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Songoku

Howto restart best?

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Hi there, i stopped coding for a few years (2-3). I only coded a few programs and most tasks were for my university. Before i was very interested in game programming and i would say i was more or less an advanced programmer using different design patterns and other concepts. I used OpenGL and C++. Now i want to restart programming and i see that very much changed since the last years. So i do not want to rewrite everything like Vector-classes a renderer and other things nor do i want to relearn specific platform-depending API's like the WinAPI. Which is the standard today? I searched a little bit and found XNA. For me it is very clear and easy to understand. Is this really usable or will it only be good for beginners? Will XNA be the future for game programming, replacing DirectX? Does OpenGL die more or less and would it be better today to choose DirectX (from the perspective of built in classes). I do not want to discuss if OpenGL or DirectX is better i only want to know which one is better for someone who does not want to reinvent everything from bottom. Thanks for your help.

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Firstly, welcome back to the world of programing [smile]

I have been using XNA and C# for a few days now and it's really simple. It is my oppinion based on my brief exposure, that there are no real drawbacks to the system, it is flexible by means of coverage rather than excessive abstraction. By this I mean it is a comprehensive toolset coupled with a comprehensive library and backed by the strong DirectX media APIs.

I have never used C# before, and I have picked it up within 3 or 4 hours thanks to the plethora of documentation out there as well as the Visual Studio IDE's cool features like the debugger and IntelliSense (code completion)

However, I am also an avid OpenGL programmer, and well, Linux/OpenGL/C++ is still my first preference. This is most probably due to my experience levels with them.

If you're not confident with your programming skills quite yet, I would recommend XNA/C#. But as usual, for maximum power and design flexibility you'll probably want to be using C/C++ with OpenGL/SDL or D3D/DX along with some other libraries for Audio and maybe even Math/Physics.

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Nothing has really died in the last 2-3 years (except MDX 2.0 [wink]). You can still use OpenGL, DirectDraw etc. The difference is that there are new tools out there. The trend seems to be towards higher level languages (like C# and Python), and higher level APIs (like XNA and various engines).

When asking for tool advice, you neglected to tell us the most important thing: what you are trying accomplish. The scope, and purpose of your projects will lend themselves to certain tools. There is no "standard" that you should use whether you are making Tetris or an MMO.

If you are looking to get your hands on some code and get something up and running, however, I'd say XNA would be a very good starting point.

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There are a lot of support libraries available for GL that handle having to make your own math classes, etc -- by no means do you have to invent everything from scratch for GL, or even deal with extensions directly (<3 GLee).

Throw OpenGL on top of SDL, add a few good accessory libraries and you have a perfectly fine competitor to D3DX/DXUT.

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