Growing up with and shaping up an API

This is something I wanted to get out for some time now : When I first found out about the Newton Game Dynamics SDK it was a fresh physics SDK around the block and much stuff was lacking (although it already was very impressive in terms of how it calculated physics). So I saw an opportunity to not only create demos and stuff for a very new API, but also to help shaping up and evolving with that API. So I had no hard time in deciding to where I’d switch my priorities.

I’ve been using (more or less, depending on how you see it) finished APIs like OpenGL for years before and thought it was nice to learn and master them. But it was not really that satisfying (apart from the fact that physics make things move, and moving things usually are more interesting than static things). When using such an established and widely spread API as OpenGL there are hundreds or thousands of people that already did the same stuff you did and propably will do the same stuff you’d do in the future too (e.g. demos for new extensions, shaders stuff, and so on). And moreover : Your opportunities to put your ideas or invent something new that gets later on implemented in such a standardized and common API is very small.

With such a new and evolving API (SDK) like NGD it’s the exact opposite and it’s really satisfying to work with the Newton guys. In the past months I’ve been going from zero to getting called a “Dark Master of Newton Physics” (that’s what the main man behind NGD calls me from time to time). I often do stuff that’s not working 100% with Newton in it’s current state (e.g. this tank-demo that uses material-callbacks for moving a tracked tank), and other Software-Makers would just either ignore it or tell to try with another method. But with Newton it’s totally different : Julio usually contacts me and tries (and up until now never failed ;) ) to get Newton to make that stuff work, and that’s something that makes me enjoy working and using Newton.

So that’s just something I wanted to share with you guys, as maybe some of you wondered why I switched my focus to coding (when I get the time) physics stuff with Newton instead of graphically impressive demos and games with Newton. It’s just so satisfying to grow up with Newton and also help shaping it up, and that’s something I’ve missed when only doing OpenGL stuff.