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Three Free Packages\Engine Amateur Game Programmers Should Check Out

Every avid gamer has probably once ever dreamed of rolling out a game of their own,but very few realize the number of wheels turning behind the scenes,from windowing and event handling to collision detection and physics system to the rendering engine(these are a few by the way),all these subsystems have to sync harmonically to create the final experience of the game play.

Games in all glory are large software systems and as such are very complex to put together even by a large specialized team let alone a lone programmer in the confines of a small room.But no worries,lone developers can achieve some outstanding success like Markus “notch” Pierce the developer of the famous title,Minecraft.

Minecraft is of course a simple game programmed entirely in Java(except for the iOS version,which was programmed in c++),the graphics are simple and the physics is simpler,but lets say you want to develop a game with vivid graphics and effects like depth of field,motion blur and great lighting effects as quickly and efficient as possible?you will need a these few libraries/packages that are available for free and will get you up and running as quickly as possible.


1:SDL(simple direct layer);


SDL is a light weight crossplartform windowing and event handling library that natively supports Windows,Mac,Linux,iOS and android.

why do you need this?;

every application that feature some kind of GUI needs a window to display its content,in this case our game,they also need a way to read key,mouse,touch and controller these are implemented on different platform is  different,so SDL enables you to write code that will detect platform difference and adapt according effectively letting you write code that will work everywhere only once.

2:Bullet physics engine;


as the name suggests, Bullet is a middleware engine that allows realistic effects like rag-doll, fracture,clothe e.t.c to be simulated in real-time(or pre calculated in-case of high quality simulations).

why do you need this?;

physics simulation is really a complex and tedious to implement from scratch ,on top of that, high quality physics systems are time consuming to develop and there isn’t a reason at all to reinvent the wheel ,Bullet has a strong corporate backing and great reputation, it has been used on Grand Theft Auto IV and V,Red Dead Redemption  and many triple A tittles.

3:OGRE(Object Oriented Rendering Engine);


Again,self descriptive name,OGRE is a easy to use platform in-depended render engine that’s primarily designed for game development ,its heavily object oriented so its easy to understand and extend,it also makes use of namespaces to avoid name clashing(a common problem for hobbyist programmers).

why do you need this?;

rendering and animations are the most complex subsystems to implement, OGRE handles both very well, it comes with free tools for exporting animations from the most popular 3D packages to formats that can easily be consumed by the engine,this is a big win, it also supports simple materials scripting allowing materials to be tweaked during run-time ,it support overlays that could be used for HUD or Debug information.


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