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OpenGL SDL or OpenGL

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We are full time students(4 of us), we plan on building a game, we will be 2 programmers and 2 artists, we planned building the game using graphics similar to Final Fantasy Tactic(combat part where your characters move freely x,y,z) or to Dragon Warrior 7(speaking of the redone version on PSX since i haven''t seen the original) which uses similar graphics in cities/caves/etc They both seem to have x,y,z axis but yet the sprites are 2d, how did they do that ? and how could we do that ? SDL seems a good choice for portability but how do you manage to do 3d graphics using SDL library? I''m not stating a debate on which one is the best, just which one is the best in these cases. Tnx

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Guest Anonymous Poster
SDL _or_ OpenGL ?!

You mean: SDL and OpenGL...

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Good questions...

First of all, SDL is neither a 3d or 2d API. The whole point of SDL is to provide access to the screen in a portable manner. It lacks 2d rotation, scaling, etc algorithms. You'll have to figure those out yourself.

Additionally, you can make OpenGL calls that render to SDL bitmaps, meaning SDL works with OpenGL. OpenGL is a graphics API. It doesn't render images to the screen on its own. It needs a helper API with access to the screen so it can do its work. GLUT, GLAUX, WinAPI and SDL are all such helper APIs. OpenGL will calculate the mechanics of rotation, scaling, translation, etc.

Hmm, I have a vague recollection of Final Fantasy tactics. As far as I remember it was an isometric game, like Diablo. In other words it is meant to look 3d, but it isn't.

You accomplish this by taking square tiles and rotating them 45 degrees, also squashing them to look better. The tiles are regular 2d bitmaps, albeit only rotated. The characters 2d images drawn to look like they're 3d; just bitmaps drawn at isometric angles. Look up isometric game development for more information. This is how it is tiled, with rotated tiles fitting into each other like a puzzle:

<><><><><><><><
><><><><><><><>
<><><><><><><><
><><><><><><><>
<><><><><><><><
><><><><><><><>

Every even row is offset by tile_width/2. This representation is crude, because the tiles have space in between them. Normally they should fit each other like a glove. The <> is the basic shape of a tile...

Have fun!

Edited by - Anesthesia on January 3, 2002 5:20:48 PM

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You can use OpenGL with SDL very easily, there's a slight difference in a few calls like buffer flipping (you have to call something like SDL_OpenGL_Flip() instead of the normal function). Other than that, you can use OpenGL just as you would without SDL.


quote:
Original post by Anesthesia

Additionally, you can make OpenGL calls that render to SDL bitmaps, meaning SDL works with OpenGL. OpenGL is a graphics API. It doesn't render images to the screen on its own. It needs a helper API with access to the screen so it can do its work. GLUT, GLAUX, WinAPI and SDL are all such helper APIs. OpenGL will calculate the mechanics of rotation, scaling, translation, etc.



That's not exactly true. OpenGL does render on its own, it just needs a window to render to (much like DirectX has to anchor itself to a window), that's all. SDL merely provides a handle and a rendering context to OpenGL. I may be a bit off because I haven't really used OpenGL directly with Windows much, I just went through SDL for the most part but I should have the right idea there. Basically what I'm trying to say is, OpenGL doesn't have to go through another API to draw stuff. This would defeat the whole purpose of OpenGL which is meant to speed up drawing by accessing hardware directly (like DirectX does).



Edited by - Supernova on January 3, 2002 5:27:44 PM

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Obviously, you misunderstood my comment. Allow me to clarify. OpenGL DOES render indeed, it even has its own drivers to help accomplish this feat AND directly to the hardware as well BUT it does NOT do so on its own. OpenGL lacks OS-specific features in the name of portability. It needs specific information from the OS on how it should operate and once it has that information it goes with it.

What I was trying to point out is that there are no OpenGL calls to do things like create bitmaps, take care of double-buffering, etc. It's a somewhat complicated issue, but I only intended to say that because of portability reasons, OpenGL does not work on its own.

SDL, BTW, doesn't operate independently either. It is a portability layer and uses APIs from various OSes to get at the hardware.

Here is the fallacy of your logic:
"OpenGL does render on its own, it just needs a window to render to (much like DirectX has to anchor itself to a window), that's all."

To Paraphrase:
It renders on its own, but it needs something in order to render. Prime contradiction. Obviously if it is in need, then it is not independent ;-)

As far as I'm concerned, the act of rendering has the end-result of something visible on screen.

Q: If a tree fell in OpenGL and no one saw it for a lack of SDL, did it really fall?
A: No, because the code didn't compile

So don't needlessly complicate things. OpenGL cannot produce any *visible* results without a helper. SDL, GLAUX, GLU, etc are such helpers. I hope that is a more logical statement to you. Code will not even work without a rendering context, which OpenGL cannot provide.





Edited by - Anesthesia on January 3, 2002 6:25:59 PM

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Yeah, what I really meant to comment on was "OpenGL will calculate the mechanics of rotation, scaling, translation, etc." because it sounds like you''re implying that''s the only thing it does. And yeah, I know SDL uses DirectX under Windows. So I guess it was a bit of a misunderstanding

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quote:

Hmm, I have a vague recollection of Final Fantasy tactics. As far as I remember it was an isometric game, like Diablo. In other words it is meant to look 3d, but it isn''t.

You accomplish this by taking square tiles and rotating them 45 degrees, also squashing them to look better. The tiles are regular 2d bitmaps, albeit only rotated. The characters 2d images drawn to look like they''re 3d; just bitmaps drawn at isometric angles. Look up isometric game development for more information. This is how it is tiled, with rotated tiles fitting into each other like a puzzle:

<><><><><><><><
><><><><><><><>
<><><><><><><><
><><><><><><><>
<><><><><><><><
><><><><><><><>

Every even row is offset by tile_width/2. This representation is crude, because the tiles have space in between them. Normally they should fit each other like a glove. The <> is the basic shape of a tile...

Have fun!

Edited by - Anesthesia on January 3, 2002 5:20:48 PM



Yea, isometric engines have to be the second best invention, next to pizza of coarse!


"1-2GB of virtual memory, that''s way more than i''ll ever need!" - Bill Gates
"The Adventure: Quite possibly the game of the century!" - The Gaming Community

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TNX !
That helped a lot, didn''t new of those isometric things, i''ll be looking foward to it ^_^, tnx

I''ll read on OpenGL and SDL too since these 2 seem to work great together.

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I have one more thing to add here. If you are making a 2d game you could use opengl or sdl for the graphics stuff, but if you don''t need any rotation or scaling featurs, then sdl would be the better choice to use. I started a 2d game intended to run on an older system using opengl for graphics, and it ran very slow, so I switched to sdl which nearly doubled the frame rate. So I would recommend using sdl for graphics (and sound and input for that matter).


It is foolish for a wise man to be silent, but wise for a fool.

Matthew
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www.Matt-Land.com

All your Xbox base are belong to Nintendo.

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I suppose you''re right SuperNova about it looking like I was saying that''s all it does. Thank you for helping to clarify that.

TheREALMan11 has a point. Considering that you want to do an isometric game, you don''t absolutely need OpenGL. It will hamper your performance on machines without 3d acceleration. Some people think that it''s cool to add 3d effects to their 2d games (like Blizzard with Diablo II and Glide - another now useless API), and others think it''s nicer simply to blit the image onto a polygon, so that all of the rotation, scaling etc can be taken care of with OpenGL calls, and they''ll be 3d accelerated as well.

That''s why it helps to determine what the target system is and moreover whether or not you want to require people to use a 3d Accelerated API to play a 2d game.



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