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Submitted by Stefan Guericke, posted on November 07, 2000

Image Description, by Stefan Guericke

These are early screenshots from my current project Area 51 developed with Visual Basic. It is based on the DirectX-Api and Currently uses 3D-Sound, DirectInput and Direct3D. Im going to implement DirectPlay soon, cause it will be a multiplayer-game.

On the big picture you can see a level i created last night. The small one is from the EASY-TO-USE level-editor of Area 51. I have prefered VB VC because i think taht it is much easier to learn the basics of 3D programming.

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Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active. It is here for reference purposes. This thread was created on an older version of the flipcode forums, before the site closed in 2005. Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.

November 07, 2000, 02:40 AM

Very impressive!

how long has it taken you?


November 07, 2000, 03:07 AM

Looks like youve spent a lot of time on this one and your level editor looks very good. The textures/design reminds me of
DukeNukem 3d. Is that top-right image a nightvision view?
And is that red thing in the middle red because its a target?
It reminds me of Perfect Dark.
Very cool.

Timothy Barnes

November 07, 2000, 03:09 AM

Awesome :)

Use the Winsock control instead of DPlay. It's extremely easy to use and has less overhead. Simple as...

winsock1.connect "", 1337
winsock1.senddata "something"

Anyway, is the editor open source? Right now I'm suck with qED and I need something that supports bezier curves because my engine supports it and the editor doesn't. :-/


November 07, 2000, 03:11 AM

looks nice, that topright shot is very stylish.
but know there are already multiple games with the same title? The last one was a shooting game, build for the arcade. 'cauz it is no problem if it is only a projectname. Anyway, what does a name matter,...


November 07, 2000, 06:46 AM

Hello. I'm watching for a long time this IOTD column an it has been very usefull to me. But, if I'm not boring you, can some one point me some web resources where I can learn about network games development. Here, only image algorithms are discused.
Sorry, for my english.

Kurt Miller

November 07, 2000, 06:56 AM

">>can some one point me some web resources where I can learn about network games development"

"Network Game Programming" by Dan Royer:

Networking Articles by Matt Slot:

Phil Carlisle

November 07, 2000, 08:48 AM

Well, VB isnt my choice, but nice to see youre at least working towards a goal..

I like that youve done an editor. Very useful to be able to view how you are drawing things as you create them.

I could never spend enough time on an editor thats good enough for what I need tho. I kind of have to rely on Quake compatability for my editors (well, quake->offspring).

Good work man, hope you keep at it.



November 07, 2000, 10:01 AM

Looks very cool! It's nice to see someone doing a real game instead of just engines that become nothing. Keep the good work up, man!


November 07, 2000, 10:05 AM

Nice work! What kind of speed (fps) do you get?



November 07, 2000, 10:28 AM

Isnt that statue a model out of quake3? Does that mean your editor will import .md3 files? if so, what other kind of files will it handle?
I think it's great that you're doing it in VB, maybe the nay-sayers will be enlightened.
Please follow up on the top right hand screen, is that nightvision or what?=)
Also, it looks like you're getting 10 fps on that image to the right, is that windowed mode, does it belong to your editor, or is that the game engine or what?
How many polys?
Basically, give us some more info, like vis algos etc.

Great IOTD btw.


November 07, 2000, 10:43 AM

The night vision view looks particularly awesome!

I think VB is an excellent choice for game development-- it lets you get in there quick and dirty and saves you from a lot of awful crashes and boilerplate. I always eventually get frustrated by the lack of subclassing, usable pointers, and general slowness of the VB engine, but for many games using VB means you're more likely to actually finish the thing because you aren't hung up on the nitty gritty coding details.

I've never used DirectX under VB-- do you use a control or DECLARE the API directly? Any pointers to resources for DirectX under VB?


Phillip Jordan

November 07, 2000, 01:14 PM

Neither. It's an ActiveX DLL (nope, not uh-oh!) and every DirectX object is a class. It's pretty intuitive I must say - check out the DX SDK for details.

To Stefan: keep up the good work!
(und warum schreibst du das nicht auch in der vbgames-mailingliste? ;))



November 07, 2000, 02:51 PM

Problem is, VB is not portable. If you write in C/C++ you can at least encapsulate platform specific code in some files, but when using VB your programming language itself is platform specific. And I think portability will become more and more important...
Of couse if portability is not an issue, VB probably is a more RAD environment.



November 07, 2000, 02:57 PM

That looks really nice :-) I have to agree that VB is a great way to get started and depending on your style of coding may be powerful enough for many games. VB code is actually quite fast and efficient until you start using classes. Unfortunately Microsoft's implementation for class access is many times slower than accessing a similar user defined type.

For those who aren't aware, Microsoft released DirectX for Visual Basic (DX7VB) with nearly all the features provided for the C++ programmers. There is a little overhead, but its not that significant.

One feature in DX7VB that some may not be aware of is the GetLockedArray method which will accept an undimensioned byte array and will point it directly to the surface memory of your choice. You can use this for procedural textures, old school demo effects or general image processing. Its just about as fast as using pointers in C.

On the other hand C/C++ is definitely more powerful and portable and OpenGL is easier to use than Direct3D.

matt tagliaferri

November 07, 2000, 03:29 PM

wow, someone still using qED! I'm flattered.

matt tagliaferri
author: qED

Timothy Barnes

November 07, 2000, 04:39 PM

Hey! You made qED! I need to talk to you :)


November 07, 2000, 05:53 PM

...but wait, there's an even "better" language than VB for rapid development, and it's name is :


Yes, Smalltalk, the purest Object Oriented language there is. It's fast, powerful, and perfect for game development (the live nature of the image means that you can import everything in dev. time instead of run-time). VisualWorks offers an OpenGl map, and Squeak is a great environment which offers OpenGl and the AliceWorld engine.

Squeak is available from -> check it out, it's brilliant!

You can do so much of your OO development in Smalltalk, without worrying about the pains of C++, and actually finish something. Then, you have a working system made entirely of classes which can be ported to any other OO language later, and re-map the primitives of the code to native OS libraries. Squeak supports great graphics, sound, networking, and a generally powerful Smalltalk image.


November 07, 2000, 06:02 PM

Wow. That's amazing. Reminds me of the city intro for UT some.

Lion V

November 07, 2000, 11:37 PM

Is it playable yet ?
Where can I get it ?
What do you use for your DX ? That DX7VB that nodecode talked about ?
What kind of release is it gonna be ? Open source or not ?
Nice editor...
What kind of features do you have in the engine/game ?

Timothy Barnes

November 08, 2000, 02:34 AM

I find it interesting that this IOTD gets less VB flames than I do. :) Oh well. I like interesting conversations. Btw, did I say the screenie looks pretty yet?

Marco Al

November 08, 2000, 04:35 AM

Thats nice for a LAN. But if you want to use UDP and layer guarantueed, non guarantueed traffic, traffic throttling, asynchronous messaging, priorities etc on top DirectPlay will save you work (if you are using VB a little overhead can be tolerated I assume).


November 08, 2000, 04:55 AM

Yeah, any web site?


November 08, 2000, 10:18 AM

I think yours, being the first, copped a deal of flak, but since the educated debate was started there, we've all become more open to the idea!

I know I'm getting a copy to try and get a level editor underway!

Timothy Barnes

November 08, 2000, 01:56 PM

point taken. Although I don't like UDP, but whatever.

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