Hypership Out of Control was released for several platforms including XBLIG, WP7, and iOS. Because of the smaller screen width, the WP7 and iOS releases also required completely new levels. What people probably don’t realize is that the XBLIG version was responsible for creating the levels for its smaller screened counterparts.
Typically I reuse the same game engine you play the game with for the editors in my games, as is the case with Hypership Out of Control, Abduction Action!, and Volchaos. This cuts down on not only the initial work of setting up an editor but also the effort needed to keep the game and editor in sync and allows me to edit a level and immediately drop into that level to play it. For the mobile versions of Hypership, I simply added a toggle in the XBLIG editor that cut down the width of the screen. The level save files are identical between the two versions of this game (you could actually import the mobile versions into the XBLIG version and play the game, though about half the screen would be empty).
This worked great when I had created the XBLIG version of the game first but causes a dilemma going forward as I plan to do iOS specific releases. Creating the levels on an iOS device would be less than ideal. Creating them on the iOS emulator on my Mac won’t work either (emulator performance on my Mac Mini is terrible). Probably the best option at this point would be to create a level editor for these games. But if I’m going through the trouble of creating an entire editor, the amount of steps left to create an XBLIG or PC version of the same game aren’t that much more either.
This leaves me at a bit of a crossroads. While I desire to do some games only for iOS, it seems I can’t totally get myself away from the PC/XBLIG platform either (baring a switch to something like Unity3D, which I’m not ready to do just yet). Additionally my familiarity with that technology means I can prototype my games far quicker than I could developing just on iOS. It was easy to say I wanted to focus on iOS but in practice there are a number of factors that say otherwise.