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Vanz

SFML

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Looking into designing a 2D based physics based game for the Windows Surface tablets. Would want my game to look and feel like Angry Birds or Cut the Rope, in terms of nice crisp moving graphics, but my concept is totally different is SFML the best way to go or would you recommend something else? 

 

Some Questions about SFML:

  1. Have you used SFML, would you please provide your honest feedback on using it?
  2. What if I spend a ton of time using it, then they don't support it anymore am I basically screwed? I guess I'm basically concerned about the future of it.
  3. I don't see how they make revenue from SFML as it appears free? What's keeping it from collapsing or not being maintained
  4. Will games programmed in SFML work with on Windows RT?
  5. SFML vs. GDI+? Seems like GDI+ is harder, but I already know GDI well, and seems like GDI+ has a solid future, would it make more sense for me to stick with GDI+?
  6. Not SFML question but I’ll ask here anyways, I know Poser already, what other program(s) are generally used to make nice smooth looking graphics like  in Angry Birds or Cut the Rope or is this really just the artist being great and using any program?
  7. Does SFML support touch screen? Can it be encorporated?

 

Thanks,

 

Vanz

Edited by rhuala

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My experience with SFML only really covers your first two questions.

 

Two months ago I started using SFML for my RPG hobby project and I've been finding it pretty straight forward to use. Tutorials and documentation have covered everything that I've needed so far.

I choose SFML just a couple months ago when I realized that DirectX 7 just wasn't cutting it anymore (it was very much out of date when I started using it 10 years ago). Mostly, it was that I wasn't getting any benefit out of hardware acceleration. After some experimentation I found that it was pretty trivial to get a few thousand more blts out of my draw routine using SFML. I also tried experimenting a bit with SDL but for some reason I wasn't getting the same responsiveness from my test machine as my dev machine (in fairness, the dev machine did see some nice acceleration I think). Seeing good results with SFML I got lazy choose not to try and figure out what was needed to get it working right and moved on. I also took a stab at updating from DX7 to DX9 but I was having enough trouble setting up the SDK that I again got lazy choose to just move on with using SFML. After all, I wanted to get back to working on game logic not spending a ton of time rewriting display code.

I believe going from the library that was horrendously outdated when I first starting using it to the modern one was relatively painless because:
1. It was easy to tell from the documentation what I was going to need to do.
2. My existing code happened to be such that making the changes to the display code had no impact on the game logic.

It could also be that I haven't been doing anything in the way of special effects. I don't know what the impact of switching libraries would be if I had been. Still, I have to imagine that keeping your display code and game logic as separate from each other as possible would minimize the impact if you do need to consider changing libraries for some reason.

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Have you used SFML, would you please provide your honest feedback on using it?

 

I really like SFML. It's a well designed API, it's well documented, and I find it very easy to use.

 

 

 


What if I spend a ton of time using it, then they don't support it anymore am I basically screwed? I guess I'm basically concerned about the future of it.

 

This isn't very important. Even if support for it stops, the libraries will keep working, they just won't be updated. If you're looking for an API that will be continuously supported until you die, then programming isn't for you because there's no reason to believe that there will be an eternal anything. Plus, the skills you learn will be broadly transferrable to other APIs, and learning a new one won't be so tough that you should trade SFML for it now (plus, you have no guarantee of never-ending support for that alternative either).

 

 

 


I don't see how they make revenue from SFML as it appears free? What's keeping it from collapsing or not being maintained

 

It's not a revenue-focused effort. Laurent (the developer) likes coding and maintains the code base largely on his own for his own purposes. It isn't his career.

 

 

 


Will games programmed in SFML work with on Windows RT?

 

No idea. A question this specific is probably best investigated at the SFML site's forum. If it isn't covered there already, Laurent will get back to you on it in no time.

 

 

 


SFML vs. GDI+? Seems like GDI+ is harder, but I already know GDI well, and seems like GDI+ has a solid future, would it make more sense for me to stick with GDI+?

 

It makes sense to stick with what you know unless you either want to learn something new or need a feature that what you already know doesn't have. If you know and are skilled with GDI+, what are your reasons for looking for something else? Answering this will help you figure out what to do now, but I'll mention that it never hurts to be able to use multiple resources.

 

You can't tell the future of GDI+ any better than SFML, so don't worry about how solid you imagine the future of either to be.

 

 

 


Not SFML question but I’ll ask here anyways, I know Poser already, what other program(s) are generally used to make nice smooth looking graphics like  in Angry Birds or Cut the Rope or is this really just the artist being great and using any program?

 

I know that Photoshop, Illustrator, and GIMP are all popular. But I think that you're right in that it's more about the artist being skilled and knowing how to use a given program than any program being "better" than others.

 

 

 


Does SFML support touch screen? Can it be encorporated?

 

Another good question to ask Laurent, if it's not already on the forums.

Edited by Khaiy

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While it may not support multi-finger gestures, it should support single finger touch since that translates to mouse clicks and drags. Hover won't work, however.

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