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oceanblack

VB.NET Game Programming

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Hi there, I am required to make a 2D game in Visual Basic .NET (We aren't allowed to use C++ or C#). The game I want to create is a platformer shooter. I have been doing some research and have been trying to find some resources that will help me get started. I've found 3 ways of approaching this 1) Use XNA XNA seems like the .NET for game programming in the Microsoft language world. Unfortunately, it only "officially" supports C#, and I'm afraid that, because the programmers that I will be working with are not as competent they will not be able to work with the translation (although it can be arranged). Other than that, it seems pretty straightforward and there are plenty of tutorials to help us get started, except, they are all C# oriented - which is a drawback. 2) Use SDL.NET Like XNA, it's a set of libraries to help me get started with game programming, unfortunately, there is very little documentation and examples to learn from. It also hasn't been updated recently. 3) Use DirectX This one I have no idea about, I can't find a lot of tutorials or information on how to use DirectX in my game using VB.NET. A lot of books were published before 2003 and thus don't use .NET (and VB.NET is much different than VB 6). I have heard that this is where game programmers would traditionally make games off of. If someone could give me some information I'd be glad. So where do I go? This is my first game programming endeavor and I would really appreciate your help.

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You could check out "Visual Basic Game Programming for Teens", Second Edition (http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-Visual-Basic-Programming-Teens/dp/1598633902/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1255389379&sr=8-2). It is the only Visual Basic.NET game programming book that I know of. Don't be turned off by the "For teens" title. That is really only to note a specific tone, not necessarily a lack of content or a shallow covering of topics.

Also, www.thezbuffer.com is a Managed DirectX and XNA game development website that has some resources for VB.NET programmers. Also, there is supposedly some VB.NET game coding resources on Microsoft's own Coding 4 Fun site (http://blogs.msdn.com/coding4fun/). Hope this helps!

EDIT: As a side note, how do I actually make a clickable link? The [url] tags that I am used to don't seem to work the same here.

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I just posted about this not long ago but here it goes again:
#1 As you already know XNA is out of the question since it's not officially supported hence the lack of tutorials that use VB.NET instead of C#. If you really insist you could try porting the C# examples to VB.NET yourself since there are a ton of C# to VB.NET translator that could port the majority of the code. That last 1% that is not supported is probably the part that will have you pulling your hair out though and you might end up spending more time in the long run.
#2 Have you heard of slimdx? They just came out with an update and support VB.NET.
#3 I wouldn't start any new projects with obsolete technology. Even the J Harbour .net vb game programming book is out of date since it uses managed dx that is no longer supported.
So my suggestion is to look into SlimDX.

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Quote:
Original post by oceanblack
Hi there, I am required to make a 2D game in Visual Basic .NET (We aren't allowed to use C++ or C#). The game I want to create is a platformer shooter.

Are you required to use Visual Basic .NET because it's a school assignment or something, or is there an actual reason behind that restriction? :)

Note that C++ and C# are not the only alternatives.

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Quote:
Original post by Captain P
Quote:
Original post by oceanblack
Hi there, I am required to make a 2D game in Visual Basic .NET (We aren't allowed to use C++ or C#). The game I want to create is a platformer shooter.

Are you required to use Visual Basic .NET because it's a school assignment or something, or is there an actual reason behind that restriction? :)

Note that C++ and C# are not the only alternatives.

Yes it is a school project.

I am looking into SlimDX but I feel again sort of taken aback at what to do with all the information. Where do I start? I looked at the documentation but it's just information on classes and not actual theory on how to use them and samples that exemplify this.

EDIT: Also, because SlimDX is a .NET wrapper for DirectX API, does that mean a majority of the code samples I'll be looking through are C++? Because that's worse than having to hack through XNA and read off C#

[Edited by - oceanblack on October 13, 2009 2:19:27 PM]

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Another option to consider is GDI+, its easy, high level and fast enough for simple games.
(Have a look at the C# RSS Screen saver Starter Kit)

If you don't have any experience with low level APIs you will probably find your self spending a lot of time on simple things like rendering text or an health bar. You will also have to test you application on different hardware and at some point of time you will notice that alt-tab breaks you application because you have not handle device lost correctly...

If you are sure you have enough time, its a good idea to learn Direct3D or OpenGL, otherwise I recommend GDI+.

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