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tapir

A few questions about game development and the purpose of a game engine?

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As you might expect, I am just a beginning programmer who would like to eventually know how to design games for the computer.I have a few questions about how a computer game is made and how I can make one.

1.What is a Graphics API like OpenGL or DirectX used for?
2.Which Graphics API should I use?
3.What is the function of a game engine for making games?
4.How are Graphics APIs used in making game engines?
5.What resources(books/websites) are good for learning about programing games and making game engines?
6.Is a level editor part of a game engine?

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[quote name='tapir' timestamp='1297924138' post='4775279']
1.What is a Graphics API like OpenGL or DirectX used for?[/quote]
In slightly more detail than Hodgman's (excellent) reply, your graphics API abstracts communication with the graphics hardware; if you were not using an API such as OpenGL or DirectX you would have to write different code for each individual graphics card you wanted to support.

[quote]5.What resources(books/websites) are good for learning about programing games and making game engines?[/quote]
Did you have a certain development tool or programming language in mind? If not, I would suggest that you might download and start learning to use [url="http://unity3d.com/"]Unity[/url], or could consider learning C# and then learning to create games with XNA. Otherwise we'll need to advise you based upon your choice of language or tools.

Hope that helps add some more useful information. [img]http://public.gamedev.net/public/style_emoticons/default/smile.gif[/img]

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[quote name='tapir' timestamp='1297924138' post='4775279']
As you might expect, I am just a beginning programmer who would like to eventually know how to design games for the computer.I have a few questions about how a computer game is made and how I can make one.

1.What is a Graphics API like OpenGL or DirectX used for?
2.Which Graphics API should I use?
3.What is the function of a game engine for making games?
4.How are Graphics APIs used in making game engines?
5.What resources(books/websites) are good for learning about programing games and making game engines?
6.Is a level editor part of a game engine?
[/quote]

1. Graphics API is used for "drawing graphics" - it says to the graphic card what to draw at which place
2. None or both - try to start with whole graphic engine like OGRE3D it contains all you need and you do not need to bother with graphics at this API - low level.
3. GE takes care of everything in game - graphics, sounds, networking, physics, AI, ...
4. see 2
5. This site B) - but at first choose a technology/platform/programming language you want to use
6. No, but commercial engines have their own editor based on their own engine.

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3 (sort of): I would say there is a somewhat blurred distinction between a game library and a game engine. A game engine is more data driven. You create data which instructs the game engine what to do. This could be scripts, or game levels, or any of a million other things. A game library provides an API that your code calls directly (i.e. you must compile your work with the game library to do anything). This is really more of a continuum then distinct categories though.

5: I have been looking through "Game Engine Architecture" by Jason Gregory and I quite like it. There is also some material in there which was useful beyond game engines such as how to use version control software. I would recommend that book for a very good overview. It does not go into the gritty details of implementation so you will need to find other resources for that.

6: A level editor and other development tools are a big part of most game engines, but not game libraries.

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