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scrottie (4167)

scrottie
  scott@slowass.net
http://slowass.net/

My email address is scott@slowass.net. Spam me harder! *moan*

Journal of scrottie (4167)

Friday April 09, 2010
05:15 PM

"Do you think Nintendo would allow Flash-cross-compiled..."

[ #40307 ]

Apple fanboys never cease to amaze me.

This gem is circulating on Twitter: "Do you think Nintendo would allow Flash-cross-compiled games?"

Um... _yes_. Quite a lot of companies are in exactly that market -- game engines. Any game made in the last ten years is a mish mash of licensed code, runtimes, toolkits, translators, portability wedges, cross platform libraries, and so on.

Apple is not acting like Nintendo. It's acting like Nokia did with the N-Gage. Except Apple actually put 3D accelerated hardware in their device. But Nokia at least had a D-pad and buttons.

20 years ago, Nintendo tried to lack developers into exclusives. In those days, writing a game for one system was so radically different from writing it for another (a "6510" 6502 variant in the NES vs Z80 in the Sega Master System, with the games written in assembly with custom bank selectors, for example) that porting code was out of the question. SNES/Genesis continued roughly along these lines except C became a possibility. By the time the PlayStation 1 and N64 came around, development was mostly C (with some custom assembly for the DSP). Then you could actually write the bulk of the game for both systems at the same time. Attempts to abstract away differences in GPUs have continued by 3rd parties ever since.

There's a lot of great stuff being written for the iPhone, but there's also a lot of great stuff being written for the Wii and Xbox 360 online market places. To tell developers that they have to write entirely separate versions for each (requiring code to be originally written in Objective C and not translated) is to add significant amounts of work to anyone who would want to write games for multiple platforms. They've created an artificial us-vs-them scenario, apparently hoping the other guys lose out.

When you advocate without having your facts straight, you've gone from being a tech enthusiast to a marketing tool.

-scott

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