Innovative Software-Development Solutions

Porting Rotago to Android, Update 1

Alongside Road Pirates, there is much other work to be done as stated in yesterday’s blog post. Rotago is in-fact being ported, but the question of when this process will be done is certainly not so easily answerable. Presently, we know two possible ways that we can port Rotago. The first and foremost obvious way to port Rotago is to simply take the Objective-C code and convert it into Java android code. Easy, right? The challenge then lies in the fact that the Objective-C code is probably well over 500,000 lines of code. Even if one was able to miraculously convert at a blazing 1000 lines every single for an entire year, it would still not be finished. This is because Rotago was written using the Torque programming language. Unlike Unity 3D and other fancy game engines, Torque does not have quite as many bells and whistles that make the job of game creation very easy. However, it does provide the entire source code of the interpreter for a one-time price of $100, which is extremely useful. ITorque, which was available on the website about a year ago, provided not only the C++ code, but it also provided the Objective-C code. This was very handy because the torque interpreter is mostly designed for desktop hardware and we needed to change a lot of the game’s native Objective-C code to access the iPhone hardware.

Apart from this, GarageGames agreed not to take any royalties, and they even offered a free forum and chatroom for community support. Often times, the chatroom will offer little or no help, but you will at least be likely to find someone who has been down a similar path and can relate to what you’re going through. However, most of the time, you can find the answer you are looking for by searching their forum. So, this is reason why Rotago was written in Torque. It’s cheap, it’s fully modifiable, it’s easy to get into, and it has a decent amount of documentation and support. They have even made an intermediate amount of progress in porting their engine to Android. They’d likely be done by now, but when GarageGames decided to do a Kickstarter project for porting Torque to Android, it didn’t quite meet the goal amount required. That was back in April of 2013. None of us even heard about until about a couple months ago, which implies they did a poor job of advertising the effort. Even still, they manage to reach $6,896; roughly $3100 shy of their $10,000 objective. They didn’t send a message about the project to anybody on their mailing list, which would have been an easy way for them to advertise. Oops? They decided to go ahead with the project anyway and consequently, we got an incomplete version of the android Torque engine which makes porting it very difficult.

Alternatively, we have considered taking the Apportable route, but this may require some further investigation. We don’t really know much about it at this point, other than it’s commercial so they want our money. Either way, we’re determined to port Rotago to Android, and we will see that it gets done one way or another. Even if we have to think outside the box.