View Poll Results: What tools are you currently using to write your games with?

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  • Delphi

    13 37.14%
  • Free Pascal

    18 51.43%
  • Lazarus

    19 54.29%
  • Delphi Prism / Oxygene for .NET

    0 0%
  • Oxygene for Java

    3 8.57%
  • Oxygene for Mac/iOS (Nougat Beta)

    0 0%
  • Smart Mobile Studio

    2 5.71%
  • Other (Tell us please...)

    6 17.14%
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Thread: What tools are you currently using to makes games with these days? - 2013

  1. #21
    PGD Staff / News Reporter phibermon's Avatar
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    You took my grilling very well I appreciate it and you make some excellent points, time will tell on how tablets move and it's quite feasible that we'll carry around a a computer 'brick' that contains all our data, can be docked etc

    but I think it's probably more likely that mobile devices will not push for ultimate power and we'll see mainframe computing make a comeback, that is to say the clouds compute and storage resources would be our system and our computers, tablets etc will simply be dumb terminals/thin clients/cloud nodes (whatever the terminology is nowadays)

    Which I think would be a great shame.

    I think what I'm defending more than the desktop PC is high end CPU/GPUs, which tablets and mobiles don't come close to.

    Please note that a Quad core Arm clocking at 2ghz is absolutely no-where near even a single core pentium 4 from years ago, the clock speed and number of cores is not a useful way to compare two processors, the pipelining of the machine code, the branch prediction, out of order execution, cache size etc these are all really important factors in a CPU, as well as the instruction set. ARM is overly simplified compared to 8086 derived hardware, it doesn't have the amount of instructions an 86 has, not to mention other extensions such as MMX, 3Dnow, SSE/2/3 etc on modern incarnations of that architecture.

    Where an operation might be a single instruction on a 86 chip, it might be 4 to 8 instructions on the simplified ARM to produce the same results, so even if it was as fast in every other respect, it's doing lots more work than an 86. The low number of transistors and low power usage come at a price. I mean Intel still can't compete with ARM and that's because they've got to pack a lot more transistors in to support the full 86 instruction set, it's actually their Achilles heel in that respect.

    Ironically Intel's abilities are far more advanced than ARM (and it's licensees) and if 86 was as simple as Arm, Intel would *easily* have the lowest power usage and highest performing chips given they are a whole generation ahead of everybody else in terms of fabrication processes.

    Same goes for mobile GPUs, there's some pretty good stuff going on, but even the most powerful high end PowerVR (I used to have a powervr with a special version of Turok : dinosaur hunter.. Classic!) derived GLES chips, don't even come close the performance of a Voodoo 3 or a TNT 2 (ok, maybe a little quicker but no more than a Geforce 3)

    Sorry gone off topic again.

    --

    Object pascal, I code in that, I'll use whatever compiler that allows me to support the maximum number of environments and that's currently FPC.

    To play devils advocate, if I had lots of money to burn I would buy the latest Delphi in order to use FastMM and get a bit more performance on Windows platforms. it's true that at as of a couple of years ago, 32bit delphi binaries were faster and smaller than FPC binaries, but nowadays? I don't think anybody has done an extensive comparison for a while.

    Anyway, if Object Pascal was used extensivly in the gaming industry they'd probably all use Delphi, companies like having support and accountability for things they rely upon for their investments and if that were the situation then Delphi would be very different and their compiler would be a lot more like FPC
    Last edited by phibermon; 02-03-2013 at 08:00 PM.
    When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie - that's an extinction level impact event.

  2. #22
    Actually, when we ported Aztlan Dreams to iOS some time back (we haven't finished doing so though), even with complex AI using multi-threaded approach, it ran pretty well on iPad 2 - even faster than on Eee PC with Intel Atom CPU. The end result "felt" the same as on my older laptop with Core 2 Duo T7700 CPU. Therefore, I don't think mobile CPUs are so far away and I don't think your comparison with Voodoo 3 or Pentium 4 is accurate.

    For instance, many PowerVR 5 series chips have 1000 mpixels/sec, which comes close to GeForce 6200, but they have much better architecture and process shaders quite efficiently, not mentioning Tile-Based Deferred Rendering.

    Again, this does not compare, for example, to my high-end desktop system with Intel Core i7 2600K, Patriot 2133 Ghz DDR3 RAM and Asus Radeon 6870 GPU, but for general population, even Eee PC with Intel Atom will suffice; therefore, SoC on typical mobiles will be more than sufficient for most tasks, even some gaming.

    I myself felt this when trying to sell my latest Core i5 laptop, almost new, on MercadoLibre (equivalent of eBay): I had to give it almost for free and it took me 3 weeks to sell it; but when selling my used/scratched iPhone 3GS almost at stock price, I sold it in 2 days! If OEM retailers are having the same luck as me, it means PC market is in serious trouble!

  3. #23
    Sorry for me also going a bit offtopic but I personally think that mobile phines and tablets won't destroy or overcome desktop and notebok market for quite some time.

    About the results from a survey which has been made recently about different computer devices:
    Survey had only been taking into acount the number of sold devices but didn't take into account the average lifspan for each device. So if you have two different devices where average lifespan of one is 2 years (mobile phones, tablets) and a lifespan of other device is 5 years (desktop computers, laptops) greater sales of first one doesn't necessariely mean that now more pepole is using it.
    Also you have to take into acount that recent rise in sales of SmartPhones is becouse currently on mobile phone market you can either buy Smartphone with tons of various fetures most pepole don't even use and so caled "classic" mobile phone which mosty supports only making cals and sending SMS messages. There is almost no midle choice where mobile phones would be like some older mobile phones as Noki 5320 Express Music for instance. So many pepole say "OK I'll go and buy smartphone, maybe I could make use of some of its features" even when they actually don't belive this themself.


    As for programing for various mobile devices I belive that more important thing than the tool you use is the way you program. And yes I'm talking about optimization here!
    When you are programing for desktop computers you can easily forget about optimizatio since tremendous power of desktop computers alows you to runn even porly or abolutely no optimized programs with ease. But when you start programing for mobiles you no longer have this tremendous power which forces you to actually make well optimized code.
    And since most programers still takes into account sentance "No optimization is best optimization!" they are having huge problems when they are trying to develop programs vor various mobile devices.
    I still remember the time when game The Ur'guan Masters (remake of Star Controll 2) was in development and one of developers wrote news report saying something like this: "Even now we have full source code of Star Controll 2 porting that code into our game is extremly hard as the original code is so darn optimized that we barely understand what which part of the code actuall does".

    So yes with emerging of mobile devices we programers will need to learn how to write optimized code once again and so would programming tool developers.

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by phibermon View Post
    I would buy the latest Delphi in order to use FastMM
    I have not had any experience with delphi since d2010, but I believe that fastmm has been rooted out of delphi starting with the first xe. and yes fastmm was one of the reasons I was using delphi over fpc some time in the past.

  5. #25
    i have an ipad by accident and honestly i think that its good only for reading books, browsing the web and making music. sure it has some usefull apps but still it's more of a toy than a tool when it comes to power or usability.

    consoles were supposed to kill pc gaming but they didn't and I don't think that mobile devices are any more of a 'threat' for pc machines

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan View Post
    I have not had any experience with delphi since d2010, but I believe that fastmm has been rooted out of delphi starting with the first xe. and yes fastmm was one of the reasons I was using delphi over fpc some time in the past.
    i belive it has been integrated to delphi since xe

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by SilverWarior View Post
    About the results from a survey which has been made recently about different computer devices:
    Survey had only been taking into acount the number of sold devices but didn't take into account the average lifspan for each device. So if you have two different devices where average lifespan of one is 2 years (mobile phones, tablets) and a lifespan of other device is 5 years (desktop computers, laptops) greater sales of first one doesn't necessariely mean that now more pepole is using it.
    Well, the usage numbers tell otherwise: Usage share of different OSes. If you look into current trends and forecasts, number of Android and iOS units will greatly surpass Windows + Others. In other words, we will have more phones than desktop units. If what you say about average lifespan is true, then it is another minus for desktop development as the innovations/upgrades will be more focused on mobiles.

    Quote Originally Posted by SilverWarior View Post
    And since most programers still takes into account sentance "No optimization is best optimization!" they are having huge problems when they are trying to develop programs vor various mobile devices.
    Yes, this is called Premature Optimization.

    I agree that on mobiles you need to rethink how you program stuff, especially if you want to achieve similar scalability as on desktop. It's difficult to beat native code there, which I why I'm inclined against Java and HTML5 based alternatives. I think they are okay for business, accounting and some other basic stuff, but for games where you need to use all of the device's resources, they may not be the best choice.

  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Lifepower View Post
    Just imagine, you go to work, take your powerful quad-core mobile device, connect it to display and have your own PC whenever you go.
    Any mobile device can be plugged with peripherals to provide a desktop experience, so tablets' only advantage in this field is their size. I'd actually love using a Raspberry Pi for this.

    Tablets, with their touchy-touchy interface (kinda amazing that this technology took almost 10 years to get popular) are simple enough to use that they appeal to a larger number of people. Being small, you can take them anywhere - an ideal thing for someone who has to be on-line all the time or doesn't have anything to do during the long hours on the subway. They may have more uses in everyday life for an average person, but that's about it.

    Computing power may rise, but so does resource usage, so I wouldn't expect mobile devices to become desktop-level powerful anytime soon. And even if we eventually reach a level where everything can be computed in no-time, there's this little thingy: ergonomics. So, as much I can image computing power reaching such ridiculous levels that a pocket-sized device will be powerful enough to serve as a workstation, I think desktops will still exist - at least in the form of an army of peripherals with a small slot to insert your PocketPC.

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Lifepower View Post
    Well, the usage numbers tell otherwise: Usage share of different OSes.
    There are some strange numbers I see there. Acording to Net Market Share there is decrease of usage of WIndows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 but increase in Windiows 8 and other versions of Windows. And here I wonder what are theese other versions of Windows. Don't tell me that pepole started instaling older Windowses like Windows 2000, Windows 98, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifepower View Post
    If you look into current trends and forecasts, number of Android and iOS units will greatly surpass Windows + Others. In other words, we will have more phones than desktop units.
    We already have more mobile phones than desktops but since most of them are just plain simple mobile phones and not Smart Phones they werent compared with computers in the past. Therefore the reason for them quickly gaining market share. It would be nice to see comparison between the number of all mobile phones and computers and the trends of each.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifepower View Post
    If what you say about average lifespan is true, then it is another minus for desktop development as the innovations/upgrades will be more focused on mobiles.
    Why would that be minus?
    Sure it seems that in mobiles there is much faster advancment but in reality most of the technologies currently present in mobiles are just existng technologies from desktop world being ported to mobiles. And it is the rate of how fast theese technologies are being ported to mobiles which actually creates mobiles lifespan so short.
    Most notable technology used in SmartPhones is TouchScreen capability. Do you know that first Touch Screen was developed in 1965? So this is nothing new. The only reason why it gained so much popularity recently is the fact that production cost had became much much lower as they were in the past. I still remember when I was dreaming of having touch capability on my computer back in 1998 when addon for my monitor which would alow me touch capability costed almost as much as my whole computer.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Touchscreen

    The second most noticable technology in SmartPhones is Digital Camera. And this one isn't new. First digital camera was invented back in 1975 but become more popular in recent years due to image sensors becoming smaller and cheaper every year.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_camera

    Third most noticable technology in SmartPhones is GPS navigation which was developed in early 1940's and again become more popular when the production cots lowered considerably.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Positioning_System

    The fourth noticable technology in SmartPhones are motion sensors. When have they been first invented is hard to say as there are so many different types of them. But I must admit that Smartphones are first devices which masively make use of them. Before that they were only used for scientific purposes.

    Multicore processors which are used in newest SmartPhones have been used in desktops for several years now. So nothing new here.

    Infact if you take a look there isn't any technology in Smartphones for which you could say this is new and uniqe.
    This means that all new technology advancments are still being developed in destop world. And until it is so desktop computers won't die out.

    And if I go back to device Lifespan I can say that longer lifespan is actually better for us programers. Why? We all know that if you want to make some really good software it would take you athleast a few yeasr for that. So if device lifespan is shorter than that it means that before you will manage to develop such software the device for which you has been devloping the software for would already be obsoleete.
    In other words this means that you will need to keep redeveloping your software to make sure it is compatible with latest versions of such devices. This would increase the overal development time and even development costs.
    And this is by my opinion a great MINUS of mobile devices. The overal development is too fast for us developers to follow.

  10. #30
    PGD Staff / News Reporter phibermon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilverWarior View Post
    Third most noticable technology in SmartPhones is GPS navigation which was developed in early 1940's and again become more popular when the production cots lowered considerably.
    GPS uses satellites which hopefully, were not orbiting the earth in the 1940's. I believe you're referring to earlier technology used in shipping where multiple radio signals encoded with a timecode were triangulated to give the ships position (a technology still in use today by the russian and american navies, although only as a backup to GPS) and I don't believe this tech either was available in the 1940's. Radar certainly was and operators could radio the pilots to help them through foggy conditions etc

    Edit : I really need to think before I write if I'm on topic. There's forums on the web where you get burnt alive for that kind of thing.
    Last edited by phibermon; 03-03-2013 at 08:45 AM.
    When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie - that's an extinction level impact event.

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