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Unity C# and game tools programming

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I could do with writing a game tool or two (a level editor mainly), and since I've been meaning to learn C# for a while this would seem like a good oppertunity to do so. Has anyone any good book recommendations for C#? Technology-wise, I'm not sure what to use for the level drawing. I suspect regular GDI won't cut it, so I guess that leaves Managed DX or OpenGL. I'm leaning towards D3D since I should probably learn that at some point and I've done plenty of GL stuff recently and feel like a change. But from what I understand managed directx is in a funny state of flux at the moment with it being declared unsupported but with no real replacement? Or is XNA supposed to be a replacement even for doing tools code? Cheers

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Programming C#, like most O Reilly books is pretty good. It's aimed towards people w/ experience in another language such as C++, which is your situation, I believe.

As for MDX, XNA is supposed to be its replacement, and it's quite good, so I'd suggest using it.

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Am I the only one left here using MDX instead of XNA? Really from what I've heard XNA is definately not a full replacement as it's not a whole wrapper over DX9 like MDX is. Note that it's what I heard, because I can't get any of MS's IDEs to even run on my computer, and last I checked XNA still required VCSExpess to work. It probably has to do with it working on both the 360 and the PC.

I think you'll find that for tools MDX is the best choice, with Tao and XNA being built for single window games. I would recommend trying them all first, of course, don't only use API ABC just because some guys online said it's better than API XYZ.

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Original post by load_bitmap_file
Programming C#, like most O Reilly books is pretty good. It's aimed towards people w/ experience in another language such as C++, which is your situation, I believe.

As for MDX, XNA is supposed to be its replacement, and it's quite good, so I'd suggest using it.


I concur.

Quote:

Am I the only one left here using MDX instead of XNA?


I am using MDX still, mostly because I have little motivation to port and last I heard TrueType font rendering and vista support was still in the process of settling out. Still, if you're starting out fresh you'll likely be better served with XNA.

Quote:

Or is XNA supposed to be a replacement even for doing tools code?


From looking through the docs, it's mostly a replacement API for rendering with a bunch of other stuff which (for me, and likely tool development) isn't required or too necessary.

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I'm currently working on an undisclosed engine at Ubisoft (don't ask what, you wouldn't care anyway). The main gamecode is in C++ but the various tools are in C#, including the level editor. I'm not in the tools team so I don't know much and never done any C#, but I know they are happy with their choice. Plus, it give us a cool interface just like Visual Studio with panels you can reorganize any way you want. The level editor graphics are in OpenGL since Win32 is not the intended game platform and it help for compatibility.

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Am I the only one left here using MDX instead of XNA?

I use MDX (actually, SlimDX).

I would also advocate against using XNA for tools. XNA's very game-centric in its design, which in my experiments with it made it rather obnoxious to work with for tools. Not that its a bad API, or that it isn't possible, just that it offers absolutely nothing over MDX in the tools department, but takes slightly more effort to bend it to your will since the nature of tools are not entirely similar to that of games.

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Original post by jpetrie
Quote:

Am I the only one left here using MDX instead of XNA?

I use MDX (actually, SlimDX).

Could you explain why you switched to SlimDX? From what I gather, MDX 2.0 has self-destructed so the only option seems to be MDX 1.1.

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