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Smartphones, Tablets and Handheld Computing From Android, Symbian to Apple devices, this is the place for discussion and debate, whether it's smartphones, tablets or even gaming handhelds.

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Old Apr 28, 2011, 06:41 PM   #1
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t0adp1p3
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Default Android-a indie dev's opinion.

I am personally still on the fence on whether I will buy a android device, and I have no agenda. I did however find this article very informative:

http://blog.mobilegamegarage.com/201...ing-your-bets/


"When I look at Android devices I see a lot of design-by-committee and design-by-checkbox. I see products that look good from a checkbox point of view, but not from a cohesive product point of view. I see functionality or features that are either half-baked, or features that are really great, but only available on 1 carrier’s device but not another. I see products that have the same “specs” but implemented in different ways. One device’s OLED screen quality is always not the same screen quality as another device’s from even the same company. And the list goes on and on."

"Almost all Android device manufacturers seem to have the same general philosophy: Throw a lot of crap against the wall, and see what sticks. And if you happen to find something that sticks, throw even more crap against the wall around it and hope it all sticks together."

"You know what happens when you hedge your bet? You don’t put out your best on just one bet. You put out a bunch of smaller, less perfect bets that you hope make a return — but if one fails it’s not as large an issue."




Opinions? I think he has a valid point, and he sounds reasonable. I am sure fanboys on both sides will come out like idiots, trying to win internet arguments for their particular device, I just thought it was a good interesting read.

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Old Apr 28, 2011, 07:27 PM   #2
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Many people think that the android experienced isnt consistent or cohesive. But I think its inevitable if your intent is to design an open, customizable environment.
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Old Apr 28, 2011, 09:04 PM   #3
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Yeah I just never understood the impact that has on a developer who schedule their future based on hardware targets. That particular point I thought was interesting, how when he develops for ios, he knows ok, this will game will take a year to dev, and by that time the 4th gen devices will be the target even though the 6th gen is out etc..it allows him to target specific devices ahead of time... , whereas with android he is having a hard time finding such an animal, because none of the android big dogs have any kind of consistency across there platforms. I don't know if that explained it very well , but the article did a good job expressing his frustration with the situation.

to me this is what worries me. I think an open platform is counter intuitively stifling creation of independent games. You either have to have a big enough budget to be able to test across a ton of different hardware platforms, or alternatively target specific devices (which may or may not be what people are using by the time your game hits) and hope for the best with the rest and potentially lose potential buyers. Or just develop for ios and have a stable hardware base across a few generations to target.

As a customer that makes me think whoa what happens if I buy that android device with awesome specs that doesn't end up selling well, am I going to able to enjoy stuff from smaller android game developers?

Now you tell me, because I really don't know, is that a realistic worry? because right now there are a ton of quality games from indie devs on ios.

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Old Apr 28, 2011, 09:28 PM   #4
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I think there's enough standardization of layers in android that you don't have to worry if your device becomes obscure. Unless you're copletely underpowered, you're still going to run games/apps like any other android device. There are still issues of compatibility, scaling, hardware unable to meet API calls, etc that happen occasionally, but from what I've seen it's rare.

The only issue moving ahead is whether tegra2 and honeycomb become the de facto platform, and how that affects other devices. I think google is starting to realize (or more likely, planned for) the fact that open-ness can only take you so far before you have to close down in order to leverage mass development.

In any case, the point about indie-developers is sort of moot. All the popular games seem to come from what I would consider "indie" groups, often backed by larger publishers. If a good game exists, it'll find its way onto your android device. Just not anytime soon
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