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Thread: So whatever happened to the whole PGDCE thing?

  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by phibermon View Post
    They should target OpenGL 3.0+ style contexts, firstly focusing on 2D (but very briefly) then bringing in 3D. Any tutorials on old immediate mode GL are just teaching bad practices - GL3 is *easier* - there's just less information around for learners.
    I think that making tutorials about specific graphic API is a bad choice. Why?
    Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the purpose of graphic API to provide a uniform way of using graphic hardware regardless of which programming language is used for the application/game development? Or in order words if you want to create same graphic scene in let us say Object Pascal, C++, C#, .NET, Python or JAVA you would in the end always end up calling same graphical API functions. Right?
    If I'm right then it would be possible to go and learn about specific graphic API even by checking tutorials that are written for other programming languages. Sure it would be hared but still possible.
    Also graphic API's keep changing. So we could start teaching OpenGL 4.5 but what if by the time our members get to master it OpenGL 4.5 is no longer the dominant graphic API? Excellent first impressions about Vulkan are definitely opening this possibility. That could mean that we invested a lot of time writing tutorials for something that is no longer useful for game developers at that time.

    I think we should more focus on making tutorials about various game mechanics like:

    • managing game states
    • working/managing with in-game entities
    • path finding algorithms
    • AI
    • procedural assets creation
    • physics
    • and so on


    The main advantage of these topics is that they will stay relevant in 10 or 20 years as much as they are today. Also none of them depends on certain existing libraries or API-s. So no fear that you will have to relearn them because certain library or API became obsolete.

    Also why should we bother people with learning about graphic basics when there are several quite capable graphical libraries out there which make the whole process about working with graphics a lot easier?

    To be honest I'm pretty disappointed with game industry (especially big AAA companies) because they are spending too much focus on graphics and not enough on gameplay and game mechanics.
    You see a great looking game with poor gameplay will still be a poor game. But a poorly looking game with great gameplay will still a great game.

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by SilverWarior View Post
    So we could start teaching OpenGL 4.5 but what if by the time our members get to master it OpenGL 4.5 is no longer the dominant graphic API? Excellent first impressions about Vulkan are definitely opening this possibility. That could mean that we invested a lot of time writing tutorials for something that is no longer useful for game developers at that time.
    I believe Khronos has explicitly stated that they have no plans to move away from OpenGL, and it's also unlikely that the basic structure of the OpenGL API is going to change much more going forwards... everything after version 3.0 is just an "add-on", essentially. Vulkan is also not even really meant to be a replacement for OpenGL... it's pretty much specifically oriented towards seasoned industry professionals (we're talking 10+ years of experience) who need extremely high levels of performance 100% of the time (as it is much lower-level than OpenGL with more optimization potential, but also a significantly higher learning curve.) It's far more likely to gain traction in the film industry than it is the gaming industry, in my opinion.

  3. #23
    PGD Staff / News Reporter phibermon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilverWarior View Post
    I think that making tutorials about specific graphic API is a bad choice. Why?
    Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the purpose of graphic API to provide a uniform way of using graphic hardware regardless of which programming language is used for the application/game development? Or in order words if you want to create same graphic scene in let us say Object Pascal, C++, C#, .NET, Python or JAVA you would in the end always end up calling same graphical API functions. Right?
    Hey man I agree with you but where do you draw the line? do write all our examples in pseudo code because we can't garuntee the future of pascal? do we not talk about games because people can learn general programming elsewhere and apply those principals to game development?

    Yeah somebody can go learn OpenGL anywhere - they can also go learn programming anywhere. Is not teaching them Object Pascal because they can learn general programming and apply the principals to Object Pascal - exactly the same as not teaching them GL because they can go and learn general GL and then figure out on their own how to apply it to Pascal?

    Quote Originally Posted by SilverWarior View Post
    Also why should we bother people with learning about graphic basics when there are several quite capable graphical libraries out there which make the whole process about working with graphics a lot easier?
    You literally just dismissed OpenGL because it might not be relevent in 10 years and then you suggest they invest the entire future of their project on an even smaller and less supported graphics library?

    Why bother teaching game programming or indeed programming at all because they'll be irrelevant when we have holodecks and the computer interprets our requirements?

    In fact why do anything whatsoever because the universe is going to end rendering everything ultimately pointless?

    You have to start somewhere - you have to make some assumptions - believe me - there's *plenty* of 3D specifics that your highly generic categories will not cover, there's entire designs that are specific to 3D hardware - compute hardware.

    Like it or not hardware accelerated 3D is a massive part of gaming and has been for nearly 2 decades and there's far more complexity, far more to learn in the 3D realm (NOT just graphics) than in a thousand collections of generic 'timeless' catch all principals.

    Definitely what you say is a good idea, I'm all for general principals and good coding practices - give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day but give him the means to catch his own fish and he'll eat for a whole lifetime.

    Totally agree - but by the same token teaching him to fish isn't going to let him build a spaceship.

    A game with great gameplay running in software at 2fps is a game with bad gameplay
    Last edited by phibermon; 14-03-2017 at 10:39 PM.
    When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie - that's an extinction level impact event.

  4. #24
    @phibermon
    I'm afraid you misunderstood me. I'm not saying we should abolish using any modern graphics. Heck most game ideas that I have revolve around 3D graphics (even have one or two VR ideas).
    What I was trying to say is why teaching people of how to initialize OpenGL rendering pipeline, why teaching them how to store textures in video memory, how to apply transformations onto 3D models, applying lighting and shaders, and so on low level if there are already available graphics engines that can do all this for them.
    If we go and start teaching this do we also expect that each one of them will be using this knowledge to create his own graphical engine. I guess I don't have to be telling you on how much work is required in order to make your own graphical engine as you already have experience in this area.

    Any way if you decide to start writing articles about using of OpenGL 3+ is won't say you shouldn't . In fact your rich experience in graphics and game engine creation is probably making you perfect candidates fur this topic. And it is quite high possibility that I will read through them.

    I just think that it would be more beneficial for PGD as community if we focus more on the topics mentioned in my previous post. Why? Because you can find a graphical engine that potentially allows you to create a game without any knowledge of OpenGL or any other graphic API for that matter.
    But you won't find a library that would allow you to make a game without knowing at least some of the topics that I mentioned in my previous post. At leas in the past 7 or 8 years since I focused my learning on game development I have never found one.

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by SilverWarior View Post
    @phibermon
    What I was trying to say is why teaching people of how to initialize OpenGL rendering pipeline, why teaching them how to store textures in video memory, how to apply transformations onto 3D models, applying lighting and shaders, and so on low level if there are already available graphics engines that can do all this for them.
    If we go and start teaching this do we also expect that each one of them will be using this knowledge to create his own graphical engine.
    Yeah but when someone looks for OpenGL tutorials and all he/she can find are for c++/c# then why would even bother with doing it in pascal?

    Dev forums are dying thanks to stackoverflow and this one is no different.

    Pascal is obscure choice for making games considering lack of learning resources/user base and imo this can only change if some big company picks it up for their next big publicly accessible game engine. But then, why would anybody do that same reasons considered?

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by laggyluk View Post
    Yeah but when someone looks for OpenGL tutorials and all he/she can find are for c++/c# then why would even bother with doing it in pascal?

    Dev forums are dying thanks to stackoverflow and this one is no different.

    Pascal is obscure choice for making games considering lack of learning resources/user base and imo this can only change if some big company picks it up for their next big publicly accessible game engine. But then, why would anybody do that same reasons considered?
    A quick way to get more 'meat' on this site would be to ask the people over at DelphiGL for permission to translate some of their GL tutorials and move them here?? Or link to them? I don't speak german, and google translate is just awful Not much use to do the good old 'divide and conquer' dance, and they seem to be quite active, at least by the looks of their forums. It would be much easier if you all spoke Swedish, it's way more easy to understand...
    Last edited by Rickmeister; 16-03-2017 at 12:57 AM.

  7. #27
    I haven't been here in forever. For me it is all about language and tool popularity. First, where do we go to find news in the first place that we can post on this site? The only other thing really is working on custom projects and posting about them.

    I stopped using Pascal for games probably 5 years ago. The tools are weak. The libraries are unmaintained. It just feels like Pascal as a language for game development has faded out of existence. I still like Pascal, and I still use it with Lazarus to create some desktop software. Without any decent momentum behind a project though I find it hard to work with. I would rather make games than engines. At this point, I am more interested in 3d games than 2d games. That's not easy to do with Pascal, especially if you want all these cool new features like PBR and VR (if you guys haven't tried a Vive, you should they're so much fun).

    Quick edit: We have amazing tools available as free to use now. Unity 3d and Unreal Engine 4 are stellar. Has anyone tried to make a comparable game in Pascal and compared how long it can take? These large game engines are dominating the game dev scene for a reason. I got tired of dealing with issues, missing features, and lackluster tools.

    Anyway. I through you a couple of dollars for hosting Athena. It's not much but hopefully others can chip in as well.

    FYI there is a small Linux game jam happening. No prizes or incentive to "win" just for fun. Might be worth entering if anyone uses Lazarus: https://itch.io/jam/linux-jam-2017

  8. #28
    PGD Staff / News Reporter phibermon's Avatar
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    @SilverWarrior - Yes I do see what you mean but Pascal engines currently available as good as many of them are still don't come close to the ease of use and rapid development capable with some of large and free engines that are available in other languages - you're totally right - it's game development, not graphics engine development but due to what's available? if a game developer working in Pascal right now wanted to produce even half of what unreal engine 4 is capable of - they need to write it themselves.

    which leads onto :

    Quote Originally Posted by dazappa View Post
    Quick edit: We have amazing tools available as free to use now. Unity 3d and Unreal Engine 4 are stellar. Has anyone tried to make a comparable game in Pascal and compared how long it can take? These large game engines are dominating the game dev scene for a reason. I got tired of dealing with issues, missing features, and lackluster tools.
    A view probably shared by many - certainly anybody looking to choose between Pascal and another language. Many of us have been working hard for a number of years on better and more capable engines but compared to the dozens/hundreds of developers that contribute to something like Ogre3D, unity etc - progress is slow.

    Things are changing though and there's some very capable engines out there. There's certainly a lot more capability than people seem to be making use of
    When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie - that's an extinction level impact event.

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by phibermon View Post
    @SilverWarrior - Yes I do see what you mean but Pascal engines currently available as good as many of them are still don't come close to the ease of use and rapid development capable with some of large and free engines that are available in other languages
    Yes I perfectly agree with you on that. But why is that? Is it because Pascal as a language is not suitable for game development? Or is it because none of the "weaker" Pascal based game engines never remained in development for so long as development of those powerful game engines that were developed in other programming languages have?
    Below you are mentioning Unreal 4 game engine. Do you even know how long was Unreal 4 game engine in development? Development of the Unreal 4 engine started in 2003 and it was published in 2012. That is 9 years of development done by experienced team before publishing but its development still hasn't stopped. But we should not forget about Unreal 4 game engine predecessors as they also affected the Unreal 4 game engine development in a way.
    First unreal game engine was published in 1998 which is 18 years ago. So this in a way means that there is almost 20 years of development behind Unreal 4 game engine.

    So how many Pascal based game engines have seen so long development time? I could come up with only three potential candidates

    1. Your unpublished JINK game engine that as you have said has been in development for over 8 years
    2. Platform extended which is successor to several popular Asphyre game libraries where the oldest one was releast back in 2007
    3. Castle game engine for which I don't have release date of its first iteration


    Quote Originally Posted by phibermon View Post
    if a game developer working in Pascal right now wanted to produce even half of what unreal engine 4 is capable of - they need to write it themselves.
    That is true. But what would be better? For them to start from scratch (all the way from writing OpenGL basics)? Or perhaps by extending one of the above mentioned game engines?
    I think that the latter would be better.

    Quote Originally Posted by phibermon View Post
    Many of us have been working hard for a number of years on better and more capable engines but compared to the dozens/hundreds of developers that contribute to something like Ogre3D, unity etc - progress is slow.
    But why is progress so slow?
    I guess main reason for this might be the fact that each of the above mentioned game engines is basically being developed by single developers or very small team.
    Now you may argue that in the past you offered others to join development of your game engine but there wasn't interest in that. I'm willing to bet that main reason for that is the fact that since you still hasn't published your game engine no one had a chance to see its capabilities and with that also its potential for improvement.
    But then looking back at my last sentence I think that the main reason for lack of decent progress with Pascal based game engines is not due the lack of developers but instead lack of users.

    So how can we bring more users to these engines?
    Is it by teaching them basics of OpenGL which would potentially allow them to start creating one of their own game engines?
    Or by teaching them topics that I recommended which would allow them to use one of the existing engines and actually start making games with it and maybe even join developers of these existing game engines with goal of adding additional features to them in order to bring them closer to Unity or Unreal 4 game engines?

    I personally think that later choice is much better. That is why I'm so adamant about it.

  10. #30
    PGD Staff / News Reporter phibermon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilverWarior View Post
    Yes I perfectly agree with you on that. But why is that? Is it because Pascal as a language is not suitable for game development? Or is it because none of the "weaker" Pascal based game engines never remained in development for so long as development of those powerful game engines that were developed in other programming languages have?
    Below you are mentioning Unreal 4 game engine. Do you even know how long was Unreal 4 game engine in development? Development of the Unreal 4 engine started in 2003 and it was published in 2012. That is 9 years of development done by experienced team before publishing but its development still hasn't stopped. But we should not forget about Unreal 4 game engine predecessors as they also affected the Unreal 4 game engine development in a way.
    First unreal game engine was published in 1998 which is 18 years ago. So this in a way means that there is almost 20 years of development behind Unreal 4 game engine.

    So how many Pascal based game engines have seen so long development time? I could come up with only three potential candidates

    1. Your unpublished JINK game engine that as you have said has been in development for over 8 years
    2. Platform extended which is successor to several popular Asphyre game libraries where the oldest one was releast back in 2007
    3. Castle game engine for which I don't have release date of its first iteration



    Yes I'd agree with you on that too - there's been numerous engines over the years that seemed to die off - another notable mention for your list would be GLScene - while not an engine in itself? it's still in development and is very capable if you know how to use it. GLScene, Jink, Platform extended/Asphyre and Castle are probably the most advanced pascal frameworks/engines that are actively developed, Cast II is noteworthy too although I've not seen updates for quite some time.


    Quote Originally Posted by SilverWarior View Post
    But why is progress so slow?
    I guess main reason for this might be the fact that each of the above mentioned game engines is basically being developed by single developers or very small team.
    Now you may argue that in the past you offered others to join development of your game engine but there wasn't interest in that. I'm willing to bet that main reason for that is the fact that since you still hasn't published your game engine no one had a chance to see its capabilities and with that also its potential for improvement.
    But then looking back at my last sentence I think that the main reason for lack of decent progress with Pascal based game engines is not due the lack of developers but instead lack of users.
    Agree again - lack of users - something I'm very much aware of! but it's certainly not a lack of potential users. To my mind the two biggest barriers to 3D development are :

    1. Lack of knowledge in the 3D realm

    2. Lack of 3D resources to use in games or the skills to make them cheaply

    The first I think is still underestimated. We've had GLScene for years and it's very capable - so why isn't there a dozen, large 3D game projects making use of GLScene? well it's mainly number one - it's not good enough to say "here's a model loaded and rendered to the screen" and "here's a particle system with a fire preset" if you want an amateur to create a game using your engine - it has to be, as we've often said, a game engine and a game engine to my mind should be something like Quake or the engine used in Fallout/Oblivion/Skyrim etc

    You should be able to load some resources, allocate some defaults - assign a few events and have a 'working game'.

    If a great set of useful components were going to take the Pascal Gaming world by storm? it already would of done.

    All engines so far, have stop too short in terms capability, to gain a meaningful user-base, given the already small number of potential users.

    The second is an issue for game development in general and not just specific to Pascal but it effects all game developers and in terms of the adoption of Pascal 3D engines - I believe it's a factor.

    Quote Originally Posted by SilverWarior View Post
    So how can we bring more users to these engines?
    Is it by teaching them basics of OpenGL which would potentially allow them to start creating one of their own game engines?
    Or by teaching them topics that I recommended which would allow them to use one of the existing engines and actually start making games with it and maybe even join developers of these existing game engines with goal of adding additional features to them in order to bring them closer to Unity or Unreal 4 game engines?

    I personally think that later choice is much better. That is why I'm so adamant about it.
    Again I agree - perhaps then a tutorial that shows how to do the same basic thing in three different engines?
    When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie - that's an extinction level impact event.

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