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Write Game in OpenGL? - AGhost - Dec 3, 2005 04:35 PM

Not sure if this is the right place to put this, but I wanted to know about 3D Game Development.

Is OpenGL a language that one could write a game in, or is it just for graphics?
If I wanted to develop a 3D game, where should I start?

Learn OpenGL?
Learn another Language?
Use Pre-Made Program (i.e. Unity, Torque)?


EDIT: This is not just another thread about starting game development. I have already wrote some game (see Nanobot in OMG Cup). I just wanted to move on to 3D.

Write Game in OpenGL? - Leisure Suit Lurie - Dec 3, 2005 04:37 PM

OpenGL is not a programming language. Its a library of functions for displaying graphics in a *cough* cross platform *cough* way.

OpenGL can be used with any flavor of C, as well as Java and Python (to name a few.)

Write Game in OpenGL? - Nick - Dec 3, 2005 05:17 PM

I think it depends on how much time you want to put into learning OpenGL and such and how long you're willing to go before you finally make a game. If you have tons of free time (such as a lazy person like me Smile) you might want to look into learning OpenGL. Otherwise I would suggest using Torque, dim3, or Unity.

For learning OpenGL, definitely have a copy of the Redbook available to you (I found it as a PDF file online once but lost the link). It's not a good teaching guide, but a very handy reference. is where I learned, but it was free a year ago when I was learning. There are still some free tutorials, and if you are willing to pay, is, in my opinion, the best way to learn OpenGL I've found. There's always Nehe's Tutorials and I'm sure there are tons more that can help.

Write Game in OpenGL? - Leisure Suit Lurie - Dec 3, 2005 05:29 PM

I think the SuperBible is more useful than the Red Book, but nobody listens to crazy old men like me anyway...

Write Game in OpenGL? - akb825 - Dec 3, 2005 05:59 PM

I also used the OpenGL SuperBible. It covered a lot of information, but also had a lot of mistakes and some code that doesn't work. However, fixing, those also teaches you more, since you need to know what's going on.
RedBook online
BlueBook online

Write Game in OpenGL? - AGhost - Dec 3, 2005 09:19 PM

So if I wanted to make a 3D game would I program in Cocoa and just use OpenGL of the graphics? How easy is this to learn/do?


Write Game in OpenGL? - Volte - Dec 3, 2005 09:47 PM

I think you have the wrong impression about OpenGL. OpenGL of course stands for Open Graphic Library. It basically provides functions that you can use to manipulate data for displaying on the screen. OpenGL alone is nothing, and thus requires an accessing language such as C, C++, Objective-C, etc, to retrieve data, and command OpenGL in its functioning. If I were you, I would start looking at some GLUT tutorials which simplifies a lot of the complex tasks OpenGL can preform. As for difficulty in learning, that is always hard to estimate as it is variable to the learner. I just started picking it up, but I would consider my self a fast learning. (Yay, cookie for me). So if you are really interested in this stuff, and can dedicate some good chunks of time, you should pick it up fairly quickly. That is to say, fairly quickly to learn, but as with most great things, a lifetime to master.

Write Game in OpenGL? - Nick - Dec 3, 2005 09:54 PM

I believe a lot of people don't agree here, but if you're going for Cocoa with OpenGL, I rather liked the Deep Cocoa OpenGL Tutorials. They might not be absolutely perfect, but it's a great starting point. The code's a little hard to understand with just the webstie, but if you download the source files and read from that code while reading the tutorial, it makes a lot more sense. He takes you through making an OpenGL window, drawing shapes and colors, all the way up to texturing and lighting. It's a good starting place anyway.

Write Game in OpenGL? - AGhost - Dec 4, 2005 06:15 AM

Alright, I am confused with all the different replies so I will make this simple:

1. Is OpenGL the best thing to learn for 3D Game Development?
2. What Language has to be learned along with it?
3. Are there any good tutorials related to game programming?

I already have:

Thanks a Ton,

Write Game in OpenGL? - Ingemar - Dec 4, 2005 06:43 AM

1. Maybe. It is my pick, but if your main goal is to finish a 3D game and you don't care about learning the details, a game engine that suits your needs (!) might be the best way to go. I have worked with several, but it can be tedious. Many engines are incomplete and unsuited for anything but what the creator aimed for - and sometimes not even that. Look at what has been done with it, and what hasn't, before spending too much time (or money).

2. Take your pick... C has the distinct advantage of being the language that the books use and that most demos are made in. C++ is popular in demos, too. I use C when teaching and something completely different when making my own stuff. Although you can use Java or Python, I wouldn't do that. It will cut performance in half or worse. Use a compiling language, any compiling language will do.

3. Absolutely, even entire books on how to use OpenGL for game programming, but 3D game programming is very complex so there are no brief tutorials that cover all of it.

Write Game in OpenGL? - NicholasFrancis - Dec 4, 2005 09:45 AM

I think you should ask yourself "what do I find interesting"?

* If it's creating a game, seeing something you can play that you designed then go with one of the toolkits (Unity, Flash, Anark, Torque, etc.). This will get you going and going fast. (see for some games created in 2 weeks by relative newbies).

* If you are more of the let's construct something beautiful from triangles and don't mind spending a year or so (spare time project assumed), then go for coding OpenGL. Most professional people use C++ for the application side, but that is secondary.