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Why you should use OpenGL and not DirextX

By Neon Samurai ·
I stumbled across this in today's reading and thought it interesting. An argument put forth by a game development house. What say you, other developers and/or gamers?

http://blog.wolfire.com/2010/01/Why-you-should-use-OpenGL-and-not-DirectX

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One big thing they miss

by Slayer_ In reply to Why you should use OpenGL ...

Integrated graphics often don't support, or never get updated OpenGL API's.

Don't forget, you update OpenGL by updating your driver.
How often do mobile graphics get updated. I got a laptop with a 7600 mobile nVidia, no updates for years so it cannot play the latest DX or OpenGL games, even though it has enough power.

And I remember benchmarking OpenGL vs DX in Earth 2150. OpenGL got 6fps and DX got 30fps. OpenGL really was pretty slow on the beginning. I figure It only caught up because DX9 has been in use for so long. DX9 really holds us back now. DX10 can almost double the performance of DX9 in certain scenes

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I don't think it would be hard to provide an update system

by Neon Samurai In reply to One big thing they miss

I remember my first 3D game shipping with GL drivers rather than the graphics drivers. Of course, this was when the second generation 3DFX daughter board days. Providing an update mechanism should be even easier now though. Even a firmware update wouldn't be impossible. The trick is getting hardware vendors to work with the GL people and keep there drivers up to date. With closed drivers, this falls into the usual pitfalls though.

My guess would have been the other components outside of the graphics; DirectInput and such.

It could also be that the company is interested in promoting a feedback loop as they describe for current DX support.

I can't fault them for an interest in open standards though. I'd also happily shell out 70$ for a game that shipped for cross-platform use.

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Nothing saying you can't use both

by Slayer_ In reply to I don't think it would be ...

You can use DXinput and Sound with OpenGL graphics.

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only on two platforms

by Neon Samurai In reply to Nothing saying you can't ...

the DXinput binds you to Windows or the Xbox though so while it's using OpenGL, it falls short of being more platform independent. On Windows, you could absolutely mix and match the two though.

Back with Neverwinter1, I was happy to see a *nix native game engine at least provided even if it lacked an install script. I don't believe Bioware did the same for NWN2 though. On the other hand, ID makes a point of supporting multiple platforms.

Such is the gaming world though, locked to a single platform except for a few exceptions.

(I just heard MS dropped the Flight line of sims. That's one MS product that I will miss.)

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Depends lots on the game

by Slayer_ In reply to only on two platforms

NWN for example is keyboard and mouse. Very very easy. You need an API to ask the mouse position, and one to ask the mouse state (Clicked or not and which button).
Most games don't even bother with checking the capabilities of your mouse or keyboard. So DXInput is not useful. Where it becomes useful would be games like console conversions... which is the majority of PC games these days. I noticed long time ago that with XP, it doesn't seem to be required. I have never fully tried it myself, but I am guessing XP simply reports that you have a joy stick and/or throtal/yaw control. And how many buttons you have.
I am unsure how things like rumble work, probably using directX or something else.
I did code briefly in VB6, a walking sprite that could be controlled by the joystick on my gamepad. Getting it to move was easy, just API calls to check its status, though the enumeration... was confusing, had to use copy&paste tutorials. Getting it to be analog... sort of had me stumped. I could only get it to send a short signal. This when it happened, my code would error out with an overflow from the API, resulting in a send error report kind of error.
Keyboard movement, was a simple, barely 20 lines of code.

Using a mouse as a camera is really easy. Move the mouse to the centre of the screen every frame, and just before doing so, grab the current position of the mouse, and subtract it from the centre position. The "difference" is how much to turn a camera, the "difference" in size from the previous "difference" is the acceleration.

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rumble is probably DX.. feedback seems to be

by Neon Samurai In reply to Depends lots on the game

My feedback stick came with DirectX drivers so I'm guessing that type of return control is in the framework or added into it through plugin drivers provided with a given device.

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Ditto

by jck In reply to I don't think it would be ...

I have even seen games developed in 2000-2003 that were DirectX or OpenGL selectable.

I always ran OpenGL on my 8800GTSes in SLi. Seemed to work more smoothly.

I would rather see the technology grow openly and expand with its successes for all business, than one company make it a profit center to push their latest proprietary platform.

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I am sure many harcore PC gamers agree with you

by Slayer_ In reply to Ditto

It's all Intels fault, with their really really crappy integrated video.
Once OpenGL is available to everyone and a proper update system is put in place, rather than our current method.. I think we can see OpenGL getting popular.

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yep

by jck In reply to I am sure many harcore PC ...

OpenGL just worked faster for what I was doing.

Of course, I don't play everything that's cutting edge.

But, I would spend more for an OpenGL game I knew would run no matter what...even if I ended up having to replace my graphics subsystem or more.

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Voodoo2 was my introduction

by Neon Samurai In reply to yep

It was the first OpenGL hardware in my machine and demonstrated exactly why the 3DFX where so popular. With my latest attempt at running Longbow2, the OpenGL view still ran better than pure software rendering; and this is a win95 era game on an overpowered modern monster of a machine.

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