Developing Games On Android Platform – An Overview

The arrival of the android operating system has been a game changer in the mobile device market. The adoption rate of android operating system has been going on at a mind blowing rate from the time of its launch. Comparative figures of android adoption compared to iOS show a definite favorable rate for the android platform. As of January 2012, more than 45% of the smart phone market is dominated by android operating system. Now, with the backing of Google, android operating system is only going to be a stronger and a dominant force to reckon in the future. So if you’re thinking about developing games on android platform, this could be the right time to enter this lucrative market.

Here is an overview on how to start android game development.

Select The Targeted Device Class.

One of the biggest dilemmas faced by any game developer on the mobile platform is the one related to selecting the targeted device class. Every smart phone powered by android will have different specifications in relation to their processor power, operating system version, screen resolution, etc. A game that has been written for the high-end smart phone might end up performing badly in a medium-range or a low-end smart phone. So it is very important to decide beforehand the processing power required for the game, and then  to target a particular category of smart phones that can run the game perfectly.

To make this task easier, the whole lot of smart phones can be broadly classified into two groups; the first generation and the second generation smart phones. The first generation smart phones are generally the ones which run android 1.5 or 1.6 and typically have 500 MHz CPU,HVGA screens and OpenGL ES 1.0 backend. These devices can easily maintain a frame rate of 30 frames per second and produce 5000 textured underlet vertices per frame. The second generation devices are much faster. They can easily churn out 27,000 textured unlit vertices per frame. As of now, almost 50% of the android smartphones belong to the category one.

Select The Coding Language

If you’re a newcomer, entering the android game development arena, you most probably will go with Java programming language. But if you’re a veteran in the game development scene, you might be interested in coding in C++. Java is perfect for creating games on android platform. It can run a good frame rate of more than 60 frames per second across all devices. Most of the current games on the market are actually written in Java. If you are obsessed with getting the maximum power out of the processor and making a fast power packed game C++ will be the best bet.

Generating Profit.

Whether you select Java or C++, at the end of the day the aim is to make profit. The first step towards getting exposure for the game is to list the game in the android marketplace. It cost a one-time fee of $ 25 to post the game in android marketplace. If the game is good, and offers value for money for the user, it will quickly pick up good reviews, and in no time will start generating a good profit.

The road to game development on the android platform may not be easy, but one thing is sure, it’s where the future of mobile game development is headed to, and it’s a safe bet to invest your time and effort in this direction.

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