Adventures in Monorail

2nd of October, 2014

Nearly a year ago, I took part in Ludum Dare 28 with some of the usual suspects. What we came up with was an off-beat game called Monorail.

Monorail in action

After talking to the rest of the team, I decided that the time had come to move Monorail on to new and better things. “New and better things” in this case meaning mobile platforms.

I’ve only had a brief dalliance with iOS before and Android is utterly alien to me so this is lining up to be an interesting challenge.

LibGDX supports those targets which is the first major hurdle. iOS support is provided via the rather clever RoboVM, which cross-compiles from JVM bytecode to native code. This is both a blessing and a curse.

It’s a blessing because it means everything is small and fast and easy to ship. It’s a blessing because it means not having to ship a JVM implementation for iOS. It’s a curse because the compile process is extremely slow.

Java is the lingua franca of Android which makes the Android LibGDX target rather more straightforward. Other than the standard “here be dragons” warnings about Dalvik I’ve heard very good things about LibGDX’s Android support, so other than having to slog through setting up the appropriate dark rituals to get an emulator working I’m looking forward to working with it.

Expect to see Monorail hit some flavour of app store near you, at some point, maybe! I’m not a marketer…