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MagiteK

How will 64 bit technology affect game programming?

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MagiteK    122
I'm just starting to read my first books on game programming. Most of them introduce us talking about the huge jump from 16 bit to 32 bit. I would like to know if coding for 64 bit is or will be different from coding for 32 bit. Also, will it mean that i would have to learn windows programming all over again once, say, longhorn is out? Will directx and opengl programming change also? Sorry for not being technically accurate, but i jut have a basic notion on how bits affect programming. Thx for the help!

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falkone    444
The way and style in which you write code will not change. There will be no great revolution of programming paradigms. Just a different word (data type) size.

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twanvl    512
The jump from 32 to 64 is much smaller then from 16 to 32 (from the programming point of view). 32 bits is already large enough for almost everything. The APIs used for 64 bit operating systems (windows on amd 64 or IA64, linux, etc.) are basicly the same as the 32 bit version. The only thing to look out for is that the size of a pointer is no longer the same as the size of an integer.

And you will never have to learn programming all over again, programming will always be programming. And no matter what changes, your knowledge will still apply and the underlying ideas will still be the same.

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moeron    326
Win64 will still run 32 bit programs on it. There will be some API calls to help with that kind of crap (registry stuff, etc...)

From a Non-OS specific point of view there will just be some different ways to organize your data structures. Also, if you heavily rely on sizeof(int) == sizeof(long) == sizeof(any *) , then your going to be in for some problems. But for the most part, if you program well and always keep portability in mind, you should be able to get through the shift without too much trouble.

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igni ferroque    415
Changes in word size aren't that big of a deal from a programmer's standpoint. I'm thinking that the books might also be referring to the change to protected memory systems and multitasking. The transition to Longhorn will be significant in that you'll be dealing with new kinds of protections, namely managed execution.

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