov 7 '10 at 20:38
i thought android was java based ? – Skeith Aug 22 '11 at 15:22

This is very opinion based. But if you already have XNA experience, and you don't want to learn a new language, seems reasonable to stick with that. (it also has a great IDE..Visual Studios!, imo)

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Yeah that seems like the best bet. I do have java experience, do you know what game development is like on the android? – Jeff Nov 7 '10 at 19:57
the Android Emulator and the Android Development Tools plugin for Eclipse are both excellent. Also the community is quite helpful as well – Spooks Nov 8 '10 at 21:32

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