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Seeking Silver Bullets

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johnhattan

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Things are pretty quiet on the publisher front. I'm waiting for some bug reports from 'em. Since they're changing the name of the product, I've got a little work to do there. Hopefully they'll send me some box-shot bitmaps soon so I can start making my product look the way they want.

Hint: Don't fall in love with the way your product looks, as your publisher will change it to bring it in line with their other products. It's true that most artists don't compromise their artistic integrity, but it's also true that most artists die broke.




The GDC (formerly the CGDC) is once again taking volunteers to work the rooms. Been thinking of heading out there again for some free hardware and beer. Might be more fun this year, as I'm not gonna have to look for people to get press kits. Fat lotta good it did anyway --I ended up finding my publisher by mail.




Finally, I am in the horns of a dilemma. Since Apple decided to wholeheartedly embrace OpenGL, I've been musing about supporting it as the library for my games rather than Direct3D. Being cross-platform would certainly be Good Thing, but I'm wondering if it'd be worth it. Anyway, here are my current fears about OpenGL:

Most Windows implementations seem far less than fully baked. Except for a small number of cards, OpenGL doesn't seem to have good native support. The only company that seems to have a commitment to accelerate OpenGL on all their hardware is Apple and SGI.

While getting the Mac for free would be cool. My old games on the Mac were pretty weak sellers. The claims by Apple that they're a smaller market of hardcore buyers didn't pan out for me.

Making sure someone has the best Direct3D implementation is as simple as putting the DirectX setup on the CD. OpenGL requires that the hardware vendor install an accelerated driver on their machine. This'd be a tech support headache, as my games generally aren't purchased by gamers who know OpenGL from a hole in the wall.

As far as the current direction goes, I recently purchased the JTGame C++ class library, which is quite a nice compromise between a bare class-wrapper and a complete engine. It also includes source code, which is a rarity among game engines (and is required in a crowded due-for-thinning market like 3D engines). I'll probably stick with it for now, but I'm certainly open to interesting alternatives.

What'd be perfect is an engine-neutral class library that works as an abstraction of either Direct3D or OpenGL and comes with source code. Unfortunately, the only thing I know of that does that is Java3D, and that's a whole 'nuther can of worms.

Any comments? Any silver-bullet solutions that I'm overlooking? Any ways I can simultaneously support Direct3D and OpenGL? Any ways I can defer my decision? Let me know here.
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