I just found out how to use the game engine today and I’m not sure if I can use GLSL shadows and materials.
I have and iMac with an Intel Quad Core i5, ATI Radeon HD 4850 graphics card along with 4 gb of RAM.
I’ve tried to enable it and tried using textured and shaded draw types, and still nothing.
Could be the fact that I have a Mac.
Try updating your Radeon HD 4850 to the newest drivers, make sure you have all their additional opengl developer specifics and libraries (if you intend on solving future problems). My soft shadow works on linux without a hitch, despite that the ATI drivers on Ubuntu are craptacular and riddled with errors, and it still doesn’t work on windows vista, though it did many many builds ago, never could sort out what exactly wasn’t working. But, yeah, anyway, next time buy something with Nvidia, sure it’s more expensive, but you’re less likely when dealing with opengl to have to put up with a long list of errors and having to go through everyone else’s shaders and coding changing bits and pieces to even get it to work with your current card.
In vista mine won’t do soft shadows at all, it gives really strange long pauses, and lags, and then only displays a weird grid pattern on the floor, like it’s trying to do the soft shadows but not quite getting it, it also seems to shade the “shadow” (if you can call it that) of the wire frame of all the objects instead of the objects themselves, weird stuff like that basically.
Also mine when opening any file in 2.52 at all resets for no particular reason, regardless of the build rev, all the lights in a scene to a spot light with some seemingly random number for the power from 93-160. It’s quite annoying.
Anyway, more to your question, yes you should be able to use GLSL, as I do, with the newer drivers, and it should handle most if not all of the shaders you through at it with the greatest of ease. Now, as for the soft-shadows or shadows, no such luck there (for me at least, in game it works on and off depending on the build, in the 3d view-port not so much, if ever), been baking shadow maps and ambient occlusion maps so I can see what I am ‘doing’ as a sort of temp. work around for now.
I had problems working with ATI and blender, i ll buy a new computer and I require a nvidia graphic card to work with blender, I can tell you that i saw a lot of wierd bugs and i dont want that again, but there are a lot of other users on the comunity that own an ATI graphic card, i hope someone more informed than me can help you