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What in the holy hell is DirectX?

posted by roberttitus on - last edited - Viewed by 287 users

I just got a new laptop today & decided to redownload SBCGFAP only for it to tell me that the game wouldn't work right unless I downloaded Direct X. I did of course, but I'm not sure I should have. I mean this is a somewhat new laptop so I might have an updated version or something already on it right?

22 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • It means you're computer is set to go BOOM!

  • @SHODANFreeman said: I'm surprised you are unfamiliar with DirectX, as it has been pretty much required for gaming on Windows PCs for almost 15 years. :p

    I very rarely play PC games... not to mention that my last PC died rougly 7 1/2 months ago, so I am stuggling to remember these things.

    @SHODANFreeman said: I suspect hobbies like concentrating on the 20 best songs ever made doesn't leave you too much space for other aspects of life.

    I'm not sure what this has to do with anything (especially in THIS thread)... but OK...

  • DirectX has the weirdest setup of any program I know. Let's say that over the years, Microsoft as created the following:



    Your shiny new laptop comes with DX11b. HORRAY! Naturally you assume that DX11 includes all of that previous crap. Instead, what is actually included on your computer is DX9a, DX10a, DX10b, and the DX11 stuff. Why they don't include the rest? I don't know. At any rate, many games are built with the stuff contained in, say, DX9c. So we either have to include that file with the game, or get people to run the DX updater, which installs all relevant versions of DirectX. The annoying thing is that so much of this stuff is entirely invisible to the user. All they see is DX11 which should obviously be better than DX9. Or else we would all need Win95 to run Win7.

    Anyway, end rant!

  • To make things MORE complicated each version has different changes too.

    So one 9C may be different than the other 9C. I've had it with MS Game beta's where was explicitely told that we needed to install 9C even if we had it because of that.

  • Never had any problems with DirectX, mind you, in my head I always see the install buttons like this:
    "Do you want to check to see if you have the right DirectX components?
    Yes, it will only take a couple of seconds to check

  • Interesting factoid: The Original Xbox was originally going to be called the "DirectXbox", however, they wanted to seperate it more from PC's, so shortened it.

  • @Friar said: Interesting factoid: The Original Xbox was originally going to be called the "DirectXbox", however, they wanted to seperate it more from PC's, so shortened it.

    That sentence just made me realise that I've always pronounced the X in "DirectX" the French way, but the X in "XBox" the English way.

  • This thread just made me think of this article I just read.

    It is by Dave Grossman (of Telltale) about how he had his mother-in-law play the first few minutes of Sam and Max 101. She is a major non-gamer, and her play-through exposed tons of assumptions that game designers make about how people will interact with games that may not be true for everyone. I was thinking that this DirectX thing is another example of assumptions made by computer designers. The assumptions are that either people know what DirectX is and understand why components of it need to be installed or that they don't really understand it, but they know enough about how computer programs work that they will just agree to install it and click YES on all the options.

  • The huge amount of different DirectX versions is quite explainable. First of all you have major revisions, like going from 9 (e.g. pixel shader 3 support) to 10 (e.g. pixel shader 4 support). Because the core of these major versions are quite different, you still need to have DirectX 9 modules installed even though you already have 10 or 11 running.

    The minor version numbers (a, b, c) are actually major updates, adding new features to its core; removing obsolete functions in favor of the newer ones (less code is more speed) and fixing loads and loads of bugs. New features consist of adding basic functions for complex math operations making things easier, and support for new hardware features and other doodads.

    Last but not least you have the minor bimonthly updates, these include bug fixes; performance boosts; hardware tweaks, and new sample code. So no major overhauls (but enough to drive you crazy).

    Including- and using the specific version you have developed your game on, assures you as a developer of a game behaving as intended. Always including- and using the latest version of DirectX (instead of the one you have used) will cause a lot of unforeseeable problems, a bug fix for thingamabob A could possible generate an unexplainable bug for thingamabob B.

  • We can all agree that DirectX is better then OpenGl though. :P

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