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googa

The best 2D engine nowadays..

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Hi, I'm a 3d/2d game programmer. What I want to know is what's the best, free, and POWERFULL, 2D engine available at this time? I always used DirectDraw to make my 2D games. But now I want an engine capable of handling alpha transparency, rotation, User interface, sprites, etc.. Taking advantage of modern 3D graphic cards. I don't have time to start a new 2D engine from scratch based on direct3d or OpenGL. Thanks in advance.

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Im not sure what you can do then, directdraw is dead but direct3d sprite sytem isnt very hard to learn, there are some wrapper but anything with fast alpha blending is proabaly going to use opengl or direct3d

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DDraw is certainly dead, but still fast. I made a test with Direct3dsprite, but it appeared to me to be very slow. Is it worth to learn? Any library based on it?
no problem for a library to use DX or OpenGL, all I don't want is to have to code everything from the scratch. (for example Direct3d to 2d).

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most popular are probably allegro and sdl, but I would also look into ClanLib, It seems to have about everything necessary built right in, not to mention the fact of extending its XML systems are just beautiful.


EDIT:

SDL and ALLEGRO are more procedural based methodologies. ALLEGRO has a bit less restrictive of a license (its giftware), whereas SDL is a form of GPL, requiring you to distribute there dll, and post changes to the dll if you make them. SDL has a bit more vocal following in there forums, but allegros community isnt bad either, but they centralize around allegro.cc, check it out. (sdl is libsdl.org if you care to look at that as well). Allegro is more bloated in a way then SDL, SDL is more modular in concept (various supported SDL libraries)

CLANLIB is very object oriented. If you write alot of modular code and understand OO concepts and methodologies quite well, you will LOVE the engine. I believe they are switching to the Mozzila license model (previously LGPL), so hats another pro of it. Its major weakness is the community is quite small, and the documentation outdated. If you are good at hacking around though, its a godsend.

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Check out Torque2D at GarageGames.com. I believe it handles all that and then some, plus you get the source code when you purchase a license (which are only $100 for individuals). At the very least, you can look into how they did it in order to develop ideas for your own 2D engine.

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Quote:
Original post by googa
I made a test with Direct3dsprite, but it appeared to me to be very slow. Is it worth to learn? Any library based on it?

if it's framerate was arounf 60fps you proabaly had it sycronized to the screen refresh
i havent used Direct3dsprite a lot but it should be easy to learn for someone already farmilar with directx
as for librarys, im not sure, someone else might but it would help if you were more specific about your needs


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I'd suggest Torque if your willing to spend the money on it, or SDL. I haven't much experience with Allegro, but I definitely enjoyed using SDL and thought it was awesome for 2D applications :)

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Haaf's Game Engine is a popular *engine* for making 2D games. But DirectDraw and Direct3D aren't really engines, so I'm not sure if this is what you're looking for.

As for a Direct3D sprite being slow, that seems a little unlikely. I don't have any experience using DD or D3D, but the difference from using SDL and OpenGL is definately in OpenGLs favor. I could get about 120-140 fps on a simple SDL program, but over 400 on a simple 2D OpenGL program. DirectDraw is faster than SDL, though. Of course, doing a DirectDraw rotation would be slower than a Direct3D rotation.

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OK, I think I didn't express clearly before: :-)

I'm finishing my 2d game right now. Made with DDraw

here.

My next game is also 2D, but I need alpha blending, rotation, intensive use of UI. The question is where should I go, which direction is the most wise? I used to make 3D games(with DX and OpenGl). All My 2D games were made with a simple DDraw engine of mine. Now I don't want to use my engine anymore, I want the definitive way to take the most from modern graphic cards, with features that can't be done with it.

Clanlib looks cool. But I think I'll use Direct3dsprite. Is it worth to learn? powerful? what are the pros and the cons?

Thanks.

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Well, Torque2D (now called game builder) isn't free, but its pretty cheap, and it a full built-in support for GUIs and common types of controls. Plus, it takes advantage of hardware acceleration, when it can, and supports such advanced things as lighting effects, alpha blending, complex sprites, collision detection, physics, particle engine, and more. And it comes with a number of editors for creating tilemaps, levels, animations, and the like. Unfortunately, I can't compare it with any of the other engines, as I have much direct experience with them.

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