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DirectX 8 on BeOS?!?

Filed under the:  department.
Posted by:Ryan on Wednesday, 07 Feb, 2001 @ 5:42 PM
 
BeNews

BeNews recently ran an interview with Realtech-VR (great name, that) which covers everything they have been doing since SpaceGirl, a great looking 3d space shooter that has been discontinued for quite a while. The intriguing thing is that it quickly came out in the interview that Realtech-VR is strongly considering creating a Direct3D wrapper for BeOS api’s. In otherwords, Direct3D apps would just build on BeOS. Read on for details…

While the interview only touches on a wrapper for Direct3D, comments posted by Realtech-VR peeps indicate that they are planning to continue after Direct3D on to a port of the whole api. Says a RealTech-VR employee:

Since DirectX5 to DirectX7, the API didn’t really evolved. Just new functions, easy to update. DirectX 8 was completly rewritten (by NVidia) and it’s simpler and also designed to run on the XBox. That’s means, it was ‘portalibilized’ and easier to adapt on other plateform (for console).

That point, it enables us to really do the porting into BeOS. At the end, the DirectX 8 SDK will have the same headers than the DirectX 8 SDK official, with perhaps slight changes.

Same name of shared and static libraries will be given and some samples of the original SDK will be ported into BeOS (some of them are too Win32 specific and will be rewritten but in final, the results will be the same).

Only I hope that display drivers writter will includes the OpenGL extensions that enable us the use of single pass multitextures (ARB extensions) and other extensions in order to have a ‘perfect’ implementation.

What this will do is create a wrapper for the BeOS openGL and media wrappers, which allow games coded to Microsoft’s DirectX coding API to compile correctly as BeOS applications, and just run. Of course, mild porting will be required for other portions of the windows API, but the work will be extremely simplified.

Above and beyond that, they have also created a great looking resource translator, that takes windows resource files (which define the layout of the gui windows) and translates them to BeOS layouts and resources. This would be invaluable in porting a gui application with lots of complicated controls.

This could be HUGE, and allow all sorts of games (and other apps) to make their way to BeOS with minimal cost. If this group manages to get all these items completed well, it will be astounding. They are single handedly lowering the barrier ports are facing by exponential amounts. It’s coming down to “change the gui front end by running the resources through a translator, and writing a bit of code, compile and fix a few warnings in the directX engine. Link.”

Anyone else excited about this? :)



27 Responses to “DirectX 8 on BeOS?!?”

  1. Matt Anderson Says:

    Oh Yeah! I’m excited about it!

    That would be Extremely Groovy!

    I Hope they can do it!

  2. Ruprect Says:

    Whoa…

    Man, the good news lately is just unbelievable. I know, I know, it’s premature to get my hopes up, but this sounds too good to be true!

  3. Anonymous Says:

    [No Subject]

    leet

  4. ThePunisher Says:

    In Response To ThePunisher @ 02/08/2001 11:28:30 AM

    Re: You forgot something lads…

    Ok. From their FAQs:

    ====
    Silver License.
    Delivered for 1 product during the time of the production. Included RDS 2000 Pro, V3X Client SDK (build your own rasterizer). Debug and release version of the SDK. Full tech support. ISS Audio API is given for free!
    1000 euro (Price may vary)

    Gold License.
    Unlimited license for as many products as you want. RDS 2000 Pro, V3X Client SDK. Source code of RDS 2000 and their tools. Full tech support. ISS Audio API is given for free.
    5000 euro (Price may vary)

    Platinum License.
    Only given by invitation. This license gives you the source code of V3X.
    ===

    The prices are not bad at all actually. But again, I am not sure that each and every “hacker” who wants to port a D3D game, will have the money to spend $2-3,000 USD for V3X… Their prices are really low indeed for what they are offering, but again, it is kinda expensive for the BeOS hackers/students/lovers to buy it.

  5. Nutcase Says:

    In Response To ThePunisher @ 02/08/2001 12:08:22 AM

    Re: You forgot something lads…

    So the gold license is 5000 euro. Thats under 10 grand. And thats for unlimited products. So if NGE bought it, they could just start porting… they could expand their catalog by a LOT, very quickly. Of course, i am more interested in this applying to the original publishers.Hell, if EA would agree to port all their releases to BeOS using the kit, I will buy it for them.

  6. sadistic_mystic Says:

    hmmm….

    Hmm.. let me think…

    OH Yeah! Friggin #$#^&% A-OK Yes! My head is on fire!

    Um.. no.. not really THAT excited.

    Of course I am excited!

    Did you really have to ask??!!

  7. ThePunisher Says:

    You forgot something lads…

    Please, don’t forget that Stephane also mentioned that the wrapper won’t be from D3D to BeOS OpenGL directly, but from D3D to DirectGL (their prorprierty GL API, which itself is a wrapper of the BeOS OpenGL). Which means, that you will have to purchase their 3D engine in order to convert your game from D3D to a BeOS compatible GL (yes, you will still need to purchase their 3D engine and its libs/header files, even if the actual converter will be open source). So, that’s the caveat of it. I hope that companies will do that, but I am not sure for individuals. While in their FAQ they state that they will have half prices for BeOS users and students, generally, a 3D engine costs from $50,000 USD to $2 million… So, don’t get your hopes high, yet…

  8. Andrew Says:

    In Response To ThePunisher @ 02/08/2001 04:34:36 AM

    Re: You forgot something lads…

    Hmmm 50% off, sounds like a pretty good deal to me!

  9. Mike Jarosch Says:

    In Response To ThePunisher @ 02/08/2001 04:34:36 AM

    Re: You forgot something lads…

    Is’nt DirectGL the new BeOS API for accessing OpenGL? From what I’ve heard a OpenGL window inherits from DirectWindow (which gives you direct access to the frame buffer).

    OpenGL DirectWindow = DirectGL

    I’m not on the beta, so don’t quote me on any of this.

  10. ThePunisher Says:

    In Response To Andrew @ 02/08/2001 10:32:32 AM

    Re: You forgot something lads…

    >Hmm 50% off, sounds like a pretty good deal to me!

    Why? Are you easy to spare $25,000 for a small (or even big) D3D game that you may want to port at one point?
    Even if you are a company, like NextGenEntertainment, you can’t afford to buy something so expensive, no matter what game you are trying to port. The BeOS sales will never justify such a buying! I hope I am wrong, but I don’t think so.

  11. ThePunisher Says:

    In Response To Mike Jarosch @ 02/08/2001 11:22:36 AM

    Re: You forgot something lads…

    >OpenGL DirectWindow = DirectGL

    You got it wrong. DirectGL is RealTech-VR’s *proprierty* API (wrapper) around the original, BeOS OpenGL. Don’t mess the things up. :)

  12. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To Nutcase @ 02/08/2001 12:26:20 AM

    Re: You forgot something lads…

    LOL

    You know, it STILL amazes me how you beos zealots
    argue about vaporwarez.
    :p
    :b
    Vapor, vapor, vapor…
    A car can’t run on vapor fumes alone…
    and neither can an o.s.

  13. Atilla Says:

    Collecting the hints together….

    Hi there !
    What a nice thought - a win32 - game running “easily” on BeOS. And this with a supported “emotional engine” graphics chip (only for BeOS:). This puts out all the thoughts I’m thinking about :
    Is there a bigger Adaption work for the (malheureusement super majority) Win32 - Engine - Platform on and around Be & their partners (f.ex. Sony)?
    I mean - different to Apple’s poor Adaptionsattempts of the former Virtu-PC, which was certain boring, this might be an interesting way of moving forward…we can spin these things further - but on the end, it’s a question of (sadly) money !

  14. Dave Simmons Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 02/09/2001 02:36:19 AM

    Re: You forgot something lads…

    Vapor, vapor vapor,

    In that case, Apple, Microsoft and Linux are the vaporware nobility. I’m still waiting on the stable, fast and easy to use OS that they’ve all promised. Be’s no exception, but your comment was the ‘pot calling the kettle black’

    ds

  15. mlk Says:

    In Response To Mike Jarosch @ 02/08/2001 11:22:36 AM

    Re: You forgot something lads…

    Direct (in both cases) are refuring to direct access to the hardware.

    Beond this the two have not much in common.

    mlk

  16. ThePunisher Says:

    In Response To Nutcase @ 02/08/2001 12:26:20 AM

    Also… Wrappers are slow

    Another thing is, that Direct3D will be a wrapper around DirectGL, which is a wrapper around the native OpenGL. Do you know how slow that is? Quite a lot. Example: A game that runs on 20 fps on native opengl, it will go down to 12 with all these wrappers… :(

  17. Big Al Says:

    In Response To ThePunisher @ 02/09/2001 10:47:59 AM

    Re: Also… Wrappers are slow

    How do you know this?

  18. madshi Says:

    port has already begun

    According to their website the porting of Direct3D 8 has already begun… :-)

    “08.feb.2001 : new screenshots. Direct 3D 8 for BeOS port has begun. V3X for BeOS with harware acceleration is now available! More information the 15.feb.2001 with new RDS 2000 release and pre-release for BeOS. Also information about D3D8 port!”

  19. ThePunisher Says:

    In Response To Big Al @ 02/09/2001 11:08:17 AM

    Re: Also… Wrappers are slow

    It’s logical. Wrappers are *always* slower than the native, real code. Remember the Glide wrappers for NVidia cards on Windows 2 years ago? Way slower than a real 3Dfx card…
    A wrapper is translating one command to another kind and *then* it executes the command. That takes some CPU cycles. And if you have to do that twice (D3D to DirectGL, and DirectGL to OpenGL), now, that IS slow, no matter how good programmers the lads at RealTech-VR are. I am not saying that games will be completely unplayable! Not at all. But:
    1. The engine is expensive for every-day developers (but way cheap for companies of course)
    2. The kind of transaltion they do, through DirectGL, is slower than it could have been. They do it that way, so that you HAVE to buy their engine in order to convert from D3D to BeOS OGL.

    So, while the whole idea is good, and I hope they do well, their actions are not for the best interest of BeOS, but theirs. But yes, I am happy for a D3D port, I am not whining. It’s just that it could have been more perfect. :)

  20. Big Al Says:

    In Response To ThePunisher @ 02/09/2001 11:40:29 AM

    Re: Also… Wrappers are slow

    I wouldn’t look at the Glide wrappers as a shining example - they were written by 3dfx for 3dfx - of course they wouldn’t perform as well on NVidia cards.

    I’m not arguing there will be some overhead - I was just wondering where you got your information, ie: if you were an employee or insider or something. Hopefully the speed and efficiency of Be’s better implementation of HA OpenGL will overwrite any performance hit from using wrappers.

  21. ThePunisher Says:

    In Response To Big Al @ 02/09/2001 11:54:52 AM

    Re: Also… Wrappers are slow

    >I wouldn’t look at the Glide wrappers as a shining example - they were written by 3dfx for 3dfx

    You are 100% wrong. The Glide wrappers were written by hackers to provide Glide support to non-3Dfx cards. 3Dfx CHASED them for that. Legally!

    >I was just wondering where you got your information, ie: if you were an employee or insider or something.

    What do you mean? I am no insider. The opinion I wrote regarding performance are logical thoughts, if you know some crap about programming. Wrappers are slow, and emulators are even slower. That is well known. It is no secret.

    >Hopefully the speed and efficiency of Be’s better implementation of HA OpenGL will overwrite any performance hit from using wrappers.

    Maybe, for ATI Radeon’s case. But not for 3Dfx cards (as we saw from the BeNews benchmarks) or other cards. One of the reasons ATI Radeon is faster on BeOS is because the Windows drivers suck badly. Even Linux has faster drivers than Windows on Radeon. But that does not change the fact, that too many wrappers will slow down D3D on BeOS, in a bad way. And that’s no good for anyone.

    Gordon

  22. Big Al Says:

    In Response To ThePunisher @ 02/09/2001 2:43:31 PM

    Re: Also… Wrappers are slow

    I hope I didn’t sound like I was chalenging you. I made a mistake when I said the Glide wrappers were from 3Dfx - I meant Glide itself. Sorry, my mistake.

    As far as the insider comment, I noticed someone from Realtech-VR was posting on BeNews - I thought you might be the same person or someone who works at Realtech-VR and knew more about the situation.

    Hope I didn’t upset things.

  23. Zaranthos Says:

    In Response To Dave Simmons @ 02/09/2001 03:59:36 AM

    Re: You forgot something lads…

    touche’

    :^)

  24. Zaranthos Says:

    In Response To ThePunisher @ 02/09/2001 2:43:31 PM

    Re: Also… Wrappers are slow

    So what? Games that are hugely popular albeit old like StarCraft will run great still.

    There are thousands of games that would run fine with a few wrappers on todays hardware. GIVE ME THE GAMES!

    :^)

  25. JediBe Says:

    What about the audio

    I would like to see something like this for the audio portions of the DirectX API. Imagine all of the Direct X plug-ins that could be used in even the most basic of BeOS audio editors.
    Not to mention that a lot of games use (Direct3DSound (I think thats what its called) for 3D game audio.
    I really hope they continue and port the whole Direct X API over.

  26. Anonymous Says:

    [No Subject]

    You’ve got high hopes.
    You’ve got high hopes.
    You’ve got, high apple pie in the sky hopes.

  27. sting Says:

    this suks ass wipe

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