December 11th, 2010
When I looked for tools to track and analyze OpenGL calls in Overgrowth, the best I could find was a commercial program called GDebugger by a company called Graphics Remedy. The trial version worked well for me on all platforms I tried, including Mac, Windows and iOS. However, it was too expensive for us to afford the full version.
That all changed yesterday, when gDebugger was released for free! Here are some of the gDebugger analysis tools running on the Mac build of Overgrowth:
Historically one of the biggest weaknesses of OpenGL has been its lack of free tools, while DirectX had tools like Microsoft PIX and NVPerfHUD. Now that gDebugger is free and has comparable functionality, the field is more even, at least for now.
There are still a number of questions that need to be answered before we really know what this means for the future. For example, will it continue to be free? Will Graphics Remedy continue maintaining it? Why is it free all of a sudden? When I asked Graphics Remedy these questions, they responded, "Yes," "Yes" and, "Cannot say much at this point."
It's definitely worth checking gDebugger out if you are an OpenGL programmer, or if you feel like analyzing your favorite OpenGL games with it. If you'd like to download gDebugger you can get it here, and get the free license here.