radiangames luke.jpg[written by Luke Schneider]

First, let's get the raw log of what happened while developing CRUSH for Android:

1:00PM - Copy to new project folder, Unity converting MP3s
1:10PM - Icon, splashscreen, project settings, remove plugins
1:13PM - Comment out GameCenter
1:27PM - Todolist for everything, testing orientation (on device)
1:40PM - Decide not to attempt to move status bar (would cause more technical problems)
2:06PM - Ready to test screen aspect and size differences
2:27PM - Going with simpler game links (have to update game to activate)
2:36PM - Back button and everything else apparently in, time to test
2:45PM - Done with APK?  Ready to test on both devices
2:52PM - Weird color difference between splash screen and default BG... changing to black
2:59PM - Made icon have different sizes (instead of 1 that's auto-scaled)
3:06PM - Starting on the store listing
3:16PM - Need promo art, and to try different play store link formats
3:47PM - Finally got link format sorted out, extra "/" at end was messing everything up, had to figure out the company-specific format, and two of my iOS links were switched
3:56PM - More testing
4:15PM - Uploaded APK, everything on store is set and ready for the Publish button to be pushed

Yeah, not the most exciting account, but I thought it would be cool to document the "journey".  CRUSH was sort of the ideal game to port very quickly because it adjusts to different resolutions quite well, and it runs fast enough that framerate is not an issue.  Most games require more fine-tuning and tweaks.

But even for more demanding games that do require tweaks (Bombcats), I've been pleasantly surprised by how easy the game-side of the iOS to Android porting process has been.

There are a couple downsides to porting to Android:

1) The initial setup for any new platform always feels like it'll never work until it does, and all the unusual things about Android only increases the stress.  In the end it took me about a day to work out everything and get builds all the way from Unity to Android, and a few hours of that was getting my Nook HD to work (had to reinstall the drivers after being connected as a debugging device).

2) There are lots of storefronts/opportunities you need to consider if you want to maximize your game's chances of success.  Google Play is just the start.  There's the Nook store, Amazon, Samsung's custom store (wow, what a sign-up process), the Ouya, and plenty more.  All of them want icons, and screenshots, and feature art, sometimes in slightly different resolutions.

In the end, I can't help but feeling I should have done these Android ports a while ago.  So if you're feeling apprehensive about your iOS to Android port, and you're using an engine that supports both iOS and Android (like Unity), get over it and take the plunge.

Special thanks to the Android feature in Game Developer magazine for helping give me that final confirmation that I should just do it.

[Luke Schneider wrote this using sister site Gamasutra's free blogs]