Bill, here is a message Phillip Benfall wrote to the list a while ago regarding c++.

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Re: [Audyssey] another game programming question

Being a C++ developer I will perhaps not surprisingly, recommend C++. I have heard that C# has some major drawbacks, though Thomas could probably tell you better than myself about that part as he has been using .net but is now switching to C++. However I can tell you that C++ is definitely a good language to work with if you want to write advanced games, and it is also compatible with I should think literally every platform that exists as it compiles directly
to assembly.

As for Sapi speech, you would need to download the Sapi 5.1 SDK from Microsoft and learn from that, and probably some online tutorials also. Personally I am not a big fan of it for games, I use sound effects and prerecorded speech exclusively. Sapi has its advantages such as when reading unpredictable things, a user list in an online game is a good example, but for your average game you don't really need it. Do keep in mind that this is only my personal opinion and a lot of the other developers may or may not agree with me, but I feel that Sapi ruins a lot of the atmosphere in a game by sounding the way it does. Speech synthesizers are getting better every year but they're still nowhere near an actor.

If you wish to start learning C++, I'd recommend visiting
www.cplusplus.com
. It is an excellent resource both for tutorials and reference material. Then, once you get the hang of the basics check out
www.gamedeve.net
, which offers a boatload of resources for the novis as well as the pro game developer.
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hth.

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