Hi Bryan,
Actually, I'd say cross-platform development of games is more a matter
of finding comprable cross-platform game programming APIs rather than
how hard or easy it is. Oh, if I want to use SDL for cross-platform
development then it is easy enough to create Mac, Linux, and Windows
games, but you lose a good deal of features available in a pro game
API like DirectX in the process. Something like SDL is for all intents
and purposes a case of choosing the lowest common denominator verses
platform specific tools and APIs  that can give your game product
truly outstanding performance and special features. Mac and Linux game
APIs are a good generation behind what's available for the Windows
platform that is a huge disadvantage for those platforms.
There are commercial APIs such as FMOD Ex that closes the gap between
Windows and Mac rather nicely, but then again it is a commercial
third-party product. As I am all to aware there are licenses involved
with something like FMOD that aren't really well suited for a small
game studio like USA Games. It is expensive enough to license FMOD for
one platform, but if you license it for multiple platforms the price
goes up dramatically making it not financially feasable. There has to
be a large enough Mac or Linux market out there for accessible games
to make the use of FMOD  and other commercial cross-platform APIs
finantially viable alternatives to the free native APIs.
So in the end you might have to settle on something decent like OpenAL
that is good, but not particularly over the top. However, as the past
couple of days has shown XAudio2 is emerging as a rather revolutionary
and powerful API for Windows and the XBox. So I think as XAudio2
continues to be developed creating games with XAudio2 may offer me,
the game developer, more advanced features and render some truly
amazing audio environments. With something like OpenAL it will just
offer me somewhat basic and rather generic audio support. In a feature
by feature run down XAudio2 probably is the superior and more logical
choice for future audio games. So cross-platform games, using
cross-platform APIs, will only hold the games back from obtaining
their maximum potential. At least that's how I see things currently.
Now, I do know Draconis Entertainment is working on porting their
games to Mac, but our situations are slightly different. Currently
Draconis Entertainment's games such as Aliens in the Outback don't
require a lot of high end features. For audio basically all they need
to do is have some simple stereo panning and the ability to change the
pitch of the starships as they land. Joystick support in Aliens in the
Outback was always pretty generic so SDL probably could handle similar
joystick support as the existing game now. Basically, what I am saying
is Draconis can slide by on Mac's existing APIs because they aren't
looking for or particularly need cutting edge audio and input support
for a majority of their existing titles.
However, I'm trying to create the next generation of audio games with
highly professional 3d audio, support special game controllers, and
basically pull out all the stops. Mac APIs don't really impress me,
and aren't up to handling the kinds of games I want to begin creating
in the next couple of years. For that reason cross-platform
development isn't necessarily feasable in all cases.


On 3/20/10, Bryan Peterson <bpeterson2...@cableone.net> wrote:
> At least not right at first. Apparently there's no easy way to do this.
> Homer: Hey, uh, could you go across the street and get me a slice of pizza?
> Vender: No pizza. Only Khlav Kalash.

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