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Viability of DirectX 8 graphics and earlier on the shareware market

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If your target demographic for a project is casual gamers and you're going the shareware route then will DirectX 8 graphics suffice? For example, the video card I develop with won't even support something as basic as cubic environment mapping, and as far as I can tell the only shader it supports is the first incarnation of the vertex shader. DirectX 9 is not supported, and DirectX 8 is only marginally supported. That being said, should I even bother with the shareware route or go freeware? When I first started about seven years ago (yes, I know it's a long time without having anything to show for it, but those seven years were for learning) indie games weren't expected to be on par with the commercial games. Most indie games were still Super Nintendo quality in the days of Playstation and Nintendo 64. Now indie games, from what I can tell of the screenshots, are about on par with XBox, PS2, etc. So in the days of Playstation 3, XBox 360, and Nintendo Wii is there any room in the indie market for PSX and N64 style graphics, even if the actual gameplay and story are decent?

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You aren't handicapped by DX8 in the least. You're still rendering polygons. You just have a few less extra features.

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Quote:
Original post by dwmitch
Now indie games, from what I can tell of the screenshots, are about on par with XBox, PS2, etc.

Some are, many are not.
Quote:
So in the days of Playstation 3, XBox 360, and Nintendo Wii is there any room in the indie market for PSX and N64 style graphics, even if the actual gameplay and story are decent?

Yes.

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Quote:
So in the days of Playstation 3, XBox 360, and Nintendo Wii is there any room in the indie market for PSX and N64 style graphics, even if the actual gameplay and story are decent?
Yes.
Bejeweled and Snood, with their SNES quality graphics have sold a zillion copies.

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Just to clarify, you can use DirectX 9, but only use DirectX 8 features. Developing with literally DX8 would be a terrible idea, but developing a game that uses just DX8 functionality is fine.

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Original post by Promit
Developing with literally DX8 would be a terrible idea, but developing a game that uses just DX8 functionality is fine.

Sure there are easier constructs and nicer tools, but I wouldn't go so far as to say it is terrible. I don't see why it would be "a terrible idea".

The SDK works just fine, as do those for earlier versions.

Technically he could develop with DirectX 2.0 in retained mode if that were his interest. (And if he could find MSDN disks for the three months in 1996 that it was out there.) He could compile it with a compiler from the same era -- pre-C++ standard. It would be an eye-opening experience for anybody who wasn't programming back them.

While it would be most useful as a learning experience and not a modern game engine, the executable that is generated should work just fine even on a new Vista machine.

I don't about DX2, but I occasionally play two DX3 games that seem to work well on my new machine.

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