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# VB programming - your opinion

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Well, subject says it all Just say what you think of VB as game dev. tool. And maybe compare it to other game dev. tools (C++, Delphi...) HuMaN

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No idea, i''ve never used VB, but I can tell you C++ is definitely not a difficult language to learn.

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i''ve never personally used VB myself, I''ve used VC++ since day one. I''ve used the old style basic for dos and stuff years ago. I realize that it''s come a long way, but it seems very simplistic.

Also as a side note- Most people that I talk with about programming (at school and work) relay the imperession that VB is primarily for people who just want to program easily. In other words "C++ is for hardcore programmers and VB isn''t"

But Like I said that''s not necessarily my opinion, but the opinion of people that I talk to. So don''t flame me....

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VB is designed more for apps than games. It doesn''t compile very fast code and is dependent on Windows. I wouldn''t recommend using it unless you have to.

Ben

Icarus Independent

Jump Down The Rabbithole

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Hi,
It is very possible to use VB for games. In some cases, it''s easier than C++. I have experience in both, and really there''s nothing wrong with making games in VB. DirectX makes it relatively fast.
It is true, however, that C++ produces faster games - by a difference of quite a few frames per second. This has the potential to kill very processor-unfriendly games, but generally you should be fine.
I heard somewhere that Jagged Alliance 2 was created in VB...
Well, that''s my opinion anyhow...

--Nairb

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quote:
Original post by HuMaN
Well, subject says it all

Just say what you think of VB as game dev. tool.
And maybe compare it to other game dev. tools (C++, Delphi...)

HuMaN

Here''s my opinion, I do use VB for tool programming. My game is in C++ but all the tools( ie: Map Editor, Sprite Editor, Font Editor and such ), are all created in VB. Now, I know, most game programmer will tell you to use VC++ for tools but I wanted to be able to write the tools in a couple of hours and I did. All my tools were done at a combined time of about 3 or 4 hours. That includes customization according to my team members feedback. So I do think that VB is a good tool. Heck, I''ve even seen on one web site which for some odd reason, I lost the URL but it was a completely FREE RTS, made using VB, with graphics that could compete with most commercial games out there at the moment. Anyhow, needless to say, the game is great and it''s all in VB w/DX...

those are my thoughts.

"And that''s the bottom line cause I said so!"

Cyberdrek
A division of DLC Multimedia

Resist Windows XP''s Invasive Production Activation Technology!

"gitty up" -- Kramer

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Well, let me put it this way... Remember when you were a little kid playing with legos? There were two kinds, (now there are tons more, but when I used them there were two) the huge duplo blocks, and then the regular smaller blocks from which you could make basically anything. You could make a robot out of the big blocks pretty quickly, and it did what you wanted it to and served its purpose just fine. It was huge and kind of putzy, but it was a robot. Now lets say you made the same robot from the smaller blocks. It was harder to build with the smaller ones, but it was all in all a better robot because you were able to make real joints and more defined features etc. That''s an OK comparison of VB and C++. Obviously the huge, easy to work with blocks represent VB, and the smaller, more difficult to use but more versatile legos are C++. That was a dumb comparison, but I hope it gets the point across. Also, VB is slower than C++. I don''t care what anyone says, but C++ will always be faster than VB. Flame on.

"You are too useless. And now I must beat you." - English subtitle in a Honk Kong Movie.

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I''ve done my fair share of VB programming and I can tell you it''s not worth the trouble. Sure VB makes programming easy... but right there you have to stop and think. If there is any one idea that holds constant in the realm of progamming it''s that everything is a trade off. You don''t get that ease of use for nothing. You sacrafice performance, platform independance, and low level control (not great for gaming if you ask me). Oh and let''s not forget about those horrible runtime libraries you have to bundle with your executable. Not to mention VB is so weakly typed it''s scary. Seriously VB let''s you get away with murder, my two biggest gripes are automatic type casting and variant declarations. Sure they have their uses, but they abstract you from the variables and make the code difficult to follow. And where are the pointers? I love the fact you have to go above and beyond just to even attempt to declare one. Okay I think I better bring my rant to a close here... I''m starting to hyper ventilate...

{My advice stick with C, or if you need a RAD tool use Delphi.}

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I use VB just about every day. That said, most of my projects are desktop front ends and report generators for various databases. VB is a RAD tool, and it does that well. It is slower than C++ , and it does use a virtual machine (1.9 MB I think), *BUT* it is COM aware, and you can Access The WinAPI. Which means that you almost have access to all the low-level API calls that C++ has, but you have to jump through some hoops sometimes.
The key is VB is COM aware - partition your project between the ease of VB for user interfaces, and non-speed critical portions, and C++ were the bare-metal raw power is needed.

Admittedly, I''m not talking game programming here, but here''s an example. We have an application that integrates VB, C++, and SQLServer 7.0. The program basically transmits the data formats of various other systems that need to talk to each other, but don''t understand each others message (TCP/IP) formats. Right now it translates and rearranges data in a delimited, FIXED or HL-7 format. So the point of all this is: The translation portion of the application is a COM dll originally written in VB. That version maxed out at about 400 records (messages) per second. Rewriting the dll in C++ has us up over 2000 records per second right now. There is still some optimizations that can be made, but we''re leaving it alone for now - at least until we hook in more systems.

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imnsho,

ooo yuk yuk yuk.
i am a delphi & vc++ programmer recently brought back from the dark side of VB back when they were only at version 4. i found it terrible for anything except writing clones of that neat SkiFree game, done in VB1, that came with CSE.

i agree with the legos analogy in its entirety.

if they actually made a real programming language (ie one with some rules) out of VB, maybe i''d say look twice, but until they grow up out of the dark ages and make you typecast and declare your variables, and uses parentheses consistently...forget it.

but then that''s just my opinion.

theropod

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I program C++ for school, Python for CGI, java-script for the web, and VB at work. By far, Python and JS are the easiest and quickest to develop in.

I never bought the RAD claims from Java or VB. When I progam VB, I sometimes have to jump through hoops to do something that is easily done in C/C++ because it is so high-level. IMHO, C/C++ is slower to develop in mostly because you have to declare everything. And with the way MS has changed BASIC over the years, I don't agree with those C/C++ fanatics who consider VB a simple lang. It's about as complex as C/C++/Java, just a very small syntax change.

Regarding making tools in VB, yes it's easier, but that's cuz the form editor in the VB IDE makes it so brainless to develop with. C++'s OOP structure is so bloody complex, making GUI tools with WinAPI or MFC is about as enjoyable as giving yourself paper cuts (k, that's kinda exagerated).

And of course, there's the whole speed issue, but you know the deal.

Jinushaun

Edited by - jinushaun on August 8, 2001 1:10:38 PM

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I think your opinion should be dependant on where you want to go.

Do you want to be a professinoal game developer? If yes, use C++. If you''re just learning or doing it for fun, VB is fine.

My opinion though, is that VB is trash : )

G''luck,
-Alamar

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Me again!
Well, I''m working with VB. And it''s great for games. Of course C++ is better language, but not in all parts. Sometimes it''s better to use VB then C++.
VB has support for DirectX 7.0 and 8.0, so in DX it''s not that much slower. Maybe a bit, but not more. And if you want some more speed you can always write C++ DLL and VB will read it really fast, so Speed goes UP!!
If you have heard for vbDABL engine - made as C++DLL - does alpha blending in DirectDraw, pixel by pixel. It would be really slow in VB, but C++DLL gives it speed, and now vbDABL is very used in vb games.
And yes, simplicity. To write some C++ game (not just tic-tac-toe) you would need more and more time than in VB.
I''m not saying that VB is much better then C++, but VB should be treated as a better game programming program.
For example, just visit
http://www.thewildwest.tmfweb.nl/home.htm
and see some screenshots. That''s 3D game - VB.

Darko
HuMaN

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quote:

Well, let me put it this way... Remember when you were a little kid playing with legos? There were two kinds, (now there are tons more, but when I used them there were two) the huge duplo blocks, and then the regular smaller blocks from which you could make basically anything.
You could make a robot out of the big blocks pretty quickly, and it did what you wanted it to and served its purpose just fine. It was huge and kind of putzy, but it was a robot. Now lets say you made the same robot from the smaller blocks. It was harder to build with the smaller ones, but it was all in all a better robot because you were able to make real joints and more defined features etc. That''s an OK comparison of VB and C++. Obviously the huge, easy to work with blocks represent VB, and the smaller, more difficult to use but more versatile legos are C++. That was a dumb comparison, but I hope it gets the point across. Also, VB is slower than C++. I don''t care what anyone says, but C++ will always be faster than VB. Flame on.

Darn do I MISS the classic old Space Ships!!!
Actually lunarss cant be more right with the analogy, so I dont see a reason to flame, in my case I took C in college, and then VB, which helped understand OOP and windows programming, but when I couldnt do what I wanted with VB I moved to C++, just like I moved from Duplo to Legoland

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quote:

Well, let me put it this way... Remember when you were a little kid playing with legos? There were two kinds, (now there are tons more, but when I used them there were two) the huge duplo blocks, and then the regular smaller blocks from which you could make basically anything.
You could make a robot out of the big blocks pretty quickly, and it did what you wanted it to and served its purpose just fine. It was huge and kind of putzy, but it was a robot. Now lets say you made the same robot from the smaller blocks. It was harder to build with the smaller ones, but it was all in all a better robot because you were able to make real joints and more defined features etc. That''s an OK comparison of VB and C++. Obviously the huge, easy to work with blocks represent VB, and the smaller, more difficult to use but more versatile legos are C++. That was a dumb comparison, but I hope it gets the point across. Also, VB is slower than C++. I don''t care what anyone says, but C++ will always be faster than VB. Flame on.

Darn do I MISS the classic old Space Ships!!!
Actually lunarss cant be more right with the analogy, so I dont see a reason to flame, in my case I took C in college, and then VB, which helped understand OOP and windows programming, but when I couldnt do what I wanted with VB I moved to C++, just like I moved from Duplo to Legoland

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I love C/C++ but I have to say that I am genuinely fond of VB as well... I''ve wrote a server for a multiplayer flash project I was working on in VB in an afternoon.... 4 hours, done and dusted.... you don''t get that speed with C++ at all.

Another thing is that with VB6 you get the ability to have classes... this is GREAT for prototyping out some stuff and seeing how it will slot together... it takes minutes to get it happening... following that you can go and produce a super slick, super quick one in C++.

Lets face it VB is always going to be slow, it''s the nature of the language, but I definately would class it as one of my ''special'' tools in the toolbox. There are some things that is does the job brilliantly, producing editor and server software quickly and simply... which is just what you want so you can focus on gameplay...

-- And that''s my $0.02 worth -- Hang on, where I come from,$0.02 is rounded down. Does that mean my opinion is worthless or priceless?

CHROM

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I use VB, and I like it a lot.

I don''t think anyone will try to argue that VB is going to be faster than C++. But, do any C++ users argue that C++ is faster than ASM?

VB makes it very easy to write really bad, slow code, and in doing so, it has also created many people who will write that code, simply because it works. This is a downfall of humans not VB. If a persons coding style is efficient, then the speed for most applications will be easily up there with that of a C++ application.

The fact that MS has decided to support DX in VB must say something to you, seeing as DirectX is essentially free to the consumer, putting in features which have no benefit to Microsoft would be out of the question (well, I suppose that would be the case for anything, free or not seeing as it comes down to money), but their choice to recognise VB as a gaming language is definately interesting.

What else... misconceptions about vb: I could write a book on this . Pointers are there, so is multithreading, so is inline ASM, there are similar (but not compatible) languages for other platforms (Phoenix Basic for Linix).

And, the fact that games get done in VB. We care about the games, not the tools used to make them, and there are some nice games out, and coming out made with VB, so what does it matter?

(for the record, that person who mentioned VBDABL, it is actually written in straight ASM not C++)

Trying is the first step towards failure.

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quote:

I don't think anyone will try to argue that VB is going to be faster than C++. But, do any C++ users argue that C++ is faster than ASM?

Actually they might Unless you are very good at writing optimised asm, the chances are what you are writing will show little if any improvement over the code produced by a C++ compiler. And yes, it is quite easy to write slower asm. Perhaps a similar situation might arise for VB, but it isnt there yet.

For prototyping and in house tool development, as many have said, VB is great. You can get all the fancy pantsy gui stuff up and running in about 5 minutes of playing with the GUI, there are huge libraries of controls available for you etc. I wouldnt use it for production code though, it is too slow and bulky IMHO. I also found it too high level - it doesnt give you the flexibility you need, and it is full of weird bugs (like the one which occasionally caused it to toggle NumLock in one of my apps on some computers - completely weird, and very irritating)

Edited by - Sandman on August 9, 2001 7:15:17 AM