Re: [dev] Suckless design in Games

From: Niki Yoshiuchi <>
Date: Tue, 10 Aug 2010 09:25:25 -0400

I used to work for a small video game company. When I started we were
making AGB games (Game Boy Advance) and all of our programming was in C (a
bit of perl for auto-generated code). When we started working on NDS
(Nintendo DS) games we switched to C++. Overall I think C++ worked better
for us for a number of reasons, but the for-most reason is simply that games
are object oriented.

That said, it's not like we had any problems writing games in C. We still
took an "object oriented" approach. It's important for me to clarify what I
mean by object oriented however. Mostly this just meant
encapsulation/grouping. A sprite would have a coordinate, a memory location
in VRAM, etc. Inheritance in C++ was used, but sparingly and only when it
made sense.

Generally game programmers uses composition over inheritance. For example,
a Player Entity can have either an ISA or HASA relationship with a sprite or
3D model depending on how you think about it and design it. In general it
is preferable to use HASA relationships for everything as otherwise you end
up with a ton of extra/useless code and complex, twisted diamond shaped
inheritance graphs.

Overall C++ lets you model game objects a little better (in my opinion) than
C. That said, C is more than up to the task, and some of the greatest games
have been written in C (pretty much everything by id software pre-Doom 4).
Some of the best libraries are also written in C, like the two you
mentioned: OpenGL and SDL.

TL;DR - C++ makes some things nicer but you have to be careful because it
can be tempting to add complexity. C is great for games. SDL is an
excellent library to get started with, and has been used in some AAA titles
(Unreal Tournament on Linux, for example). OpenGL is the standard for 3D on
everything except WIndows/XBox.

P.S. - If you are going to develop on Windows, XNA is pretty good. At this
years Global Game Jam my team used C#/XNA. I went in with a very minimal
understanding of C# and almost no XNA experience and managed to complete a
2D multiplayer game in 48 hours. Microsoft went through a lot of trouble to
make things fairly obvious (although it still has its quirks).

-Niki Yoshiuchi

On Tue, Aug 10, 2010 at 2:43 AM, Jacob Todd <> wrote:

> On Mon, Aug 09, 2010 at 09:02:53PM -0500, Matthew Bauer wrote:
> > What game libraries are suckless? (SDL, OpenGL)
> >
> > What programming language is best for games? (C, Python, or Go)
> >
> Just hack on the Quake source
Received on Tue Aug 10 2010 - 15:25:25 CEST

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