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# Which one? OpenGL, SDL, MCF, QT3...ahhh so many!

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Hi hi! Okay so before I ask my question, since this is my first time posting here I am going to be careful and defend myself... 1: I looked on google. Honest! Lots of results, but they either a) were windows only or didnt tell me. OR b) ALOT OF qt3 BOOKS!! ...nothing on comparisons 2: I searched right here on GameDev.net. Chances are my question was asked before and someone is going to tell me not to be lazy and go look for it. Not saying it hasnt, but even though I did search it was very tedious okay so take pitty on me and say laziness is okay. Okay so here goes. I am interested in doing a bit of game design. I do not want anything 3d and fancy. Lets just stick to isometric RPGS, you know, tile based stuff. Like Chrono Trigger or Final Fantasy 4 (it was ff2 in America). You guys remember those right?? Anyways, I read the beginners guide on this site and I've completed those steps. I've learned C++ pretty well over the last two years. Now I would like to get into the GUI stuff. But I don't want to start off in the wrong direction. What is the wrong direction? Well for starters I am going to be programming mainly on Linux. And then a bit of Windows. I want my results to be cross platform. Something I can easily port over to windows when I finish it in Linux. So no DirectX. Thats certain. So okay now theres alot of choices. OpenGL, qt3, mcf, sdl, gtk, fltk, glut, directx, imho, lex, yacc.. I am thinking some of those arent even languages but maybe even compilers or something else (see? I really am in the dark) So I havent been able to find a page or site or anything that has them all and gives me a rundown or comparison. So out of desperation, here I am! So heres what I do sort of know.. OpenGL...a safe choice I guess. But best choice? I am pretty sure its crossplatform but I dont know if there's any issues. SDL...is something I stumbled accross. There was a sentence that was kind of like its sales pitch and it sounded good. I think its an improvement on GLUT or something..but I dunno what GLUT is. FLTK...someone suggested to me, its a composition of opengl and something else and its versitile.. DirectX...hoarded by microsoft and prevents portability. QT3...I just sort of hear its a bad choice..oh but good news is its impossible to not find a book on it.. my gosh.. Yeah theres my shpiel(i know thats not spelt right but yeh). I just sort of think its unfair that applications/games are sort of restricted to windows only. I would like to get things running on linux, and then port it over to windows. And then maybe even later on if i am brave get it onto a MAC OS. So please, if you know what languages would be the best for what I am wanting to do, i would be eternally grateful (Explanations on the different languages would be great too). Also if you happen to know any good books on them I'd be interested and appreciative in knowing. The 'premier press' books (the covers look like xbox propaganda) seem to get alot of complaints. so i dunno. Thanks so much for any who help! Even though I am thanking in advance, chances are I'll come back and do it personally. Ahh and sorry I wrote so much Oh and criticism is welcome too [edited by - Ashitaka on March 29, 2004 1:59:56 AM]

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i think sdl+opengl is best because of the portability.

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OpenGL: platform independent standard for hardware accelerated 3D graphics.

DirectX: a collection of libraries for various commonly hardware accelerated tasks include audio, input, and 2D and 3D graphics.

SDL: cross-platform game oriented library for 2D graphics, simple audio output, OpenGL context initialization, input, et cetera.

MFC: Windows object oriented GUI wrapper.

FLTK: cross-platform GUI toolkit.

Qt: cross-platform GUI toolkit (GPL and/or commercial license depending on the platforms).

GTK+: cross-platform GUI toolkit.

IMHO: Acronym for "in my humble opinion."

Lex: Lexer creater.

Yacc: Parser creater.

Not a single one of those is a "language". Language choice matters little anyway (see the FAQ).

As for which of those would interest you: For cross-platform games: SDL and OpenGL; For cross-platform GUI applications: Qt (X11, MacOS X, Windows; like I said, license depends on the platform, so you may not be able to choose it), GTK+ (LGPL), or FLTK (LGPL). SDL, OpenGL, Qt, and GTK+ are all good choices for what they do.

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This book(Programming Linux Games ) will answer all your questions and it''s available online:
below is a sample from TOC of book

3 Linux Gaming APIs 53
Graphics APIs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
SVGALib . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
GGI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
SDL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
ClanLib . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
OpenGL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
Plib . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
Glide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
Xlib . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
Graphical User Interface Toolkits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
GTK+ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
Tk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
Fltk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
Qt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
SDL GUI Support . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
Audio APIs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
OSS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
ALSA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
ESD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
OpenAL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
Scripting Libraries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
Tcl . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
Guile and MzScheme . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
Python and Perl . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64

If God played dice, He''d win.
—Ian Stewart, Does God Play Dice? The Mathematics of Chaos

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SDL: simple, portable, powerful.

There''s your answer.

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Haha! Here I am sitting stalking msn waiting for it to pop up and say "NEW EMAIL CLICK ME!!!!" in hopes for a notification from DevNet saying someone replied..didnt get one.

So by chance I happened to be poking around here, and voila, my question has been answered!

and my gosh has it ever been answered, everything is 99% [ the other 1% isnt worth mentioning, and ill simply find it out when i get started ] clear now.

OpenGL + SDL it is then! (ohh and maybe FLTK for fun)

Null and Void, thank you kindly for the comparison list. That is something I've really wanted to see. I think ill stick that in a textfile somewhere for reference later on.

And deveangel, I am definately going to buy that book (no really I am) along with this other one about algorithms. Thank you for the link.

To the others, thank you kindly for your opinions! My little paragraph on SDL that I'd found really made it seem like it was something great, although I couldnt find any additional information on it and all the books were weird, I think SDL stands for something non-computer related too. So now I know its the way to go!

THANKS AGAIN EVERYONE! IM EVEN MORE HYPER THAN I WAS BEFORE! RAAR! wow where is my self control... oh umm.. thanks bye!

ADDED: I decided to make it orange. Since I wrote so much in the first post I made, I thought it would be nice to give it colours to make it easier to read. But now for this one I just like orange. heh and now youre saying "can this crazy freak actually make a game??"
welll, i certainly have the creative insanity to come up with one, but im afraid the math skills are not on my side. but who needs math. With hard work, pepsi, and loads of free time i will get through this! okay im done this time..promise

[edited by - Ashitaka on March 30, 2004 1:45:59 AM]

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