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Not another Gfx API War

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I''m An Intermediate OpenGL programmer, I''ve heard that DirectX starting from version 8 became much easier than OpenGL, especially when using D3DX(includes SIMD optimized Quaternion, Vector and Matrix Routines, bump mapping, cube mapping wrappers and alot more) and the native DirectX format(which includes models, materials and even animation!!) also the newly introduced effects file format, what''s that it''s a war on OpenGL, i feel angry but don''t know what to do. as i want to make Game Programming my career, if it turns out that DirectX is really easier, i''ll have to switch to it. so, i want the opinion of someone who has tried both OpenGL and DirectX 8.0+, is it really easier, and will learning dx make my job easier thanks for ur interest xee..

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All wrappers, just like MFC, will make the programming job easier, but you will not learn as much, and they will bind your code some more to the microsoft platform. Some people might just like to use microsoft quaternions and vectors everywhere in their code, I would find that rather annoying.

This is a bit like the "Make an engine or use an already existing one. By making my own engine, I have learned much more than I ever have when making Quake 2/Half-life mods and the likes. By making a raytracer, I have learned much more than I ever have learned when using OpenGL. When programming in C++, I have learned much more about programming than with any other language.

Of course, you can''t make everything yourself, at some point, you can''t just code your own OS in straight ASM and program everything on top of it, but I find it nice to keep a certain level of separation from each API I use. In other words, whatever wrappers there are for Direct3D, I''m going to have to convert my own internal formats anyways.



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Guys, I want to hear ur opinion from the Commercial point of view, as i''m gonna use it for Shareware Commercial Games\Products.

xee..

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A hobbyist can choose the API they find eaiser to use, but an Indie needs to consider other factors. You first need to determine your target market (hardcore gamers, casual gamers, kids, etc...). Then you need to determine what sort of hardware is likely most common in your target market. That''s the minimum you need to shoot for. You can then decide to expand that by supporting lesser configurations.

Most indie devs target the causal gamer. Going for the hardcore market puts you in direct competition with the box titles the big boys put out, even if you are distributing online only. IMO the safest path in the casual gamer market right now is to use no later than DirectX 7. This is based on feedback on indie games I have seen around the net, and discussions I have seen at the Dexterity forums & other places. I''ve seen a few 3D games using DX8 in the market, but with a great deal of ''I can''t run this game'' feedback accompanying them.

OpenGL is risky on older hardware, less-so if you restrict yourself to 1.1 features. And, again based on my own observations, I don''t see the Linux & Mac casual gamer markets as worth the effort for going cross platform *at the present*. It might not be worthwhile to go the OpenGL route. That being said, I''m using OpenGL myself because I prefer it to the older versions of D3D. I am restricting myself to windows for the time being, however. In the future, when I''m ready to go cross-platform, I''ll most likely go the Java + OpenGL + OpenAL route.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
Because I prefer Java


Im curious, what kind of game actually you had released written in Java?

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Almost all commercial games these days are DX8 or higher. I haven''t seen a DX7 game since Giants: Citizen Kabuto.

Now..that''s using the DX7 features of the hardware, through DX8/DX9. Just because you''re using DX7 era technology doesn''t mean you actually have to use DX7. You can still get the nice benefits of the new API without using newer features.

As far as the casual gamer goes, yeah..DX8 hardware is just starting to come into common usage, and probably won''t finish proliferating for a while.



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quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
quote:
Because I prefer Java


Im curious, what kind of game actually you had released written in Java?


None And I won''t for a while. I''m currently working on my first game as an indie, using C and coding for Windows only. I''m not comfortable with distributing a Java game online yet. My current goal is to release two Windows titles and build up a small customer base. From that point I''ll be in a better position to consider a Java game and multiple platforms. Some of the issues with online distribution of Java games should, hopefully, be resolved by then (January 2005 is my current target for that). But there are others who have released, or are soon to release, Java games.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I use DirectX, but I am starting to like OpenGL alot too. DirectX as of now is faster for certain cards, but OpenGL is cross platform, plus the code looks alot better, plus the speed difference is very small, so if I were you, I would use OpenGL.

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