View Full Version : OpenGL and the end user
10-08-2004, 05:08 AM
I'd like to use OpenGL to make my next game, which will probably be 2D, but with alpha blending, partial transparency, and other effects that aren't really available in unaccelerated libraries like SDL. The problem is, I read an earlier thread on these boards that said that some cards acctually don't have preinstalled OpenGL drivers, meaning that the OpenGL would default to software based rendering. How should I get around this? Is there some kind of link I should post about where they could download a driver? What kind of approach would be best to make sure the user has opengl acceleration, but is the least amount of work for the user? Failing that, is it practical to think I might be able to optimize enough to not need hardware acceleration?
10-08-2004, 05:47 AM
I've put this page on my site (copied from Phelios one with Patrice permission):
10-08-2004, 10:49 AM
If you're targeting Windows, you won't be able to get your code optimized enough to use the MS software renderer most likely. That thing is incredibly slow.
10-08-2004, 12:40 PM
You know, I still can't install OpenGL on my home computer (P3-800/256) where I've recently upgraded GF2GTS to low-end GF5 (works like 3 times faster, checked NFS:U). I have no idea what to do and I don't see any instructions anywhere - this hasn't happened to me for years and I haven't thought about OpenGL problems!
That's why I would not personally touch OpenGL myself - knowing how a casual gamer could encounter a similar problem.
However Toshiba Portege P3-800/256 with some weird Trident CyberAlladin videocard does (almost) nicely run Dino & Aliens (http://zone.msn.com/en/root/deluxe.htm?code=110225310&genre=Puzzle&RefId=123456&Session=&origin=pindex_mp_lnk&ln=en)...
10-08-2004, 05:04 PM
Remember that Some cheap cards don't support Opengl, like Sis cards
DragonsIOA I think you have to upgrade your opengl drivers to something like
1.4 or somethink :mrgreen: , you can find the drivers at your Gfx card cd/site
I also read somewhere, Microsoft is going to support opengl in xp. :)
10-08-2004, 11:32 PM
I'd like to use OpenGL to make my next game, which will probably be 2D, but with alpha blending, partial transparency, and other effects that aren't really available in unaccelerated libraries like SDL.
For the record, SDL does provide alpha blending support. It's not hardware accelerated, but if used judiciously it won't kill performance. You can check out my game for an example -- I use alpha blending for things like particle effects. SDL can do both per-pixel and per-surface alpha blending, although you can't combine the two which kind of sucks. SDL can also do rotation and scaling using the SDL_gfx (http://www.ferzkopp.net/~aschiffler/Software/SDL_gfx-2.0/) library. Unless your game is a fast paced action shooter like Bugatron, I would advise to stay away from OpenGL OR Direct3D. If you really have to use 3D acceleration it's better to have D3D support than GL, and that means DirectX 6 or 7 at most if you want best support.
emuLynx: I just noticed you live in Riga, that's where I was born! :) I never thought I'd see someone from Latvia on this message board. I lived in Zolitude before moving to the US.
10-08-2004, 11:45 PM
My first game used OpenGL. Without OpenGL drivers made for the chipset (or Mesa), you're measuring seconds per frame, not frames per seconds :p This is made worse when you consider that the drivers that come with Windows XP don't include OpenGL.
10-11-2004, 11:43 AM
Anybody release a game that used OpenGL and has positive things to say about the process? Was it easy to get your customers install OpenGL drivers if they didn't have them? Did many customers need to install them? Did you get complaints from customers that were not able to play your game? etc?
10-11-2004, 12:04 PM
We use OpenGl for FlySim. A few customers have had driver problems, but it mostly works. Updating the driver usually fixes most problems. We use a limited set of OpenGL functionality (my old P450 Voodoo 2 doenst even handle texture matrix ops). I went with OpenGL out of laziness ( used it for years starting with SGIs). One scary thing was a customer who installed SP2 and our game stopped working. He updated his NVidia drivers and it started working again - I hope this is not a trend...
10-11-2004, 12:04 PM
I hear id Software has had reasonable success with it. :P
10-11-2004, 01:04 PM
I use OpenGL. I've had a 60-70% success rate of installs (99% on Mac balanced with 65% on Windows and 50% on Linux). I get a lot of questions like this:
i wanna play please tell me gfx card opengl
and I always help them out but not once has it ever led to a sale.
10-11-2004, 04:39 PM
uhm.. Doom 3. ....guhm
10-12-2004, 03:51 AM
I don't get too many initial requests for help regarding OpenGL. Most of the time it seems to be people who have managed to trash thier drivers after playing the game for awhile.
[...]Was it easy to get your customers install OpenGL drivers if they didn't have them?[...]
Installing "opengl drivers" just means installing proper graphic drivers. They aren't a seperate download or anything like that. Fortunately it's very easy nowadays... one driver per vendor. There is one from ATI (catalyst) and one from Nvidia (forceware aka detonator). Download, doubleclick ok ok ok, reboot... done.
Oh and MS is going to include opengl capable default drivers with their next OS.
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