Changing Careers: Switching to OpenGL

We are a small development team, currently developing vertical market applications in a RDBMS tool. We have decided to do someting more exciting for a change and now want to (or at-least try) get into 3D graphics programming. We are all CS graduates with strong maths and a fair idea of what this change will reqiure from us.

is this a good move? Is there enough work in OpwnGL to get us going. We are based in Pakistan.

The main advantage of openGL is that it will work on MANY platforms, not just windows. If you pick DX8, then that is only for windows.

So if you want to create applications for Sun, SGI, linux, windows, mac, BeOS, and a few others, then openGL is the way to go. If you only want windows, then you can pick either openGL or DX8. Your choice.

i think one of the main advantages of it is
-90% of the examples/demo3dstuff on the internet/books/world uses it ( which aids learning immmensly )

whats that, ok i underestimated i mean 95%

I think basically directx8 is the better appi, opengl has the advantage of being easier and like said working on more platforms

Starnut Coder, what do you mean that dx is a better API, it certinly wasn’t the last time I checked (that would be about half an hour ago). Sure dx8 might have improved upon so many things but this this dx version 8 while we are sitting here with opengl version 1 (1.2). What will happen when dx 9 is released (which isn’t that far away apparently), will all the poor dx programmers have to learn an entirely new api again.

I think everyone seems to have missed the point of the question. Imajin seems to be asking if there is enough work potential in the world of 3d graphics, not if OpenGL is a good API to use for 3d graphics. I’m not sure what things are like in Pakistan, but in general I’d say that it is probably a good field to get into.

But then what do I know, I’m still a college student working as an intern using VB and about as far from a real graphics field position as is possible.

I graduate in 3 months, and I am primarily looking for a position where I can work with OpenGL, though I will probably take any position where I can work with C/C++ and Windows programming.

OpenGL rocks, D3D sucks

Hey deissum, wanna make up a company with me?

It seems like you underestimate the difficulties with 3D graphics programming. If you do not have any experience is being CS graduates with strong maths not enough.

You must not only learn OpenGL but also study different algorithms and be up to date with the hardware you are developing for. This will most likely take more than a year.

I think Deiussum was on the right track… but here’s some additional rambling to consider:

There’s strong competition in this field, and in the game programming field in particular. Lets face it: this stuff is so much fun that just about ANY programmer would love to make it his profession. The result is that the BEST programmers in the world often tend to do exactly this as a hobby, hoping to join a game programming team some day.

There are more than enough game programmers; those who make it are usually incredibly good programmers who could easily get many times bigger salaries as normal enterprise programmers, but are willing to accept a lower salary in exchange for a chance to do what they love. Those who don’t make it are still quite good, and they’re doing anything they can to find any other work to do with their beloved graphics library.

Sure, there’s the top group which gets huge salaries; but that group just isn’t very big.

[This message has been edited by jade6 (edited 02-21-2001).]

I know it’ll be a year before we amount to anything. So we are prepared to put in that effort. But as jade6 puts it, everyone wants to be a game programmer becuase it is fun.

I just don’t want my team to be in a position where we spend that year find that we don’t get any work.

Working as offshore developers here in Pakistan, we make $15-$30 per hour which is makes for a comfortable living here. Can anyone give an idea on what kind of rates would a company be willing to pay to an offshore development team?

Originally posted by Michael Steinberg:
Hey deissum, wanna make up a company with me?

Hey Michael. I’m actually hoping to start my own team with a friend of mine one day. (How many people here DON’T want to start their own team one day?) In reality, it’s a long term goal. We’ll probably end up in positions for larger companies so that we can actually earn some money while we develop our own stuff on the side.

But like has already been said, it’s a very competitive field. I’m very comfortable with my chances of getting a job in just about any other area of programming. And it’ll be nice to make a bit more money for a change while I hone my 3d skills.

[This message has been edited by Deiussum (edited 02-21-2001).]

the game industry is going through a slump at the moment. sega’s abandoning ship. sonys profits are way down (own fault). also a think to keep in mind 85-90% of games sold are sold for the console, computergames are a few small player in the market

I thought the undertone of my question would be a bit ironic…