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Is Visual Basic OK to make games with?

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I''m new to programming, and I have a few questions. 1. Is Visual Basic a good starting language to use for game development? I''ve already looked at that "What Language Should I Use?" thing, but I want opinions from other people too. 2. What is an algorithm? I have no idea. Can someone help? 3. Is Visual C++ like Visual Basic in the way that it''s drag and drop? I''m in the 7th grade, so I really only have time to learn one language at a time. I''ve already planned to learn C, C++, and Visual C++ in the future, and ultimately start a game development company. Thank you for any help. -Bob

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Yea VB is a good language.. with the added support for directx, it''s a good choice.. Although admitedly it''s not as fast as C++ but it''s good none the less..

C++ is hard.. and no it''s nothing like VB...

One thing I''m going to have to warn you about.. VB makes you lazy.. and once u get stuck with VB, VC++ wil look like the HARDEST LANGUAGE IN THE WORLD..

so you could be better off with VC++ but the learning curve is much more wider than for VB...

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1. Well, in MY opinion it is. Starting out with C or C++ is a tad too much I think. Also, I can''t imagine it being much fun, as it takes ages until you get anything that looks like a game onto the screen. And with DirectX being supported it''s become even more powerful.

2. hm, I''m no good at definitions, but IMO, an algorithmy is the way, you do (calculate) something, basically how you do it. Don''t quote me on that though, it might be somewhat off.

3. MFC is, as far as I know. But what comes after the drag and drop stands in no relation to what VB is like (programming the interface)
My personal way is to write DX apps in C++ and standard Windows apps in VB, but I''m not saying that''s the way to do it.

Visual C++ is not a language but a compiler... And you don''t need to learn C. I went straight from VB to C++, I think it''s better that way, as VB is highly OOP, and C is not. C++ is, again, OOP. You''d miss objects in C.

- JQ
Infiltration: Losing Ground
"You just don''t understand. Guys have to be immature and stupid. It''s some biological thing. It helps us hunt and gather and stuff." -Nazrix

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quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster

One thing I''m going to have to warn you about.. VB makes you lazy.. and once u get stuck with VB, VC++ wil look like the HARDEST LANGUAGE IN THE WORLD..


Hm, I came from VB to C++. I had no problems whatsoever, as they''re both OOP, and many things are in fact the same.

quote:

so you could be better off with VC++ but the learning curve is much more wider than for VB...

Hm, I think C++ as a first language is overdoing it... You need some sort of success to keep you motivated, and I can''t see that happening with C++ when you''re a complete newbie.


- JQ
Infiltration: Losing Ground
"You just don''t understand. Guys have to be immature and stupid. It''s some biological thing. It helps us hunt and gather and stuff." -Nazrix

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If you''re looking to go right to games use QuickBASIC. The graphics functions are easy to learn and you can do alot. It''s just not entirely fast. Once you get the concepts down go to C++ and translate what you wrote in QB. The easiest way to learn a language is by porting something you wrote. I learned 2d and 3d using QuickBASIC. As well as physics algorithms.

C++ will seem hard comming out of BASIC but at least you know what you need to learn. I took one class in C++ for the Mac in school and had little trouble making it do what I wanted even though I had never used it before. I did try C and Pascal for a month or so each a few years prior but went back to BASIC.

An algorith is a set of programming commands used to tell the computer how to do a single task. I wrote a program that could divide two integers to an infinite number of places. That''s an algorithm. Games are made up of many of them.

VB is designed for making apps. It''s possible to make games but it''s more work than you need right now. The only game I ever did in that language was a Full Motion Video adventure.

Even the TI calculators would be good to learn programming with. I did my first RPG on an 85. And I actually began learning 2d with my calculator. I figured out rotation and movement during classes. I made a 3d function grapher as well but it was too slow to be practical.

Ben
http://therabbithole.redback.inficad.com

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I think it all depends on the ability of the learner. If the learner is an avid and easy learner then they should just go straight to C++. Thats what I did. I had no programming experience before I took one of my brothers book on C++ and about two weeks later I could program really simple programs. And about a month later I could program really simple games. So it really depends on how much the person can learn.

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I think you should start with C/C++. That''s how I''ve started out and it didn''t seem all that hard. It''s the most widely used language and it''s very powerful. You may have a hard time trying to find help with any other languages. Give it a try.

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I'm with KalvinB. My programming ventures began with QuickBASIC. The language is slow, yes, but it will teach you a helluva lot very quickly, and you'll miss those easy-to-use graphics functions when you move onto Windows programming.

I'm a VB user myself, and I find C++ somewhat frightening. Granted, I learned enough of the language to translate code, but I'll be the first to tell you that it wasn't enough. One of these days, I'd really like to take some courses on C++, but in the meantime I'll remain satisfied with VB. VB6 has many very nice features that C++ doesn't even graze.

Then, there's always Delphi and Java. Never used them myself, but I hear they're pretty nice, and I have seen quite a few impressive programs created with them. It's worth checking out, I think.

Edit: Oops, forgot to mention. Delphi is a compiler, not a language. Unless I'm mistaken, it uses Pascal. If you don't want to mess with the ugly guts of MFC, you can always check out Borland C++Builder. I learned what I know about C++ on that compiler, and I can tell you it resembles Visual Basic very much.

Edited by - Tom on February 17, 2001 12:29:53 PM

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Just a suggestion... if you want a RAD tool (ie: drag and drop) that has a VB feel, is fairly forgiving for new users (because it''s strictly typed), is close in speed to C++ and has a Basic-like syntax, try Delphi 5.0 (OO Pascal). Going from there to any other OO language (Java, C++, etc...) would be a snap once you cut your teeth on it.


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I first started with Visual Basic 3.0, then spent about 3 years on it until I began working with VB6.0, then I moved on to HTML/Java, then C, then C++. I think that order made it really easy for me, because VB was an easy way for me to get introduced into programming and how computers work. Java is very similar to C++, so since I knew it, C++ wasn''t very difficult to learn. I''ve spent about 4 years with C++ now..


So my advice to you is to use Visual Basic enough until you get a good knowledge of how programming really works and how computers work, etc. Once you''re comfortable just go onto C++, don''t bother learning C, because they''re the same language, only C++ is object-orientated.

Visual Basic is a very high end language, meaning it takes longer for the computer to understand it, resulting in slower performance than that of C++. Basically, you can use VB for anything that doesn''t include complex functions (3D, etc), because you''ll find it sluggish and pretty handicapped. C++ gives you much more control and options, at great speeds.

An algorithm is basically a procedure to do something, or calculate something. You''ll sometimes hear kids ask questions about "I need a good algorithm for simulating gravity", etc. Basically they''re asking for formula function that will do it.




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By the way, I''ve heard that by the end of the year, Visual Basic is going to be revolutionized in a way that it can deliver the power and speed of C++, even with it''s simplified-code format. I''ve also heard that it will use a universal library, meaning no more runtime files, etc, just like C++! If anyone has any more information on this, please post it.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I started with vb and after one hour or so was sick of it i hated the i got a c compiler and immediatly loved it then i changed to c++ and now am using it oop is the way to go learn c++ in my oppinion it''s really easy or you might even want to start with asm don''t get frightened by people who say it''s hard it''s really easy it just depends on what you start with but i guess nowadays c++ is the best thing easy to use,fast, resources everywhere and you get your first results fast. I also think the other ''programming languages'' are just a pile of junk to forget as fast as possible they slow and not in any way usefull
for the things fast and easiest to go c++, time critical stuff with asm forget about the rest....

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I think you should start with C/C++ (they really aren''t that hard). I started learning C around age 10, and I understood it more than well enough to write programs with it. I continued to learn C++ afterwards, and I now know it as well. I learned VB after learning C/C++, and it seemed weak in comparison to the power that C/C++ give you.

Delphi (as far as I know) is almost as fast as C/C++ (not a huge difference, a relatively small one in fact), and is better to learn than VB. Java is much more annoying than C/C++ (plus it is much slower since it must use a virtual machine), and I advise learning it after you learn C or C++.

Anyway, here''s the answers to your questions:
1. I think you should use Delphi or C/C++ instead.

2. An algorithm is a linear method of solving any problem that it is designed for. For example, using trigonometry requires miniature algorithms of though. If I have these two sides of a triangle, and this angle, then do this. Otherwise, do this. Et
cetera.

3. Not in the least. C/C++ is greatly different than Visual Basic. Windows was written in C. Linux was written in C. How could you write an OS in VB? You can''t . C/C++ was designed to be low level enough to do most any task with, that''s why it is more complex, yet normally faster and more adaptable.



http://www.gdarchive.net/druidgames/

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Visual Basic is a big no for games development, it''s slow, unportable and teaches you bad habits.

Start off with C, there''s no reason not to then move onto C++ after, when you understand the fundamentals of C then C++ will be easy.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I began programming by fooling around in QB. But I just copied and pasted a lot of code, and never really understood what was going on.

Then I dowloaded VB3, and later borrowed VB8 Enterprize from a friend. I made hacked-together programs that didn''t work too well and relied on controls.

Then I got CiH, formatted my drive, and graduated, so I never saw that guy again that I got VB6 from. So I stopped programming, and started level editing for Quake III.

I got bored of that, so I downloaded QB again. And I learned a LOT. I even programmed a simple arcade game. It was like duck hunt, but with spaceships.

Then, for Christmas, I got Visual Basic 6 Learning Edition. I looked at the book that came with it, and decided it was useless. The MS programming tutorials are very, very bad indeed. But I kept at it, and since I had actually learned what I was doing in QB, I quickly made the switch to VB. I went to a VERY, VERY good site called DirectX for Visual Basic, and started reading the tutorials. And I didn''t cut and paste. I learned what I was doing. Perhaps the best thing I could have done was to program everything with Option Explicit on. That teaches you good habits.

I just got Visual C++ 6 Intro Edition, and am learning C++. I don''t know very much, but I know enough to program some simple math algorithms.

But I got VC++ just as I was doing something very cool with VB, so I lost interest in it. Now, I am spending more time working on my DirectX7 tile-based RTS game in Visual Basic. It runs at a steady 75 FPS, with occasional 82 FPS peaks. (2d, 1024x768x32). Once I finish it, I''ll go back to C++.

If you do decide to go with a BASIC language, here''s a word of warning: Avoid GOTO statements and labels whenever possible. I learned bad habits that way. Instead, use DO...LOOP and FOR...NEXT loops. They are much more readable, and have almost identical C++ equivalents.

I thought I''d tell you my story in the hopes it may give you some insight into how you should approach learning languages. But if there''s anything you should know, know this: Don''t hack together code using Microsoft controls or MFC. Use logic, and write your own code. It pays off in the end.

When learning a language, this is the first program I ever make: Tell the user to input a positive integer, and tell them that the program will find the sum of all the integers between 1 and that integer. Then use a loop to brute-force solve the problem, and display the answer. The answer should equal this, if x is the integer that was input: (x * (x + 1))/2
If it does, your program worked. I find that coding this simple program always works to launch me into at least the basics of a language.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Basic and Visual Basic are great for learning simple programming structure, but I would start with Java. It''s very much like C++ but 100 times simpler. You can start with it, and transition to c later. In other words Java->C->C++ is the way I would reccomend. They are very similar and if you are good at math and have a book or two around(I also reccomend C++ by example and Java by example if you can find/afford them), there''s a chance be able to learn all three quickly, as well as learn good programming habits.

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If you wanna do games, VB is a big no no. Will teach you a lot of bad habits, give u tonnes of misconceptions about OOP (it''s not a properly implemented OOP language by any shred of standard). Ultimately u will end up having to unlearn almost everything (especially in how ur thinking works) when learning C or C++. VB has no relevence to games, even though simple ones like Tetris CAN be made (www.lizardsoft.com/blockcraze/ is proof) in VB. Pascal is a powerful langauge that is far closer to C than Basic. If your looking for a RAD tool, Delphi is based on Object Pascal, and while the Delphi IDE is awkward, it''s an incredibly powerful tool, much more so than VB. In game programming, ur goal should ultimately be C++ the way thigns currently are, so focus on getting to that. Then other things arent as hard to learn. DirectX and WinAPI and all that stuff just requires some reading and understanding if u have ur fundamental programming concepts down pat.

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IMO: don''t start off with VB, like earlier posts mention it teaches you bad habits, if i were you i''d start with simple procedural programming in C++ then go for OO (so that you can really understand what OO is good for) it teaches you a lot more how programs actually work, VB hides most of that from you

VB is good for windowed apps but then you''d better use Delphi where you can at least see the code that you generate by drag and drop, yes you can make games in VB but then it looses practically every advantage it has over C++ (although it might not seem that way if you don''t have a good grasp of C++ programming)

C++ can be very boring at first (in the sense that it doesn''t do anything spectacular) so if you want quick results you might want to try some applet programming in java or something, java and c++ are similar but java is a lot easier

if you want to go for game development you''ll probably be learning C++ in the end anyway

BTW: you can drag and drop in Visual C++, but you won''t be doing that for quite some time, best is to start with text-based programs

look for yourself: www.cplusplus.com/doc/tutorial
and try it: www.bloodshed.net

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VB is okay for a hobby like developer, but anyone who has big ambitions/wants to get into the industry probably wants to go with C++

check out my site: www.vbexplorer.com/directx4vb/ - over 100 articles/tutorials on general gaming, DirectX7 and 8 all in VB...


btw, whoever said that C++ looks like the hardest language in the world in comparison to VB - too damn right. I''ve been trying to learn it (lazily) for a while now and it''s not that easy after 4 years of VB programming...


Jack;

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