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Inisheer

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  1.   I'd like to add to this quote by including my personal methods when dealing with heavy simulations. I should preface this by stating that there are countless good methods.. but here is one object oriented approach:   I will typically have a unit manager / collection that contains a reference to all the current units in the game. I will also have a simulation class (or multiple simulation classes for different types of sims) that will request a pointer to a collection of specific units from the unit manager to act upon. The class, which has a global understanding of the current state of the units and game, takes ownership of updating the information contained in the unit class (speed, location, state) based on the simulation criteria within the simulation class. If you have multiple simulation steps (classes for different types of simulations), the simulation manager simply passes the relevant collection of units from one sub-system to another. 
  2.   Well said. In fact, if I need to use native code rather than my traditional C# -- I move all the way to C and skip the C++ step.
  3. Take a look at the SharpDX Toolkit as well. It's what I use and it works very very well.   http://sharpdx.org/
  4. I really enjoyed Game Coding Complete (4th edition). The engine source code is available on Google Code as well.   Code: https://code.google.com/p/gamecode4/source/browse/   Book: http://www.amazon.com/Game-Coding-Complete-Fourth-Edition/dp/1133776574
  5. If you are only going to target Windows 8.1 (or generally Windows, and not another OS), I would select SharpDX Toolkit. It's an incredibly fast DirectX wrapper that also includes and XNA like toolkit. Very similar to MonoGame (I thought MG used SharpDX behind the scenes on Window.?.).