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Evaluating frameworks for a new game

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Say you were starting a new game tomorrow - what framework would you use? Obviously I'm thinking of doing something similar, so here are some parameters that I have in mind: - The overall idea is a one-man, shareware project. - Minimal 3D. It might even work better pre-rendered. So libraries like CrystalSpace and Ogre get no special advantage. No need for physics. Pixel shaders might be nice, though. - Rapid development. As little coding as possible is ideal. If some kind of "game maker" would work, that's ok. I know a 4E contest winner did this. It's not a common genre, though, so nothing too rigid. - I can afford to spend some money, although free is always good. - Language isn't really an issue. Although my home turf is C++/OpenGL. - Platforms: Windows is a must, obviously. Mac and Linux would be nice. I'd like to do a console/handheld, but so far my research has turned up no simple, one-man path for this (that can be done commercially). Ideas? So far I'm looking at things like XNA, Tao, PyGame, SDL, etc. So, what do you guys think?

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Optimal:
Python 2.5, PyGame 1.7, PyOpenGL 3.0.0.

Otherwise:
C# .NET 2.0, Tao

Last resort:
C++, OpenGL, GLut.

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As I've said before, I have my own 2D SDL/OpenGL API, with an slightly similar .NET version coming along smoothly. They have pretty much all the features you need, but again, it's C++/OpenGL, so it's not going to be "superfast" (though Boost would help out, and SHilbert got PI working with Python a long time ago).

I've always wanted to try out ClanLib. I hear really nice things about Torque 2D, and it's portable, so I'd go with that if you have a few bucks (apparently, you have to pay extra for the one with C++ source code vs. the one with just torquescript).

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I haven't worked much with Flash but I've seen non-programmer graphics designers actually turn out games with it. Then again, you're looking at a $700 startup cost. If you can afford it, I think it's a great deal for ease of use and portability.

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Might want to take a look at the processing beta. It's a simplified Java API and includes support for 2D and 3D, being simplified it requires a lot less code than normal java applications to get going, and then gets the java benefits of working across multiple platforms. It's free, has a lot of documentation, and also has plugins to extend the functionality.

Is this the kind of answer you're looking for?

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Quote:
Original post by Ravuya
I've always wanted to try out ClanLib.


I've heard good things about that one too, and it's supposed to be similar to GTGE, which is a popular 2D Java game engine.

On the flip side, Steve said he wasn't all too fond of it when I mentioned it, though I don't remember why.

If you are willing to work in Java, the best choice personally would be Slick or GTGE. Slick is a wrapper around LWJGL, which provides 2D rendering via OpenGL, sound via OpenAL, controller support. It's minimal, easy to use, BSD-licensed, and actively maintained. I use it myself, so I may be biased, but it really is nice.

Homepage:
http://slick.cokeandcode.com/


- Jon

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Honestly I like the SDL, OpenGL, C++ path. I like being able to run my games on all platforms... Why write code 3x? When you can do it once and be able to get a larger group of users? With the new DX10 features GL has them with the extensions so you can show off the eye candy on XP if you like, or OSX.

SDL has a lot of built in features for you already and can be up and running in like an hour or less.

I use GUICHAN for my UI and works well.

I would also include BOOST for files and such things.

Really once you have your tool box built up e.g. mathLIB, OpenGL Lib for things like FBOs, VBOs, GLSL its easy to make things with minimal rewrites.

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I've recently found Irrlicht and Irrklang combination to be very nice. Not only is the engine quite simple to use and set up (even in linux with your own makefiles), it compiles fast (compared to the hackish ogre .h hell, Irrlich example app is done in ~1s here, ogre one takes ~10s just because of the .h, if I use .gch it takes ~5s).

Irrklang integrates into Irrlicht and provides high level audio functionality while not depending on high level libs. Overall the combination is almost dreamy to me, because the resulting binary only depends on basic libs like alsa, libstdc++ and X11 libs.

I've been playing around with this combination and so far it's pretty good. It also supports quake/doom levels so you should be able to kick-start with it.

And no, I'm not affiliated with any of the 2 engines :) I don't even use C++ by default if I can help it.

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If you just want to make a 2D game and don't want to waste days or weeks fighting some ill-documented API reference, I'd recommend BlitzMAX. It does exactly what it says on the tin and, most importantly, you can get results fast. (Oh and it's been used to produce professional-quality indie games too.)

If you're willing to experiment with something a bit more powerful, check out Unity -- but only if you have an (Intel) Mac. It can produce Windows executeables, but there's no Windows version of the actual tool. (Yet.)

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