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battlefieldtactics

a few beginner, but important, questions

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Greetings, I am brand new to the game programming world, and thus would love the opinions of those who have been here before me. 1. In terms of speed, usability, and just downright the best for the job, is C or C++ going to be more for a large scale and very detailed game? I know It''s a matter of opinion, but I hear good and bad things and would like a rundown of the cons and pros of each (the one on this site just didn''t do it for me). 2. OpenGL or DirectX 9? I''m not looking for cross platform ability because I don''t see Linux handling the graphics in my lifetime, and thus I see it staying on Windows with a possible port later to Mac. OpenGL reminds me of slightly choppy Quake 2 while DirectX reminds me of morrowind, homeworld, etc. I can''t find anything that offers a good honest insight to what does what and why. This also may help decide origonal programming language, as most directX documentation (From what I have heard) is C++ based. 3. How do you get a project started? I''m sitting down and there seems to be so much I need to plan out and research before getting to the coding part. Anyone have any tips or ideas about where to start? Maybe a game plan from someone who has programmed an entire game before so I have a idea of what to work with? Thank you for your time and patience with me, regards, Battlefield Tactics "There may come a time when ours swords must be thrown to the ground in defeat. There may come a time when the world as we know it sings no more songs of happiness. But today is not that day! For today, let them never forget the spirit of mankind and the courage within our hearts!" -- myself

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1. They''re both good - depends on your personal preference. Personally I prefer C++ because it has more features to augment program design.

2. Linux supports hardware acceleration if the vendor provides the drivers (nVidia does, no idea about ATI). If you''re only concerned about Windows, Direct3D would be your best bet. Unless of course you''re using C in which case I would tend to stick with OpenGL.

3. Never finished a game myself (for shame!) so I can''t say.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
If you''re going to port to mac, you may want to stay safely in OpenGL land. If you don''t care about more than one window
or native widgets, I would also suggest using libSDL (www.libsdl.org), which would give you instant (at the graphics, audio, and event levels) cross-compatiblity
between win32, mac, linux, and other platforms.

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Hello

1) I''m a C++ junkie myself, as said, I also use it because it allows a nicer software design to the things I''m developing.

2) I was a directx fan, but I''m now with opengl because I use linux nowadays. We ported a demo from linux to windows in no-time using opengl and fmod for music.

3) I''ve finished a game, but we didn''t do it as you should do, that is, design each and every obsticle, find a solution and write the code. That is really the way to do it.. to mark out every single problem you have, divide the code into modules/sections/classes and then implement one at the time. Testing each component is also extremely recommended.

Also, start with something simple first, and I mean REALLY simple, like asteroids, arkanoid, nibbles or similar.

Good luck!
Albert "thec" Sandberg

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Hi,

As you said yourself, the choice of language is mostly a matter of preference. I personally use C++ because thats what I'm used to, and can't provide a better comparison than the other ones given on this site.

If you were to stay in the Windows platform, then I would suggest DirectX. Many people say that OpenGL is easier to learn. But once you get used to DirectXs style its no problem thanks to its brilliant docs. The power difference between OpenGL and DirectX Graphics is negligable in most areas but DirectX also provides access to all the other areas required for games such as sound and networking. I know that there are other APIs that can provide these features but it is nice to have them all under the one roof. If you do go for DirectX you really should use C++. You could use C but it is probably not worth the hassle.

libSDL is a good choice to start off on. You can gain good experience about planing a game and its structure, but I would recommend learning OpenGL or DirectX aswell as you gain a deeper understanding of how graphics work, if nothing else.

As for starting a project, it really depends on the type and size of the game. But for fear of sounding clichéd, if this is your first attempt at graphics or games in C/C++, make a tetris clone or even something simpler. My first was a pong clone. It doesn't take much time but the skills learned in finishing even the smallest of games is huge.

All that I have said is just my own opinion based on my own experience but I hope it is of help :-)

Good luck!

Edit - typos

[edited by - stro on November 13, 2003 3:42:13 PM]

[edited by - stro on November 13, 2003 3:42:35 PM]

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I want to thank everyone for their responces and look foward to future responces as well in this thread. I will most certainly take those first baby steps in programming games, and will most likley end up using C++ with DirectX.

Why don''t I want to port to Liunx? Because as much as I love the OS, let''s be honest. If it could handle next generation graphics we would not be using windows. Even with WineX as an emulator and nvidia releasing binary packages of their drivers, XFree and X simply isn''t ready for next gen graphics. And the project I have in mind, well let''s just say I plan on having the minimum specs be a Pentium IV 4.2 ghz with one gig of RAM and about 10 gigs of install space.

It''s massive, and for a good reason. I''ll explain the game idea later once I feel it is ready


Thanks again!

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Hi battlefieldtactics,

I just want to let you know that when you''re thinking about OpenGL, you can also think at Doom III and Quake III Because that''s what ID software uses.

"My basic needs in life are food, love and a C++ compiler"
[Project AlterNova] [Novanet]

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Guest Anonymous Poster
You probably shouldn''t plan on your first game being that incredibly complicated. If you''re planning on learning C++ and DirectX for the first time, your first project shouldn''t be a game that requires "a Pentium IV 4.2 ghz with one gig of RAM and about 10 gigs of install space."
I think you''ll just end up frustrated whe you don''t get anywhere.

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Oh I agree. My first game will not be incredible complicated, but what I was talking about was the final goal of the game I have in mind that I would like to eventually acheive. I have it on paper, on books, etc. The idea is there for this game I want to develope, and fully understand a lot of tiny smaller games will need to be made before this becomes a reality.

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