Thoughts on Airplay SDK

A couple of weeks ago Alex from Tuna Snax recommended I take a look at Airplay.  The basic idea of the SDK is that it enables you to write once in C++ on a Windows machine and build across all the mobile platforms you can think of – iPhone, Windows Mobile, Android, Blackberry and Symbian.  This really appealed to me as I’m confident in C++ and am used to working within an SDK.  Plus, the only Mac in my house recently decided it had had enough, so I’m a little stuck with no way to develop for iPhone at present.

The download (of the 30 day trial) and installation was fairly painless and didn’t mind working with Visual C++ Express.  There was a slight issue with Windows 7, but a quick search of the forums found someone else with the same problem and a solution from one of the developers which did the trick.

The SDK comes with 3 full game examples, which I had running in a simulator very quickly and even on my Windows Mobile phone without much difficulty.  The documentation is well written and there’s lots of little demo apps to illustrate how to use the various functionality.  Their simulator is well equipped to mimic the functionality of many devices, and even has means by which to test accelerometer controls with just mouse and keyboard!

Conveniently, Bryan had just come up with an idea for a game, so I decided to try out Airplay to create a new prototype.  I was impressed by how quickly I got something up and running.  Within an afternoon I managed to go from “Oooo, I wonder how to use this new SDK” to having something with basic functionality running on their simulator.  Then after spending the following evening having a few arguments (mostly due to not realising that one of their forms doesn’t auto-refresh) I managed to get it running on my device too.

It feels a little strange trying to work with 2D graphics in a system which is clearly intended for 3D work, though it is perfectly possible.  I’m hoping to try out the 3D side soon, although I think Bryan would like me to turn this prototype into a full working game first! :)

Overall I am very impressed with Airplay and I suspect I will be purchasing a license when my evaluation runs out, since Bryan and I both have Windows Mobile phones, so we’d rather be able to build for that (if you only want to do iPhone development there’s an entirely free version!)  If you’re considering mobile game development and are comfortable with C++ I would highly recommend you take a look, it certainly beats having to convert your code for each of the platforms you want to support!

2 Responses to “Thoughts on Airplay SDK”

  1. Suresh Nariya says:

    Thanks for writing your initial feedback…
    Now what’s your comments after working couple of month son AirPlaySDK? As i am trying to develop some game applications using any cross platform game development, Can you please share your latest remarks on AirPlaySDK?

    Suresh Nariya.

    • Katherine says:

      I actually stopped using AirPlay as I got a job working on iOS development and have been working natively with that ever since. I struggled with graphics on AirPlay and was happier with iOS.

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