Games for Android: How to get started

Mobile phones allow easy access to thousand of on-line services. One big percentage of all mobile applications is composed by games. At the end of December 2011, there were more than 10 billion downloads of mobile applications from Android market (and still counting). Games formed 1/4 of all those applications and this tended to increase, too.

Source: TestCrunch

Games are fun, relaxing and sociable. However, to develop a game may not be an easy task. You need development experience, good designers and probably someone to take care of marketing. In this post I want to show you the possibilities when starting a game project with Android. Once you try any of them, you will feel better.

Develop games directly for Android

Well.. the naive approach is to use Java to develop your game. Why Java? Because Android is based on it. And you have access to OpenGL ES which provides powerful API to use when you develop a game. Of course, if you are a hardcore programmer and you master C/C++, you still can use your skills to develop games for Android. Furthermore, the native code is the way to go if you want your game to be as fast as possible. Google has released the Native Development Kit which basically lets you compile your code into a shared library, wrap it in a Java shell (to manage input and lifecycle events), and do all of the lifting in C++ with regular OpenGL ES API. There are many other details, you need to take into consideration, of course. You can read more about Android mobile phone generations, hardware, and software at Tim Bray’s blog.

Develop games using Unity

Unity is  a game development tool which eases your life when you come to develop nice games. Unity uses the following scripting languages: JavaScript, C#, and Boo (a dialect of Python). They can be used interchangeably and have access to plenty of .NET libraries. The cool thing is you can publish your pretty game to many platforms. These include Flash, Wii, PS3, Xbox 360, iOS, and Android. Did you notice the last one? By using this powerful engine and can easily publish your game to Android and it will work as expected. Unity uses and is optimized for OpenGL ES 2.0.


Basically you are free to operate when it comes to develop games for Android. There are many opportunities and challenges which you need to face. However, this should not bother you and do not forget that there is always someone in the world to try your game out.

Comments are closed.