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OS and Hosting Compatibility Issues to Consider?


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First, I apologize in advance if I've placed this topic in the wrong forum, or if my search had missed where this topic was already covered.

I am very, very new to game development, and I am considering experimenting with a game engine to get my feet wet. However, before I go too far in, I have some questions regarding compatibility that I will try to ask using examples. Let's say that I am working with a game engine that can function properly in various OS environments.

1. Let's say I work on my Windows computer WAMP localhost, while I have someone contributing code (PHP, Javascript/JQuery/JSON, HTML/CSS, etc.) from a Linux machine and another from a Mac machine. If we are all working together, but in localhosts on different OS's, what compatibility issues would I have to consider while sharing and merging code?

2. Now, let's say I have a game ready to the point where I feel comfortable searching for paid online hosting. What are some compatibility issues between the game engine/code/mods from my Windows environment and the host server OS that I should take into consideration?

3. In my naivety on this subject, I may not even know the correct questions I should be considering and asking to avoid future complications. I have read several topics around the internet regarding game development and ownership, including the sticky on this forum. I have been learning about the various languages that will be required to create a game; I'm thinking I'll use PHP for the server side and Javascript and HTML/CSS for the client side. I have planned out my game and have a very good idea of what I want, so now I believe I am ready to start giving my plan and ideas some tangibility. Do you have more advice or suggestions on things I should consider before choosing a game engine and starting the coding/building process?

Thank you very much.

Edited by NoMak
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No there would be no compatibility issue for example i developed my game on xampp on windows and my server runs on CentOS all the languages you are using will run on any OS as they don't change per OS.

and for the game engine DONT use McCodes (Unsecure, Bad Coding ...), i have been hearing alot of good news about NWE i would recommend that as the programmer is really good at what he does and you would be guaranteed support and updates and is not that expensive either.

link: http://nw-engine.com/ ($100 Full licence)

Edited by urbanmafia
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Disregarding the last post...

You have some very valid concerns, but most of them aren't game-engine specific.

These are some low-level concerns. I wish I could say not to develop on Windows, but that's something that's unavoidable probably.

With all the lower level things out of the way, the things I've found that is the most "annoying" between developing on different OS' is character encodings, line-endings and absolute paths. These are very trivial aspects to developing, but can escalate quickly in some production environments. What you'd ideally like to do here is put your entire source tree under version control. My SVN knowledge is a bit shoddy, but I do know that with Git you can easily configure an option that converts line-endings to Unix-style(nl). Character encoding can also be dealt with similarly. With paths, you will need to be very verbose(e.g. DIRECTORY_SEPARATOR vs a forward-slash) in programming terms when working with the file-system.

The main components that would likely effect cross-platform compatibility is addon(or third-paty) libraries. These tend to be very OS specific, and although they can be ported it's still a headache. A few examples here-of is caching mechanisms, image processing libraries and virtually all code that creates a sub-process of some kind(executes commands via shell). Another point worth mentioning is addons that require certain versions of software - some operating systems have other versions of applications where certain API's or language futures(and functionality) have changed. Most developers do not specify this, so be careful.

If I could suggest something though, if your team members really need to use Windows-based platforms to develop with is that they use virtual machines to run and test their code on. It's quite easy to configure remote development plugins in IDEs, and will save you a lot of trouble in the long run.

As for game engines that I can confirm are cross-platform compatible(targets: NT, Linux and OSX) ezRPG is the only one I can vow for. This is not because the others are inferior in any way, but simply because I only know the architecture and execution of ezRPG. The engine is UTF-8 driven, and can be run on any server which supports PHP >=5.3 and MySQL >=5.x. It's web-server independent as well, so you can use anything from nginx to Apache.

I hope this answers some of your questions.

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