I'm interested in becoming a Pandora dev?

Darkzero

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Hi. First off, this is my first post here. I intend to become a regular at this community ;)

I started programming websites a few years ago, starting with the basics; HTML, CSS, PHP. Then I started learning Javascript, ASP, and AJAX.

But recently, i've been drifting towards local programming with C++ and advanced networking. I'm not very fluent in C++ yet, but it's very similar to PHP/ASP.. So i'm pretty sure i'll catch on fast :]

Anyways, I'd like to start learning how to program games, and applications for consoles. I was starting to learn how to program for the PSP, but then I found Pandora. I'm amazed by it, i'd be honored to become a dev and learn how to program for it. I've set aside the money to buy it, but i'm not quiet sure what I want right now.

From my understanding, there's going to be two types of Pandoras. The Development units, and the regular units.. Am I right?

I was also curious if there's any sort of emulator or compiler foro Pandora that I can run on Windows until i'm able to get my own Pandora?

Thanks much :)
 

lulzfish

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Hi, I'm in a similar situation to you. I've been doing C++ for a while now, but I'm using Linux for development since the tools are a bit better.

The libraries that are expected to be standard on Pandora for game development are SDL [audio, basic 2d software graphics, input] and OpenGL ES 2.0 [for advanced high-speed 2D and 3D graphics]

They're both super-easy to use with C++ and you can find tutorials for them with Google.

I haven't developed in Windows in ages, but Dev-C++ is a good IDE for C++, it uses the GNU C++ compiler, which I use on my laptop and the Pandora will use.

There isn't an emulator for Pandora yet. I've heard the QEMU emulator supports ARM architectures, but I haven't had any luck getting Angstrom anywhere near it.

Also be advised that the Pandora will be using OpenGL ES, which is a stripped-down version of OpenGL. This means any OpenGL programs you have on a desktop platform will need some slight modification to run on the OGLES platform. Basically, you have to use pixel and vertex shaders instead of the fixed pipeline, and vertex arrays instead of "immediate mode", which is the vertex-by-vertex method most beginning OGL tutorials will use.

Of course, that's all assuming that you intend to use OpenGL. You can get quite a lot done with SDL, so I suggest you go to www.libsdl.org and figure out how to write SDL programs in Windows. Unlike OpenGL / OpenGL ES, SDL should be the same on the Pandora, but it's also not hardware-accelerated on either platform.

As for compiling for the Pandora, I've heard some of the devs on here talk about something called "BitBake", but I don't know anything about it. I'm probably just going to transfer my source code to the Pandora and compile everything on there using the native compiler.

Good luck!
 

Darkzero

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lulzfish said:
Hi, I'm in a similar situation to you. I've been doing C++ for a while now, but I'm using Linux for development since the tools are a bit better.

The libraries that are expected to be standard on Pandora for game development are SDL [audio, basic 2d software graphics, input] and OpenGL ES 2.0 [for advanced high-speed 2D and 3D graphics]

They're both super-easy to use with C++ and you can find tutorials for them with Google.

I haven't developed in Windows in ages, but Dev-C++ is a good IDE for C++, it uses the GNU C++ compiler, which I use on my laptop and the Pandora will use.

There isn't an emulator for Pandora yet. I've heard the QEMU emulator supports ARM architectures, but I haven't had any luck getting Angstrom anywhere near it.

Also be advised that the Pandora will be using OpenGL ES, which is a stripped-down version of OpenGL. This means any OpenGL programs you have on a desktop platform will need some slight modification to run on the OGLES platform. Basically, you have to use pixel and vertex shaders instead of the fixed pipeline, and vertex arrays instead of "immediate mode", which is the vertex-by-vertex method most beginning OGL tutorials will use.

Of course, that's all assuming that you intend to use OpenGL. You can get quite a lot done with SDL, so I suggest you go to http://www.libsdl.org and figure out how to write SDL programs in Windows. Unlike OpenGL / OpenGL ES, SDL should be the same on the Pandora, but it's also not hardware-accelerated on either platform.

As for compiling for the Pandora, I've heard some of the devs on here talk about something called "BitBake", but I don't know anything about it. I'm probably just going to transfer my source code to the Pandora and compile everything on there using the native compiler.

Good luck!

Thank you, this is really helpful ^-^

Haha;

I haven't developed in Windows in ages, but Dev-C++ is a good IDE for C++, it uses the GNU C++ compiler, which I use on my laptop and the Pandora will use.
Thats cool, because that's the only compiler i've even used for windows x]
 

dts

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Hej!

Just wanted to add some things. If you're serious about the programming thing have a look at the Pandora Panic thread:

http://www.gp32x.de/board/index.php?showtopic=44652

There's another thread at this forum, but I guess the main action is over there now. From what I heard (rather read) it's fairly easy to create your own minigame for the community project. Might be a good start into games programming.
Plus, if you search patiently you'll find lots of pointers to Beginner's tutorials in the forum(s)

As for the model confusion, there's only one version of the finished Pandora. There exist a handful "Devboards", which basically is an earlier version of just the main board (no nubs, no keyboard, not even a case ;)) that were given away in the past (in whatever way I don't know) to people working on Kernel optimization and other basic hardware stuff. Almost all Programmers will use the "retail" version for development. AFAIK no devboards will be given out ever again (except leftovers maybe, who knows), since the hardware and OS design is (hopefully :)) done.

Good luck and lots of fun programming!

Edit: On second thoughts, this might be a more appropriate first acquaintance with games programming in C++:
http://www.lazyfoo.net/SDL_tutorials/
 
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Aethix

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I'm also new here and interested in developing. My question is: will the Pandora come with any IDEs or compilers. Specifically C++, because I've been learning from an online tutorial but haven't actually written anything in it.
 

lulzfish

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Yes, Pandora will either ship with or have a package for, gcc and g++, so C and C++ are guaranteed.
Whether there will be an IDE or not.. I can't say.

I've found Geany to be very good on desktop Linux, but I don't know how it would scale down to 800 by 480.
Probably your best bet will be to do something like:

Connect the Pandora to a desktop
Write code on the desktop's luxuriously huge screen / keyboard, and save it on the Pandora's SD cards [while they're in the Pandora]
Tell the Pandora to compile it
Run it on the Pandora.
 

valhalla

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lulzfish said:
I've found Geany to be very good on desktop Linux, but I don't know how it would scale down to 800 by 480.
I'm not so sure whether it will be confortable, but I can confirm that a version from a few months ago is already in OE and works on the beagleboard. I've also seen it load on an openmoko phone, but that was just for a quick test, and I didn't try to use it.
 

Vorporeal

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lulzfish said:
Yes, Pandora will either ship with or have a package for, gcc and g++, so C and C++ are guaranteed.
Whether there will be an IDE or not.. I can't say.

I've found Geany to be very good on desktop Linux, but I don't know how it would scale down to 800 by 480.
Probably your best bet will be to do something like:

Connect the Pandora to a desktop
Write code on the desktop's luxuriously huge screen / keyboard, and save it on the Pandora's SD cards [while they're in the Pandora]
Tell the Pandora to compile it
Run it on the Pandora.
There's no need to do the compilation on the Pandora itself. For larger projects, this could be quite time consuming - compilation will be much slower. Using a cross-compiler on your desktop (x86->ARM) would probably be a better choice. I'm sure a simple shell script to install the cross-compilation tools will be distributed at some point.
 

Wertigon

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lulzfish said:
I haven't developed in Windows in ages, but Dev-C++ is a good IDE for C++, it uses the GNU C++ compiler, which I use on my laptop and the Pandora will use.
These days, Dev-C++ is mostly abandoned in favor of Code::Blocks, which has much more features. Check into it!
 

dflemstr

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wertigon said:
lulzfish said:
I haven't developed in Windows in ages, but Dev-C++ is a good IDE for C++, it uses the GNU C++ compiler, which I use on my laptop and the Pandora will use.
These days, Dev-C++ is mostly abandoned in favor of Code::Blocks, which has much more features. Check into it!
I've found QtCreator to be the best cross-platform C++ IDE out there, but then I haven't used Code::Blocks that extensively.
It's got extremely good reviews and since it's produced by Trolltech (now owned by Nokia) it just seems to be extremely high-quality.
It has cross compiling built-in (since Qt is very cross-platform) and is generally a joy to work in.
You of course don't have to use the Qt parts of it if you don't want to, but it's very easy to do since you have very good documentation integration and VS.NET-style drag-and-drop window layouting. I've mostly used it to test the new OGRE releases recently (without Qt), and it worked flawlessly.
QtCreator, by the way, should be easily portable and usable on the Pandora's small screen due to its layout (adjustable buttons and very smart 'sliding' panels), but the compiler speed will be an issue.

But I'll look into Code::Blocks for my next big-ish C++ project.
 

PSyMastR

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Code::Blocks is for every platform, and is amazing! I used to use DevC++, but after using Code::Blocks, I cant go back!
 

Gary13579

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lulzfish said:
Yes, Pandora will either ship with or have a package for, gcc and g++, so C and C++ are guaranteed.
Whether there will be an IDE or not.. I can't say.

I've found Geany to be very good on desktop Linux, but I don't know how it would scale down to 800 by 480.
Probably your best bet will be to do something like:

Connect the Pandora to a desktop
Write code on the desktop's luxuriously huge screen / keyboard, and save it on the Pandora's SD cards [while they're in the Pandora]
Tell the Pandora to compile it
Run it on the Pandora.
This would be pretty inefficient.

I use Linux and Code::Blocks to develop, but I also need to release Windows programs. I've setup mingw and Code::Blocks to automatically compile Windows versions of the code inside Linux.

The same cross compilation can be done for x86->ARM. You just need to setup a version of GCC/G++ for ARM on x86, then setup your IDE to use that instead of the standard gcc/g++.

Also, I strongly agree with everyone promoting Code::Blocks. It took a couple minutes to get used to, but it is VERY clean and strong (the debugger is amazing, on par with MSVC++/Dev-C++). I can't go back to using anything but it.

The fact that I can just change a drop down box and have it compile Windows PE instead of linux binaries is amazing. I'll be doing the same thing with Pandora (the game idea I'm toying with will be on Windows, Linux, Pandora, iPhone, Android (MAYBE, Android is currently stuck using a modified Java stack), PSP, DS....). I'll be able to compile my game for ALL of those, simply using the same IDE in Linux!
 
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