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signal_

A Look To The Future( Growing as a Game Developer )

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Hi all, I've been frequenting these forums for a little over a year. This site has been one of the biggest reasons for any successes I've had. They are minor successes, but I am happy with them. I started with C/C++ years ago, but over the last year I've improved my skills and now can churn out little games. I've read, read, read, and when I hit a stumbling block I could post here. I've also incorporated python into my repertoire as well. And now to my question..... I need Advice: Where to go from here? Current situation: I use C++ and SDL for game development. I also use python/pygame for quick games/prototyping/etc. Now, I desire speed and 3D! Goals: 1. Create 2D games with better frame rates with more time for AI processing, game dynamics, etc. Where do I go from here? From what I've heard SDL is not as fast as openGL, etc. Do I learn openGL for 2D or something else? Where would my time be best spent? Is SDL with openGL my best bet, since I "know" SDL already? 2. What is good for 3D, keeping in mind I like cross-platform development, well-documented documentation, and that there's a future to it (no dead-end tools)? So, please help. I come from an SDL background, but I am trying to grow as a developer.... I've tooled (written small progs & compiled demos) around on SDL with OpenGL, Ogre3D, Panda3D, and have looked at irrlicht and crystalspace. What do the smart people recommend? I just want to use my time wisely. I am all ears. Thanks!

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Original post by signal_
1. Where do I go from here? From what I've heard SDL is not as fast as openGL, etc. Do I learn openGL for 2D or something else? Where would my time be best spent? Is SDL with openGL my best bet, since I "know" SDL already?

Seeing as how SDL is just serving as a wrapper for DirectDraw (DirectX), you're not really going to get any "faster" by switching to OpenGL.

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2.What is good for 3D, keeping in mind I like cross-platform development, well-documented documentation, and that there's a future to it (no dead-end tools)?

Cross platforms means OpenGL, OpenGL, and well.... OpenGL are your options (as far as APIs are concerned.

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I've tooled (written small progs & compiled demos) around on SDL with OpenGL, Ogre3D, Panda3D, and have looked at irrlicht and crystalspace.

What do the smart people recommend? I just want to use my time wisely. I am all ears. Thanks!

Not really sure what you're asking here?

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Thanks for the reply zerowolf.
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Seeing as how SDL is just serving as a wrapper for DirectDraw (DirectX), you're not really going to get any "faster" by switching to OpenGL.

Okay, maybe I am mistaken then. I read a lot yesterday online. The gist of what I read was that since SDL is doing 2D blitting, it will be slow since graphics cards are 3D accelerated and not 2D. In other words, an OpenGL 2D game will have a better frame rate than a 2D SDL game, all other things being equal. Please note: I am not speaking authoritatively here, but rather I am trying to obtain a better understanding.
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Cross platforms means OpenGL, OpenGL, and well.... OpenGL are your options (as far as APIs are concerned.

Okay. Thanks, dude!
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Quote:
I've tooled (written small progs & compiled demos) around on SDL with OpenGL, Ogre3D, Panda3D, and have looked at irrlicht and crystalspace.
What do the smart people recommend? I just want to use my time wisely. I am all ears. Thanks!
Not really sure what you're asking here?

I was just asking what to use for 3D. Based on yr response, I'd gather that OpenGL would suit my needs. But, to make a 3D game, you would need other things than OpenGL, no? Like ODE, etc. So would something like Ogre3D be better? Sorry for the shaky questions, I am trying to gain a better understanding.

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Original post by signal_
Okay, maybe I am mistaken then. I read a lot yesterday online. The gist of what I read was that since SDL is doing 2D blitting, it will be slow since graphics cards are 3D accelerated and not 2D. In other words, an OpenGL 2D game will have a better frame rate than a 2D SDL game, all other things being equal.

That would be true if SDL were using GDI, but by default it uses DirectX on Windows. I don't know how things work on Linux and Mac, though.
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I was just asking what to use for 3D. Based on yr response, I'd gather that OpenGL would suit my needs. But, to make a 3D game, you would need other things than OpenGL, no? Like ODE, etc. So would something like Ogre3D be better? Sorry for the shaky questions, I am trying to gain a better understanding.

OpenGL is just an API for graphics display and processing. You'll need additional libraries for physics, input, and whatnot, or use a cross platform game engine.

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Seeing as how SDL is just serving as a wrapper for DirectDraw (DirectX), you're not really going to get any "faster" by switching to OpenGL.

Okay thanks again for the replies. This makes me feel better about SDL, because I like using it. I just wanted to make sure that I was heading down the correct path in terms of finished game.



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Original post by signal_
Okay thanks again for the replies. This makes me feel better about SDL, because I like using it. I just wanted to make sure that I was heading down the correct path in terms of finished game.

The correct path is whatever you feel comfortable with. If you want to branch out into 3D then you're going to have to learn OpenGL or Direct3D, but if you want to do 2D then there is no real good reason to switch to a different API other than to expand your skill sets.

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The correct path is whatever you feel comfortable with. If you want to branch out into 3D then you're going to have to learn OpenGL or Direct3D, but if you want to do 2D then there is no real good reason to switch to a different API other than to expand your skill sets.

Thanks. I am basically messing around with 3D on the side. But, for the time being I am sticking with SDL for the 2D project. This particular project does not require 3D since it is more or a simulation/strategy game.

So, OpenGL it is then (for learning on the side). I was thinking of going the Ogre3D route, but going the OpenGL route and adding other libraries as needed is the strategy I will adopt for the time being. Thank you for all of the advice, it is greatly appreciated.

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for the record, cross platform development is over rated, as very few people use mac or linux, and even fewer acually game on those platforms

just an opinion, i only say it because in my opinion, DirectX is the better way to go until openGL gets it's head out of it's ass and takes a look around

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