Some reasons game programmers shouldn't be concern

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Luminion 101 Feb 23, 2005 at 05:50

Hello,
As a silent member of this fine forum it has come to my attention that a great deal of supposed, “veterans” are making a desperate attempt to convince beginners that they should be concerned with portability as a game programmer. Well I’m here to go against that opinion and to address some of the major cons of porting your games/applications to Linux.
One of the main reasons beginner game programmers shouldn’t be concerned with porting their game to Linux is because of the small user base. Do you know anyone who uses Linux? I don’t. Another is some support issues. There are many kinds of Linux variants out there
and you either have to support one variant or the whole mess which is, evidently, a hassle.
DirectX may look sloppy to most beginners but it’s a professional package and the DX lib is more game-orientated compared to OpenGL(DX composes of several components, whereas OpenGL is a single graphic library). True you could use other libraries for audio and image loading along with OpenGL but DX is all of that under one roof. Its not like,
“heres a bunch of libs, figure them out”. Even if you’re not a game programmer DirectX has several things to offer. If you’re only into making graphical demos and showing it off then theres Direct3D, which is as powerful, if not, more powerful than OpenGL. DX provides a great deal of debug information as well. This is evidently a good thing for the
guy/girl starting out.
The myth that “DirectX is super complicated” is definitely not true if you know your C++ and pointers. If you’re scared of DirectX then maybe you should reconsider your career path, seriously. In conclusion, if you’re serious about becoming a game programming please don’t worry about porting your games and coding them with the lesser known OpenGL. Do yourself a favor and download DirectX 9 SDK :

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details…&displaylang=en

Here are some stuff that my friends made with DirectX 9 :

http://home.comcast.net/\~zphreak/Attaq/

http://fozi.codingcorner.net/images/code_demos/jfk1.jpg

http://fozi.codingcorner.net/images/code_demos/jfk2.jpg

http://home.comcast.net/\~zphreak/BumpersKTHX.exe

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/editorial…ay/stalker.html

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SpreeTree 101 Feb 23, 2005 at 06:57

Your post had very little to do with portability, more to do with ‘Use DirectX, its great”! You can write code that is just as ‘non-portable’ (is that even a word?!) with OpenGL.

Writing portable code has many advantages and disadvantages. You had one…

Spree

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Reedbeta 167 Feb 23, 2005 at 07:01

(1) I know many people who use Linux. If you honestly don’t know anybody who uses Linux, then you must not know very many people.

(2) Linux may have a relatively small user base today, but it is growing rapidly.

(3) While DirectX is used by the XBox, all the other consoles (as far as I know) are OpenGL only. When talking about portability we are not only referring to PC operating systems.

(4) Even if you are only interested in writing games for Windows, there is still no compelling reason to choose one over the other:

(4a) Direct3D and OpenGL are equally powerful as far as graphics go. If you claim they are not, then name something that can be done with Direct3D that cannot be done with OpenGL and its extensions.

(4b) It’s true that D3DX provides APIs for image/model loading, vector and matrix math and some other things OpenGL does not. However, OpenGL’s API may be easier to learn, especially for beginners, in part because it is not so big, it does not require you to deal with COM, it has an immediate mode, and other reasons.

(4c) You can use the DX sound, input, and networking APIs with OpenGL if you want. You might also use other libraries if they are better suited to your specific needs. You can use these other libaries with D3D, too. DX is not a packaged deal; you can pick and choose which parts of it you want.

(5) At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter which APIs or libraries you used to make your game. What matters is playability, originality, and fun. You can make just as good a game in OpenGL as you can in D3D. So it’s really a matter of personal choice and style.

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bladder 101 Feb 23, 2005 at 07:20

mixed opinions on this subject. The thing is that directx is a package and opengl is not. So comparing the two is like comparing a fruit basket with an orange. You want to compare fruits, then compare one orange with another. You want to compare something to ogl, then compare it with d3d. not with the entire dx library. And anything that can be done with d3d can be done with opengl as well. Infact, you can achieve more functionality with ogl because the extensions are available immediately, where as with direct3d you have to wait till MS adds support for different features of different cards.

Performance of the two APIs depends entirely on how the drivers handle different commands.

Some other things is that other consoles do not implement ogl as the underlying api. XBox uses dx8, and gamecube comes *close* to ogl (but it’s not), all the other consoles have proprietory APIs.

I do agree that DirectX is not complicated if you know your c++. You shouldnt be programming games if you dont know your language anyway. And the other thing is that opengl is only easier the directx with immediate mode functions. If you want to match performance, then both APIs are equally difficult. They just use different programming paradigms.

d3d does have one advantage in that you get the d3dx library along with it. Which is fantastic if you’re aiming for windows only. But, portability is very important because windows is not the only gaming platform out there. PS2, gamecube, ps3 (soon), nemesis (soon) and xbox2 (soon also) have the biggest market for games. So if you want to sell big, your best bet is to aget all those platforms.

But OTOH, this is something beginners shouldnt be concerned with. If you’re starting you should stick to one platform. Then just work your knowledge up from there.

If you’re scared of DirectX then maybe you should reconsider your career path, seriously. In conclusion, if you’re serious about becoming a game programming please don’t worry about porting your games and coding them with the lesser known OpenGL.

oh please. enough with the propaganda. If you had a chance of anyone agreeing with you on these forums it would be me, but even I cant comprehend these words that are comping out of you.

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Kenneth_Gorking 101 Feb 23, 2005 at 08:20

@Luminion

If you’re scared of DirectX then maybe you should reconsider your career path, seriously.

If you are scared of OpenGL, you shouldn’t expect to have a career at all. Do you even know that gamedevelopers who might hire you read your posts? They will have a good laugh when they see this, I should think. What do you plan to do (if you ever get a job), when your boss tells you the game will be using OpenGL, and has to run on Linux?
@Luminion

…coding them with the lesser known OpenGL

HAHAHA ! :lol: OpenGL is used far more than Direct3D ever will, because of the fact that it supports all platforms. It was created way back in 1992, and hasn’t changed much, because it kicked ass from the start, unlike “Game SDK”
@Luminion

There are many kinds of Linux variants out there
and you either have to support one variant or the whole mess which is, evidently, a hassle.

True, but they are all based on the same system, so the “hassle” you are refering to, is using some different include files for each system.
[ironi]It is horrible, I can see that.[/ironi]

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baldurk 101 Feb 23, 2005 at 11:28

I was considering replying to the OP’s points, but I have a feeling that would be rather pointless. Both because I’m not sure how much he would listen, and because many have already been made.

However, one thing to be careful of is that discussions like this very often turn into flame wars simply because there is an extreme lack of factual grounded differences, and most of the points of discussion are just based on opinions and personal experience.

Anyone remember Microsoft?