Hi Travis,
Actually, I've tried SFML before and it is a pretty nice open source
API. I was actually considering it for the Genisis 3D engine
initially, when I was thinking of going cross-platform, but I was
under the belief that the Mac OS X SFML binaries were not being
regularly maintained like the Linux and Windows versions were, but I
can see that they have just released a version of SFML 1.6 for Mac,
Linux, and Windows so I guess they found a Mac dev to take over that
part of the project. Also while developing the early C++ port of
Genesis 3D I did find some disadvantages in the API itself.
For starts while the sfml-audio library supports OpenAL it is
incomplete. There are a number of OpenAL functions and features it
didn't completely wrap which means someone else would either have to
upgrade sfml-audio themselves or just use OpenAL directly to get full
functionality. That's one drawback I noticed right off.
The other disadvantage is that most Linux distros ship with SDL 1.2.
That's kind of the default API for the platform. It is not the best,
SFML is better over all, but that is what the Linux comunity has
chosen as default.  As I am looking at Open G3D primarily from a Linux
point of view I'm wondering if sticking with SDL might be the better
choice in terms of not having to install a bunch of extra libraries
like SFML when SDL comes with the OS already.
The other I just don't know about. I know they have a version of SFML
for .Net developers, but according to the docs it appears it is a
Windows only library. they don't make any mention of Mono for
cross-platform development. If I decide to upgrade and use the .Net
Genesis 3D engine for cross-platform development compatibility with
mono would be essential and I know SdlDotNet 1.6 could do that as the
docs specifically give directions for monodevelop, and I have written
a few sample projects with SDL and Mono and it works fine together. Of
course, if we decide C/C++ and then this issue would be pretty mute.

As for using VMWare etc I know all about that as I have done it many
many times for cross-compiling projects etc myself. Still if writing
it in C# .Net and basing it on the Mono Framework, SDL, etc I could
save the game developer a lot of time and effort having to use VMWare,
Cloud, etc to virtualize a bunch of operating systems just to
cross-compile games etc. That makes it too much effort when with Mono
you can easily build once and run anywhere provided you don't have to
make changes like path variables and so on. With save game files etc
the developer would likely have to change some variables etc, but that
isn't too hard.


SFML uses OpenGL for graphics. As that is the best graphics toolkit
out there for open source games that only makes sense.


On 7/15/10, Travis Siegel <tsie...@nfbcal.org> wrote:
> One cross-platform library you should take a look at is sfml (simple
> fast multimedia library) it's license is such that you can use it for
> anything at all, freeware, opensource, commercial, and anything in
> between, without even the need to mention it in the docs, though of
> course, the developers would appreciate a mention nonetheless.
> It works really well on osx, though I've not tried it on any other
> platforms yet.
> It has 3d audio functions, so no wrapper would be necessary, it
> supports joysticks, mouse, music, sound, graphics, (though I don't
> know how accessible the graphic outputs are) I think it uses openal
> for it's graphical output, but I could be wrong on that, since osx
> comes with both open gl and openal built in, it's of course not
> included with the sfml distribution for the mac, so not positive which
> it uses.
> But, in any case, I know folks are using it for some rather hefty
> projects, and the nice thing there is that you need to compile the c++
> code for each platform, but you won't need to change the code when
> doing so.
> To me, that's a huge plus.  There's ways of getting access to virtual
> machines (such as through amazon's cloud interfaces) so a developer
> need not actually own machines with the target os on them just to do a
> compile of some code.
> I'm sure there's places where sfml falls down, but I'm only using it
> for simple stuff at the moment, and so far, it's handled everything
> I've thrown at it, including voice chat in your games, which comes as
> a sample client/server app with the sfml libs.  Quite the nice touch
> there.  It of course requires modifications to be a full-blown client/
> server model and usable in realtime games, but it's really not all
> that difficult to mod for that purpose, so even new developers can get
> up and running with some pretty sophisticated stuff in their apps
> pretty quickly.
> Anyway, don't know if you already know about sfml, but just in case,
> there it is, it can be found at www.sfml-dev.org.
> Enjoy.

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