Made with Marmalade: Porting to multiple platforms

Made with Marmalade: Porting to multiple platforms
Will Freeman

By Will Freeman

September 27th 2013 at 12:30PM

A look at how Marmalade can save you time, money and more when porting your game

[This feature was published in the September 2013 edition of Develop magazine, which is available through your browser and on iPad.]

Propel Man
Developer: Spiel
Platforms: iOS, BlackBerry PlayBook, Windows Phone 8, BlackBerry 10, PC
Why Marmalade Mattered: It helped with saving costs when porting, and let the team bring their game to several new platforms in a matter of days
www.spielstudios.com

6th Planet
Developer: Monkube
Platforms: iOS, BlackBerry PlayBook, Windows Phone 8
Why Marmalade Mattered: Reaching so many platforms with relative ease has made Monkube more confident about the commercial success of its work
www.monkube.com

It used to be the case that iOS and Android were enough to satisfy even the most commercially-minded mobile-focused studios.

Even relatively recently, it was enough to target one or two such platforms. But today as the number of releases, studios and hardware options spiral, making a living out of making games means that many must look beyond the two leading mobile OSes. As such, small and medium studios globally are taking their iPhone and Android games to a wider range of platforms than ever, as the likes of Tizen, BlackBerry 10 and Windows Phone 8 increase their hold on the market.

Porting games, however, can be costly, require extra staff and consume swathes of additional time; all of which can lead to decreases in revenue, and creative sacrifices.

Which is where Marmalade’s cross-platform SDK comes in. Quite simply, it lets studios port games quickly, with minimum effort, and without the need for extra investment or changes to codebase, accelerating time to market and, ultimately, making your games make you more money.

SPIEL COMMUNICATION

And so it is that increasing numbers of studios, like Spiel, are adopting the Marmalade SDK with cross-platform in mind.

“Using Marmalade was a unanimous decision among our team members in order to take the game across varied platforms,” offers Mohit Sureka, founder and CEO of Spiel, which recently used Marmalade to port its game Propel Man to various devices.

“It not only helped in saving costs, but also it was much faster to bring the game across several platforms in a matter of a few days. We have used Marmalade to bring Propel Man across BlackBerry Playbook, Windows Phone 8, Blackberry 10 and Intel PC,” he adds.

What’s more, it’s not just Marmalade’s tech that makes porting a breeze, but also the support that comes with it, as the team at Belgian developers Monkube discovered when porting game-comic fusion 6th Planet.

“The Marmalade team not only has great tech; they help developers get flat fee and shared revenue deals on smaller platforms,” explains Monkube managing and creative director Sven Van de Perre.

“All of the 6th Planet ports we made using the Marmalade engine are profitable. Next to that, Marmalade's tech support works very fast, so if you hit a bump in the road, they're very quick in helping you overcome it.”

STRENGTHS IN NUMBERS

Of course, cross-platform-savvy studios like Monkube and Spiel are able to harness all of the Marmalade SDK’s other famed strengths, including its core ability to enable multiple platform deployment from a single codebase.

“The best part of using Marmalade is that you can instantly deploy on several platforms without bothering to change any piece of code,” confirms Sureka.

“The same set of code works for Windows Phone 8, and the same thing would work for say BlackBerry 10 or any other platform. The whole system performs very well.”

It’s also the ideal solution for developers with a heritage in making PC games that are moving to embrace multiplatform development; a strength Monkube has eagerly embraced.

“The development part of Monkube is based in Romania, where most programmers have a PC background, and are great in C++,” says Van de Perre. “Marmalade lets them use that knowledge to the fullest extent.”

Clearly then, Marmalade is the perfect tool for taking your game to new platforms with minimum effort, time and cost. And savings across that triptych are an opportunity no studio should ignore.

“As a game development company, you want your game to be played by as many people as possible, and to get this maximum reach you need to get your game accessible to them,” affirms Sureka.

“In terms of revenue it may not be a big push, but it’s important to build your audience and make your presence felt on as many platforms as possible.”

Put simply, cross-platform is the future for many mobile studios. Fortunately, they are well supported by Marmalade; over the last 12 months the SDK has enabled numerous developers to deploy their games to BlackBerry 10, Windows Phone 8, Roku and x86 on Android. And the SDK will soon let studios port their games to Tizen with equal ease. As such, Marmalade’s cross-platform porting abilities are near unrivalled, and its users primed for success.

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