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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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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
WebMaster
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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      The next step is to bind all required shader resources to the GPU pipeline, which is accomplished by IDeviceContext::CommitShaderResources() method:
      m_pContext->CommitShaderResources(m_pSRB, COMMIT_SHADER_RESOURCES_FLAG_TRANSITION_RESOURCES); The method takes a pointer to the shader resource binding object and makes all resources the object holds available for the shaders. In the case of D3D12, this only requires setting appropriate descriptor tables in the command list. For older APIs, this typically requires setting all resources individually.
      Next-generation APIs require the application to track the state of every resource and explicitly inform the system about all state transitions. For instance, if a texture was used as render target before, while the next draw command is going to use it as shader resource, a transition barrier needs to be executed. Diligent Engine does the heavy lifting of state tracking.  When CommitShaderResources() method is called with COMMIT_SHADER_RESOURCES_FLAG_TRANSITION_RESOURCES flag, the engine commits and transitions resources to correct states at the same time. Note that transitioning resources does introduce some overhead. The engine tracks state of every resource and it will not issue the barrier if the state is already correct. But checking resource state is an overhead that can sometimes be avoided. The engine provides IDeviceContext::TransitionShaderResources() method that only transitions resources:
      m_pContext->TransitionShaderResources(m_pPSO, m_pSRB); In some scenarios it is more efficient to transition resources once and then only commit them.
      Invoking Draw Command
      The final step is to set states that are not part of the PSO, such as render targets, vertex and index buffers. Diligent Engine uses Direct3D11-syle API that is translated to other native API calls under the hood:
      ITextureView *pRTVs[] = {m_pRTV}; m_pContext->SetRenderTargets(_countof( pRTVs ), pRTVs, m_pDSV); // Clear render target and depth buffer const float zero[4] = {0, 0, 0, 0}; m_pContext->ClearRenderTarget(nullptr, zero); m_pContext->ClearDepthStencil(nullptr, CLEAR_DEPTH_FLAG, 1.f); // Set vertex and index buffers IBuffer *buffer[] = {m_pVertexBuffer}; Uint32 offsets[] = {0}; Uint32 strides[] = {sizeof(MyVertex)}; m_pContext->SetVertexBuffers(0, 1, buffer, strides, offsets, SET_VERTEX_BUFFERS_FLAG_RESET); m_pContext->SetIndexBuffer(m_pIndexBuffer, 0); Different native APIs use various set of function to execute draw commands depending on command details (if the command is indexed, instanced or both, what offsets in the source buffers are used etc.). For instance, there are 5 draw commands in Direct3D11 and more than 9 commands in OpenGL with something like glDrawElementsInstancedBaseVertexBaseInstance not uncommon. Diligent Engine hides all details with single IDeviceContext::Draw() method that takes takes DrawAttribs structure as an argument. The structure members define all attributes required to perform the command (primitive topology, number of vertices or indices, if draw call is indexed or not, if draw call is instanced or not, if draw call is indirect or not, etc.). For example:
      DrawAttribs attrs; attrs.IsIndexed = true; attrs.IndexType = VT_UINT16; attrs.NumIndices = 36; attrs.Topology = PRIMITIVE_TOPOLOGY_TRIANGLE_LIST; pContext->Draw(attrs); For compute commands, there is IDeviceContext::DispatchCompute() method that takes DispatchComputeAttribs structure that defines compute grid dimension.
      Source Code
      Full engine source code is available on GitHub and is free to use. The repository contains two samples, asteroids performance benchmark and example Unity project that uses Diligent Engine in native plugin.
      AntTweakBar sample is Diligent Engine’s “Hello World” example.

       
      Atmospheric scattering sample is a more advanced example. It demonstrates how Diligent Engine can be used to implement various rendering tasks: loading textures from files, using complex shaders, rendering to multiple render targets, using compute shaders and unordered access views, etc.

      Asteroids performance benchmark is based on this demo developed by Intel. It renders 50,000 unique textured asteroids and allows comparing performance of Direct3D11 and Direct3D12 implementations. Every asteroid is a combination of one of 1000 unique meshes and one of 10 unique textures.

      Finally, there is an example project that shows how Diligent Engine can be integrated with Unity.

      Future Work
      The engine is under active development. It currently supports Windows desktop, Universal Windows and Android platforms. Direct3D11, Direct3D12, OpenGL/GLES backends are now feature complete. Vulkan backend is coming next, and support for more platforms is planned.
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