Why you should use OpenGL and not DirectX : article

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Post: #16
Frank C. Wrote:Pretty much the only reason I game on my iMac is Windows+Steam - AAA games for $5-$10 a pop on a computer I would've bought anyway make it a no brainer.
Which is yet another point of argument for the AAA devs that want to be all-in with DirectX and dismiss OpenGL: Where is the motivation when Mac users can simply install Windows on their Macs nowadays and play their games without the dev even needing to port the game at all!

Frank C. Wrote:It'd be nice not having to dual boot, but if a bunch of Mac developers, on a Mac game developer message board can't aggree that Macs are decent gaming machines then ya, we're pretty much SOL! Wacko
LOL well put!
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Post: #17
AnotherJake Wrote:I *completely* disagree that pointing out what little regard I have for the Mac as a AAA gaming platform, and instead prefer the Xbox 360, is somehow tangential to the discussion.

It'll probably be hard to explain this...

"Xbox is a better gaming box than a Mac" is a given (using those standards). But it's tangential to the argument about why developers should [want/demand to] use OpenGL vs DirectX.

Yes, the Xbox community is vibrant, and yes the games are plentiful, but even if you combine Windows gamers and Xbox 360, everyone else still out numbers them*, and everyone else uses OpenGL. That fact feeds into David's points about using OpenGL and being able to hit every platform.

To reword it...

Xbox is the only platform that developers must use Direct3D on, and the percentage of Xbox users compared to the entire market is small. David says: "If Direct3D doesn't offer any undeniably clear and significant benefit over OpenGL to game developers who already have to write OpenGL code when targeting other platforms anyway, then what's the point of Direct3D existing? Why is everyone so ga-ga over it? You should be evangelizing and demanding OpenGL! No vendor lock-in and less code to write!"

Saying "well the Xbox is better than the Mac because it's cheaper and has more games etc" is kinda besides the point. The Mac really doesn't have anything to do with it. Clearer? That's all I'm saying.




* I'm basing that on recent sales figures which showed that PC sales of MW2 were tiny compared to the console (plus everyone knows PC games sales are much smaller than console sales anyway). Also using console sales figures from vgchartz which show Xbox 360 being about 37% of the next-gen console market (and that number is shrinking).

** While it's certainly conceivable a developer/publisher simply wouldn't ever want to sell on anything but Xbox and Windows (and thus why bother caring about OpenGL anyway), that's simply not the case for the vast majority of them. Proof of this is in the fact that most games are available on PS3 and some of those are even on Wii as well.
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Post: #18
FreakSoftware Wrote:It'll probably be hard to explain this...
I can see you made a great effort of it though, so I'll give you some points for that Rasp

FreakSoftware Wrote:"Xbox is a better gaming box than a Mac" is a given (using those standards). But it's tangential to the argument about why developers should [want/demand to] use OpenGL vs DirectX.
I can see your angle, but the operative term there is "should". Of course they *should* want to use OpenGL because that makes most sense, and David did a fantastic job of laying those arguments out. I'm coming from why they *want* to use DirectX instead of OpenGL.

Obviously there is a fanboi/emotional/irrational reason somewhere in there for devs to devote their codebase to a closed standard which more solidly locks developers into Microsoft platforms only (not that they *can't* port to OpenGL). But it's not all that, there must be some logical reasoning behind it too. What is it exactly? I don't know, but I can tell you that I personally prefer to buy low-end Mac equipment for computing and a cheap 360 for gaming. When I see a Mac, do I think games? No. When I think games, do I think Mac? No. I think Xbox and Windows. Period. That's where I'm coming from. That's what I think the mass of devs are looking at:

1) they *lerve* MS Love
2) why should they develop for anyone else, when MS *lerves* them back?

FreakSoftware Wrote:Saying "well the Xbox is better than the Mac because it's cheaper and has more games etc" is kinda besides the point. The Mac really doesn't have anything to do with it. Clearer? That's all I'm saying.
Again, what I'm saying is that the Mac *does* have something to do with it. Not everything to do with it, but it's part of "those other platforms which aren't Microsoft platforms" crowd. It's not just the Mac though, and that's not what I was getting at. What I'm getting at is *why* AAA devs prefer DirectX over OpenGL (even though that is a dumb choice in our collective opinion). The Mac is just an example of why developers brush off logical arguments in favor of OpenGL. It's like, from the point of view of a DirectX adopter, "Show me a platform that is worth me developing for. Mac? That's irrelevant. Nobody games on the Mac and Apple doesn't help us developers out like Microsoft does. Give me another example. Can't find one? Right, that's why I'm using DirectX and don't bother with OpenGL".
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Post: #19
Quote:What I'm getting at is *why* AAA devs prefer DirectX over OpenGL (even though that is a dumb choice in our collective opinion). The Mac is just an example of why developers brush off logical arguments in favor of OpenGL. It's like, from the point of view of a DirectX adopter, "Show me a platform that is worth me developing for. Mac? That's irrelevant. Nobody games on the Mac and Apple doesn't help us developers out like Microsoft does. Give me another example. Can't find one? Right, that's why I'm using DirectX and don't bother with OpenGL".

Uhh... Apparently that DirectX adopter has never heard of the PS3 or the Wii? Both use OpenGL. The majority of developers do PS3/360 versions of the game and thus are already writing OpenGL code. Certainly every major engine supports both. So the question is why are they so ga-ga over Direct3D when it provides no clear and significant benefit? I don't see how you're answering that question.
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Post: #20
FreakSoftware Wrote:I don't see how you're answering that question.

I'm not!

There are two components to why devs devote to DirectX:
1) fanboi-ism
2) logic

We "get" number 1, but number 2 is the hard one to find. All I've been talking about this whole time is what could possibly motivate a dev to devote to DirectX in a logical sense. It's not easy to come up with the logic, but I understand some of the viewpoints, particularly as it relates to the Mac. Obviously there are many other platforms to consider, but I don't know enough about them and how they are viewed from a possible DirectX adopter. I, myself, have flirted with XNA and took a sip of the Kool-aid. I "get" it from that point of view only. It didn't make enough sense, so I didn't pursue it any further. But I can see at least some glimmer of reasoning deep in there. It's nice that MS actually caters to game devs, completely unlike Apple. I experienced that. I'm jealous. It may not make much sense if one really thinks about it, but it *felt* good. Like I said, the only reason I don't develop for DirectX is because it ain't available on the Mac. Those guys are Windows users, so that argument means nothing to them. <-- logical reasoning?
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Post: #21
[chuckle] Reading back over this thread, I still totally don't get what this disagreement is about. Fun discussion though!
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DoG
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Post: #22
I just don't see why you assume Apple could somehow "court" game developers. The mac market is, simply put, a tiny fraction of the Windows or console markets. No amount of technology will make it more economically viable in the short run.
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DoG Wrote:I just don't see why you assume Apple could somehow "court" game developers. The mac market is, simply put, a tiny fraction of the Windows or console markets. No amount of technology will make it more economically viable in the short run.

Well, "courting" is only one part of my view on it. And again, this is all just for the purposes of imagining what is behind the motivation of devoting to DirectX. I don't develop for DirectX, so this is purely speculation. The more full view looks like: The Mac market is too small* and Apple doesn't court game devs like Microsoft does, and the hardware capabilities are historically often inconsistent with industry standards, and the overall view is that no one games on the Mac.

So again, if there's logic to be had for sticking to DirectX, one now has the argument why Windows is the only PC platform to develop for (skipping Linux). Now, as a DirectX adopter, you just have to convince yourself that if you're going to develop for consoles too, you don't care about wii or PS3 and DirectX is untouchable.

* World of Goo reported 25% of their sales went to the Mac, so "relatively small" is probably more accurate.
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Post: #24
AnotherJake Wrote:* World of Goo reported 25% of their sales went to the Mac, so "relatively small" is probably more accurate.

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Post: #26
For a game like world of Goo, with such exposure, 25% is huge.

For a typical indie game with Mac and PC ports, you actually sell 50-50 or more copies on the Mac than on PC.

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Post: #27
Najdorf Wrote:For a game like world of Goo, with such exposure, 25% is huge.

I agree. That's why I like taking that as a good example of what a AAA game could expect.
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Post: #28
AnotherJake Wrote:[chuckle] Reading back over this thread, I still totally don't get what this disagreement is about. Fun discussion though!

We seem to do this often. Rasp
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Post: #29
FreakSoftware Wrote:and everyone else uses OpenGL. That fact feeds into David's points about using OpenGL and being able to hit every platform.

Sure, except that the Wii doesn't use OpenGL, and the PS3 uses something else altogether (GCM). Really, the only platforms that use OpenGL as their only hardware-accelerated platform are Linux/Mac boxes and the iPhone, none of which are particularly significant gaming platforms.

Of all the "important" thing in a game engine, the commands it spits out behind the scenes are near the bottom.

It's not magic, it's Ruby.
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Post: #30
My understanding was that the Wii had a very OpenGL-like API (though not exactly OpenGL) and that the PS3 supported OpenGL ES + CG as an official API.

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Author of Chipmunk Physics - A fast and simple rigid body physics library in C.
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