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    Concept »

    An open source 3D graphics API used in computer and console games.

    Short summary describing this concept.

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    OpenGL (Open Graphics Library) is a free and open source standard specification defining a cross-language, cross-platform API for writing applications that produce 2D and 3D computer graphics. The interface consists of over 250 different function calls which can be used to draw complex three-dimensional scenes from simple primitives. OpenGL was originally developed by Silicon Graphics in 1992 and is widely used in CAD, virtual reality, scientific visualization, information visualization, and flight simulation. It is also used in video games, where it competes with DirectX on Microsoft Windows platforms.

    Release History

    VersionRelease DateRelease Notes
    OpenGL 1.0January, 1992Initial releasee
    OpenGL 1.1January, 1997
    OpenGL 1.2March 16, 1998
    OpnGL 1.2.1October 14, 1999Multi-texturing added
    OpenGL 1.3August 14, 2001
    OpenGL 1.4July 24, 2002
    OpenGL 1.5July 29, 2003
    OpenGL 2.0September 7, 2004Added support for GPU assembly language call ARB
    OpenGL 2.1July 2, 2006
    OpenGL 3.0July 11, 2008Support added for frame buffer objects and hardware instancing
    OpenGL 3.1March 24, 2009
    OpenGL 3.2August 3, 2009
    OpenGL 3.3March 11, 2010Simultaneous release with version 4.0
    OpenGL 4.0March 11, 2010

    Games that use OpenGL

    Despite the dominance of DirectX within the PC gaming industry, OpenGL is used in a variety of commercial games. For instance, OpenGL is used in the Call of Duty, Quake and Unreal Tournament franchises. For games like Half Life 2, the Left for Dead and Portal series, and World of Warcraft, OpenGL is used for the OSX release only, while DirectX is used for the PC, XBox and Xbox 360 releases.


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