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mach

Help, Getting Started in 3D Programming

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I have been looking for the answers to my questions on the internet for a few days and have not had very good results. I am currently planning to develop a small 3D game for Windows in C++, but I am lost on how to start. Should I use DirectX or OpenGL? I think I would be developing for DirectX 9.0c if I chose DirectX, but what versions are available for Windows of OpenGL? How difficult would it be to implement the current version of OpenGL on Windows? My most important consideration is that I want to be able to buy a book that can show me how to make a game in the chosen area (OpenGL/DirectX), not just a reference book. I am leaning towards DirectX seeing how there seems to be a better book to learn from (Introduction to 3D Game Programming with Direct X 9.0c: A Shader Approach) and since I am hoping that it would be easier to incorporate input/sound later on. Lastly, what do people mean when they talk about Managed DirectX and SlimDX? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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I am currently planning to develop a small 3D game for Windows in C++, but I am lost on how to start.
Depends on what your previous programming experience is like. How many games you have made already, etc. We would give you different advice based on that information.

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Should I use DirectX or OpenGL?
Up to you. DirectX vs. OpenGL is considered a flamebait topic, actually. Just read the facts about each online, and then make a decision. If you already have a bias, just stick with that and go with it.

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but what versions are available for Windows of OpenGL? How difficult would it be to implement the current version of OpenGL on Windows?
You don’t implement OpenGL. Whoever makes the graphics card for your computer has written a driver that implements up to some OpenGL version and whatever extensions they want.

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Lastly, what do people mean when they talk about Managed DirectX and SlimDX?
What does Google tell you? If you don’t understand what is being said on Wikipedia or Microsoft’s site or SlimDX’s site, ask about specific terms being used. MDX refers to DirectX being exposed through the .NET platform. It’s been abandoned a while back in favor of XNA. SlimDX refers to an independent effort to fill the void left by MDX.

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My take on directX vs. Opengl (Note I'm a opengl guy, may be a bit biased)

DirectX = Much more powerful, with tons of features besides graphics, but with the cost of being slightly more complex.

Opengl = straight up graphics, making it very simple, but at the cost of not having as much power. You need to code most of this in whatever language you are using yourself.

I use opengl because it was SO much easier to get started in back in the day, but it is all personal preference! Good luck either way!

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