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General tips on API selection for a beginner

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Greetings and salutations all. :) I am just beginning my endeavor to make my own game, and have begun assembling a list of potential APIs to employ. And on that note, I had a few questions that need answering. 1. Is there an API to load up sound files for OpenAL the way that DevIL does for OpenGL? 2. Has anyone here worked with 3Dc? If so, can you give me your opinion on it? 3. Does anyone have any references on good formats for storing environments like levels and such? For that matter, does anyone have any links to good resources on the topic? 4. How does .dds stack up as a texture storage format? Would it be good to employ as the only format for my engine (for both textures and normal maps)? If not, are there any good alternatives? If my questions seem too vague, please ask me what needs clarification. Thanks for any help you can provide. :D [Edited by - n00body on October 21, 2006 10:56:50 AM]

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