Guidelines: Operating Systems and Middlewares

There are a number of questions you should ask yourself when you think about your game and how you want it to work on the platform.

Which operating systems should I support?

Think cross-platform: iOS and Android! And for Desktop support, keep in mind that it has its own specific interface design issues.

The platform is cross-platform, and we strongly advise developers to build games that will work at least on iOS and Android. Having a large number of users right from the start is a great way to solve the Critical Mass issue. Marketing will also be more effective if the game works on multiple platforms on Day One. Doing cross-platform development is tough, but it also forces you to make the right choices from the start (such as having a responsive user interface, supporting touch or mouse interfaces).

There is also the question of the desktop support: PC, Mac, and which store (Steam, Mac App Store, Humble Bundle)? Be careful that PC users hate to have the feeling of getting a “mobile game port”. You will have to adjust the user interface to make a PC or a Mac user feel at home: size of UI elements, window mode, support for cursor hover, for the clipboard, the right-click, etc. Don’t underestimate this work.

In terms of desktop store, we highly recommend Steam on the PC. On the Mac, the Mac App Store still sells more than Steam, but it has its own technical difficulties (like deliverable signature or app sandboxing). Consider carefully.

Which middleware technology should I use?

Unity is a good and popular option. Be careful, think long-term.

There are a number of middleware technologies that you can use to achieve this. Unity is a popular one for example (we even provide a SDK for it). One thing to keep in mind: unlike classic video games, board games have this beauty of being long-lasting games. So make sure you use a middleware that will last long or for which you will have the source code. You want to avoid what happened in 2016 to Marmalade developers or in 2014 to the games that used the Nintendo/Glu service. A strong dependency to a middleware or a service provider can be a long-term liability.