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Getting Back In The Water - What's New?

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I was deeply immersed in my gamedev projects when suddenly things changed and i haven't done anything gamedev-wise in two years. I'm thinking about getting back into my projects. I was working on a C++ / OpenGL+SDL game concept. I've recently started reworking the design. Anyway, what's changed in the last two years? Are there newer and better libraries out there? Is C++ a dinosaur yet? What did i miss? What's popular now? What direction is game development headed? And what are you working on/with?

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Things have progressed more towards C#/Python (with Python seemingly gaining the headway in the past 4-6 months). A new version of MSVS is out, and vista mildly complicates some people's lives. And the wii did a good job at selling for families/parties over gamers.

I'm personally still working on a 4X game in C#, but have been for >2 years... [grin]

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Anyway OpenGL 2.0 was released (even 2.1 - F.e. Geometry shaders) and OpenGL Longs Peak and OpenGL Mount Evans (known as OpenGL 3.0 too) should probably be released soon. Anyway raytracing is much more popular and realtime these days. I'm still writing in "older" C++ (but strongly thinking about C#), using OpenGL 2.0 and own realtime raytracer - so it's combined rendering (programming game engine).

There are newer and better libraries (Direct3D 10, OpenGL 2.1, etc.), newer operation systems (Ubuntu Linux - F.e. version 7.10, Windows Vista (Microsoft gotta be kidding, but this is really NOT useable operation system, I hope Service Pack will fix some errors and it'll be useable even for me) - so I stayed with Windows XP), newer hardware and it's architecture (CPU's have more cores, GPU's have Vertex, Pixel and Geometry shaders - everything is faster and better), etc.

So to me - I'm working on (game, but it'll be able even to visualisate buildings, etc.) engine (and small game project on it too), with Microsoft Visual Studio, on OpenGL and own raytracing api using AGEIA PhysX api for physics (very good for physics, better than Newton, ODE, ...).

Anyway good luck in your project.

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I don't get people's gripes with Vista. Maybe it's because I'm using Business, but my experience has been great. Stable as a rock, more useful features, no real compatability issues.

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Quote:
Original post by Telastyn
I don't get people's gripes with Vista. Maybe it's because I'm using Business, but my experience has been great. Stable as a rock, more useful features, no real compatability issues.


I have had the same experience as you.

Oh and D seems like its becoming a great language. I will be trying it out in a project in the near future. http://www.digitalmars.com/d/

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Is C# a viable option for Linux users? I don't know what the status or real-world usefulness of Mono is yet. Ultimately, i'd like to develop cross-platform and easier-to-install games.

What's the new version of MSVC and is it Vista-only? Is there a low-end free version like they had for last release? I don't even have windows, but if i do develop cross-platform, i'll need it eventually. There was a free student thingy MS offered about a year or two ago.

I'm skeptical of Vista as well. Even my mom didn't like it on the brand new laptop i bought her.

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Plenty has changed...
- Instruction limitations on shaders are basically a thing of the past (they still exist, but you're very unlikely to hit them)
- More and more games do most or even all of their lighting in realtime
- PCs and consoles now have multiple cores meaning things like content streaming can be done very efficiently.
- It seems like DirectX is developing into a "graphics and sound"-only API. DirectShow has been taken out of DirectX, DirectPlay and DirectInput are now deprecated.

I suggest you check out a couple of next-gen titles like Crysis, CoD 4, Bioshock or UT3 too see what's being done already.

What I'm working on...
I'm currently updating my engine (C++) to be multi-threaded (which basically means I have to rewrite many core components). I'm also adding a new realtime lighting system based on the concept of deferred shading.

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MSVS 2008 has free express versions and they're not vista only iirc. C# is unfortunately not (imo) viable for Linux last I saw. The class library port is just too far behind.

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I've noticed an abundance of people working on 2D engines utilizing a higher scripting language that are mostly in alpha and beta stages.

The amount of good independent games (many free) is up. Linux steadily gets more usable, people find some gripe about Microsoft.

But luckily VS2005 support for open source projects is truly admirable now. I can still hear VC6 breathing in some places, but hopefully its dying breaths will be soon.

Java is open source now, I believe. Web sites appear and web sites disappear.

Oh yeah, I was also really impressed with how many free MMO projects appear to be usable now, it's no longer just Eternal Lands.

In other news, after updating the video drivers and no longer using my old CRT, I can no longer go 320x240 fullscreen.[bawling][bawling][bawling][bawling][bawling][bawling][bawling][bawling] No more Eternal Daughter [bawling][bawling]

But some things never change. GDNET still has quirky/crummy forum software and people still seem to bitch about the rating system.

And I'm a little worried about this 4E competition because it started late and the prize is currently a GDNET+ subscription.

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Quote:
Original post by Telastyn
MSVS 2008 has free express versions and they're not vista only iirc.


Yep, I can confirm it runs just fine on XP service pack 2.

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