What LibGL Brought Us So Far

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LibGL is a new wrapper library developed by our community star lunixbochs, and it has been open-sourced recently. Basically it enables support of OpenGL code on the Pandora hardware (which support only OpenGLES) without having to change the original OpenGL code. Now it’s time to take a quick look at what software has been made possible so far using his library.

There is actually a lot of games that have been released using libGL, and most of them run very, very fast, which is a good indication how well libGL is actually working. The key limitation so far is that libGL only supports OpenGL 1.x and not above, which means that shaders are not supported by the wrappter at this stage. It may take a while before they are, if they ever are. Anyway, here’s a full list of what is currently available on July 26th, 2013.

  • Jumpman: this is one of the first games that was released with libGL support. It’s a polygon game where one has to reach the exit while having the ability to rotate the environment completely as needed. Very fun, but unless I missed something there’s no way to save your game.

screen

  • Aquaria: that was the first “WOW” application of libGL. It’s the full desktop version of Aquaria running on Pandora. Very impressive, even if there are slowdowns in later levels. 

aquaria

  • Armagetron: an excellent Tron game, very fast and intense. The 3D is not hugely complex but works very well in this context. Even the multiplayer, online mode works fine. Great game.

armagetron

  • GLTron: another alternative for a GL-based tron game. I have not tried this one yet.

gltron

  • Primrose: a reflexion game using OpenGL. This one certainly does not look very impressive but well… it was apparently not possible before libGL.

primrose

  • Naev: a recent conversion from PtitSeb using LibGL, a 2D combat game with trading elements. It has nice zoom/unzoom effects during gameplay. But it requires a swap partition since it’s very memory hungry!

naev

  • Bloboats: this boat racing game existed in the repo before the libGL port, but the integration of libGL made the game much faster than it was previously.

boboats

  • Critical Mass: a space invader kind of game. This is very, very hard and I could not even finish the first level when I played it the first few times. Fucking hell.

critical

  • StepMania: An excellent rythm game, very impressive graphically speaking. We’ll have a full review of this game on Pandoralive soon.

stepmania

  • Prototype: an excellent shooter in the R-Type tradition. The art in the game is superb, it’s smooth like baby skin and it plays very well, while it’s a bit slow-paced.

prototype

  • Octaspire Crates: maybe the most “meh” game in the lot. Not very impressive, not very nice-looking either, and not very interesting to play. Better than nothing I guess but it’s rather boring and the execution does not make you want to spend a lot of time on it; Why dark backgrounds and dark stones ?

octaspire

  • Duke Nukem3D port by mcbit, recently updated for OpenGL (no specific screenshot here for the OpenGL version)
  • Shadow Warrior (no specific screenshot here either)
  • OpenSCAD: one non-game program in this list ! A 3D CAD program (non-interactive interface).

openscad

As you can see libGL has enabled a lot of ports in the past few weeks, and it’s probably just the beginning. Thanks to Lunixbochs for his excellent job on this and for open-sourcing his code and letting everyone distribute software made with it. This was an essential step to gain community support.

Let us know your impressions if you tried any of the games mentioned!

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Jon Pritchard
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Great work Lunixbochs! Thank you.

Too much to ask if we’ll ever see the Introversion games on the Repo 🙂