I’m getting really tired of only being able to play 1/3 of the games because I have a Mac. Practically every game-making option has some way of being cross-platform, and people should be utilizing that. We now have 1400 people entering games into LD. That means we naturally must have a huge demographic of users in terms of OS and machine capability.

According to w3schools, approximately 5% of users are on Linux, 10% on Mac, and 80% on Windows. Back when LD was starting and we had maybe 100 entries, that meant that just 10 people would have issues playing games that stuck with the “Windows-only” requirement LD has. Not a huge deal. But now, there are 140 people playing on Mac and 70 people on Linux. That’s a whole lot of people being left out in the cold if you decide to go with just Windows versions of your game.

Do you really want to keep over 200 people from playing your game? Me neither. That’s why I think libraries like XNA which force Windows-only should be actively discouraged from Ludum Dare. Yup, that’s a giant opinion. I don’t mean to offend. But unless you can give clear instructions for getting your game to run on mono or wine or anything else, I’d say avoid that.

Even worse than Windows-only games are people who throw their source up expecting others to compile it (Python users, I’m looking at you). That, in my mind, is completely unacceptable. Even if I happen to have Python installed on my machine, do you really expect me to figure out how you need your source run? Nope, I want to double-click something and play. Even better, I want to go to a website and play from there.

I know Objective-C and I really like it. Does that mean I’m going to make a game that’s Mac only? No sir. Because I want people to play my game. Why don’t you?

There are a whole lot of options for making games that are very portable. Here’s just a few of them:

Java (check out LWJGL, jME, Slick2D, javagaming.org for lots of gamey options)
Unity (XNA users, you can even code in C#, also great for putting post-compo games on the app store)
Python (pyGame has a lot of options, can even be compiled into binaries!)
– C++ (my lord there are so many cross-platform libraries here)
haXe NME

That list goes on. Go ahead and add more in the comments below, and also you can yell at me for whining all you want.

But really, I think we need some kind of official requirement on this. Windows-only is a relic from when LD was a tiny hobby place. Now that it’s a tour de force in the indie game world, it needs to move on. Let’s change that policy!

(removed GameMaker, as it can’t get on Linux and people don’t think it’s a viable gamedev option)

60 Responses to “LD has 1400 entries – we’re beyond the time of just Windows”

  1. ghRibacki says:

    I agree with you on most of the stuff. Come on, expecting people to compile or run your code with some tool is just… gah, I don’t even know what it is (I wish autotracker had an executable…).

  2. Raptor85 says:

    not to nitpick too much but unity and gamemaker are windows/mac only, if you’re going to make a point for cross-platform i’m all for it but please don’t leave other platforms out just because yours is supported!

    • Raptor85 says:

      wait…i just noticed too, you’re on a mac and it doesn’t auto-execute python files?. When you installed the interpreter it should have registered the file type so that you can just double click the python file to run it, or hell, it doesnt even need that since they define their interpreter in the header as long as the file is executable it should run just by clicking (.zip files tend to strip execute permissions though so people who packaged as that you probably need to right click the file and allow execute)

      I’ve always found it strange too how people (this isn’t aimed towards you, it’s a seperate but somewhat related talk) are quck to get on python’s case for being forced to install an interpreter to run it.
      …soo..umm..you didn’t install the JRE to run java or Flash Player to run flash? because last i checked those required an interpreter as well.

      • Thotor says:

        Flash Player is bundled with web browser. Java is also bundled in most OS.
        Python is clearly not required for everyday use except if you are on a unix based OS.

      • demonpants says:

        Yes, but which .py to I open? And certainly worst case scenario I can just go into the command like and type python file.py but that’s sort of missing the point. 1400 games to play, not enough time to spend 2 minutes figuring out how to execute something when people are actively capable of making binaries outside the time limit.

        • Raptor85 says:

          well, that’s just poor packaging, that’s as silly as having a dozen executables in the directory (or in the case of java games, a dozen jar files….and yes a lot of people did this too…)

          you shouldn’t have to type python or go into a shell, if python is set up properly you should be able to just simply double click the .py file to run it like any other executable, interpreted or not, if it’s not acting like this there must be something wrong with the Mac version of the python installer. Naming of the main python file I agree with though, it should be named something obvious like run.py, game.py, or, even better, actualnameoftheirprogram.py … some python programerrs do have the horrible habit of naming their main file something like menu.py and hoping that you figure out to run that instead of game.py.

    • demonpants says:

      I’ve never used Game Maker, so thanks for pointing that out. :-) I thought it was Linux too.

  3. StarLight says:

    >>I know Objective-C and I really like it. Does that mean I’m going to make a game that’s Mac only?

    Objective-C isn’t “mac-only”. GCC and clang support Objective-C. There’re SDL bindings for Objective-C.

    And biggest pro of making windows-only version is there’s Wine. So everyone will be able to play it.
    So, what’s wrong with windows-only in your opinion?

    • Raptor85 says:

      WINE works fairly well in well behaved, heavily debugged games. Stuff made in a 48 hour span is generlaly not that well behaved.

      100% of the XNA entries don’t run in WINE as .net4 and XNA4 are currently impossible to install in the WINE environment. These are really funny too as it seems like a lot of windows users as well have an extremely hard time getting them to work, using XNA in general seems like almost a guarantee that unless your game is amazing very few people will ever try it.

      100% of gamemaker games under WINE run with no sound due to a massive bug in their implementation of the directmusic/directsound code….about 80% of gamemaker games under WINE have corrupted graphics

      Unity games have about a 20% success rate in getting running under WINE at all, for many of the same reasons as gamemaker (much of the directx usage in their windows build is kinda crap). Add onto that pretty much any Unity game that uses relational mouse input can’t properly grab the mouse (so input doesnt work) and only about 5% of unity3d games run well enough to rate

      about 90% of SDL/SFML games that were windows only (a few of which after a few people asking the author ported since they should have been cross platform anyways) worked perfectly under WINE but they were built entirely with cross-platform libs anyways…it’s understandable not having a cross compiler set up and ready so these can be excused. The others though generally didnt run because of something silly like using cross-platform frameworks for drawing then deciding that the built in sound/input support wasn’t good enough and directly grabbing input/sound from windows.

      so yeah…if by “everyone should be able to play it” you mean about 10-15% of them run at all…that’s a pretty low bar to set.

  4. Thotor says:

    You can add haXe NME to your list (http://www.haxenme.org/) which is multi platform librarie similar to Flash using haXe language ( universal language , transcode in other language)

    I strongly agree that people should not make windows only game. What is worse is additional component to install like XNA. I want my installation of windows to be kept clean.

  5. digital_sorceress says:

    1400 games is plenty to choose from, even if you can only play 1/3, you have enough to keep you occupied for months. :)

    I think libraries like XNA which force Windows-only should be actively discouraged from Ludum Dare.

    I feel that “active discouragement” would be against the spirit of LD.

    At the end of the day, you chose to buy a Mac, in full knowledge that windows gets the larger share of games made for it. Being able to play only 1/3 is a situation of your own making.

    I’m not saying that to troll you, it’s just how I see it.

    • Tomalla says:

      That’s damn right! One guy carrying out a crusade for web games only is enough ( I’m pretty sure everyone knows who I am talking about ). I understand there are people who have not yet decided what engine/programming language should they use. Choosing a cross-platform or web option is a neat idea and they should consider it. However, there is also a lot of people who have already chosen and cannot simply imagine switching between the environments they’re working with. Yes, I’m one of them. I’m using C++ and DirectX for rendering and I feel *very* comfortable with it. I’m not planning on changing it any time soon not because I’m a jerk, but because it would mean a waste of lots of years of experience gained on programming and learning.

      • PIXEL^3 says:

        typically most coding syntax is very similar except for a few things,
        like GML is fairly close to AS3,
        As3 is close to Java and C++, etc.
        it’s really not that hard to transition if you have the right libraries (flashpunk, flixel, lOve2D, slick, lwjgl, etc.)


      • kiswa says:

        Why would you restrict yourself like that?

        I did this LD (my first) in JavaScript (also a first for a game). I have also written Nintendo DS games in C++, and Android games in Java, and Windows games in C#.

        I ask again, why would you restrict yourself like that? You’re missing out on a lot of learning opportunities.

        • digital_sorceress says:

          why would you restrict yourself like that?

          breadth vs depth.

          As a programmer, you could focus on a specific language and endeavor to become a hotshot with it. Or you jump about from language to language and become a jack of all trades.

          Both attitudes are restrictive in the sense that they detract from each other. What it comes down to is finding your comfort zone, and deciding what you want to be.

    • R3ason says:

      I’m going to have to go with digital_sorceress on this one. I feel like keeping with the spirit of LD is to actively encourage devs to push themselves. In my opinion, what it boils down to in the end, is a competition with yourself; pushing the bounds of what you’re comfortable doing, and not making a game to please others. Obviously, if you’re making an obscure game that will only run on a few users’ machines, don’t expect to get a lot of ratings. But there’s no requirement that you receive a certain number of ratings, is there?

      That is the competition side of things. The sticking point seems to be peoples thoughts/feelings when it comes to playing/rating the games. Obviously, if you own a mac, or run linux, you are in the minority (this was me until recently), but I recognize and accept this fact as I think most mac/linux users do.

      In terms of ratings, if the goal is to get more ratings by giving ratings, then yes, it is going to be harder. Perhaps an option would be to have some sort of sort/search method (they already have this to some extent with the page that lists all the entries), though I see this leading to all sorts of problems with cherry picking, etc.

      Don’t know. I don’t have a real solid answer. Is it inconvenient to install someone’s game to play it for 15 minutes? Yes. Do I really want to install Python on my computer? No. Will I? Yes. Because I’d hope someone would go to the same (minor) inconvenience for me if I put my heart into making such a game… And now I will go play and rate all of your games :)

    • Jeremias says:

      I totally agree with digital_suorceress and Tomalla.

      I don’t participate because my whole life is about Ludum Dare. I make games with XNA. I like XNA, I like C# and I like Windows. I want to participate to learn and have fun… and I don’t want to learn a language for a game jam, come on!

      Such restrictions would be completely against the idea of Ludum Dare – in my opinion.

    • demonpants says:

      I agree, messing with the LD spirit is a bad idea. But it is a rule to have a Windows executable, so isn’t that already putting us in a box? I’ve considered doing iOS games but haven’t for this reason among others. I think this rule should be changed to “encouraged to support Windows, Mac, and Linux.” Naturally you can do whatever it is you like, but the wording should be changed.

      • dr_soda says:

        I just looked at the rule page and I don’t see anything about requiring contestants to submit a Windows exe. Plenty of people who write Flash / Unity / Web games don’t submit a Windows exe. I’m not sure where you’re coming from with this.

        What about mobile devs like myself who write games for Android or iOS? What of game mechanics that truly only work on a mobile device? Would you tell people who want to make a game based around a phone’s magnetrometer to just come up with a different idea? How about a tilt-based game using accelerometer input? What of really obscure platforms, such as happened in the last LD where one of the contestants submitted a Sega Master System game?

        Do you really lose out if you can run at most 500 of the compo entries? When will you ever play all the entries that actually run on your machine, let alone the ones that don’t?

        Might this not be better solved by a implementing a smarter filtering system for game submissions?

        • Raptor85 says:

          no but platform specific dev when it comes to PC is a relic of the past and this competition is starting to have a LOT more mac and linux developers.

          still though there can’t be any sort of “incentive” or “disincentive” to write games for any specific platforms……what if I want to make an amiga or gamegear entry? that should definitely be allowed. I do think though for those targeting “PC” it could be good to see that stuff like XNA4 can be a poor choice in a competition like this.

          and yeah to better filtering on the search, I asked for that last year too as going through that many games was a pain trying to screen out all the XNA/unity/GM entries….there’s no real soultion right now other than to just go through each game one at a time and after downloading it and seeing what framework it uses either rate or leave a comment that you can’t run and that it would be kinda cool to spell out which libraries are required to run in their description. it’s a nightmare this year trying to pick the runnable entries out of the mix.

        • demonpants says:

          When you submit a new game, there is an asterisk for required next the the Windows link. But then again, you can type in whatever you want there, so I suppose I am incorrect.

          • Raptor85 says:

            all that means is that at least 1 link is required, it’s unfortunate that they choose “windows” as the default name in that box as a lot of people inappropriately leave it called that for java and web games as well….it should be blank making you fill in what your link is for.

        • Jedi says:

          It’s frustrating but this isn’t the first time I’ve seen someone mention this “Windows-executable rule.” There is no such rule and AFAIK there never was. (It’s not even an encouragement!)

          It’s bad enough how many people don’t check the rules page; we don’t need people pulling rules out of asses.

      • R3ason says:

        I would be all for changing some of the wording! As a first time LD participant, I found a lot of the info/rules to be confusing and vague.

        I’m equally impressed that everyone can have discussions like this in a civil manner! I feel that because of this, it will only make LD better, regardless of the outcome!

  6. AlwaysGeeky says:

    Personally I totally agree with your philosophy and main point that games should be made accessible to all… BUT we can’t avoid the inescapable reality that supporting more platforms and making your code completely cross platform takes time. And LD is a competition that specifically restricts the time you have to make a game.

    You have gotta accept that people are going to choose the platform which they are most comfortable with and given this is an indie competition, don’t be so hard on people that maybe don’t even know about writing proper cross platform code. (It isn’t an easy task!)

    Not to mention that making a cross platform game also means you need to have the resources for the cross platforms. Discounting web for a moment, if you want to make your game available and playable on PC, MAC and LINUX you are going to need a machine or OS running each of these platforms while you are developing. I don’t know many people that have that setup at home…

    Also you can’t blame people for siding with the numbers… if you could ONLY reach audience A, B, or C… naturally you are going to pick the audience with the highest number of members… and sorry to say it, but that is Windows/PC.

    At the end of the day this is a competition to try and make the best game possible in the shortest time, I think adding in additional constraints like trying to force people to write, test and compile their code for cross platform usage is only going to eat up valuable time for the entrants (which is already heavily restrained)

    • Raptor85 says:

      These days a cross compile takes about 30 seconds, making code cross platform is not difficult or time consuming at all, there’s only one major factor…..don’t use any platform specific libraries. Back in the days of porting ASM for different processors or when different OS’s required you to direcly call specific interrupts yeah…porting was a bitch, but once you’re using a language as high level as C it’s pretty much a non-issue, unless you’re using compiler extensions (and you’d KNOW you’re using them if you are) there’s no real difference.

      SDL/SMFL and the like are cross platform by nature and need only a re-compile. While I agree, I can’t blame people for making windows only entries as the majority here are only on windows I also think it’s nice to bring something like this up to get people to start to realize you’re missing at least 30% of your possible audience by locking to only windows. For one, look at the numbers, by far the web games get the most plays, shortly followed by games that provide at least windows/mac binaries. A beauty of cross platform API’s as well is that they tend to be more well behaved even on their “home” platform as well. Now go to the bottom of the list and what are the majorit yof games with < 10 ratings? XNA4 games that require both .net4 and XNA4 frameworks…windows only requiring LOTS of updates for even people on older windows OS's.

      • demonpants says:

        Also don’t forget that you can do the ports after the 48 hours are over. Or be smart and set up your project beforehand so you’re ready to press the build button 3 times to get all your versions.

      • AlwaysGeeky says:

        Yes but its not just the compile time that I am talking about, At the very least you need to run your application and test it on the other platforms DURING development to catch any issues with your cross patform code early in the development.

        Which means at the very least you need 3 concurrent machines running Windows, Linux and Mac or a machine which can multi-boot into each of these environments… again, not something the usual indie dev will have setup at home.

  7. PIXEL^3 says:

    GameMaker8 barely runs on linux computers and usually not at all. It also means no coding, which ludum dare is how well one can make a game, not drag and drop bricks into slots.

    • Raptor85 says:

      technically you CAN use gml to program in game maker but agreed….to a point. even if gamemaker is allowed the ready made game templates that a lot of people use should NOT be. Delcaring what is essentially a fully function game as your “basecode” can’t possibly be to the spirit of the competition…..and I’m still a little irked that using existing code is allowed in the competition but using existing art isn’t….it’s a little unfair to those of us who are primarily programmers, not artists. :/

      • Fenyx says:

        Who declared a full game as base code? I agree, that is completely against the spirit of LD, if not the rules persay. :/

        Anyway, the tutorials (and that is what they are and what you are talking about) are probably not allowed as base code, as GameMaker is essentially the engine and the base code wrapped into one. Honestly, even with GM, I still spent the majority of the time working on programming, though it was quite simple compared to stuff that you might be doing. It’s just as bad as using any other middleware engine like Construct or any other library that makes your programming faster.

        While GM isn’t the epitome of portablility right now (converting to Windows, Mac, and HTML5), it will be in a few months when Studio comes out, giving Android and iOS support. It may not work on Linux, but you can’t say that it isn’t a multiplatform option.

        PIXEL^3: If GM isn’t coding, then neither is Construct (as an example of another D+D program). Does coding have to involve typing? Or is coding an act of engineering? Anyway, most decent users of GM don’t use D+D for anything but placing the “Execute Code” block into their objects so they can type code.

        • Raptor85 says:

          A lot of peole DO use the tutorial code though and it shows…not that the utterly generic “defense” and “platformer” games that result from this have any chance of high ratings but it’s still frustrating to see so many entries being the same game with different art.

  8. Hazard says:

    I use what i know and love and that’s C# with DirectX (XNA). I won’t learn a new language/graphics framework just so 2 more people rate my game. Even if i’d lose 50% of potential votes i just wouldn’t care, because i do this for the fun of it. And its definately not fun to have people dictate you what language/framwork you are supposed to use. The day windows-only games get banned would be the day i turn my back on Ludum Dare and probably for many other people too. You want only cross-platform games or even only web games? Then create your own competition with such rules or participate in competitions that do this already!
    It seems to me that some people here are completely missing the point of Ludum Dare. A hint: Rating and “winning” is only a minor aspect of it.

    • demonpants says:

      Yes, but I want to play your game! The community to me is the #1 aspect here, and I often feel left out in the cold because I can’t try a lot of the games.

      • Hazard says:

        Thats nice and i can completely understand you and maybe i will look into cross-platform alternatives at some point… but in the end i’ll decide myself if and when i have the time and nerve to do so. Forcing people just won’t work and will just repel participants.

      • Hazard says:

        A suggestion that doesn’t mess with the spirit of LD:

        While rating have the following radiobutton options:
        “I played the game”
        “The game doesn’t work on Linux”
        “The game doesn’t work on Mac”
        “I was unable to run it for another reason”

        Now, if a game has two “doesn’t work” votes for Mac or Linux an icon will appear in the overview that says “doesn’t appear to work on Mac” or “doesn’t appear to work on Linux”, so that Mac/Linux users are instantly able to identify games thay they can’t run. Sure, this won’t help in the beginning, but it should make playing/rating games alot easier for non-windows users after a few days.

        • Raptor85 says:

          or better, when filling out the entry have a group of dropdown boxes to select 1 or more operating systems/platforms supported and just have each entry have a set of icons for all it supports as per the author under it.

          Though granted that leaves out those that run under WINE, so perhaps a mix of the two.

          • AlwaysGeeky says:

            I think the biggest problem here might not be the way that people make their entries or even if they decide to use platform X or platform Y… It is in the way they are presented on the LD website, are you saying you would be happy if you could just filter the entries/games by platform or OS… that way you could easily get to the games that you CAN play…

            I understand your frustration at arriving at a game page and then realizing that you cannot play it on the platform you are running as I too had this problem when I came to an entry that required an android (!??) phone to install on.

            But that only happened to me once…. I guess if you are on a MAC or LINUX you probably encounter this a lot more…. 😛

  9. Frib says:

    I’m sorry but this is just rubbish. First of all, there’s 1400 games. Surely there’s enough mac games in there for you? If not, and if it bothers you, then maybe you should run Windows? Second, you’re basically telling people to stop using X and start using Y. This is bad. Very bad. People use what they are most comfortable with. What about new devs that are just starting out with gamemaker? What about those that want to make a game for a niche platform? If that means not being able to port it to everything, then so be it. I use XNA. This LD I was considering trying out openTK for a 2D game, which would maybe make my game mono compatible, but for this theme I needed to stay within my comfort zone as I was going to mess with 3D and shaders. What would you rather have me do? Make and finish a windows only game, or not finish a game at all so you can 2-star yet another mediocre entry?

    So yes, please let me use the tools that I like to use. I love visual studio, it’s probably the main reason I use C#, if C# wasn’t as awesome as it is. You’d rather have me use Java with Eclipse? lolno. Unity? That’s only scripting, and it’s a completely different way of making games, which is definitely not suited to my style. No. I’ll stick to C# tyvm. Maybe one day I’ll give C++ a try. But I digress. I am not moving out of MY comfort zone for MY game just so YOU can stay in yours. It’s a 48 hour marathon, and I’d rather not spend 24 hours of it on useless things just to make sure it can run on multiple platforms, just so an entitled mac user can 2-star it. I’m here to make awesome games for myself, which means I waste 12 hours on useful things, so that only windows users can 3-star it instead. 😀

    Also, you’re complaining that you can only rate 1/3 of the games. That’s almost 500 games. The highest coolness rating at the moment is 216. Doesn’t look like a big problem imo. And if you’re jealous that you can’t play and rate some awesome games because of platform issues, then maybe you should consider the fact that those games wouldn’t exist if they were made in another language.

    tl;dr not my problem, but yours. If it bothers you, then I suggest you get windows, work on mono, get hired by reactOS, or play something else awesome. And if you want to make a mac-only game, go right ahead! I won’t stop you, or complain.

    • demonpants says:

      I’m not telling people to do anything. People will do whatever they want. But like I said, 99% of platform options can be ported in one way or another. I’ve run XNA games with Mono when they were properly packaged. So why aren’t people bothering to do that? Ports can be made post-compo.

  10. MadGnomeGamer says:

    GEEK TIME!!!! XD

    I personally was amazed at how many games were either Mac/Linux- compatible or even Mac/Linux -only!

    I hate it when people use WinZip instead of Windows to compress their files because I can’t extract those. (No WinZip.) Also XNA doesn’t work (says something about my graphics card not being good enough, despite the fact that the window displaying the message looks like Win 96 format.) And what the heck is LOVE anyway?

    I’ve got Adventure Game Studio (cool little development tool, by the way), Unity, Java, Flash, and more installed on my computer,

    so I was able to play a lot of games. My computer’s been acting weird lately, and it crashes a rather large percentage of the time when I try to run a LD entry on it. Either that or the game extracts to a large array of parts with no exe. ; or it simply crahses for some wierd inexplicable reason.

    I’m still gunning for a gold in Coolness this week tho!

    • Thief says:

      Presumably you mean WinRar. Winzip uses the same format as Windows (i.e. .zip).

      I’d advise getting and installing 7-zip. It will open .rar files, but is also free and doesn’t ask you to buy it.

      • mildmojo says:

        If there’s something that should be discouraged, it’s using RAR archives for game distribution. Ugh. Not a single operating system ships with a native RAR unpackager. Use zip or a platform-specific self-extractor and be done with it.

  11. Tourgen says:

    I disagree. People should write games for whatever platform they feel like. I don’t think it’s reasonable to actively push people in any direction. If Mac OSX is all you have then fine, just play the games that run on your system. don’t expect the world to take pains to accommodate the choices you made.

    And please, let’s stop pretending that going to a web platform, an interpreted cross-platform system, or a cross-platform runtime system doesn’t come with it’s own set of sacrifices and trade-offs. How many web-only games did I see in this compo that didn’t run in Firefox or IE or ran poorly? Or games that required some plugin or runtime environment install – java, python, flash, unity. My choice was to say “no thanks” but I didn’t write some post complaining about it and telling everyone else they should have made the same choices I made. That would have been supremely arrogant.

    No matter how you make your game you’re going to have to make choices about available audience, complexity of the tools, known bugs in libraries, inefficiencies, all kinds of things. Part of learning to deal with all of that and making those choices is what Ludumdare is about!

    • Raptor85 says:

      I agree that forcing the matter is bad, and the origional post in a more helpful form could have said something more on the line of, now with the size of the competition and the spread of operating systems, that it might be worth considering things like if you used SFML as opposed to XNA you’d be more likely to get more reviews. People will still use stuff like XNA knowing it’ll doom them to near the bottom of the ratings list but that’s fine, if that’s what they’re comfortable with at least they can still complete a game, but in an environment such as this it does pay to consider ability to port when choosing a tech ahead of time.

  12. Absolutely. I often want to go and rate a few games in between work, but since over half of the games I get handed are Windows only, I’d have to switch to Bootcamp to do so.

    Anyway, the way I see it, web games are bound to get more ratings.

  13. While I generally agree that games that are a no-brainer with no hassle to play on any platform are a good thing all around, I don’t see why this has to be mandated.

    If anything, the fact that we have 1400 games means it shouldn’t really MATTER anymore that you can only play 1/3rd of the games, because 1/3rd of 1400 is still over 400 games.

    If you can’t play a game easily, don’t rate it. It’s a slight bit disheartening, but it’s really quite easy to find other games that you will be able to play and rate instead. Games that are not one-click go will naturally receive less ratings, and developers should KNOW THIS as they are choosing what frameworks/languages to use. It’s a tradeoff that’s up to them, just like in the real world. Some people don’t have the resources to compile for other platforms. Other people just don’t know how. Some people just don’t care. That’s okay–the votes they lose are their loss and not your problem to worry about.

    I think what would be nice is a better tool for excluding all games that aren’t compatible with your system. I think something like this exists somewhere but I can’t seem to find it anywhere–in any case, I think that should be built-in to the LD system, just like the new D=R-C voting system was.

    • …that all said, I do believe that all LD entries should ideally be cross-platform, and even web if possible. Please. It’s the way to go, and you know it!

      I realize I’m reiterating a lot of previously said points in my post. Some things that I would actually like to add:
      -Porting is not a trivial task, especially for new programmers. Yes, it is easy enough for me to create a nicely-packaged cross-platform C++ SDL app now, but that was after a lot of time spent figuring out OSX .app package structure, getting a linux VM, actually having an OSX machine to compile on…yes, there are alternative ways of doing these that make things easier, but you can’t deny that it’s a daunting task. Keep in mind that LD is where a lot of people make their FIRST games. Many times, in fact, LD *is* the place where they learn that making their games crossplatform is so important (speaking from experience).

      -At the end of the day, LD is about making a game and skilling up, not about getting ratings. Does cross-platform capability make a better game? Yes. But you gotta learn to crawl before you start to run. Heck, many entries have trouble getting their game to run on a SINGLE platform, let alone many. 😉

      -I have had almost no luck getting Mono apps to play nicely. I’ve gotten them to work, but it is uggglyyyy.

  14. Drabiter says:

    Hmm I have to agree on XNA part.

  15. Thotor says:

    Most my 20 games list to rate is filled with windows-only game and it becomes difficult to find game.

    I think the list/rating system could at least use a Windows/Mac OSX/Linux/Other filter (web game can apply for all 4)
    This would avoid people checking an entry and discover they cannot run it.

  16. Keirua says:

    I think your issue is the reason why more and more games are web based. HTML5 and Javascript makes it easy not to take care of which OS the user is behind, and also open the possibility to have your game playable on tablets/phones. Despite what you say, I’m pretty surprised but the number of web based games that do not have the problem you raise.

  17. mildmojo says:

    I tend to make competition games in HTML5/JS specifically because they run everywhere with very little porting effort. But there are big toolkits and frameworks that offer big wins on particular platforms, and I don’t fault devs for using them.

    The mac is the hardest platform to build for, because you almost universally need access to an actual mac to get a proper native build out of your toolkit. Even Unity, last I checked, won’t build for OSX from Windows. You have to be using it on a mac. By comparison, it’s pretty easy for windows and mac users to throw together a test Virtualbox instance running Linux for free. That’ll at least let you debug the build process, if not gameplay. I think Virtualbox’s 3D performance is still behind the curve.

    I’d encourage every game developer to try the porting process to get a feel for it. Throw together a simple graphical, animated Hello World with a bit of input and a sound effect and try getting it to run on the other platforms. Just going through the process once will teach you a lot.

  18. SonnyBone says:

    I’m gonna make a 3D0 game that ONLY works on MY specific 3D0 just to piss people like this off. The point is to make a game… not to make a game that will work for EVERYONE. If I want to make a game that only I can play, then I’ll do that. If you can’t play it… OH WELL. If I wanted you to play it so bad, I woulda mailed you my 3D0.

  19. chambers says:

    After reading this, I started putting more effort into working on a mac-compatible version of my game. It should be working now, though according to my friends you need to type some things in the terminal before clicking on the application… I don’t know how it works exactly.

  20. chambers says:

    Also, you can add Processing to the list of Java-based game making tools!

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