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Easier to start with: OpenGL or DirectX?

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I DON''T want to start out a flame war on which is BETTER... but I would like to get people''s opinions on which is EASIER to learn for someone just starting out in game programming. My background: I''m fairly familiar with C/C++ and object oriented programming. I know other languages such as Java, Perl, etc.

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Simple.

Go to NeHe and look at his tutorials. Play around, modify some things here and there, see if you like the coding style.

Get the DXSDK, look at the tutorials. They cover initialization, colored triangle, transformations, lighting, and mesh loading. Play with these ones. Alternatively, there are tutorials at www.andypike.com.

Stick with whichever tutorials are easier to follow.

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Hey,

OpenGL would have to be the easier I would suggest. The main reason is that when you FIRST begin you can simply call built-in functions to do things like create windows and keyboard/mouse handlers. This way you don''t have to start worrying about all the message handling to get some basic graphics up on the screen.

Apart from this though both are very similar and it is purely your own preference. Have a look at some examples of bigger programs and see which style of code you prefer. I personally steer clear of as much COM as I can, and DirectX is full of it!!!

Doolwind

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I will give you my standard "its not the API" answer. The hard part of 3D programming is learning all the details of the rendering pipeline and the attendant math. If you can master that, learning either API is simple in comparision. If you know one you can learn the other in a weekend.

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Just read The Article and make up your own mind. These weekly OpenGL vs. DirectX threads are a waste of bandwidth.

BTW: Easier is a just a subset of Better, you''ll still get heavily opinionate responses.

quote:
From the For Beginner Faq
For starters you DO NOT post questions like this (which has been done to death) and expect to get any kind of advice that is going to sway you one way over the other. Would you go to your local Super Mall and ask on a loud speaker what type of person you should date? Second only to prOn there is no other waste of bandwidth than these types of threads. What ever you do, nothing good can come from ??? vs ??? threads. period.


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Just to reiterate what the others have said, try both and make up your own mind. Certainly at the beginner level, there''s no great practical difference - as invective said, it''s the 3D theory and what you do with the API that matters. Either that or see what resources and tuts you can find, and use the API that has the better tuts.

Anyway, trying both APIs will broaden your experience and perhaps give you an insight into different ways of approaching problems.

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doolwind, opengl does not have any functions that create iwndows or setu mouse handlers (in fact opengl is purly a graphics api). that is part of glut and is even not reccomended by sgi (the ppl who created opengl) for use since glut is buggy as well as contains memory leaks.

learn the win32 (not difficult if you just learn the basics). then deal with a graphics api. opengl if you enjoy straight procdural coding, d3d if you perfer object oriented coding.

also just to point out. it should be opengl vs d3d, as opengl cannot handle audio, input, nor networking like directx can. d3d is the subset of directx that opengl is comparable to (they are estenially the same feature/speed/ease of use wise). in fact any game that uses opengl, will very likly being directx as well. ussually directsound for music, directinput for keyboard/mouse/joystick support. please keep the apis straight.

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Thanks for the advice guys. As a follow-up, I''ve been working through NeHe''s tutorials on OpenGL, and so far I''m finding it way easier than D3D. These tutorials are awesome, and that''s certainly a huge factor in the learning process. I''m sure once I''ve gone through all these tutorials and created some stuff by myself, it will make moving onto D3D and the rest of DirectX a lot easier.

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