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Any ideas or heads up on a particle engine?

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Well I hope to start coding a particle engine soon in the next few days... I am going to use GLSL and Point Sprites and make a generic class that one can derive new particle types for what one needs. E.g. smoke, fog, fire. So my question is does this sound like a good plan? Am I heading in the right direction? I would like some feed back from others who have made a particle engine before, and what they may have encountered. :) Anyone looking to buy a laptop? I got one for sale. HP Centrino Core Duo 1.733Ghz 1GB RAM, 7600 256MB, 240GB HD (2x120) DL DVD, 17" screen. No need for it anymore bought it about 6 months ago.
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Don't use point sprites. I did it for a particle system I wrote and it looked horrible. Used billboarded quads. AFAIK No one really uses point sprites. I know in the game engines I used they all used billboarded quads and have very nice effect systems.

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Hmm, point sprites IIRC are faster. I know of the issue with when it gets to the screen edge it cause problems due to there is only one vertex per point vs. 4 with the quads. Speed shouldn't be a problem with todays hardware since vertex programs aren't the bottleneck. Does everyone else here agree use quads? Thanks for the reply rhummer.

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