Hi Damien,

Oh, that is quite understandable. My opinion is similar to yours in
that a game or any software project should try and take account of as
many people as possible. The problem is, of course, that it is much
easier said than done. Even in the open source communities like Linux
most of the software has to be released as open source so that someone
running another platform such as Windows, Mac OS, FreeBSD, or a
different distribution of Linux can modify the code and port it to
their platform of choice. It just isn't possible for one person to do
it alone. I found that out the hard way myself.

For example, you are probably well aware of how much time and effort
I've put into trying to create a cross-platform version of the Genesis
3D engine. The problem is that the APIs for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS
are so completely different there is no real middle ground when it
comes to producing cross-platform code. Yes, there is middleware
solutions like FMOD Ex or SFML, but what I've found is that the really
good middleware solutions like FMOD are extremely expensive to
license, and SFML works fine on some platforms and crashes on others.
The conclusion I've found through long hours of trial and error is to
write a game engine specifically for each of the major platforms that
uses what native APIs are present and forget about the middleware
solutions as much as possible.This is, to say the least, extremely
time consuming.

We are facing a similar situation with legacy operating systems like
Windows 9x verses Windows 7. Microsoft has removed and dropped a
number of technologies present on Windows 95/98 in favor of a bunch of
new technologies now present on Windows 7. It ends up putting a
developer like me in the hot seat. I can either stick with the old
which would certainly open the product up to more customers, but at
the same time not provide adiquit support for the new operating
systems of today. Once again, it seams like two different builds are
required to really and truly resolve this issue which isn't practical.
At least not for every kind of project.

Which is the other issue. Some games such as STFC 2.0 is fairly
cross-platform by design. Unlike MOTA I've been using open source
libraries like SDL from the beginning. It doesn't require advanced 3d
audio processing, Sapi, and all of the code has been very very generic
C/C++ code. I imagine if someone could scrape up a copy of Visual C++
6, would install the SDL SDK for Windows 98, it could easily be back
ported to older Windows releases. That's just because it doesn't use a
lot of OS specific APIs etc.

The Genesis 3D engine on the other hand is considerably more complex.
It depends on the Windows API for handling Windows events, DirectX for
input, Streemway for audio, and it uses Winsock for networking. It
also was compiled using Sapi 5.3 so it has MS Sapi 5 support. It also
is linked against the Windows 7.1 Platform SDK which means I'm using
the latest Windows libraries available for maximum stability. It
really was never designed to take in account older Windows releases
than XP, and would require quite a lot of downgrading with potential
stability problems in order to be ported to Windows 9x.


On 3/5/11, Damien Pendleton <dam...@x-sight-interactive.net> wrote:
> Hi Thomas,
> OK. Well now it has been explained to me calmly I can see what you mean. If
> it is not practical to include both API's, which your explanation shows me
> it isn't, then that is fine. I am just one of these people who likes to
> think about everybody when doing a project. There are still quite a lot of
> people over here in the UK who use earlier windows. Maybe not so much 95, I
> think I only know about four or five who use that. But I know certainly a
> fair few people who are still using 98 or ME. Mainly people who don't use
> their systems for high-end work and only write documents and play games on
> it. One such person is a relative of mine who turned blind in 2000 - that
> was the computer he was provided with. The last thing I'd want to say to him
> is, I've made a game that you might like, oh, but I'm sorry Uncle, I forgot,
> you can't play it because you're only running Windows 98 and it won't work
> on anything lower than XP.
> I hope that helps to explain why I have this, please try and support all
> platforms, past and future if you can outlook.
> I didn't realise the effort involved in such a venture, which is why I
> suggested it in the first place. Having never really used multiple core
> API's before except maybe DirectX 8 and the Windows API, I was unaware of
> what it would take.
> Regards,
> Damien.

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