Hi Ken, A few comments about vb.net if you don't mind. I'm not objecting to it so much as pointing out some long term issues you may encounter with going with vb.net you probably don't know about.
Although, there is a ffree Visual Basic .net compiler, Visual Basic Express, the latest version isn't very accessible. I tried the demos of Visual Basic 2010, Visual C# 2010, and Visual C++ 2010 and they don't work well at all with Jaws, Window-Eyes, and NVDA. So in order to use Visual Basic .net we would have to use Visual Basic 2005 or Visual Basic 2008 to have reasonable accessibility with the IDE and compiler. Problem is for Windows 7 it is highly recommended to use Visual Basic 2010 since it is optimized for .NET 4.0 which ships with Windows 7. That's trouble enough. Next, is the install size for your game. While the application itself would be quite small the dependencies that might need to be installed could be quite large. Last time I looked I believe .NET 4.0 is something like 350 MB or there about. That's not a problem for Windows 7 users like me since .NET 4.0 is integrated into the OS, but it would be for people still running XP and Vista since they'd have to install .NET 4.0 which is a fairly sizable install. That's not necessarily a good thing since not everyone has a high speed connection, and a lot of people over seas has to pay for how much bandwidth they use. As a game developer forcing them to download a 350 MB Windows upgrade is asking a bit much for a free game. Then, there is third-party dependencies involved. With .net languages like Visual Basic .net you need to use managed wrappers to access various libraries and APIs. So if we want to use DirectX we have to download and install SlimDX which doesn't come with XP, Vista, or Windows 7. This is just one more dependency among others we will end up adding to the list of things to download and install before anyone can use this game. One serious issue I encountered with the express version of Visual Basic .net is selecting a target platform. By default VB.net Express is set to Any CPU. This is a generic target platform that in theory is suppose to compile cross-platform independant executables that will run on x86 and x64 platforms. Problem is when including third-party wrappers you absolutely must specify a target platform like x86 or x64, and the express version of the IDE won't let you do this. You need to buy and own Visual Basic Pro to recompile your game source for x86 or x64 specific Windows platforms.Since this is a free project, free game, and your intention is to keep development free VB.net may not be as inexpensive and free as you think do to technical limitations in the VB Express IDE. Finally, there is he issue of documentation. While there is plenty of VB.net books on basic things like using VB.net to create a front end to an SQL database, writing a simple text editor, calculator, and that kind of thing there is really no documentation at all for games. The majority of .net game developers use C#.net and the XNA Framework. Over the past, oh, five years or so C#.net has largely replaced Visual Basic as the mainstream language of choice for home users and professionals. Visual Basic isn't exactly dead, but you don't see Microsoft marketing VB.net as nearly as much as C#.net to the home user. For example, back in the 1990's Microsoft launched a marketing campaign to introduce Visual Basic as a simple, easy to use language for home users and professionals alike. As part of that marketing campaign Microsoft created DirectX com components like DX8VB.dll for Visual Basic 6, and there were a handful of books written from professionals explaining that anyone could learn Visual Basic 6 and write his/her own games. Around 2003 Microsoft completely switched their marketing campaign to C#.net. Instead of naturally going to VB.net, which would be the logical assumption here, they began advertising C#.net instead. They released Managed DirectX for C#.net which was eventually phased out and replaced by XNA. A long with this switch to C#.net went the authors who write books on the various Microsoft languages. Instead of hearing about how great VB.net was most were saying C#.net was the best language from the home user or pro software developer. As a result if you want to get documentation for SlimDX most of the documentation is written for a C#.net developer. If you want to use SDL most of the documentation is for a C#.net developer. FMOD Ex is VB.net and C#.net compatible, but strangely the code examples are all for C#.net. Bottom line, VB.net isn't a very good choice because the industry as a whole has seamed to abandoned Visual Basic completely and went with C#.net. Finding good game development documentation for VB.net doesn't really exist. So if we decide to go with VB.net we'll be translating the documentation from C#.net to VB.net and then translating the code to VB.net as well. Obviously, I could do it since I know both languages fairly well, but it is still a fairly big process. What's more I don't know many people who can help since as stated this isn't well documented. It is kind of a case of figure it out on your own. Sounds like a whole lot of frustration to me. Understand I actually like VB.net, better than VB 6, but one reason I converted Raceway from VB.net to C++ is for the reasons above. It is poorly documented, too many dependencies, big downloads, etc just makes VB.net not a very good language for game development in myopinion. HTH --- Gamers mailing list __ Gamers@audyssey.org If you want to leave the list, send E-mail to gamers-unsubscr...@audyssey.org. You can make changes or update your subscription via the web, at http://audyssey.org/mailman/listinfo/gamers_audyssey.org. All messages are archived and can be searched and read at http://firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the management of the list, please send E-mail to gamers-ow...@audyssey.org.