That's a VERY good point, but who uses hardware like that today?
I have a pentium 3 (as well as something newer). I also have a laptop that has a PowerPC processor that's much like the Pentium3. Lots of people have netbooks which offer comparable performance to the P3. But that's not really the point: We can allow hardware to compensate for slow code to an extent, but take that too far and it becomes very unattractive.
It may just be because I'm technically minded, theoretical, and idealistic: So if a game looks to me like it should run on a 486, then I think it should run on a 486. Similarly, if a simple pong game is holding a Pentium3 at 90% cpu usage, then I would think a lot less of it. And a lot of indie games do actually feel like that!
No one would use GDI for a serious high-end game, but for small games? I found it charming to work with GDI after doing so much engine coding and shader rendering for so many years.. it was a real nice change.
I've used GDI myself, and I can understand the pleasure in its simplicity. But it would be nice if GDI calls were as high performance and as versatile as those in directx. A user here Spodi made a generic RPG engine in visual basic that used GDI (vbgore
), and it was quite an impressive feat! As time goes on, we'll no doubt see some more generic game engines made using GDI. It's a fun to do as an exercise, and it's a way for less experienced programmers to produce something nice. But as these games and engines become popular and get distributed, we have to start looking at the bigger picture, and ask "is this really what we want the future of software to be?"
The general trend being that software is made less efficiently over time, because hardware is accelerating in such a way that it's always able to compensate for code that's gotten a bit slower... and that's a slippery slope.
I love older software, because it's leaner and more efficient than most of the stuff that's turned out today. Almost all of the software on my computer happens to be >8 years old, and it's not that I'm being stubborn: I also use the Pazera suite
, which is relatively new software, and was a gem to find. I like it because it is lean and efficient. As a customer, those are the qualities I look for.