An article on Penny Arcade talks a bit about why Days of Wonder decided to change their Apple-only policy and start developing on Android.
I feel like they spend a lot of time talking about parts that aren’t relevant, though. They mention “fragmentation,” and then imply that “oh, now it’s fixed!”, when the truth is that there are still lots of tablets that Ticket To Ride will run on that aren’t one of the few mentioned in the article.
“Fragmentation” seems to, more and more, be a code word that means “support multiple screen resolutions”. Sure there are a number of different software versions of Android in the wild, but it’s really not hard to support them all, especially in a game. The only major exception would be a game that really pushes the limits of the hardware, but Ticket To Ride isn’t one of those games.
No, the real reason is buried in a quote in the middle: “enough of you have told us you’d like to spend some hard-earned cash on Android and Steam apps to make it worth our while.” There’s money in Android, and that makes it worthwhile. With 1M new Android devices being registered every day, the numbers will just keep going up.
And if you do your development right to begin with, supporting arbitrary resolutions from the start, using cross-platform game development tools, then there’s not a huge increase in cost compared to doing the iOS version alone.
I’ve been saying this for years. It seems that some of the companies that make games I like are finally coming around to believing what seemed obvious to me four years ago. I’m certainly practicing what I preach: The new game we’re developing will target iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and possibly even Linux.
And why not? Once you’ve done most of the work on the game, it’s not hard to get it packaged up for another platform, if you start with the right tools.