I’ve spent quite some time investigating the various Text/Font libraries for both SDL and OpenGL. I first looked at SDL_ttf which seemed like the most obvious choice. Unfortunately I could either not get it to compile, or when I did it just threw errors when I tried to use it. I also took a look at a whole slew of OpenGL based ones, however out of the 4 or so I found, only one appeared to be compatible with OpenGL 3.3+; but it lacked some features I wanted to use. In the end I decided to roll my own using FreeType2. I didn’t want two additional dependencies, so this way I only need one. And everyone uses FreeType2, you’d be insane not to. Here’s some pretty straight-forward results.
It doesn’t really take much to do. I needed it sooner rather than later to start working on some sort of UI. So, thinking about the UI, I’m considering moving away from what I’ve done so far and to start doing a more abstract “holographic” feel to it. Because I don’t really want to handle ship and space station models, but instead use icons, I think that will work out better. I’m not sure. HOI3 uses counters (no one uses the sprites) that match up with the standard military symbols (I forget what they’re called). But it presents them over the top of what appears to be a paper map. It works really well; it looks a little like the command center moving little tokens around on a big map. That’s what I want to re-create except from a space-age perspective. This is where it seems like a little holographic look may work better.