Sign in to follow this  
Shayel

SDL - waste of time?

Recommended Posts

Shayel    256

Hello

I am using SDL to learn basics of the game industry, however I will want to move to 3D games in the future. I think, that in this case, SDL is a waste of time. Won't it be better to use OpenGL or DirectX to learn the 2D games? Moving to 3D wouldn't be so hard because I would already know the library. On the other side, I am afraid that they may be too hard for the beginner. Should I keep using SDL and then learn DirectX or OpenGL from the very beginning or learn one of them right now?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
rip-off    10976

There is a lot more to building games than the graphics. Building smaller games, even 2D sprite based games, will teach you a lot of the things you'll need to know when you want to make larger games in future. Nercury's point is a good one too, even if SDL isn't used for drawing it is still an excellent API for getting the screen up and input working, and then staying out of your way if you want to use raw OpenGL calls.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
cr88192    1570

SDL has the use case that it can wrap various OS APIs, giving the option to avoid some of this and also help increase portability.

 

for example, some code can be written, and avoid needing to have explicit per-OS code for things such as setting up the drawing window or dealing with user input or sound output or similar.

 

otherwise, a person will need to write a lot of this code themselves.

 

granted, for something like a Windows-only DirectX app, it wont necessarily gain as much here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
EddieV223    1839

SDL is pretty good, especially the new one.  Also you may want to look into SFML 2.0, it does the same jobs as sdl but its object oriented, and very well designed.

Edited by EddieV223

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
deftware    1778

 I've used SDL for two project game engines that use OpenGL for graphics. The upside of SDL is that it is highly portable, and has builds for just about every platform you can think of.

 

 SFML is very nicely structured and organized, but isn't supported on many platforms (yet).. It's not even strictly C++, there is a C version (you have to dig a little on the site) for those who prefer it.

 

 This sounds like a case of making big decisions of little consequence. It really doesn't matter what you do at this point, because you have a long way to go. But you will have to do something in the meantime, to gain all the knowledge and experience it takes to make decisions that will affect real projects that have a real affect on your life.

 

 Don't look so far ahead, because it doesn't matter until you get there. Learn everything you can in the meantime. In my experience, even tangent projects that have nothing to do with making games will teach you something that you can use as a game developer.

 

 I started programming as a kid because I wanted to make games. That was almost 20 years ago. I've made a few game projects that have grown bigger and more involved each time, but I am *just now* working on my first real indie game.

 

 Don't stop programming, whatever you do. That's what you have control over right now that will matter in a decade.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Um, I believe one of the most common use cases of SDL is for window creation and input management while leaving graphics to OpenGL.

It is, leave rendering to OpenGL and everything else to SDL - although now SDL has some functionality for rendering 2D graphics with hardware acceleration, so maybe OpenGL can be avoided with some kinds of games (SDL will use whatever it thinks is best, going with software rendering only as a last resort).

 

Also Valve is using SDL now, if that matters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Alundra    2316

You can use SDL for the unix version to handle window and input.

Quake4, Unreal Tournament, Unreal Tournament 2003, Unreal Tournament 2004, and many other do that.

You can change the window/input code after, SDL is here to make you winning time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this