[casual_games] C to J2ME tools

Allan Simonsen Simonsen at rocketmail.com
Sat Jan 28 20:59:41 EST 2006

One project we were involved in used some form of C++
-> J2ME tool to convert between BREW and J2ME. It
kinda works, but you'll need to continously hand-tweak
it around the things that DIDN'T. For us it was almost
worth it, since we were developing in parallell for
both platforms, but...

- If you're ONLY doing the mobile platform, go
straight to J2ME, do not pass C++.

- You'd need to hand-code a low-level abstraction API,
since the converter only understands how to change
syntactic sugar and basic types, not how to blit a
sprite or load a sound.

- Handphone games have totally different restrictions
than casual games for the PC; especially the sub 64kb
platforms (S40 J2ME), where you'll end up harcoding
everything in 3-5 classes to avoid the per-class
overhead. NOT the way you want to think when coding
for the PC.

- Handphone games spend a lot of energy abstracting
screensize and phone capabilites so it will run nicely
on the hundreds of different platforms. This is a pain
when you're prototyping a design idea. It also
involves making a significant investment in your
art-pipeline (to handle somewhere between 3-10
different base-SKUs at coding-time). 

My personal recommendation would be to ignore
handphones during development, and then spend the time
after the PC game shipped on developing the mobile
game, once gameplay and look is nailed down. 

Alternatively, there are a bunch of low-cost porting
houses that will take your PC game and churn out a
J2ME + BREW multi-SKU product; that might be more of a
plan if your game is a success.


--- Lennard Feddersen <Lennard at RustyAxe.com> wrote:

> Does anybody have any experience with automated C to
> J2ME style tools? 
> I'm in the early days of my next project and think
> it would fit well on 
> cell phones but would prefer to do my PC coding in
> C.

Allan Simonsen                    simonsen at rocketmail.com
ICQ# 16606984

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