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Rasenger

OpenGL The future of 3D programming

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It seems that DirectX 10 will be "the thing" for game programmers in next few years. It has improved a lot since DX9, and one thing I appreciate is that there will no longer be need for CAPS, no more different versions of shaders etc (am I right?). Only question left is that when will Vista and DX10 become general, at the end of this year, next year maybe? Anyways, to me it isn't very wise to study DX9 as it will be history when I'll be finally able to get a job (in game industry) as my studies continue still for years (b0ring -__-). So, it's DirectX 10 (and after that DX 11, 12... (if OpenGL won't do some trick and kill DX :o) But, which language should I use? C++ or C#? C++ has been standard for years and will be still for long time. C# is a newcomer and pretty good, but it has some problems. C# is slower, I don't really trust carbage collection and it's future is still unknown. But C# is a bit easier language. Actually, that's not true, the language isn't easy but the managed DirectX is. Also if I understand right, C# games need .NET framework but C++ games need only DirectX, no framework required. Well, I almost answered the question myself, but I'd like to know what you guys think? Will C++ stay as standard in game development or will C# or Microsoft be able to crush it? Which one should I use if I wan't a job in game industry in the future? I have experience in both C++ and C#, also DirectX 9 and OpenGL (a lot has happend in few years :D). /* offtopic */ Unfortunately here in Finland won't be very much work for game programmers... Only Bugbear, Remedy and some small things here. :/ Well, must study English well so maybe I can get a job abroad.

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Quote:
Original post by Rasenger
Only question left is that when will Vista and DX10 become general, at the end of this year, next year maybe?

Are you seriously asking someone to predict the behavior of the mass market on a purchasing decision?

Let us make some cardinal assumptions: for the vast majority of computer users, including casual and semi-hardcore gamers, Vista is not a compelling enough proposition for them to run out and buy the OS or upgrade their existing hardware. Consequently, those people will upgrade to Vista when they buy their next PCs.

Assumption two: People replace their PCs every three to five years. Since we're talking about gamers here, we'll go with the three year figure. We'll further segment that audience by saying that the more hardcore subset - say, 15% - upgrade annually, on average, while the remainder wait the full three years.

Vista was made available to the general public this year, meaning that the three-year upgrade cycle is just beginning. If we assume that 15% of the PC audience will upgrade or has already upgraded this year, and that a further 15% (of the remainder) will upgrade each year, with a bonus 80% of the cumulative remainder after three years performing an upgrade, then Vista adoption percentages look like this:

Year 1 - 15%
Year 2 - 27.75% [15% + (15% of 85%)]
Year 3 - 38.60% [27.75% + (15% of 72.25%)]
Year 4 - 87.72% [38.60% + (80% of 61.4%)]

Quote:
Anyways, to me it isn't very wise to study DX9 as it will be history when I'll be finally able to get a job (in game industry) as my studies continue still for years (b0ring -__-).

First, DirectX 9 will probably have a healthy life for another three to five years, as our chart above shows. Second, your studies may seem boring now, but they have significant impact on your abilities in the future, so while you shouldn't obsess about grades, do obsess about knowledge.

Quote:
But, which language should I use? C++ or C#?

Both. Or, take a dart board and assign one color to each language, then throw three darts. Whichever color has more pins wins... which is to say, language choice matters a lot less than you think, especially since you're not looking to score a job right now. Your focus should be on firmly grasping the principles at work, so you can easily move from one language to another, or from one API to another.

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C++ is still the language of choice for game development. The reasons are the large existing code bases and 3rd party middle ware. Try to get anything you need for a game as managed libs is a somewhat difficult task and you would have to life with a reduced choice. No official Direct3D 10 support planed as example.

Another problem is that the portability of C#/managed code is very bad in the context of game development. Sure project like mono may improve the portability for “normal” applications but in the game context portability is strongly defines by the console markets. MacOS and Linux are only small player there.
But even in game development C# can be useful. Think about tools that are needed for the development process.

Therefore the simple rule of the thump is to learn as much as possible would make it easier to get a job.

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If you're looking at this from an employability aspect rather than a hobbyist one:

  • There is ALWAYS legacy code around. Or, if not "pure" legacy code there will be code that is just an updated version of something older. I'd imagine plenty of games companies have tools and engines that still have DX7 or DX8 generation design decisions and possibly even actual DX7 and DX8 level code in.

  • Knowing at least a bit of all major API's is a definite bonus. A good employer will look for someone they can grow as an employee - it's rare to find a candidate who just knows it all already. If you've touched on many technologies you'll probably demonstate both that you can learn new things and you have at least a basic understanding/experience of several areas and aren't just tied to one platform/API.

  • Fundamentally the theory in one graphics/multimedia API is reusable in almost every single other one. Learning a current or "old" technology won't be a complete waste of time when going forwards. Same applies for languages - knowing C++, Java and C# would be no bad thing. Throw in some functional languages as well if you have time.

    Quote:
    DirectX 9 will probably have a healthy life for another three to five years, as our chart above shows.
    Remember that D3D9[Ex] is a core part of the Vista AERO user interface. As long as Vista exists so will D3D9[Ex] and it's also obviously backwards compatible to XP and earlier. I'd even go so far as to say that D3D9+SM2 is going to be by far the most dominant platform going forwards - the hardware has been available for years and pretty much all new Vista machines are going to have at least SM2 capable hardware.

    Quote:
    So, it's DirectX 10 (and after that DX 11, 12... (if OpenGL won't do some trick and kill DX :o)
    OpenGL won't kill D3D (or vice versa). They have enough differences, both in technology and user base that they'll happily (?[lol]?) coexist for decades to come.

    DX10.1 comes before DX11 [wink]

    hth
    Jack

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        Sprite.h
        Texture.h
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        VertexBuffer.h
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