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Game component DLLs - Worthwhile?

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I''ve just spent the evening reading through these forums about DLL usage in the game engine. I always assumed I would be using DLLs in my engine, to allow me to separate the core engine from it''s interchangable components such as graphics and sound, the idea being that the game can determine which component to use at runtime based on player preferences. However, after reading many good points in previous threads, I''m starting to wonder if this is even worth the effort. Not just in terms of personal effort, but in general. If my thinking is correct, using DLL-type modules provides no benefit for cross-platform development. The only benefit I can see is allowing the user to choose components within a single platform. For example, the choice of using DirectX or OpenGL on the Windows platform. As far as Linux is concerned, OpenGL is the only option available, so providing this modularity would be useless. Not only that, but the engine core itself contains platform-specific code as it is, so breaking it up into DLL modules doesn''t remove the need to recompile the whole engine anyway. Also, correct me if I''m wrong, but by splitting up the engine into DLLs, each component is now forced to communicate through well-defined interfaces, rather than each class being able to easily access every other class in the engine. So, for all that, how much of a benefit is there in implementing this modularity just for a single platform? I know thats a matter of opinion, but am I missing something here? Is this the only benefit of DLLs?

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you got it about right.

there are some gains:
abstraction (means you have to define the interfaces clean, as you stated), that helps to make individual components really individual

this results in reusability. say you want to do 2d graphics. if you do it as a dll, you end up with something similar to sdl, means a very reusable 2d library. then again, you could just use sdl by default:D

plugins. your app can have tons of similar-working components, but all do a different job. for example file-format loaders. that way, you can for example add new file-types to your system even while it''s yet compiled and running since months.

dlls are great if you plan to have after-support of your app.

If that''s not the help you''re after then you''re going to have to explain the problem better than what you have. - joanusdmentia


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