GDC 2010: How Palm is pushing mobile gaming with its C/C++ PDK
When it comes to games however, developers usually require low level access to hardware. That's why Palm has come up with Palm's Plug-in Development Kit (PDK).
This was released in beta form this week.
This brings C/C++ capabilities, OpenGL ES 1.1 and 2.0 support, plus the Simple DirectMedia Library (SDL). This provides support for things such as event handling and some image, rendering and audio libraries.
"C/C++ is great for developers who want to leverage an existing code base, or use technologies that aren't standardised in web technology. And sometimes you just might have a compute intensive task," explained Jeff Bush, Palm's director of webOS, Graphics and Gaming.
A different approach
One result of this low level approach was the speed of porting Epic's Unreal Engine 3 to webOS; something that happened in about two weeks.
In contrast, Epic has been working on an iPhone port of UE3 for a couple of months which is still not complete, while Microsoft has rejected support for C/C++ code for its new Windows Phone 7 platforms. Instead developers will have to use XNA Game Studio and C#.
The beta version of PDK will be updated regularly, although it's not expected to be formally available, and games developed using it released on Palm's App Catalog, until mid-2010.
More details can be seen on Palm's developer website.