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#1 zehawk   User is offline

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What is OpenGL? Game engines?

Posted 27 February 2012 - 01:43 PM

Ok everyone, yell at me and scream in my face for the next five minutes. But heres, a simple question, and I'm sorry I haven't heard of this as I'm new to game programming and have since created all my projects from scratch. What is OpenGL? I know. I'm seriously asking that cause I have no idea of what it is, or what it does, or how to call it. Now, another question. Are game engines needed to make fast games? Or can I do it all from scratch(Preffered by me, at least) and still get fast, if not faster results? Thanks for your time!

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#2 Kilorn   User is offline

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Re: What is OpenGL? Game engines?

Posted 27 February 2012 - 01:46 PM

OpenGL is a library used for manipulating graphics similar to DirectX, except it's not Windows specific. Game engines can speed up the development time of projects, but it's not necessary to use an existing image to create an efficient game.

This post has been edited by Kilorn: 27 February 2012 - 01:48 PM

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#3 zehawk   User is offline

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Re: What is OpenGL? Game engines?

Posted 27 February 2012 - 01:49 PM

Thanks! Although I'd like more information on OpenGL, like a very detailed synopsis, but the answer on game engines seems rather good. I don' like using game engines for things like 2D games, but ill use blender and unity for bigger projects.

As for OpenGl, is it installed on all systems? What exactly does it contain? How would I call it? What's it main purpose? What language is it used in? Can Java use it? Thanks in advance!
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#4 Kilorn   User is offline

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Re: What is OpenGL? Game engines?

Posted 27 February 2012 - 02:17 PM

I gave you a link to the OpenGL website. I'm sure you'll find plenty of information on OpenGL there.
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#5 Oler1s   User is offline

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Re: What is OpenGL? Game engines?

Posted 27 February 2012 - 05:04 PM

> What is OpenGL?

It's a standard describing a rendering pipeline. There's two kinds of people the standard talks to. The first is developers. It describes a C API to push things into the pipeline. For example, let's say you wanted to render a cube. The API contains functions to allocate buffers in the implementation, load vertex data, attach a shader program, etc.

The other part of the standard is for the implementors. Someone actually has to implement the functionality that OpenGL requires. Examples of implementors are graphics card manufacturers, operating system vendors, and other developers building out a software solution.

As a developer, using OpenGL first starts out with you choosing an implementation. Or, rather, your choices are kind of predetermined. On Windows, Microsoft provides a way for hardware vendors to hook in with their implementations. That's why you keep getting told to get drivers, etc. You don't download OpenGL on Windows. You buy a graphics card and download the driver.

On Macs, Apple oversees the implementation.

I have no idea what the current state on Linux. There's some stupid fracturing of implementations there.

If you're trying to figure out how to get OpenGL setup, and are asking for help, specify your operating system, please. Or else no one can help you.

> Are game engines needed to make fast games?

Do you know what a game engine is? It's a reusable set of code and tools, on which you build a game on top of. The idea is to reduce development time by reusing existing work, which is critical on any non trivial game.

Game engines are vital for any reasonable development time. Some companies do make game engines. They then sell them and make lots of money. It's a business.

> Or can I do it all from scratch

Do what from scratch? Here's a question for you. What is the most complex piece of software you have built, shipped, and supported for end users? How many man hours of work went into that?

> fast, if not faster results?

Depends on your quality of code.
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#6 zehawk   User is offline

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Re: What is OpenGL? Game engines?

Posted 27 February 2012 - 06:54 PM

The most complex thing I've made is a 2D minecraft like clone for educational purposes onlliy, and am still making it, witht the use of exterior game engines. I prefer doing it from scratch so I can have the fnctionality I have. The reason I asked about game engines performance v scratch is because I heard that some engines have a lower functionality. However, im doing it from scratch so I can get experience game engines dont provide. Thanks for answering my opengl question though!:D ps, im aware for 3d games I will need to use a have engine. I was mostly concerned about 2d game engines:p

Ps, I'm only 15

This post has been edited by zehawk: 27 February 2012 - 06:56 PM

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