Making the best of time: C, C++, and gaming libraries

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Hi all. I assume everyone here is taking advantage of the stay-at-home edicts and maybe doing some programming that they otherwise wouldn’t be? Or maybe some of you at least?

For whatever reason I realized that I can’t say yet that I’ve ever completed a game in either C or C++, even though I have exposure to those languages. But I downloaded three different SDKs — SDL, Allegro, and SFML, and got to know the basics of all three. Cool stuff! Now it’s just a matter of deciding what to make, and which framework to use.

Anybody here have any experience with these libraries?

How about coding in C or C++ … you guys like Visual Studio the best, or do you prefer alternatives like Code::Blocks?

I think Code::Blocks is extremely nice, however Microsoft’s offerings in this department as of late aren’t too shabby of course.

Back in the early DOS days, I heard that Microsoft’s big compilers for languages like C were a bit … cruddy compared to others like Borland’s.

(Yes, I know what you’re thinking. C? What is this, 1992?)

Comments (5)

5 responses to “Making the best of time: C, C++, and gaming libraries”

  1. illuminated

    I prefer avoiding C++ at all costs. Compared to C# it requires 10x effort for 1/10 of the result.


    In any case nowadays MS compilers are OK but open source, libraries and linking puzzles can drive anybody crazy. All other languages like C#, Java or Python have a way to manage external packages and open source ecosystem is really impressive. C++ on the other hand did not get any of that goodness and sometimes endless hours have to be spent looking for ways to resolve conflicts between some obscure libraries.

    • Paul Thurrott

      In reply to illuminated:

      So... you can't help him then, right?

    • ErichK

      In reply to illuminated:

      No I hear ya. Most of my projects are not overly ambitious, so I'm not concerned about things getting out of hand. But yeah, I could see C++ being not the best choice if that were not the case. I was able to come to grips with how each of those three frameworks worked over the course of a few days. Even in Visual C++, you can install the Allegro library directly from Nuget. And these three SDKs -- namely, SDL, Allegro, and SFML -- have been around for a while, so I think if I need support I should be able to find it.


      Heck, if it doesn't work out, I'll just go back to using more dedicated gaming engines and/or languages.

  2. phoenixatthurrot

    Visual studio code is quite nice as IDE (electron based so multi platform, everything is a plugin: many languages, git features, remote ssh/wsl, ...; due to plugin architecture a bit difficult to configure initially but worth the effort)

    Look into 'modern C++': standard versions C++11,14,17,20: has many/most of the niceties/ease-of-work of other languages but still the power, flexibility, performance and control that C++ gives. Modern C++ is also a way libraries can be more platform compatible by making thread,mutex,... standardized so no need for extra libs for that. It also introduces packages/modules in the latest version.

    PS. C++20 came out in 2020 so I'm pretty sure it's not 1992 :) C++ is very much alive after hibernating between 2000-2010

    • ErichK

      In reply to phoenixatthurrot:

      I haven't installed Visual Studio Code yet, but it looks nice and I've heard good things.


      My introduction to C++ was in junior college. I had two back-to-back classes (with the same instructor even). It's a good thing I went in there already knowing the basics of C and how to program in general, because he really put us through the meat grinder with learning about OOP and data structures like linked lists, stacks and queues (using pointers). Things I never dealt with before that.

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