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I am contemplating writing a game loosely-based on the original Star Trek text game.

It will have characteristics similar to board games like chess, checkers or Battleship, but incorporating a "boards within boards" feature, as you can have sectors within quadrants. Each sector or quadrant is a 10x10 grid. The Wikipedia page I've linked describes roughly the rules of the game. It will have sparse, sprite-like graphics and spare sound effects to represent various ships and battle scenarios. It will have control panels as the user Interface. It might have planets, but will not have real-time, full-screen graphics or orbital mechanics. It will probably not have any human character visualizations.

Eventually, as the game evolves, it may incorporate market-type resource management features that games like Paradise Bay have.

I've considered using the Unreal game engine, but the more I look at it, the more I think it might be overkill for what I want to do, as every example of Unreal games that I have seen involve vast landscapes and highly-detailed first-person characters, none of which I will ever need. The closest thing to that in my game might be some sort of hyperspace travel effect but that is not required.

So, given that this will essentially be a board game, would some other engine and technological stack be more suitable?

Other considerations:

  1. Should use C#, Typescript, or some other modern, expressive programming language.

  2. Should be cross-platform, able to be cross-compiled to iOS, Android and PC.

  3. Should support publishing to the major gaming platforms (iOS, Android, Steam)

  4. Should be royalty-free (Unreal qualifies, because I don't pay a royalty unless the game makes money).

  • C# doesn't sound very cross-platform to me – Mawg Apr 26 '17 at 8:04
  • It can be. Xamarin would be the obvious choice there. – Robert Harvey Apr 26 '17 at 22:08
  • And Androi, and iOs? – Mawg Apr 27 '17 at 7:21
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    @Mawg: Xamarin's description on their website home page says "Deliver native iOS, Android, and Windows apps using existing skills, teams, and code." – Robert Harvey Apr 27 '17 at 18:37
  • I learned soemthing good today. Thank you (+1) – Mawg Apr 28 '17 at 8:15
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"Should be cross-platform". Browser-based is the obvious answer.

Failing that, all that I can think of is Delphi/RAD studio, which generates native executables for multiple platforms form a single source code.

Write once and simply recompile to reach billions of devices natively running Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS and Android. With integrated app-store packaging its easier than ever to reach the Windows 10, macOS, iOS and Android stores, helping your apps sell to the widest audience possible.

BUT, I don't know what format is required for Steam, so both of those might not be an option.

  • Hmmm, if Delphi is acceptable, then Lazarus is its free little brother & more than sufficient. Unless of course, you consider Pascal not to be a "modern, expressive programming language" – Mawg Jan 23 '18 at 7:28
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    I used to develop programs in Turbo Pascal. Fun fact: Anders Hejlsberg, who was Chief Architect on the C# team for 10 years, was the original author of Turbo Pascal and Chief Architect of Delphi. – Robert Harvey Jan 23 '18 at 15:47
  • I used TP, then asked my GF to get me Delphi V1 as my main xmas present when it first came out. It cost $69 or $99, IIRC, compared to over $1k today, but Lazarus is a very close contender & more than sufficient for private use. Give it a try. I always loved Delphi for the thousands of free 3rd party VCL components. I don't find anything like that for MS Visual Studio – Mawg Jan 23 '18 at 18:26
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Have you looked at Corona? The app is free and they have examples of board games written using Corona. Their site claims that the single code can be compiled to run on iOS, Android, and other platforms. There are many help files and tutorials to help to learn how to use it.

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