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Windows vs. Linux

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I'm new to these forums, so hello all. I also thought this would be the perfect place to get a question answered for me. Me and a few buddies are gonna make an fps using c++ and opengl. The debate we're having right now, is wether to use linux, or windows for gameplay. I haven't really seen any good titles out for linux, i could be mistaken though. If any1 could point me in the right direction or give me the pros and cons of building a game on these 2 operating systems, that would be great. Thanks, Ryan

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Building on Linux, you may have an easier time programming as you wouldn't have to learn about Windows programming, which can be difficult at times. Making the game for Windows, though, increases your possible user base, as Windows is used more widely than Linux. Basically, do you want to make the game for you and your buds, or for everyone else as well?

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Do you understand you just resurected an huge flame wars about window and linux, as soon as the diehard linux and windows fanboys read this you will get to see real blood.

I dual boot linux and window on my system but I haven't looked into linux programming and I don't find programming for windows difficult at all.

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Theoretically you could make it for both without -too- much messing around -- i.e., cross platform. That said, windows has squillions of libraries already available to help you out -- linux not so many. Example of Commercial game that works on Linux: well, Doom 3 for one -- I can also play Half Life 2 at 90% of windows speed through a little program called 'wine' -- enables people to use win32 apps on linux with little or no performance penalty.

Either way, good luck with your project and let us know what you decide on!

~Shiny.

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Quote:
Original post by Tjaalie
Do you understand you just resurected an huge flame wars about window and linux, as soon as the diehard linux and windows fanboys read this you will get to see real blood.

I dual boot linux and window on my system but I haven't looked into linux programming and I don't find programming for windows difficult at all.

Note: my careful wording that Windows programming "can" be difficult. :)
Quote:
Original post by Shiny
That said, windows has squillions of libraries already available to help you out -- linux not so many.

A good point. I suppose if you use the right libraries and know how to jumble them altogether without making things too messy, then yeah, Windows isn't too bad.

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Hm, on the point of 'how difficult is it to program in linux', I'll state for the record that I find creating windows etc in Linux (er, X windows I should say) somewhat more painful than the ole win32 way. That said, once you get that code out, it's not like you write it over and over...done is done and the rest of linux coding is pretty decent -- although it'd be cool if there was a nice IDE for linux (I use eclipse with CDT but there's possibly better alternatives).

~Shiny.

Oh, and I put in my request for an OS X version too -- much better to code for than windows :P

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i recommend sdl as well, my game uses it and runs without changes ( apart from a couple high performance timer things which are only used for testing purposes ) both under win + linux (+ prolly also mac os though ive never tested it)

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Having used both (and using both at work), I can say that in my opinion, the Visual Studio debugger is significantly better, and much faster to work with, than GDB (no matter what layer you put on top of GDB).

Both platforms have library and API idiosynchracies. Part of being a programmer is learning them and working with them. Clearly, it's possible to build good software on both platforms, although generally, Windows centric software tends to have better UI than Linux centric software (compare, say, Photoshop to The Gimp). There's no big difference for a game, though, as you'll be working full-screen.

The available market on Windows is a lot larger, but then, there are also more titles out for Windows. On the third hand, Linux users aren't used to pay for software, so if you're trying to make a buck, you have to consider that, as well.

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If possible, you should make your game core cross-platform. That should be possible with C++/OpenGL as they are supported on all platforms. You may need an abstracted input layer as the techniques for getting player input are different on different OSs.

If you want a decent size player base (i.e. not just your mates) you should provide a Windoze version as almost all casual surfers use it.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Build for both. It's extremely easy(*) unlike some people seem think. No win32 or X specific programming is needed, as long as you stay with well done, portable libs.

(*) at least with this little framework/library.

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I use SDL and OpenGL to release games targeting all three major platforms and Solaris. I highly recommend that others do the same. It has the huge benefit that I can work on my game on whatever OS I want -- right now I'm using a brand-new Macbook Pro and an AMD64 running Windows. SDL also frees me from having to learn each system's individual window-spitting APIs -- I do know Carbon, Win32 API and (part of) XWindows by now, but I sure as hell don't need to know it. Many commercial games now with Linux ports (UT2004, Quake 4, Doom 3, America's Army) use SDL and OpenGL.

The amount of work I have do to port my software from OS X to Windows is to change a header file to include a different SDL path, and recompile. That's literally it, and I wouldn't even have to do that if I just wrote an ifdef.

Near as I can see, I get vaguely 2/3 of my downloads from Windows, with OS X and Linux scrapping over the remaining third with some sort of ebb and flow. It's at least a substantial amount.

Target everything; you need all the exposure you can get, and non-Windows operating systems are becoming more popular. A portable game library like SDL, ClanLib, Allegro or PTK is an excellent choice because they give you more choices.

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which platform you want to do the majority of your coding on depends more on the toolchain you're using to create the game. Like if you're using vim+makefiles linux would most likely be easier to use that toolchain, but if you're using visual studio, it would make windows a more suitable OS to develop on. Personally I use gvim+make(looking into scons though), and prefer to use linux as middle clicking the scrollbar is easier than right clicking and hitting scroll here, and when my X locks up I can just switch to a virtual console rather than having to reboot.

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Wow guys, thanks for the replies, much appreciated! :D. I think we've decided to go to linux. Can any1 suggest any compilers and programs for creating models, i heard 'Blender' (correct me if I'm wrong) is a model making program for linux.

Thanks in Advance,
Ryan

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Quote:
Original post by Omega147
Building on Linux, you may have an easier time programming as you wouldn't have to learn about Windows programming, which can be difficult at times.

And programming X is simpler? [rolleyes]

"For years, I’ve had misgivings about people learning programming on Win32 (unix / X would be even worse), where it takes a lot of arcane crap just to get to the point of drawing something on the screen and responding to input." -- John Carmack

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If you're going to make your game cross-platform, then it doesn't matter which plataform you develop into. Linux will always be the cheaper (legal) option of course.

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Why isn't anyone developing on Amiga anymore?

Personally, I like the Visual Studio IDE on Windows, but I always try to develop cross-platform code, or at least code that could very easily be ported among different OS's. That's just personal preference.

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Quote:
Original post by icehac
Wow guys, thanks for the replies, much appreciated! :D. I think we've decided to go to linux. Can any1 suggest any compilers and programs for creating models, i heard 'Blender' (correct me if I'm wrong) is a model making program for linux.

Thanks in Advance,
Ryan

Compilers:
g++(recommended)
intel c++ (costs $$$)

Model creation programs:
Wings3D
Blender


Those are native, but anim8or runs really well under wine so it's also a viable option.

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