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Simple Graphics Libraries for 2d games/applications?

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I'm slowly getting into C++, and am wondering which graphics libraries I should be looking into for super basic 2D (create a blank slab, put a bitmap on it, move it around...that sort of thing). I'm not really concerned about employability or issues regarding collaboration (at the moment), but instead just with getting started as painlessly as possible in 2D programming. I'm not even that attached to C++ (just starting out) - It's just a theoretical performance choice. I'd consider a different language altogether if it meant easier graphics implementation. Can anyone suggest some good avenues for this kind of situation? My current skills: Solid grasp of (and experience with) OOP/Design Patterns. This was with AS 2.0 (Flash). Solid grasp of simple game design and general mechanics (physics/collision/etc) for 2D games. This is mostly Lingo (Director) experience but also some AS 2.0. Looking to go down a level, or if not, at least to something with better runtime performance and less functionality limitations. Thankyou muchly for reading. Cheers, pH.

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SDL - http://www.libsdl.org
HGE - http://hge.relishgames.com/ (my personal fav)
Clanlib - http://www.clanlib.org/
Torque 2d - http://www.garagegames.com/mg/projects/t2d/

Many others I'm sure

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Allegro (www.allegro.cc) is a really good start! It has alot more functionallity than for example SDL and you should be able to start right away!

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<plug type="shameless">

Not 100% sure of what you're looking for, but I'm looking for people (to bribe [grin]) to use my latest project which is a hardware accelerated (mostly) 2D API (photon, see signature). The one thing that is difficult initially about my library is that it has a few dependencies you'll need to set up so if you're not comfortable with your compiler/environment it's not that easy.

The benefit to using it is that if you do I'll basically walk you through making a small game with it personally for the time being. The reason I'll do this is that it would help both of us, I need more demos to show off, and you need experience.

If you're interested PM me or email me through my profile and we can talk, if you want something more simple I'll throw my backing behind SDL.

PS. other people in a similar situation, my offer is good to anybody at the moment

</plug>

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Thanks all for the info. After some reading I've decided to give SDL a try to start with. If I have no luck I'll look to some others.

cozman: Thanks for the offer, but I need to stick to a simple as possible solution at the moment. Would also be hard for me to organize regular communication around full time work and everything else I'm doing.

Cheers again,
pH

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Hi, here's a few website that offer SDL tutorials that might get you started.

http://cone3d.gamedev.net/cgi-bin/index.pl?page=tutorials/gfxsdl/index
http://mavdisk.mnsu.edu/longaj/cornerstone.htm

And here is the wiki of SDL if you need any info

http://www.libsdl.org/cgi/docwiki.cgi/

Have fun :)

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