System Configuration Doubt

I was planning on developing the game in opengl and was wondering if it is ok to assume that all the systems that the participants have will support pixel and vertex shaders.

These shaders are going to be important from the game play perspective as well so any suggestions about whether or not I should go with the shaders or just stick with basic pygame surface blts etc.

If the shaders cannot be assumed, i guess ill' stick with pygame's surface blts and make a 2D game.   

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Do you really need the shaders?

What kind of gameplay depends on them? I'm afraid I don't quite follow... :-/
:) im' sorry for the mis-communication, i actually was refering to in-game animations.. not the game play perse but I would like to put in some shader effects which enhance the usability/user feedback.. Well the answer to the question of whether i really need shaders is no... i can manage it without the shaders as such, but that would complicate the models i have to create etc....     so was wondering if i could avoid that...
I'm running an Intel GMA950 here, which I believe is a pretty common card in laptops of a certain age (~2 years old in this case). It supports very basic pixel shaders, but no vertex shaders. So no, you can't assume that all participants' systems will support shaders.

That said, I certainly wouldn't mark you down for writing a game which my system couldn't run, so long as you advertise this fairly clearly. If you want to write a game with lots of shaders, write a game with lots of shaders.
are shaders those shading/reflection/refraction effects? the very best 3d games i played, none uses or were dependant of this, like Daytona USA, Xevious 3D/G, Raystorm (or Raydream), Robocop3 (for Amiga), Rez, etc. - imho, shaders are merelly cosmetics, unless you can justify you really need it (and it's very difficult justifying that, anyway...)
Watch out especially for ATI cards.
I have a friend who really is good at shaders and I'm kinda of his testing platform, simply because while my computer is new(ish) and has a good card, it is really picky about how shaders are made to run, shaders that run on nvidia or even other ati cards don't necessarily work on mine :S
ditton on having a Intel GMA950, no vertex shaders here :( and very limited pixel shaders.
when looking some youtube videos, i found this one, which i think can be interesting for people developing 3d games -
Another vote here for not requiring shaders. My GPU (ATI Radeon 9000 Pro on MacOSX 10.4) claims to have them in some form, but I don't think it supports all of the latest official OpenGL shader languages.
There's compatibility issues with shaders which basically requires thorough testing across multiple platforms. For example I had a shader which worked fine on my PC system but didn't work on the Mac - something to do with nested for loops.
wow.. i thought these things might have pretty much got standardized by now.. oh well i guess PC is the most segmented market for game developers in terms of system configs after all...