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Advice on swichting to another graphics API

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I recently got my 2D particle system working in C++ with SDL. When running the program, you can click on the screen to spawn a particle explosion consisting of 20 particles. Based on the settings of the program the particles fade over time until they disappear. I used two particles for testing. One with dimensions 5x5 and 10x10. As a stress test, I clicked all over the screen like a maniac to see how many particles the system could cope with. Around 8-10 explosions (that is, 160-200 particles) the system lags a bit when using the big particle image. You need some more explosions for the smaller image for the same thing to happen. I'm guessing this is because they are more pixels to set the alpha value for. Here's the question/problem: For my next project I'm making a Breakout Clone which will spawn the explosions when bricks gets removed. The game will potential have many explosions on screen combined with all other game updates and I'm thinking of switching to another API that can handle this. Right now, I'm thinking about switching to SDL + OpenGL or SFML, but I will of course appreciate other suggestions. Note: I just got the system to work so optimizations lack.

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