Mar 24, 2013 at 2:55 PM
Edited Mar 24, 2013 at 3:35 PM
Coincidentally, I've just been through this recently, I'm porting a Farseer game from WP7 (where performance is fine) to Android using MonoGame. So I can answer your question from an Android perspective, here is what I've found out:
Performance on the Android Emulator is not representative of how it'll perform on the device, as you probably know already. I only got the game running on the Android Emu by using the Intel x86 device images, using the ARM ones the game was unplayably slow.
But either way the Emu tells me pretty much nothing about how it'll perform on an actual device.
I first tried my game on a
Samsung Galaxy Ace
, and it was running at about 0.5 fps or less. Unplayable. I believe the problem is because older Android devices have CPUs running ARM v6 instruction sets (or earlier) and this doesn't support hardware floating point. Any floating point
calculations have to be done in software. Games in general, and physics engines in particular, make plenty use of floating point calculations.
I tried again with my game on a
Samsung Galaxy Ace 2
, and it's CPU (a NovaThor U8500
) runs ARM v7. Now we get hardware floating point and the game runs beautifully at a smooth 30 fps.
If you're using MonoDevelop, you've got a project option if you look at Project Options -> Build -> Android Build -> Advanced, where you can specify what ABIs you support. If you ONLY tick ARMEABI-V7A then you're game will generate ARM v7 CPU instructions
and can use hardware floating point. In addition, your game won't be visible in the Google Play marketplace to phones that cannot run that instruction set.
Since I'm planning to port to iOS sometime later, I'll be very interested to know how you get on with Farseer performance on iOS. Do let us know!