Simon Roby wrote:
Many Windows systems don’t actually have a proper OpenGL
implementation installed (or worse, it’s broken). You can’t ignore
DirectX Graphics on Windows, it’s the API that “just works”, while
OpenGL is not.
?You’re right that there are some broken implementations blowing around.
?However, the bugs I’ve found myself on various graphics cards have been
?minor (like ensuring to use floats rather than ints). All bugs I’ve come
?across on ATI cards have now been fixed in recent drivers, especially as
?all manufacturers are claiming compliance, I’ve never had a bug on an
?nVidia card. Intel remains my openGL thorn which is pretty appalling but
?it is possible to write code that’ll work on all devices, especially at
?the basic level SDL uses openGL for.
Indeed, there is no real issue for handy users with proper hardware. Things
Just Work™, or they’ll think “Hmmm… Maybe I forgot the nVidia/ATI drivers
on this fresh install?”, fix it - and then things Just Work™.
The problem with most games (ie non “AAA” titles) is that if your demo doesn’t
work (broken OpenGL driver), or complains that “some sort of driver” needs to
be installed, it’s usually a lost sale right there. Simple as that.
You (or your company) might even get a bad reputation for trying to sell games
that “fail to work on many computers.”
One might decide it’s not worth the effort of adding Direct3D support to
please those unlucky users with crappy hardware and/or broken/missing OpenGL
drivers, but I have a feeling there are still too many of them out there…
The common wisdom is that the default OpenGL drivers on Windows suck
so bad they blow… so if you want 3D on windows you need to use
DIrectX. My experience with them is that they are actually “OK” for
many games. But, then I’m so amazed by modern graphics that I’ll
accept stuff that many people won’t
OTOH, as Sam mentioned in his recent interview, on older versions of
Windows like XP, the only way to get at the advanced features of your
graphics card may be to use OpenGL. Graphics card manufacturers are
supporting all the features of their cards in their OpenGL drivers for
all supported versions of Windows. But, the same features are only
supported in DirectX 10 and 11 drivers. Which are not available for
This is called being between a rock and a hard spot AKA a Catch 22.
Damned if you do and damned it you don’t.
Why is this a problem? Well, somewhere around 58% of the PCs in the
world are still running XP, no DIrectX 10/11 for them. Based on recent
statistics Vista has around 27% market share and Windows 7 is at 4%
and climbing fast. So, if you write a DirectX 10 or 11 game you can
sell it to at most 31% of the market while a DirectX 9 game can run on
89% of the PCs out there. OpenGL can reach the same 89% and then let
you reach the 9 or 10 percent of the market represented by Mac people.
(All stats are approximate and as good as I can find today.)
If you are planning on using the most advanced features of the latest
graphics cards and want to reach the largest market you just might
want to use OpenGL.
Ya’know… right now if you want to write a graphics intensive game
you might want to use OpenGL and target the Mac. Seriously, I’m not
joking. Apple has something like 90% of the high end PC market and is
somewhere around 9 or 10 percent of the total PC market. The Mac has
pretty stable graphics drivers, decent graphics chip sets, and
currently has a market share twice as large as Windows 7 (how long
will that last Seriously, the Mac looks like a better market for
graphics intensive games than Windows does.
Ok, I drifted off topic. The more I look at OpenGL and especially when
I look at the market for OpenGLES applications I start to wonder
about DirectX as a platform for future games. Sure, it is very
important right now, but, if I am looking 5 or 10 years down the line,
will DirectX matter at all?
Bob PendletonOn Mon, Nov 16, 2009 at 5:56 PM, David Olofson wrote:
On Tuesday 17 November 2009, at 00.34.19, “Scribe” <ali_lowe at sky.com> wrote:
//David Olofson - Developer, Artist, Open Source Advocate
.— Games, examples, libraries, scripting, sound, music, graphics —.
| ?http://olofson.net ? http://kobodeluxe.com ? http://audiality.org ?|
| ?http://eel.olofson.net ?http://zeespace.net ? http://reologica.se ?|
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