OpenGL Community Roundup, January 2013 Edition

Welcome to another community round-up! A lot of people have been busy, creating great games, tutorials, and live wallpapers. Check them out below (in alphabetical order):

Advancing Usability

Ino

pleyasLab

Rene van der Lende

  • Kube — a tutorial on rotating a cube using OpenGL for Android.

Teaching Machines

Team Blubee

If I forgot someone or something, just let me know! I hope you all enjoyed the holidays, and I look forward to a great 2013, with more great stuff coming from the community. 🙂

Check Out These Cool Live Wallpapers, Games, and Tutorials by Fellow Learn OpenGL ESers!

The community has been busy here at Learn OpenGL ES, as many visitors have been developing fantastic games, live wallpapers, and tutorials of their own! I’d like to highlight some of the work that I have come across in recent weeks; if you’re part of the community here and would like to be featured as well, please give me a shout-out via the contact form!

Spiral Maze!

Spiral Maze!Buggies! - Live Wallpaper

Spiral Maze! is a fun and addictive little game by Prodigen, with physics implemented with JBox2D. Prodigen is also behind the highly ranked and regarded Buggies! – Live Wallpaper, as well as AppShaker. All are definitely worth checking out!

Paperland

Paperland Live WallpaperExodus Live WallpaperLight Grid Live Wallpaper

Then there’s Joko Interactive, the developer behind the incredibly beautiful and attractive Paperland Live WallpaperLight Grid Live WallpaperExodus Live Wallpaper, and many more!

Tutorials

I’d also like to give props to fellow community members Sankar and bluBee!

Sankar has been sharing his own work and tutorials here: http://code.google.com/p/my3dcube/

bluBee has been sharing his own work and tutorials here: http://code.google.com/p/blubee-opengles20/

Thanks for giving back to the community!

If you’re part of the community and would like to be featured as well, please let me know via the contact form!

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Open Source Cross-Platform OpenGL Frameworks for Android

Android robot logo.
Image via Wikipedia

Let’s say you’ve decided to develop the next viral game for Android. You now have a choice: Do you go with a pre-packaged solution, flawed and rough around the edges though it may be, or do you decide to DIY (Do It Yourself) which has the disadvantage of reinventing the wheel and spending more time writing boiler-plate code? You also need to decide if you are going to go with a commercial solution or with one of the open-source libraries available.

Here are two of the more well-known open-source libraries that won’t cost you a dime to use:

libgdx

libgdx is an open-source framework which abstracts away the job of developing graphics for Android, and it also allows you to build for the desktop with only a few lines of code. It also appears to have support for OpenGL 2 on the desktop, though using standard OpenGL 2 instead of OpenGL ES 2.

forplay

forplay is a cross-platform library for developing games to target to the desktop, HTML5, Android, and Flash. It seems to be geared toward making 2d platformers rather than more intensive 3D games. Examples of forplay in action and more information can be seen at the Google IO 2011 session titled “Kick-ass Game Programming with Google Web Toolkit“.

Using a framework versus DIY

The pros

You can focus on the implementation of your app or game and save development time by not having to reinvent the wheel and rewrite boiler-plate code; being able to build for different platforms with only a few lines of code is a neat thing. Rovio reportedly used forplay in the development of the WebGL version of Angry Birds.

The cons

By using a framework, you won’t learn about the finer details of OpenGL ES and other aspects of game development, and ultimately, you’ll want to learn and understand these finer details if you also want to understand the broader picture. You’ll also have to live with the design decisions and implementation details of the various frameworks, as well as any rough edges. If you’re targeting Android and the Android Market, it’s better to test on and develop for the phone rather than on the desktop — it’s better to do well on one platform than mediocre on a few.

Conclusion

With the wide availability of code snippets and open-source libraries, there’s no need to go either-or. You can go with an existing framework if that’s most convenient for you, or you can start building from scratch, while taking code and math from the vast array of resources available on the Internet. Be sure to check the licenses before using code from other libraries — some open-source libraries are GPL licensed, which requires you to make your source code available for others should you incorporate it into your own code.

As always, don’t hesitate to leave your comments and feedback. 🙂

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