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Unity To SDL or not to SDL?

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I'm going back and forth on selecting a 2D engine. I started with SDL but then rotation, scaling, alpha became too much of a burden. I then went to HGE. I am not looking towards cross platform solution. I am targeting WindowsXP / Vista 2D casual game community. But rotating, stretching, and alpha blending the sprites is a must. From folks who currently work on 2D project, which would you recommend. Or would you recommend something totally different? C++ doesn't scare me, I even prefer it.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
SDL for simplicity, portability, and better access. HGE is more cut-off and requires a commercial license for source, also HGE uses BASS for sound, which is another seperate license.

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You aren't limited to just BASS with HGE. Just FYI.

Do you not like HGE? I've had a generally good experience with it.

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I encountered the same problems that you are describing with my 2D SDL game about 2.5 years ago (and this project is still alive and well, amazing!). Our solution that we decided then was to use OpenGL in place of SDL to make it easier to support these features (among dozens of others). SDL and OpenGL work very nicely together, and SDL actually has some graphics functions defined for the explicit purpose of letting OpenGL handle graphics rendering. In 2.5 years, we've never regretted this decision for one moment, thus I suggest you to take the same route. [smile]

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I agree with Roots. OpenGL and SDL is a very nice combination. If you wish to take this route, may I recommend the book Beginning OpenGL Game Programming? It doesn't explain SDL, but you already know that, so no problems there.

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Wait, if I'm going down the OpenGL route, why do I need SDL?

Personally, I liked SDL for the portability and not having to deal with any texture limitations (power of two sizes, memory contraints, etc). But SDL leaves too much to have to develop on my own. SDL_gfx I can't seem to compile on my system for VS2005.

I need a 2D C++ graphics library that works. I need to blit a sprite, rotate it, alpha blend it, zoom on it. Pretty much thats all I need. I am using FMod for sound, RakNet for network library, my own gui.

HGE just seems to have offered what I needed out of the box. And was wondering if I have overlooked something in SDL. Again, I do not want to have to read OpenGL book or write my own "draw line" routine.

Thanks you all.

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Quote:
Original post by azherdev
Wait, if I'm going down the OpenGL route, why do I need SDL?

Personally, I liked SDL for the portability and not having to deal with any texture limitations (power of two sizes, memory contraints, etc). But SDL leaves too much to have to develop on my own. SDL_gfx I can't seem to compile on my system for VS2005.

I need a 2D C++ graphics library that works. I need to blit a sprite, rotate it, alpha blend it, zoom on it. Pretty much thats all I need. I am using FMod for sound, RakNet for network library, my own gui.

HGE just seems to have offered what I needed out of the box. And was wondering if I have overlooked something in SDL. Again, I do not want to have to read OpenGL book or write my own "draw line" routine.

Thanks you all.


People that use the SDL/OpenGL combo (such as myself) use SDL pretty much only for the window creation and input handling aspects, and ignore all of the surface-based stuff. You can implement a solid 2D functionality on top of GL with all sorts of goodies, beyond the limitations of surface-based SDL, although it may require a slight bit of work on your part (though, not much work really). However, you do need to read an OpenGL book, or at least a couple chapters. (Or some online tutes, or what have you) so if that's not something you want to do, you might want to go elsewhere. I don't know about HGE, so I can't say anything about that.

For what it's worth, OpenGL and D3D are excellent foundations upon which to build a 2D library, given the requirements (scaling, rotating, alpha, etc..), as these are all operations very well supported by a 3D API, and tutorials abound on the internet about implementing such a library.

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JTippetts, thank you for that clarification. HGE simply wraps DirectX inside of it and does the 2D work for you. I've done that in C# before using DirectX directly, not that hard.

Well, I suppose HGE is for me then. Couldn't find anything else. Once I go multi-platform, I'll switch to OpenGL. Thanks guys.

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Making the switch from HGE to OpenGL can be quite hard. It is not only the switch to opengl, but the whole grahpics part of the engine must either be modified or replaced by another engine. So, I would recommend to either decide to go for HGE and then stick with it (no crossplatform) or first find yourself a crossplatform environment. Just my 2 cents though.

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