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chrisparton1991

OpenGL OpenGL, GLUT or DirectX?

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Hi. This is my first post on the openGL forum(i'm usually on general programming :) Anyway, I was wondering, for future reference, if I should use OpenGL, openGL + GLUT, or DirectX for any future graphical\game design? I have taken a shine to openGL, but I haven't really dabbled in the art of DirectX. I realise that topic will be subject to many opinions, so, i'd like to hear the pros and\or cons of OpenGL and DirectX etc... Also, what do commercial games use? (don't worry! I'm not going to fool myself into beleiving I can make an awesome 3D blockbuster just yet ;) I'm just curious... Anyway, i've got to get some coke (the essence of life [wink]). Thanking you warmly, Chris

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I wouldn't be able to tell you about which is best since I have never used anything more than some basic DirectDraw but from general knowledge and frequent informations I received things go generally a bit like this :

-Most Games, if not all these days, for windows are made using DirectX.

-DirectX 10 will be the next big thing for Vista so everyone developping for windows will probably use that in the long run.

-OpenGL is used for all other platforms such as MAC OS and Linux.

-I think, I'm not sure, but I think GLUT is a library meant for small to medium projects which helps in learning OpenGL and allows faster development as long as the project is not too complex. It really depends what you want to do with it.

Hope that helps a bit until someone much more knowledgeable comes in and gives you the hands on facts about it.

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They both drive the same hardware. They both do essentially the same thing. While its nice to know or be familiar with both, once you understand the concepts of the 3D graphics pipeline, you should be able to switch from one API to another with relative ease.

To that end, I would advocate sticking with what you know the most about already, to further your knowledge of the fundamentals. Some execellent books on the subject of 3D graphics that will help you ensure you know what's really going on:

"The Geometry Toolbox"

"Essential Mathematics for Games and Interactive Applications: A Programmers Guide"

"Fundamentals of Computer Graphics"

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For the most part, games in Windows are developed under DirectX

Glut is an old (and unsupported) API for small scale development - not really meant for serious development. An alternative is SDL - Simple DirectMedia Layer. This works on all major platforms, and is generally thought of as a "replacement" for DirectX (when combined with OpenGL). Games that use it include Neverwinter Nights and Unreal Tournament 2004.

Use whatever you feel more comfortable with and whatever fits your desires - if you want everyone to play it, use OpenGL. If you want to lock out non-windows users, use DirectX. If there's a feature available in DirectX but not OpenGL that you need, use DirectX, and vice versa.

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Keep in mind that just because you use one part of DX doesn't mean you have to use all of it, for example Quake3 and Doom3 both use OpenGL as the renderer but use DirectSound for sound fx and I believe directInput for input. So mixing and matching isn't a problem.

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Thanks for all your help\opinions!

I've been looking into the various advantages\disadvantages of the 2 APIs and i've decided on......[drum roll] .............................................DirectX!
I only want to develop games for Windows and DirectX seems more complete, what with DirectDraw\Play\etc...(that's just my opinion! please don't persecute me for my beleifs!!!)

Just another quick question: Will there be any major differences in the Windows 64 -bit API(Vista) as opposed to the "old" 32-bit version?

Thanks,
Chris

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It was only recently that I've stumbled upon this great site:
http://www.humus.ca/index.php?page=3D&&start=0

It has a framework that supports:
* OpenGL
* Direct3D
* OpenAL

I had a look in its design and I have to say that its quite clever. You specify what you want to use and with a single interface you draw something on your rendering context without having to fully implement OpenGL or Direct3D! For instance, using the vertex buffer is wrapped nicely in a class for you. For nice sound it uses OpenAL (a pretty good clone of DirectPlay), instead of MP3s it can play Ogg Vorbis, etc.

If you need a good framework... check that one out! Framework 3.
Its got everything you need!
O, and its cross platform with Linux aswell if you use OpenGL.

Even if you don't want this cool framework, check out the rest of the site... has cool demos for both OGL and D3D.

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