Domagoj Štrekelj, Hrvoje Leventić, Irena Galić

Video game industry has become the largest entertainment based industry, surpassing both the film and the music industry in terms of revenue. Costs of game development are rising with a number of platforms one has to support. In today’s competitive industry, it is necessary to support as many platforms as possible to remain profitable. One way to cut down on time spent on porting the game to other platforms, is to use cross-platform programming languages and development frameworks. Even though such frameworks allow drastic reduction of development time spent on making sure games work on all intended platforms, they are not without cost. The cost in this case is mainly in reduced performance, compared to games developed in their native development environments. This paper evaluates performance overhead of a relatively new programming language (less than a decade old) called Haxe, which is built especially for cross-platform development. We have implemented the same game in both its native environment and in the Haxe programming language, from which the game is cross-compiled to run in the native environment. The authors tested developed games on three different hardware configurations, with three different complexity settings, and the results show that even though performance overhead of cross-compilation is not insignificant, the overall reduction in development time attained by developing in Haxe presents a viable option for cross-platform game development, with positive aspects outweighing the negatives.
cross-platform development, cross-compilation, game development, Haxe, performance.