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OpenGL 2D engines

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Well, after having spend a long time making a non 3d accelerated 2d game engine I'm finally facing up to the fact that most likely if I want all the eyecandy I'm planning, I'm going to need 3d hardware acceleration. Of course, I'm also done with reinventing the wheel and was wondering how much further along I'd be now if I'd actually gone with a ready made graphical engine to begin with instead of insisting to code my own. I'm definately not going to do it another time, especially since doing it with 3d is not my forte. So I've been looking around but not finding much on 2d graphical engines that use opengl or directgraphics for blitting so it's hardware accelerated. The few I've found have been very pointed at making a certain type of game; which isn't really what I want. If anyone knows any solid 2d through 3d engines that do most of the annoying behind the scenes work for me, I'd much appreciate it. I've found lots but these are all for C++ and after working with C# and VB for so long I don't think I could deal with the compiler switches, the arcane symbols, the pointers and the lack of a memory collector again. Heck, I'll even settle for anything that's COM compatible. :) ... Well, actually I probably could, I just /really/ don't want to. :P

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Using an engine sounds good on paper but in reality there are subtle issues which you will probably run into. Engines built for a game usually use a lot of smoke and mirrors to fool the user. Behind the scenes you will probably find a lot of code that is heavily optimized for a particular game type. It may not be easy to adapt it to do something you want it to.

If you want to avoid the nastiness of the 3D engine why not work with me? I'm writing a 3D game and engine. I could use a helping hand and I can teach you some of the things I know about 3D graphics programming.

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Hrm, a follow up question...

I've spent several days trying to get CEGUI# to work to satisfaction, but unfortunately it doesn't seem to be going too well. I'm starting to think it's time to think about other GUI libraries for C#.

Although, the only other C# compatible mature library I can find is wxWidgets, and on their forums its prominently said how it is not suited to making hi performance games. Shame I couldn't find anything explaining why, or what kind of games it /would/ be suited to.

Has anyone had experience with using wxWidgets in games? Why would it be unsuited to one? Or does anyone know another library I could use?

One thing I'm considering, but not sure is possible, is to use IronPython, as it boasts "full compatibility with the Python language", but I'm not sure if that includes libraries written for python as opposed to IronPython. Then just pick a python based GUI toolkit and get started. Any ideas on that one?

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