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RE: What's the Best Programming Language for Wargames?

 
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RE: What's the Best Programming Language for Wargames? - 7/17/2008 1:11:37 AM   
Joe 98


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What is the difference between Microsoft Visual Basic as discussed above and Microsoft Visual Basic that comes with an Excel spreadsheet?

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Post #: 31
RE: What's the Best Programming Language for Wargames? - 7/17/2008 1:30:35 AM   
WBaugh

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Joe 98

What is the difference between Microsoft Visual Basic as discussed above and Microsoft Visual Basic that comes with an Excel spreadsheet?

-


Hey Joe,

A real quick answer would be that the Visual Basic in Excel is called VBA (Visual Basic for Applications). It is used to manipulate the spreadsheets/data in Excel. Visual Basic.NET is a full fledged development language allowing you to create windows forms, console and web apps.

For game designing, you would want to use C++/C# and or VB.NET

Hope this helps.

Bill

(in reply to Joe 98)
Post #: 32
RE: What's the Best Programming Language for Wargames? - 7/17/2008 1:48:24 AM   
Veldor


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gary Childress

If I were going to learn a programming language with which to create a war game what would be the best language to use? What programming language are the majority of wargames created with? What programming language works best with wargames?

Thanks.


Gary,

I have some very specific advice I can give to your question. What others have already said is all good advice. But my specific advice:

1. Do not, REPEAT, do not learn C++. If you already knew it there is nothing wrong with it but the market for it is diminishing in rapid favor of C#. Speaking for a large consulting firm we have loads of C# work across all avenues (Except maybe the hardware/driver side which is still highly C++). Java is diminishing, pretty much everything is outside niche uses. What you see is people/companies building on what they already know but anyone starting anything new from the ground up or otherwise recruiting etc. is C#. If you must choose something else to learn from scratch go with VB.NET.
2. Wargame specific reason to use C#. This only applies to the latest versions especially more-so 2008 version. Windows Forms... Its the most wonderous thing for wargaming. Pretty much zero coding to make your editor. We all know how much data is in games like these. You can interface with free versions of SQL Server Express or Compact Edition to store and manipulate all the data (redistributable free). Very little SQL knowledge needed through the C# Windows Forms interface (Like not much more than the book below teaches you). Really slick end results, almost no coding again. Comparable with some other languages results in 2007 and blows the socks off anything with the 2008 C# edition.
3. Enough C# gaming books are out to cover just about anything else you would need even DirectX Advanced Level which may not even be needed for a Wargame.
4. Plenty of online help since it has such widespread usage across both business and gaming.
etc. etc.

What I specifically recommend to learn and produce... Skip any class (I say this as a Microsoft Certified Trainer amongst my other jobs/roles), I can eleborate specifically why if you request.

Step #1 - Buy this Book: HEAD FIRST C# - ISBN 0-596-51482-4 (This is the best writing style ever invented for learning a programming language. If this doesn't work for you honestly don't know if I'd go any further with it)
Step #2 - If you make it through that ok go ahead and spend $99 on the Standard Edition of C# 2008 (You dont need the PRO version and if your not willing to invest $200.00 or less in the total effort than its not an effort in the first place) :)
Step #3 - Buy this Book: WINDOWS FORMS 2.0 PROGRAMMING - 0-321-26796-6

You can make a fully finished commercial product with nothing but the above (well a cheap one anyway). From there you can get into DirectX etc. but for less than $200.00 (Well outside of Graphics & Sound Editing Software) you can't go wrong. Never understood why some insist so much on the fully freeby software and efforts. What you learn for your $200.00 you could earn 5 times that taking one simple side project off of a tech match making site not to mention a better job in the long run should that be of any interest.

You may or may not be able to buy used versions of those books on Amazon but I cannot stress enough those specific ones vs. others to get started. All the standard suggestions (Deitel books etc. just arent good unless your already skilled/experience or want to read text book or reference style 10,000 page nonsense). What you need is something that motivates you to continue instead of creating frustration that makes you give up and quit.

Only my own pro opinion. God bless Delphi fans and MS H8ers!

(in reply to Gary Childress)
Post #: 33
RE: What's the Best Programming Language for Wargames? - 7/17/2008 3:17:32 AM   
Gary Childress


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Thanks Veldor.

I'll give those books a look up and see what I can find.

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Post #: 34
RE: What's the Best Programming Language for Wargames? - 7/17/2008 10:06:08 AM   
Widell


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Regardless of some of the rather stupid remarks regarding PHP, I'd say it's a good option for online stuff where you don't want a client side application. I have done stuff in VB, PHP/MySQL and C++ over the years, and I can only conclude you have to choose your tool depending on what you intend to do. Wrong tool = Lot's of additional work and possibly worse results. Right tool = The opposite. That beign said, VB and C are as good or as bad as PHP if you use them to solve the wrong problem (The classic is that you can't fix all your handyman stuff with a hammer, and you can't really solve all your computer communication stuff with Excel, although I have colleagues trying to do just that)

And to compare PHP with C++ is not a relevant comparison. They do very different things. Compare PHP to ASP and C++ to VB (or any other language of your choice).

I also want to second TonyE in his statement to go Open Source. You can get most tools you need initially for free regardless of what language or dialect you decide to go for.

(in reply to Perturabo)
Post #: 35
RE: What's the Best Programming Language for Wargames? - 7/17/2008 3:21:18 PM   
jwilkerson


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quote:

ORIGINAL: bobogoboom

...pascal that would also be a wrong choing.


R U Sure? Our most excellent Flashpoint Germany is coded in "pascal" how could that be a wrong choing [sic] ?

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Post #: 36
RE: What's the Best Programming Language for Wargames? - 7/17/2008 3:25:12 PM   
sterckxe


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quote:

ORIGINAL: jwilkerson

quote:

ORIGINAL: bobogoboom

...pascal that would also be a wrong choing.


R U Sure? Our most excellent Flashpoint Germany is coded in "pascal" how could that be a wrong choing [sic] ?


As are all the games from AGEod : Birth of America 1 & 2, Campaigns of Napoleon and American Civil War.

The upcoming World in Flames as well.

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx

(in reply to jwilkerson)
Post #: 37
RE: What's the Best Programming Language for Wargames? - 7/17/2008 7:30:23 PM   
Jeffrey H.


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I heard C-sharp is looking good. Also, I think Direct-X is going to be it's own challenge.


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Post #: 38
RE: What's the Best Programming Language for Wargames? - 7/17/2008 10:50:42 PM   
Deride


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I highly recommend XNA Studio from Microsoft.

This is the new toolset from Microsoft that they are hoping to push for new developers. You can use these tools to write programs that run on PCs or XBox. If you build a nice enough game, you can buy the professional version that allows you to post your games to XBox Live - and even make money.

At Koios Works, we used C# with Managed DirectX, which was the pre-cursor to this toolset. It's the easiest way to make semi-professional or professional games.

Russ

(in reply to Jeffrey H.)
Post #: 39
RE: What's the Best Programming Language for Wargames? - 7/18/2008 12:11:40 AM   
Veldor


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Deride

I highly recommend XNA Studio from Microsoft.

This is the new toolset from Microsoft that they are hoping to push for new developers. You can use these tools to write programs that run on PCs or XBox. If you build a nice enough game, you can buy the professional version that allows you to post your games to XBox Live - and even make money.

At Koios Works, we used C# with Managed DirectX, which was the pre-cursor to this toolset. It's the easiest way to make semi-professional or professional games.

Russ


Bingo! And why the XBox 360 and so on will do even better over time as they open it up more to just regular Joe's who want to make games for it using not much more than they should already know. Not aware of anything even remotely close available for PS3 or Wii Development...

(in reply to Deride)
Post #: 40
RE: What's the Best Programming Language for Wargames? - 7/18/2008 12:15:07 AM   
Veldor


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Widell

I also want to second TonyE in his statement to go Open Source. You can get most tools you need initially for free regardless of what language or dialect you decide to go for.



Hey all good advice but to repeat what you said no one tool fits every situation. Open Source may not be the best road for someone who may eventually want to sell some version of their product. Speaking in general terms here, I don't know this particular thread originator's ultimate intent.

Most Pro tools don't cost that much and the skills you learn are far more marketable outside of playtime.

In the end its all about matching up with your goals the right tools like you said though

(in reply to Widell)
Post #: 41
RE: What's the Best Programming Language for Wargames? - 7/18/2008 1:49:05 AM   
alexs


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As far as i remember the latest express editions of visual studio has relaxed the non-commercial clauses in their license agreements. Im pretty sure you can make money from them. They are by far the easiest to learn IDE (Integrated development environment) that i have found when building pc based projects (not so good if you want to build a project cross platform, though not horrific either).

Make sure you visit www.gamedev.net - this should get you going.

Note: C# is not c++ - To me it was built bridge between visual basic and c++ trying to take the best aspects of each. Dont know too many games written in c# (i seem to remember there was at least one matrix game), but i dont know thats due to the fact it's unsuitable - it's probably more down to the fact that c# is a relatively new language.


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RE: What's the Best Programming Language for Wargames? - 7/18/2008 12:47:28 PM   
Widell


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Veldor
Open Source may not be the best road for someone who may eventually want to sell some version of their product.


You are right. If you decide to go pro, you most likely need pro tools.

For amateur code crunchers like myself, Open Source is a good way to play around with ideas and concepts for free. On the other hand, there's stuff developed Open Source that will at least last for a long time for many of us (Netbeans, Eclipse, PHP, MySQL, WampServer and a whole lot more).

(in reply to Veldor)
Post #: 43
RE: What's the Best Programming Language for Wargames? - 7/18/2008 7:59:00 PM   
Peter Fisla


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gary Childress

If I were going to learn a programming language with which to create a war game what would be the best language to use? What programming language are the majority of wargames created with? What programming language works best with wargames?

Thanks.


It's a difficult question to answer really but here is what I know: Close Combat was written C/C++, so was The Ardennes Offensive by SSG, so was East Front/West Front by Talonsoft. I was in the same shoes as you are now about 10 years ago and my decision was to use Visual C++ on Windows - game hobby development. I have written few Close Combat 1 editors and I'm currently porting ASL Starter Kit Rules 1,2,3 to computer. Wrote my own hex based 2D engine in C++ and MFC. I chose C++ because it's a very powerful development language, has a lot of features and produces relatively small binaries. So if you want build you game engine that doesn't need the latest hardware with not a lot of memory requirements than C++ is a great choice.

In the end please keep in mind that even if you have your game rules done and tested it will take some time to properly design and develop to turn it into a computer wargame.

Peter

PS: Visual C++ 2005 Standard Edition has all you need and you could get around $100 or so - this is what I'm using and I'm pretty happy with it (I have been using VC++ since version 4.0, 1995)

http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-Visual-Studio-Standard-VERSION/dp/B000BT8TRQ

< Message edited by Peter Fisla -- 7/18/2008 8:55:00 PM >

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RE: What's the Best Programming Language for Wargames? - 7/18/2008 8:50:45 PM   
WBaugh

 

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What do you gentlemen think of using Torque X Builder in association with the free binary Torque X library to create 2D games just for fun? Information on Torque X Builder can be found here http://www.garagegames.com/products/torque/x/

I am a C#/VB.NET developer so being able to use XNA and all of the coding in VS 2005 Express is a definite plus!

I'm feeling like messing around with developing some games. The TXB is $100 so it's not too huge of an investment...if it's worth it.

Thanks,

Bill

(in reply to Peter Fisla)
Post #: 45
RE: What's the Best Programming Language for Wargames? - 7/21/2008 1:51:21 PM   
sterckxe


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Peter Fisla
... and I'm currently porting ASL Starter Kit Rules 1,2,3 to computer.


<sits up>

Ok - spill the beans !

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx

(in reply to Peter Fisla)
Post #: 46
RE: What's the Best Programming Language for Wargames? - 7/22/2008 2:53:49 AM   
Nemo121


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If no-one would mind I'd like to refocus this to two different examples as it seems the very width of what a wargame could be means that different languages might each be best for quite different games.

So, which would be best for:

1. A grand strategy title, 2d, turn-based, top-down and with a need to just run lots and lots of database queries so as to plug the results into the various combat algorithms. From what I've read C# might be a good choice as it allows the whole editor side of things ( a huge aspect of a Grigsby-esque game ) to be speeded up.


2. Isometric, sprite-based, turn-based ( perhaps WEGO ) platoon-level wargame a la X-Com except with larger numbers of controllable troops. I'm guessing that VB would be quite sufficient to programme such a game but that one might get better results with OOP and the large number of libraries etc available or C++ or ( to a lesser extent ) C# ?


Comments?

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RE: What's the Best Programming Language for Wargames? - 7/22/2008 3:19:07 AM   
Veldor


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Nemo121

If no-one would mind I'd like to refocus this to two different examples as it seems the very width of what a wargame could be means that different languages might each be best for quite different games.

So, which would be best for:

1. A grand strategy title, 2d, turn-based, top-down and with a need to just run lots and lots of database queries so as to plug the results into the various combat algorithms. From what I've read C# might be a good choice as it allows the whole editor side of things ( a huge aspect of a Grigsby-esque game ) to be speeded up.


2. Isometric, sprite-based, turn-based ( perhaps WEGO ) platoon-level wargame a la X-Com except with larger numbers of controllable troops. I'm guessing that VB would be quite sufficient to programme such a game but that one might get better results with OOP and the large number of libraries etc available or C++ or ( to a lesser extent ) C# ?


Comments?


Best is whatever language you already know the best. Otherwise there is no right answer. My answer was based in part on what would be the easiest and most employable language to learn at this point, should you not know any already. If you've done any programming at all, even years and years ago I would say C#. If you've truly never written a line of code in your entire life, then and only then I'd probably say VB.NET.

Learning C++ from scratch is a lot harder than learning C# from scratch. The extra libraries aren't worth it. You don't need them.

As long as you don't pick Cobol or Fortran to program your wargame you'll probably do ok...

(in reply to Nemo121)
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RE: What's the Best Programming Language for Wargames? - 7/22/2008 9:04:42 AM   
JeF


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quote:

ORIGINAL: TonyE
A million programmers, a million opinions


Yes. This is why I'll give my usual two cents as well.

First and foremost, the programming language is not the most important. What is important is the function/objects library that comes with the environment you use. That's why C# is a good choice and "plain" C/C++ might be a harder path.

quote:


My two cents are that C++ is a good adventure but go open source if you can stand it. Something like GCC (compiler) + Eclipse (IDE) + wxWidgets (buttons, lists, etc.) allows you to develop in pretty much the same code across Windows, Linux, and OS X.


For games, I wouldn't recommend wxWidgets but the SDL library ( http://www.libsdl.org/ ). Illwinter's Dominions series of games are based on it. Lots and lots of binders for different languages are available.

Next, as far as unusual programming languages are concerned, I'd recommend Python ( http://www.python.org/ ) with the most excellent SDL implementation PyGame ( http://www.pygame.org ); Simple and fun. Combat Mission Campaign is supposed to be programmed in Python.

Have fun,

JeF.



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RE: What's the Best Programming Language for Wargames? - 7/22/2008 6:56:02 PM   
Peter Fisla


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quote:

ORIGINAL: sterckxe

quote:

ORIGINAL: Peter Fisla
... and I'm currently porting ASL Starter Kit Rules 1,2,3 to computer.


<sits up>

Ok - spill the beans !

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx



Hi Eddy,

Do a search for "XASL" in this thread:

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=1280844&mpage=4&key=XASL�

:)

(in reply to sterckxe)
Post #: 50
RE: What's the Best Programming Language for Wargames? - 7/22/2008 7:04:00 PM   
Peter Fisla


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From: Canada
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Nemo121

If no-one would mind I'd like to refocus this to two different examples as it seems the very width of what a wargame could be means that different languages might each be best for quite different games.

So, which would be best for:

1. A grand strategy title, 2d, turn-based, top-down and with a need to just run lots and lots of database queries so as to plug the results into the various combat algorithms. From what I've read C# might be a good choice as it allows the whole editor side of things ( a huge aspect of a Grigsby-esque game ) to be speeded up.


2. Isometric, sprite-based, turn-based ( perhaps WEGO ) platoon-level wargame a la X-Com except with larger numbers of controllable troops. I'm guessing that VB would be quite sufficient to programme such a game but that one might get better results with OOP and the large number of libraries etc available or C++ or ( to a lesser extent ) C# ?


Comments?



Start with something small first; like for example build a hexagonal map first and go from there. It's important to start with a small goal first otherwise you will have hard time reaching your goal even possibly fail. Two things to keep in mind about C++ vs C#. C# will be easier to start with however if you think possibly you will be porting your game engine to say linux os you should really consider C++.

Here is a good game development page on the net about hexagonal or isometric game engines:

http://www-cs-students.stanford.edu/~amitp/gameprog.html

Also if you can try to find this book...it will help you get starter faster (though you will need some c++ knowledge). It's an order book but has a lot of stuff you can directly use:

http://www.amazon.com/Isometric-Programming-DirectX-Development-Software/dp/0761530894

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Post #: 51
RE: What's the Best Programming Language for Wargames? - 7/22/2008 7:09:56 PM   
Perturabo


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What's good if I want to make a cRPG with topdown view, 2d graphics and tactical combat? And if I want it to be runnable both on windows and linux?


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RE: What's the Best Programming Language for Wargames? - 7/22/2008 7:59:55 PM   
Peter Fisla


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Perturabo

What's good if I want to make a cRPG with topdown view, 2d graphics and tactical combat? And if I want it to be runnable both on windows and linux?



There are some open source middle ware projects out there that you could use; just do some search on google

(in reply to Perturabo)
Post #: 53
RE: What's the Best Programming Language for Wargames? - 7/22/2008 8:07:17 PM   
Peter Fisla


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Please keep in mind also one more thing. Games have been around on computers for a long time and for the most part, all the games are wrtitten either in C or C++ (there is of course assembler but let's not focus on that). So there is a lot more game code samples out there in C/C++ than in C#. Even today most games are wrtitten in C++ because of the speed of the binaries. It's easier to write code in C# but C# doesn't have the feature scope of C++ and you will be pretty much limited to widows only. Also C# is Microsoft controlled, C++ is the whole world standard...

(in reply to Peter Fisla)
Post #: 54
RE: What's the Best Programming Language for Wargames? - 7/22/2008 8:31:30 PM   
Perturabo


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Ugh...
I hate the idea of Microsoft controlled...

I guess I'll try with C++...
I have to learn it for my informatics technician exams anyway...


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Post #: 55
RE: What's the Best Programming Language for Wargames? - 7/22/2008 8:39:48 PM   
Peter Fisla


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Hey Perturabo, I wonder what's that image you have as your avatar and message signature. Is that a screenshot from a game ?

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Post #: 56
RE: What's the Best Programming Language for Wargames? - 7/22/2008 8:49:08 PM   
JeF


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Peter Fisla
Here is a good game development page on the net about hexagonal or isometric game engines:
http://www-cs-students.stanford.edu/~amitp/gameprog.html


... among other compulsory themes for any game developers.
I wholeheartedly second that recommendation.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Perturbato
What's good if I want to make a cRPG with topdown view, 2d graphics and tactical combat? And if I want it to be runnable both on windows and linux?


I'll repeat my self : SDL library ( http://www.libsdl.org/ ).

For easier porting, standard compliant C/C++ with the same complier on both platforms. Have a look at the MinGW project ( http://www.mingw.org/ ). Or things like Python or Java.

I hope this helps,

JeF.

_____________________________

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Don't loose your wallet !
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Post #: 57
RE: What's the Best Programming Language for Wargames? - 7/22/2008 8:53:20 PM   
Gary Childress


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Peter Fisla

Hey Perturabo, I wonder what's that image you have as your avatar and message signature. Is that a screenshot from a game ?


Looks like the original Command and Conquer.

_____________________________

Favorite/Awesome games from Matrix

War in the Pacific/AE
Panzer Corps
Commander Europe at War
John Tiller's Campaign Series
The Close Combat Series (all versions)

(in reply to Peter Fisla)
Post #: 58
RE: What's the Best Programming Language for Wargames? - 7/22/2008 9:14:54 PM   
Vyshka


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gary Childress

OK. So let's say I want to learn C++. Are there any inexpensive online colleges which others here can recommend which offer classes over the Internet?

Also whats the cheapest LEGAL way of getting C++?

Thanks.


Visual C++ Express Edition is free, or you can get the GNU compilers. You might want to
think about C# instead C++ if you want to avoid the hassle of dealing with pointers and such. C and C++ are very powerful, but they require a lot more of the programmer. They are the industry standards though, so if you are looking to do this as a career and work for some company you will probably have to learn them. At this point though I don't think using C# would cause any performance issues especially for a wargame.

O'Reilly (ora.com) might have some classes for C++. I know they do for C .

Edit: Weren't the Panzer Command titles programmed in C#? I believe I remember reading that somewhere.

Anyone know the connection between XNA and DirectX? I haven't kept up on it much.

< Message edited by Vyshka -- 7/22/2008 10:14:56 PM >


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Post #: 59
RE: What's the Best Programming Language for Wargames? - 7/22/2008 10:55:42 PM   
Perturabo


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Joined: 11/17/2007
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quote:

ORIGINAL: JeF

I'll repeat my self : SDL library ( http://www.libsdl.org/ ).

For easier porting, standard compliant C/C++ with the same complier on both platforms. Have a look at the MinGW project ( http://www.mingw.org/ ). Or things like Python or Java.

Thanks. IIRC Dosbox and UFO AI and some games from Shrapnel Games used it.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Peter Fisla

Hey Perturabo, I wonder what's that image you have as your avatar and message signature. Is that a screenshot from a game ?

It's a screenshot Command & Conquer: Tibarian Sun with my old mod.

_____________________________

Without social solidarity manifested in the form of welfare state, people inhabiting one territory are a non-nation of mortal enemies engaged in competition for survival.

(in reply to JeF)
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