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For 2D I say HTML5 / Canvas.
You get _everywhere_ deployment.
Your friends don't have to do any install, just point at your game's URL.
Here is an absolutely fantastic book with tons of samples that will amaze you: HTML5 Canvas: Native Interactivity and Animation for the Web [^]
Probably not what you are interested in, mostly because it doesn't stick with your parameters but I wanted to throw it out there for future readers, if nothing else.
Embarcadero[^] has recently created a community version of their RAD studio. It is C++ and Delphi and not C# but it is free until you earn $5000.00 and seems fairly easy and straight forward.
They have a boot camp with several 2d games and source that you can play with, along with a high level explanation.
Lots more tuts and stuff for Delphi and it is an easy language, but C++ is my fav. My thoughts are to create a really simple app for my grandson (who is 2) to play on a windows touchscreen and then to port it to Android and IOS with the same code. If it works and is easy enough then I'll try something more complicated and eventually purchase it, but only after it has paid for itself.
Good to hear! MonoGame is what I'm flying with for now. I've been fairly happy so far.
CocosSharp is built on-top of MonoGame and allegedly provides a more .NET friendly framework. It seemed like an exciting option. However, the last update is so old I can hear crickets on the GitHub site
Also, since nobody has visited and exclaimed, "Yea, CocosSharp rocks!", it seems woefully short of supporters.
Everything I can find says its dead. Heck, on the following GitHub site, the link they list for their web site is even dead.
I've been using MonoGame for the past year for cross-platform, and it does rock! You can now also use it in .NetStandard which you could not a year ago. It is actively being improved and there is a great community that can help. Also, there are lots of examples out there to help get you started.
Yeah, Unity started off with ActionScript based scripts and added C# later so the scripting is kind of wonky. Xenko is much more C# friendly from what I can tell and apparently has a very good engine but the editor needs a bit of work from what people are saying. Looks super promising though!
Wow, that does look pretty awesome! However, like Unity, it seems way over-kill for the simple 2D game I'm considering.
Regrettably, I'm old-school and barely passible at 2D artwork. My 3D skills are absolutely non-existent. It probably doesn't help that, because of a vision problem, I can't even see true 3D. Still, the graphics on that site make me almost believe in myself
Anyhow, thanks (and an upvote) for what appears to be a serious contender, which appears largely unencumbered license-wise. All the other suggestions so far, I had at least heard about. I'm surprised that this one has flown completely under my radar.
Yup, you need stereoscopic vision (aka two working eyes) to see true 3D. Regrettably, I've got extremely poor vision in one eye. So, 3D is a no go for me. The brain is pretty good about using perspective cues to compensate, so you hardly notice. Basically, its the same difference between a movie and a 3D movie.