ok here's the score right now. allegro is looking to be out of the question atm. above and beyond the difficulty of installing the damn thing and packaging for distribution, i still haven't figured out how to use the damn p/invoke and all that threading stuff yet. what i'm looking at doing right now is building .net games in c++ and tools for the games in c#. i want to only have to write a single interface for graphics and whatnot for use in both the c++ and c# apps. the interfaces will be just wrappers for mdx, obviously. can anyone give me some urls? i don't even know where to start looking, keywords would be helpful too.. [grin]
 placidbox says "dllimport"
[edit 2] dllimport doesn't do classes apparently, so if i write a library that uses any classes, i need another way to do it. one person mentioned COM (nooooo!) and another person mentioned the CLI and that looks just as complicated. i'm starting to think benryves was right when he suggested i stick to just c#. if only more people were using it! i wouldn't be worrying about how difficult it is to get help with it...
[edit 3] i'll just stick to c# for all my needs. it can't be any worse to get help with it than allegro was!