For a while now, I’ve been meaning to get into some video game development. I’m also interested in OpenGL, and so I figured why not dive headfirst into OpenGL and make a video game? I have a few game ideas I want to explore, but baby steps first right?
My original plan was to build:
- a Pong clone vs. AI
- a Geometry Wars clone
- Start going crazy with my own ideas
However, I recently stumbled upon Game Mechanic Explorer when browsing HackerNews. It’s a really cool site made by John Watson where he has created a bunch of different game mechanics using the Phaser game framework. He’s got each of them in a dedicated page, with a playable sample as well as code and explanations. It’s an amazing site and I highly urge everyone to spend a few minutes to check it out.
After seeing that site, I’ve decided to replace #1 in my original plan to recreating his samples but in OpenGL. I think it’s much more ambitious than creating a Pong clone, but I think it’s still in reach.
I’ve found a few resources to help me get started with OpenGL development. I’ll list them here for reference, but I won’t go into detail on any of them since that is not within the scope of this post.
However, the one thing I will say about The OpenGL SuperBible (since it’s the one I purchased) is that the main complaint others have had with the book rings true with me: the authors abstracted much of the code into a library for the book. This makes things difficult to understand and track down for newcomers to OpenGL. It does make things easier to code if you follow along in the book, but you won’t understand what the library is doing and you’ll be lost without the library and the book.
In the rest of this post, I’ll explore how to get set up to start developing with OpenGL on Mac OS X as well as show to to render a simple triangle.