The Magic of SDL

For a while, it felt like C++ was falling behind in usefulness, when it came to indie game development. With my C++ games, I’d have to compile for Windows, Linux, and OSX (or rely on someone else to build for OSX for me), but games that could be played in a browser, or on a phone, had some advantage – easier to play and easily portable for Web, more ubiquitous marketplace for mobile.

Over the past two or three years I’ve experimented with game-dev using something other than C++. I wrote a few games with Java and LibGDX, I made some browser-based games with JavaScript and the HTML5 canvas, and I’ve published a few small applications using Lua and the Gideros framework.

Since then, SDL2 has come out. And, while Gideros has actually been a joy to use, Gideros does not currently offer support to export for Desktop, and I would like to be able to offer some of my apps for more than just Android.

Looking at SDL2, it looks like you can have it all now – Cross-platform PC, iOS, Android, and if you’re using something emscripten, you can even build your C++/SDL game into a JavaScript/Canvas project.

So, finally, it seems as if I could possibly have my cake and eat it, too.  When I’m programming for myself, I want it to be in a language I enjoy, and I want to be writing software and games that I care about – otherwise, why would I do it in my free time?

I am currently working on writing a framework on top of SDL for use with my PC/Mobile games – I will be reworking Pickin’ Sticks LXXIV, Dolphin & Kitten, and Fantazio de Esperanto to all be using this new framework, and they will be extended and, hopefully during the year, completed. I’m excited!

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