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Migi0027

API Wars horror - Will it matter?

29 posts in this topic

I would say there is no longer any kind of API War.  There was around 10 years ago when people used to post stuff like "OMG John Carmak uses GL so it must be better".

Nowadays though you need to be able to support everything.   If you are an indie programmer and you want to get your game into an indie bundle then you need to support Linux, Mac and Windows.  If you are a AAA then you often need to support multiple consoles, mobile devices and desktops. 

 

This means that if you are writing your own engine (as in the OPs position) then you need to abstract your engiine and implement the features so that they will work in both OpenGL and also DirectX.

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"AMD, Intel, Microsoft, and Nvidia, all have their own Field Application Engineers that are available to help optimise CPU/GPU codepaths for your product."

 

Actually ARM does this for their mobile GPUs as well -- only they're not FAEs, they're DevRel.

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"This kind of stuff is just nuts"

 

This is what happens when you have a bunch of people who already have hardware that's taken years to design about to go into production and they need to get a spec that describes it rather than being in the position of being able to define the behaviour and say "hit that spec or hit the road".

 

For every story about how OpenGL made a compromise about that sort of thing, there's a story about a bunch of people who've spent two years trying to implement some feature on less silicon only to have the next D3D spec decide to invalidate all that work by flat out re-specifying the behaviour...

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 06:24 AM

Promit, on 22 Jul 2013 - 05:24 AM, said:

Also if a game company wants to use some obscure new DX function they can call up somebody at Microsoft and have a programmer leased to them until the issue is solved. I'm sorry, but this world exists only in your mind. A lot of us are annoyed because DX support from Microsoft is the worst it's been in literally decades.

Really. This only exists in my mind.... If UbiSoft offers to pay Microsoft for one of their DirectX consulting programmers, you don't think that this will happen?

 

Here in the real world, when a user tells a large vendor that they want an horribly bad feature (e.g. an ad-hoc public API addition) implemented in the large vendor's strategic software platform, the large vendor simply tells the user to fuck off, so they don't even ask.

 

Paying the large vendor's consultants gives only a knowledge transfer from the large vendor to the user, in various forms: top tier experts, more competent that the user can expect to have; access to insider information (e.g. Microsoft consultants calling the developers of the relevant product in Redmond for support, or Oracle consultants finding precedents in the restricted-access bug database); sometimes semi-secret software and documentation.

 

The other effect of paying consultants is getting attention and possibly making the large vendor more sensitive to legitimate requests, particularly bug reports (e.g. a game studio discovers that function X doesn't work in the very unusual situation Y).

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