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iPhone / App Store vs XNA / Indie Games

Last post 9/24/2009 11:29 AM by BigDaddio. 58 replies.
  • 8/1/2009 10:01 AM

    iPhone / App Store vs XNA / Indie Games

    Hi all,

    I'm hoping for a sensible discussion here, try not to derail the thread if you're a massive Apple hater :-)

    I developed a game (Jungle Blocks) in XNA (I'm a .NET coder by trade, so XNA got me quite excited). I released it before it was really finished (I'd planned to add multiplayer, powerups, and other stuff), and in the 6-8 weeks it's been on sale, it's sold around 160 copies and now only gets one every few days. I can't lower the price to 80 points until it's been up for 90 days, so I don't know if I'll see many more sales as a result. Having an iPhone, and a friend that works developing iPhone apps, I was thinking about the idea of playing with iPhone development too.

    I thought there might be others on these forums that have done both, so I thought it'd be a good place to get some info!

    I'd be interested in hearing experiences people have had with both. Similarities, differences, pros and cons of each. Here's a few points that might be discussion-worthy :-)

    - Speed of development (eg. IDE/build/debug)
    - Amount of development (HD game with surround sound vs small game on tiny screen!)
    - Publish/review procedure
    - Size of market / Sales (XNA vs iPhone for similar sized and priced applictions

    I know this is kinda like comparing Apples and Oranges - the Xbox is an Xbox, the iPhone is a phone. But there are a lot of similarities when it comes to the development, so I'd like to know whether people think it's worth dipping into (£500 to buy a Mac Mini being the biggest hurdle!). I know you're mostly all MS-fans here (I am too) so I expect there to be some bias, but hopefully there'll be some juicy info here :-)
  • 8/1/2009 10:14 AM In reply to

    Re: iPhone / App Store vs XNA / Indie Games

    Hi Danny,

    The iPhone definitely is an interesting platform and has a gigantic market. I haven't done any self-publishing on it so I can't tell you about sales first hand, but what I've heard is that it's extremely easy to get drowned in the gazillions of existing and new apps on there.

    What I can tell you about is the development experience. In short: it sucks. Especially if you're used to .net, Visual Studio and C#. Objective C is a joke of a language but luckily you can avoid it and just use C++. Still, C++ is an archaic, bloated, unsafe mess.

    What you can't avoid, on the other hand, is Apple's IDE XCode. It has horrible code completion, horrible intellisense, horrible debugging, horrible editing, horrible everything. I've been using it professionally since the iPhone launched and I still curse at it every single day. It's a pain.

    If you're the kind of guy who likes tinkering (I guess trying to master a language/IDE is a sort of "game" on its own) then you might enjoy it. If you just want to make games then I'd say stick with XNA :)
  • 8/1/2009 10:42 AM In reply to

    Re: iPhone / App Store vs XNA / Indie Games

    Thanks for the reply. I was aware the IDE is cack, and I know I'm not very tolerant of bad IDEs. I did some work in FlexBuilder (Adobe's modified version of Eclipse) and it wound me up something rotten! However, the charts we built looked so nice, that I was still able to recommend Flex to others despite it's nasty IDE. If iPhone development is fun (or profitable) enough, then I can probably live with the IDE :)

    The reason I played with XNA wasn't just "to build games" nor to make money. It was more about satisfaction of knowing other people are playing something *I* did (and even better if they've actually paid money for it, no matter how little!). With the relatively low sales of Jungle Blocks, I'm wondering whether I'd shift more on the iPhone (another bonus - I can release stuff FOR FREE!). The gap between the "indie" games and professional games on the App Store is far smaller than between XNA and something like Gears of War, which can only be a good thing for us indies!

    I think the lower prices here will certainly help (though I can't drop Jungle Blocks to 80 points until it's been up 90 days /cry), but I don't think there as many people browsing the indie channel here as the iPhone app store. I've read mixed messages about the App Store - some people making thousands of dollars per day, and others shifting 3-4 a day! (though to be fair, that's still more than Jungle Blocks is doing here!).

    If it wasn't for the £500 pricetag of a Mac Mini, I wouldn't think twice. I don't mind blowing the $99 on the dev program or wasting free time playing around with code, even if I never publish anything. The cost of the Mac is a bit harder to swallow unless I'm sure I'll make at least most of it back!

    An interesting figure to know (but one will likely never be known) would be what percentage of (paid) apps on the App Store have made more than £500 after Apples cut. If it's less than 50%, it's unlikely I'd pay for the Mac, but if it's more like 80-90%, then at least I have a shot! :D
  • 8/1/2009 10:57 AM In reply to

    Re: iPhone / App Store vs XNA / Indie Games

    Hello ,

    I have just started to develop for the iphone , my background is c++ but the big learning curve for iphone development is getting my head round opengl es and objective c.
    If you are a fan of messing about with new stuff then I would say go for it.


    cheers,
    phill

  • 8/1/2009 11:03 AM In reply to

    Re: iPhone / App Store vs XNA / Indie Games

    There are ways to run MacOS on a PC.......

    DOT DOT DOT DOT
  • 8/1/2009 12:40 PM In reply to

    Re: iPhone / App Store vs XNA / Indie Games

    I bought a Mac Mini, iPhone and the dev subscription early this year... After a few weeks trying to make it's API do anything, and seeing how saturated the market is, I ran back to the wonderful world of XNA and C#.

    Danny Tuppeny:
    - Speed of development (eg. IDE/build/debug)

    There's no nice way of saying it. XCode is ridiculous, and Objective-C feels like C# but with things intentionally switched around just to be different (and to show how cool Apple devs are, right?). OpenGLES is a bit too "close to the metal" for my tastes, and the one good tool that I was hoping to use (iMiniB3D) has been stuck in perpetual alpha since last year. To answer this question, I would have to say "makes a turtle stuck in molasses on a hot day look like it's moving at warp speed" when you compare it to XNA/C#.
    Danny Tuppeny:
    - Amount of development (HD game with surround sound vs small game on tiny screen!)

    It depends on what you're doing. You could make a Myst or Terminator game for it, or one of the little apps. The latter mostly involves having a good idea, and then being able to pull it off (and before someone else comes up with the same idea and completes it before you). I think that the hardness of development more than makes up for the lowered amount of content you may be doing.
    Danny Tuppeny:
    - Publish/review procedure

    From what I've heard, it's like Peer Review except in a black box. They too will send it back as soon as they find 1 fail so you may be resubmitting a lot. I've also heard horror stories of games being stuck in there for a month or longer before Apple gets to it.
    Danny Tuppeny:
    - Size of market / Sales (XNA vs iPhone for similar sized and priced applictions

    The size of the market is mind bogglingly huge, but there are so many people wanting to cash in on the craze it's very very hard to get noticed. Think getting buried in the games list on XBLIG is bad? That's nothing.

    I recently read an article about the AppStore and that the estimates are that most people only just make up the cost of an iPhone, Mac and dev subscription, not even including dev time (if I can find it again I'll post it here). Unless you happen to be extremly lucky and end up on the #1 Most Popular spot, in which case you make obscene amounts of money.
  • 8/1/2009 2:32 PM In reply to

    Re: iPhone / App Store vs XNA / Indie Games

    iPhone Development:

    I have a couple apps for sale on the App Store, one game and one productivity app.  I can only say it was one of the most mind numbing, frustrating, ugly programming experiences I have ever had, and not one I'm likely to repeat.

    Writing code in objective-c is a nightmare.  Their UI designer is hell - so much so that I ended up writing code to create the UI instead.

    And working with Apple is like working with someone who thinks they're superior to you in every way.  Getting any sort of communication out of them is like pulling teeth from a bear while you have salmon in your pockets.  Their developer sign up and app submission process is buggy.  After signing up it took me 3 months to get access to the part of the system that lets you enter your tax and bank info and submit your app.  I called them I don't know how many times and always received the infamous "we'll get that fixed right way".  90 days!! 

    My game makes 99 cents/day at best.  My Allowance app is the top one on the store when you search for Allowance, and far outsells the game.  It makes $6-10 per day on average, some days much better.  After Apple's cut I've made a grand total of around $700 so far, before taxes.  I spent $2500 on the MacBook Pro, $99 for the developer program, $200 on various Mac dev tools (for audio, graphics, etc.), and countless hours.

    I didn't have any dreams of getting rich.  My hopes/expectations before starting were just to break even, and enjoy trying something new.  I still have a ways to go on the former, and I didn't even come close on the latter.

    Your mileage may vary.


    XNA Development:

    I'll get laughed at with this, but most of my 29 years in programming were spent with various forms of Borland Pascal products.  I made a successful career avoiding C/C++ at all costs, and I gave up Delphi with much pain and sorrow.  C# is a worthy replacement - it's a beautifully designed language, a pleasure to write code with, and what you have available to work with in the .NET libraries is just breathtaking (that was Delphi's biggest drawback, and it was a huge one).  The forms designer is in a completely different class than the poor excuse on the Mac (but not nearly as user friendly as Delphi's - that's where Delphi shines).

    XNA is very well designed, easy to work with, and again, just beautiful.  It lets me concentrate on writing my game and doing the things I enjoy, rather than having to wrestle with the API getting it to do what I want.

    I don't have any dreams of getting rich.  My hope is to pay off the MacBook :) 



    To put all of this in a Biblical perspective...


      H e a v e n

       - C#/XNA Development




      E a r t h






       - Objective-C/iPhone Development

      H e l l



    Again, your mileage may vary.
  • 8/1/2009 2:38 PM In reply to

    Re: iPhone / App Store vs XNA / Indie Games

    UberGeekGames:

    From what I've heard, it's like Peer Review except in a black box. They too will send it back as soon as they find 1 fail so you may be resubmitting a lot. I've also heard horror stories of games being stuck in there for a month or longer before Apple gets to it.



    The review process is a black box, like you said.  I recently updated my game to support the new iPhone OS.  They failed it, citing something that I didn't even change that had been approved from the first release.  I have had decent luck with the review times though, never more than one week, but they fail them for what appears to be a constantly changing set of standards that aren't documented anywhere, so that week turns into 2 or 3 sometimes.  There have also been horror stories about people sitting in review for months, and as I mentioned in my previous posts, you'll get NO communication from Apple as to why, and rarely will you even get any acknowledgement from them when you ask.  Honestly I think that's part of their buggy submission system - sometimes when you submit nobody there gets notification of it.  That's completely guessing on my part though.
  • 8/1/2009 3:13 PM In reply to

    Re: iPhone / App Store vs XNA / Indie Games

    I have to completely agree with your scale, especially with XNA/C# == Heaven. I have tried countless languages and game engines, and this is truly the best I've ever found. Apple would rank as the worst. (so I'm not the only one that thought their visual GUI designer was harder to use than coding it by hand! The Objective-C books I bought for this touted it as the best thing since sliced bread)

    And I forgot to mention the fiasco earlier this year with Apple not paying the developers... So far so good with Indie Games. :-)
  • 8/1/2009 3:15 PM In reply to

    Re: iPhone / App Store vs XNA / Indie Games

    One other point to consider is how much competition there is.  In the app store you've got 65,000 other apps all competing for people's attention.  True they also boast 1.5 billion downloads or whatever, but the majority of apps just dont get the exposure.

    I see us all as relatively fortunate to be developing for XNA now, when there are still less than 400 games to compete with.  Hopefully with user ratings being added soon, we might see MS promote the service a bit more and we'll all benefit.
  • 8/1/2009 3:30 PM In reply to

    Re: iPhone / App Store vs XNA / Indie Games

    The Mono project will be releasing MonoTouch in a month or 2 - this will allow you to write iPhone games using C#.  There's also the Unity engine which allows the same thing (and also targets Wii I believe).  I've not given either more than a passing glance however so there might be some glaring ommisions / $$$ licensing costs.

    I think I'll be sticking around here for a while - I love the C# / VS / XNA GS / XBox combo too much and I'm not bothered about making any cash from any games I release.  I've got a decent day job so this is just a hobby for me. I'm quite interested in seeing what the new Zune HD will bring to the table too (although my Zune 80 got used about 3 times and is sat in a draw unloved now). 
  • 8/1/2009 4:20 PM In reply to

    Re: iPhone / App Store vs XNA / Indie Games

    Thanks for all the replies, seems a few of you have had experience with this stuff :)

    Harald Maassen:
    There are ways to run MacOS on a PC.......

    DOT DOT DOT DOT
    I know of this, but they seem complicated and naughty :) I'd like to stay on the right side of Apple if I'm expecting them to send me cheques ;-)

    UberGeekGames:
    I bought a Mac Mini, iPhone and the dev subscription early this year... After a few weeks trying to make it's API do anything, and seeing how saturated the market is, I ran back to the wonderful world of XNA and C#.
    Thanks for the comments. I was hoping they wouldn't be so harsh, but now you got me thinking :) I wish there was a way to test it all our without the cost of a Mac. I might see if I can borrow one from someone I know!

    UberGeekGames:
    I recently read an article about the AppStore and that the estimates are that most people only just make up the cost of an iPhone, Mac and dev subscription, not even including dev time (if I can find it again I'll post it here). Unless you happen to be extremly lucky and end up on the #1 Most Popular spot, in which case you make obscene amounts of money.
    Well as I already have an iPhone, maybe I could be quids-in by the cost of an iPhone? ;-) If you can find the link, I'd be interested to see. I've been trying to find details on how much people are making (all of them, not just the high-flyers that got lucky)!

    UberGeekGames:
    And I forgot to mention the fiasco earlier this year with Apple not paying the developers... So far so good with Indie Games. :-)
    Things like that I'm happy to put down to teething problems that are probably sorted by now (I hope). I can't say the same for a crap IDE though :-(

    Beringela:
    One other point to consider is how much competition there is.  In the app store you've got 65,000 other apps all competing for people's attention.  True they also boast 1.5 billion downloads or whatever, but the majority of apps just dont get the exposure.

    I see us all as relatively fortunate to be developing for XNA now, when there are still less than 400 games to compete with.  Hopefully with user ratings being added soon, we might see MS promote the service a bit more and we'll all benefit.
    Ratings mean we'll benefit if we create something good. That's where I'll fall down ;-) I'd be interested to know the average number of "downloads per app" for both Apple and XNA. If there are 100 times as many apps on the App Store but it's had 1000 times more downloads, then it's sill not a bad bet. I'm not sure if MS have released any numbers for downloads though.

    PaulCunningham:
    The Mono project will be releasing MonoTouch in a month or 2 - this will allow you to write iPhone games using C#.  There's also the Unity engine which allows the same thing (and also targets Wii I believe).  I've not given either more than a passing glance however so there might be some glaring ommisions / $$$ licensing costs.
    This sounds interesting. My understanding was that to use Mono apps you'd have to jailbreak, but if they've come up with a way to use Visual Studio and write C# but run it on the iPhone, that would be sweet. It might be some strange debugging though if when you press F5 in VS, it builds, copies to a Mac, and then runs some script on the Mac to deploy to the phone ;-)


    I've been working on an XNA project (but being lazy, I haven't touched it in over a month...). I think I might try and wrap it up and get it published. It might make some cash towards a Mac Mini should I decide to go ahead, and by that time, MonoTouch might be available to make things a little easier (easier to develop, harder to deploy/test ;-)). I'll also see if I can bully someone into loaning me a Mac to test it out in the meantime!

    Thanks for the comments :)

    I'm tempted to post a similar thing in the iPhone forum to see how well the Apple devs defend Xcode :-)

    Edit: Looks like MonoTouch is designer to run on the Mac, so no Visual Studio :( Dang!
  • 8/1/2009 4:36 PM In reply to

    Re: iPhone / App Store vs XNA / Indie Games

    The Mono thing is very interesting - I'm keeping a close eye on it. If we can swap to C# at work that would be awesome, especially considering the portability with XNA.

    I'm not too optimistic about it though. It will probably be quite a while before it reaches any usable state, and I doubt Apple will do decent support so you'll be running behind any OS updates and probably have to hack the crap out of it to get things like on-device debugging working.

    Another thing that should be stressed is that the XNA framework also provides a large library of game-specific classes. If you program for the iPhone you basically start with nothing. Just loading and displaying a .png can be quite an undertaking. Content management, graphics device, game logic, you're all going to have to program them yourself.
  • 8/1/2009 5:04 PM In reply to

    Re: iPhone / App Store vs XNA / Indie Games

    I don't really find XCode or obj-c that bad, in fact there are loads of features I'd like to see in Visual Studio. Objective C syntax takes a lot of getting used to if all you've ever coded in is VC, C++ or C#. I like the late binding you get with it, however you won't be using that in anything other than a puzzle game.

    Otherwise it's basically C++ and OpenGL, and I've been doing those with XCode and a Mac for about a decade, and it isn't that bad at all, just not really for complete beginners. What really sucks on the iPhone is the number of draw calls you make per frame, to the point of having to combine meshes on the fly and draw them with a single call.

    I do love being able to use OS X and not Windows...
  • 8/1/2009 5:36 PM In reply to

    Re: iPhone / App Store vs XNA / Indie Games

    UberGeekGames:

    There's no nice way of saying it. XCode is ridiculous, and Objective-C feels like C# but with things intentionally switched around just to be different (and to show how cool Apple devs are, right?).


    LOL!! The first time I started coding for the iPhone I felt that Objective C just reeks of the Apple pretentiousness. Even the code is snobby! For the record I have had mac's seriously since 1984, Right now I am running OSX on a drive on my PC even though the mac is sitting right there. It's just easier for me.

    Danny I think you may do OK on the iPhone. Your art style seems to me like it would be attractive to the iPhone crowd. Yes the app store is a drag, while there is no where else an iPhone/iPod user can buy anything, you are up against AAA iPhone titles as well. Then don't forget the 6500+ apps. Good luck with it, I'm interested in how it turns out for you.


  • 8/1/2009 6:00 PM In reply to

    Re: iPhone / App Store vs XNA / Indie Games

    Big Daddio:
    Danny I think you may do OK on the iPhone. Your art style seems to me like it would be attractive to the iPhone crowd. Yes the app store is a drag, while there is no where else an iPhone/iPod user can buy anything, you are up against AAA iPhone titles as well. Then don't forget the 6500+ apps. Good luck with it, I'm interested in how it turns out for you.
    Most of my art was just images from the platformer starter kit ;-P

    I'm getting a negative vibe towards iPhone development (and not just from this MS forum...), so I don't think I'm going to leap into it like I might have. I think I might push out another XNA game and see how things are in a few months. I'm hoping MS might be gearing up to start really advertising the indie channel, otherwise the price drop doesn't make sense. To make the same money, they need to be shifting twice as many games at the new prices. Let's hope they'll start pushing our games to increase sales :-)

    Whatever happens, there will probably be updates on Twitter/DanTup or My Blog as they happen!
  • 8/3/2009 11:23 PM In reply to

    Re: iPhone / App Store vs XNA / Indie Games

    I made an iPhone game, and your numbers on XNA are higner than mine for my game :)

    - IDE are like tastes, they usually cannot be discussed sanely. My personnal opinion is that Visual C# Express is YEARS ahead of XCode in ease of coding, templates, debug, etc. (the debug part is more because Objective C and the gdb suck, but anyway)

    I can sit here and start a game in under 3 minutes in VC# Express. The same task takes me about 30 minutes in XCode, usually trying to find some obscur build settings that I forgot to rename from my default template. And I say this after coding for a year in XCode vs 3 weeks in VC# :)

    - The amount of development is the same. Remember that going from 640x480 to 1280x720 isn't that much of a step, so it's the same work graphic wise (if you want to make something pretty). Sound, etc, isn't easier on the iPhone because it's a smaller device. The iPhone is an iPod, it's built to play sound :)

    I would even say that sound is easier to output in XNA, because Apple didn't think of providing dev'ers with a sound API. Most of them still use the sample code provided with the original SDK (which contain memory leaks and isn't compatible with 3.0 "out of the box")

    The biggest difference is speed and coding practice. Garbage Collection, the only reason a sane person would use Objective-C, is turned off on the iPhone, so you have to chase memory leaks like in the good old days. Plus, you are given more layway with speed on a PC/XBox. On the iPhone, you need to work your ass off to have a 3D engine that perform as well as the smallest EA budget title.

    - I am not yet ready to submit my game to XNA so I can't compare, but my experience with Apple wasn't so bad, even though my game could've been seen as controversial (it has a Swine Flu theme :) )

    Bottom line is that all those story you heard about Apple being dictators is just people who like to complain. Unless you produce something so controversial that no one made it before you (because they knew it was controversial and aren't as crazy as you are) the acceptation isn't hard to get.

    A lot of people complain about XNA because of the "masseur" app, they call people to go to the iPhone over it, forgetting that it has as many (if not more) crap apps. On the XBox, you have to rise above the crap, but on the iPhone EA and SEGA are waiting for you above the crap.

    - My game is really simple. It was made as a test for OpenGL's speed, the touch, etc. After my 2nd report (eg : 60 days), I am 80$ richer.

    The fabled "iPhone Get Rich Quick" scheme for Indie coders are simply success story on a device that didn't have any games. Thing is though that since SEGA, Capcom, EA, Gameloft and co. took the iPhone by storm, you don't hear about indies success stories, for a reason : It just doesn't happen anymore.

    My advice would be to pick a platform and stick with it. With time, your name will start to get recognized, and you'll make more money from your "fan base" that way. If you just hop around every devices, people won't buy your app based on past experience with you, they just won't recognize you.
  • 8/4/2009 12:16 AM In reply to

    Re: iPhone / App Store vs XNA / Indie Games

    My 2 cents as someone who is simultaneously using XCode at work and VC# at home.

    Goddamn, I love VC#. XCode can be a real pain in the ass, and Objective-C is really behind the times. Objective-C is a large extension to C, and it feels like it; things are done in obscure, old-fashioned ways, and the paradigms are a little loopy. That said, the Apple APIs for normal application development are really quite nice. Sadly, they're mostly useless for games. I can't really say anything about the approval process for XNA, but I do know that the iPhone approval process is often quite a frustrating mystery. There's a lot of planning involved in figuring out how to game the approval process just right.

    The big problem here is, iPhone has an ENORMOUS market, which makes it seem irresistible. The success stories on iPhone are far huger than anything XNA's made. Too bad, since XNA really does kick the crap out of the iPhone for game development.
  • 8/4/2009 1:01 AM In reply to

    Re: iPhone / App Store vs XNA / Indie Games

    Last I checked, there were 21 million iPhones sold. Microsoft claims 30 million Xboxes sold. Why are you saying that the iPhone market is bigger than the XNA game market?

  • 8/4/2009 1:25 AM In reply to

    Re: iPhone / App Store vs XNA / Indie Games

    Probably because the AppStore is the one and only place to get games and apps for your iPhone. On the Xbox we have to compete with disc games and Arcade games, so the iPhone market is probably larger than the Indie Games market at the moment.
  • 8/4/2009 2:10 AM In reply to

    Re: iPhone / App Store vs XNA / Indie Games

    jwatte:
    Last I checked, there were 21 million iPhones sold. Microsoft claims 30 million Xboxes sold. Why are you saying that the iPhone market is bigger than the XNA game market?



    Out of all those Xbox's how many have live accounts? How many of those live accounts actively purchase content? On the iPhone you have to either buy from the app store, or jailbreak your phone and risk bricking it. I do agree the potential market for indy games is huge, the reality is still pretty big, if we could somehow attract more or those people who want to make purchases.
  • 8/4/2009 4:12 AM In reply to

    Re: iPhone / App Store vs XNA / Indie Games

    Danny,

    Thanks for posting this.  Last time I posted a query on this subject I received a juvenile reply from a long standing forum member here that I was "off-topic", whatever that means (considering that I started the topic), and that I should browse the web for iphone development websites.  I'm glad this thread hasn't already been derailed by less mature types. 

    If all goes well with my development, I'm hoping to be done with my XNA game in 3-4 months.  Since that will be the Christmas season, I may just sit on my game for a while and spend some time researching porting it to iPhone.

    I think a very important thing to consider is that the asset creation for just about any game can take 70% of your total development time.  The other 30% spent on coding.  There is a reason why 100 person dev teams have 70 people on graphics and sound and 20-30 coders.  Once you have invested all of that time and work on the assets, I think it is definately worth your time to at least research and consider bringing your creation to other viable platforms.....like the iPhone or Android or whatever.

    Just today I read a story in PC.World that MS has published a paper showing devs how to port apps from iPhone to Windows Mobile.
    http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/169507/microsoft_details_how_to_port_iphone_apps_to_windows_mobile.html

    I sure would like to see more papers like this on say.....XNA to windows mobile.
    or
    XNA to iPhone.
    or
    XNA to Android.

    The direct to consumer digital distribution model on closed piracy-free platforms is the future for indie development.  You have 0 distribution costs and 0 publishing costs and you get to own the IP because you don't need a publisher to press discs for you. 

    My hope is that as this business matures, we'll see more development options that cross the platforms and perhaps we'll get more mature forum discussions on cross-platform development like this thread.

    Allan
  • 8/4/2009 5:14 AM In reply to

    Re: iPhone / App Store vs XNA / Indie Games

    jwatte:
    Last I checked, there were 21 million iPhones sold. Microsoft claims 30 million Xboxes sold. Why are you saying that the iPhone market is bigger than the XNA game market?


    Aside from what Big Daddio said you also need to factor in failure rates, especially of the early Xbox 360 models.  I'm currently on my second 360, and many of my friends are on their third or worse!  By contrast, my iPhone is still running strong since I bought it on release day, and the same goes for everyone I know who has bought one.
  • 8/4/2009 6:21 AM In reply to

    Re: iPhone / App Store vs XNA / Indie Games

    Thanks for the additional replies guys, it's all good info (and thanks for trying to keep it constructive rather than just saying Apple's IDE is sh**!) :-)

    After much debate, I'm thinking that I'll start working on another XNA game, since it'll cost me nothing. If I can get hold of a Mac cheap, I might dabble with iPhone to see how it goes. I don't mind it costing me a little money and not going anywhere, but not the £500 for a Mac Mini (with no keyboard/mouse!). I've had a chat with a friend (who develops Mac and iPhone software) too, and asked a ton of questions. It sounds like it won't be anywhere near as nice as using VS and XNA, but it also has some nice stuff built in (like a lot of animations). I think it's worth doing so I can at least say I have - I never know, I might like it. It just needs to be a bit cheaper :-)

    If I do go ahead, I'll likely blog about it (see signature) and how it compares to XNA, so grab my feed if it's something you'd like to follow :-)
  • 8/4/2009 4:48 PM In reply to

    Re: iPhone / App Store vs XNA / Indie Games

    Good stuff! I'll follow your feed.

    Quick note of precaution; the iPhone APIs do have a lot of built-in stuff for animations, and they're super nice. The problem is, they're useless for games, as games tend to use OpenGL ES instead of Cocoa Touch.
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