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DirectX 8.1, 2D Graphics, and 3D Hardware!

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Okay, as I''ve stated before I''m new to the DirectSDK and just got myself setup with everything I need to start learning. Now I just need some good tutorials (or books) that can help me achieve my goal. I would really like to know how to best use Direct X 8.1, on 3D hardware, to create 2D games (such as shooters, side-scrollers, and tile based games, etc.). If someone could please point me in the right direction I''d be quite appreciative. P.S. I do have Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Guru''s, but I would like to try and take advantage of the features of 3D hardware, while keeping to a 2D format. (ex. I heard Alpha Blending is awefully slow if not done through 3D). P.P.S. I heard there where some wrapper classes around that allowed a DirectDraw style programming approach but which utilitized the 3D methods in DX 8.1? Anyone know if they do exist, and if so where I can get them? Thanks in advance...

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I have a D3DXSprite wrapper on my site which will get u going.
I''m also working on a complete DX8 game wrapper using proper c++ classes, hopefully it will be ready soon.

Go to:

Downloads, D3DXSprite tutorial, New platform game: .-= The ZeroOne Realm =-.

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