Intrinsic Algorithm News

Airline Traffic Manager: OpenGL Interface?

After my news update from late last week about the interface changes to Airline Traffic Manager, a number of my game development colleagues weighed in on what I should possibly use to develop the interface for. In particular, I was pointed to OpenGL using GLUT (GL Utility Toolkit). Specifically, for my data interface needs such as what I was getting with MFC and Windows Forms, I can add on the GLUI (GL User Interface) library.

The combination of GLUI and OpenGL means that I can have the data-display and input functionality of buttons, lists, select boxes, etc., without having to write the code for them myself. On the other hand, I can also use a robust graphics package that will support all sorts of nifty stuff that we may want to add to ATM in the future such as 3D overviews of airports terminals.

The other thing this solves is the scalable window issue. With the MFC solution (and a little with the proposed Windows Forms one), I was really tied to one resolution. That also means that I wasn’t developing a full-screen graphical game. With OpenGL et al, the game can be full-screen and everything will scale regardless of resolution.

Another major bonus is that it will also be cross-platform. The initial suggestion came from a colleague that is a big aviation buff (and will want to play the game) and is also a Mac user. Sure, his recommendation of GLUT/GLUI was a little selfish in that regard, but it looks like a great solution nonetheless.

Right now, I will just be experimenting with OpenGL on my own to get a feel for it. (Might need a book or two but I haven’t ever really shied away from teaching myself new techs.) If I can do the interface programming myself for a bit, that’s great. Eventually, however, it will be best for me to bring on someone to do it for me to let me concentrate on the engine, simulation, and AI programming. (When I get to that point, I will make an announcement here and update the IA jobs page accordingly.)

Anyway, not a lot of movement, but certainly a lot of planning going on.

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15 Responses to “Airline Traffic Manager: OpenGL Interface?”

  1. EXTspotter says:

    Hi Dave,
    its great that work on ATM has finally started again, I am so looking forward to it I cannot express myself! Anyway, I understand at this early stage it might be difficult to predict but do you have any time frame for releasing some kind of finished (partially or fully) product? Alex.

  2. Dave Mark says:

    Timeframe? To be honest, not even remotely. Keep in mind, there is likely 6 to 12 man-months worth of work to do. That’s full time. I’m not working on it full time right now. Depending on what happens with consulting gigs, there may not be periods of time where I can work on it part time. That being said, it could range through any time in 2011 (or even later).


  3. Steve Perry says:

    Excuses excuses… no different than any other developer. Hurry it up already! 🙂


  4. Dave Mark says:

    Heh… figured you were still out there, Steve! 😉

  5. Brennan Walter says:

    So are there any updates? Its been over a year now with no new news and I check my RSS reader daily. This is getting a little annoying for such a highly anticipated game.

  6. Dave Mark says:

    While I appreciate your interest, I would unfortunately have to contend that it is not “highly anticipated” enough to feed my family for the months or year that it would take to work on the game. If I could afford to simply take about 8 months off of making money and then use some additional 10s of thousands of dollars to hire a couple of people to help me… well then, that would be a different story.

    Please understand that I want to get back to working on the game, but the logistics of life are slightly more complicated than “I want to.”

  7. Steve Smith says:


    Just would like to know if this game is still work in progress or been shelved?

    any ETA to an alpha or Beta stage?

    kind regards


  8. Dave Mark says:

    Hopefully some exciting news coming in the next month or so. 😉

  9. Steve Smith says:


    any more screenshots available? >:)

    cant wait to tell some fellow flight simmers

  10. Dave Mark says:

    Uh… don’t get ahead of yourself (or me). It’s not THAT exciting just yet.

  11. Steve Smith says:

    News news news???? 😀

  12. Steve Smith says:

    I’m guessing this project has taken a back seat for now, shame really was looking forward to a highly detailed management game

  13. Dave Mark says:

    Yeah… unfortunately, that is the case again… still. Thanks for the support, but I’ve got too much going on right now.

  14. Steve Smith says:

    Hi im still floating around wondering if anything will become of this project.

    Any further updates or has this project been put into a deep forgotten vault? 🙁



  15. Brennan Walter says:

    Still hoping that at some point we can play this game 🙂

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