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Asking questions?

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Kent Sarikaya:
Guys as you know I am new to powerBasic. I can see reading the posts here that the main powerBasic forums have lost meaning for a lot of you or the community there has sort of faded away and now in this nice forum you are gathering again. I don't want to do anything that doesn't fit into this forum and its goals. But being so new to powerBasic I do and will have many questions. My focus will be in the area of games and graphics mainly as I want to use powerBasic to write some tools for game development and general 3d development and play.

Anyways is it preferred that I ask questions here or should I ask them at the powerBasic forums, until I become a lot more familiar with powerBasic and move into a hard core user status?

José Roca:
 
Well, nobody forbids you to ask questions in both forums, although PB has never attracted game programmers, I assume that because of the lack of examples and ready to use graphic libraries. The compiler is more powerful than most if not all the other BASIC compilers, but has mainly attracted programmers that write business applications.

I'm doing an effort posting translated headers and examples, as well as the recent wrappers for DirectX, to see if I can help to change the situation, and also to learn something in the process, because I know nothing about graphics programming.

I have written an email to Vladimir Shukalov, that is a great programmer and an expert in DirectX. He has replied that he will join this forum but later, because he first has to finish two projects.

This forum is still very young and has few active posters. I guess that many PBers are lurking and waiting to see what happens.

Eros Olmi:
Ken,

as José suggested, no one can stop you to make posts here and in PB forum. You are PB customer now so you are entitled (following PB policy) to ask whatever PB related in PB forum. More, someone talking about creating games using PB I think it is a good things. And a little link to José forum would be not bad too :)
Games are programs and in many cases much more complex and challenge than many "serious" ones.

As you can see here, José has made a BIG BIG job and has produced so much source code than any other PB user. And all FOR FREE. I really hope many PB users will come here to talk about programming and not about ... religion or politics like recently has happened in PB forum.

It is also my feeling that PowerBasic compiler is one of the best Basic compiler around. It has elegant syntax, it is really rock stable, it is fast and produce fast and quite optimized executables. The dark side of PowerBasic is that you need to know a lot on computer programming and OS inside to be able to get the best from it but, ... is that a cons?

Ciao
Eros

Kent Sarikaya:
Thanks guys hope to have some contributions in the coming months. Still got lots to learn.

Donald Darden:
The thing about forums in general is that they are there to benefit everyone.  It's like gathering with a bunch of guys that like to talk about what interests them, and they have the most fun when that get together with people that share the same interests.  We are here because we like the neat things that computers can be made to do, and sometimes to show off our work.

You can program games in PowerBasic, but it is not the compiler of choice for that purpose.  That is because languages that are designed for gaming already include elements that you need for handling tasks automatically.  For instance, you can describe something by giving it attributes, and a game compiler will automatically manage not only that item, but what happens when it collides or meets up with other items.  In PowerBasic, you have to design and manage all that with your own code.

There is increased emphasis on game engines that handle the details for you, doing all the hard work, and letting you essentially script the elements of each new game.  Iy's a different art form.  I've seen efforts to use PowerBasic as the front end, to program the scripting process on the fly.  I could not get it in my head how that might be better or worse than just sticking with the scripting process.

There are multiple game models that you can consider and use.  There are games that are purely random in nature. like throwing dice.  There are games that involve strategy, such as Chess.  There are multiplayer games, some where each player has a specific time to act within (such as players taking turns), and others where each player plays at their own speed, and having a faster computer and internet connection might give you an edge.

If you have an idea of the type of style of game you want to develop, you might look for game engines that are used to produce similar games, and then do some research into them.  There are many web sites and languages that are focused on game programming, and I'm sure some of those will prove helpful.

There are many facets of PowerBasic that really make it really best suited to communications, commercial, data and financial applications.  Efforts by a number of people here are showing that with a bit of effort, it can be the heart of great graphics and audio applications as well, and that even Microsoft's boring windows and dialogs can be made lively and attractive,  But game programming is rather a specialized area, and to be frank, few followers in that group think that PowerBasic would be their choice for game development.

Take a look at PureBasic as a language that fits somewhere in between.  Look at the commands that support the keyboard as an example.  In PowerBasic, you see the keyboard as buffered input that you can process with several functions, either a character at a time, or as a line of input text.  Text correction is allowed before you commit to a line with the Enter key.  A couple of timers are used to determine if a key is entered repeatedly, and at what rate.  Dialogs are a way that you receive input when in Windows mode. 

PureBasic, on the other hand, allows you to see each key as an independent button, so that you could emulate a joystick, flight console, or other device by pressing and releasing keys independently of each other.  To try and do the same thing with PowerBasic requires a considerable effort and a lot of trial and error to get the timing and code down right.  .

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