Me and the SO went to MalmÃ¶ this weekend. Lovely.
Met my GM Tomas in MalmÃ¶, and he told me about his new project: to become a game developer. “I used to want to become a game programmer, now I am becoming one.” So, I decided to get deeper into the question, first by looking at the net, getting an overview. His preferred API is now the free project Allegro:
Allegro is a game programming library for C/C++ developers distributed freely, supporting the following platforms: DOS, Unix (Linux, FreeBSD, Irix, Solaris, Darwin), Windows, QNX, BeOS and MacOS X. It provides many functions for graphics, sounds, player input (keyboard, mouse and joystick) and timers. It also provides fixed and floating point mathematical functions, 3d functions, file management functions, compressed datafile and a GUI.
OK, on the Win32 platform, it works as a top layer for DirectX, but on the other platforms it is a top layer for a string of other APIs. Neat: cross-platform in one fell swoop.
Googling Allegro turned up a few hits. The premier support site is Allegro.cc, a full-featured game-dev portal.
Tomas has been wary of the overhead of OOP, but he nows contends that making games takes OOP, and good data structures.
His IDE is Dev++ from Bloodshed Software. Tutorial on how to install it.
Warning: the tutorial above includes info on an older variant than the current, so an edit to Step #9 is: find the **Project Options** dialog (link to a screenshot) and the tab **Parameters**. There you have the option to link an object file to your project. Took me a while to find it. (Btw, to add this screenshot, I used the built-in Upload function of WordPress; very handy.)
**Update**: I got some email today from Tomas, and he explained about the beautiful **Package Manager**, in which you just select a few packages, hit the download and install button, and leech the packages from the net. Could not be easier. Developing has lost some sysadmin chores during the last few years. I do not miss a thing. Now, I’ll just reinstall the thing, and hope for the best. Sigh.
After the short meeting with Tomas, me and the SO went up to our friends Cissi and Stupor, recently married. They told wild stories about the outback of SmÃ¥land, second-hand store finds, while inebriating us with Polish import goods. In SmÃ¥land Cissi hosts a festival each year.