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Finding the right API

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I've been away for awhile looking over some API's that I could use to develop some games. I checked out SDL along with Allegro, both seem pretty simple to start with for a 2D game. I then looked into OpenGL for making 3D games along with Direct X, so far I might go with Direct X. My plan was to work on a top down 3D space shooter, well a little more then just a basic shooter. However I've been stumped on what to really go with. I remember the days trying to use Direct X in Visual Basic 6 years ago, a big headache, however that was a long time ago. I'm aware of XNA being an option, however I have no intention of using anything other then C++ for now. I'm going to finish installing Microsoft Direct X SDK and poke around with it for awhile.

If anyone has opinions about starting out in Direct X as opposed to OpenGL (Other then it can be used on Linux, Mac, ect...) I would like to read your thoughts. Keep in mind, I'm working on simple 3D games for now.

I'll be drawing my space ships then working on the models in 3DS Max tonight, hopefully I can pick the right API to start on.
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I started out with DirectX in VB6 (aided by Jack Hoxley's DirectX4VB.Com) and found it relatively straightforwards. If anything I found it easier than starting with OpenGL (which came much later) as it has more "helper" stuff built in (such as a standard model format in .X with an easy loader).

That said, if you're after simplicity XNA is the obvious solution, but you've already ruled that one out. [sad]

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Yah DirectX would be good for what you are doing. Im currently looking into it and have just ordered the Advanced 2D Game Programming book for teaching me how to write a 2D engine in directX and other things like that.

Im thinking of using models for my 2D shooter game as well. Small ones actual, since im not good at drawing and drawing sprites for every phase a character might be in as in would be a hard and messy task.

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