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DarkBASIC Discussion / How good is DarkBasic Classic for Netbook development?

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AbdulAhad
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Posted: 3rd Aug 2011 22:08
Well here is question #1, about how good is DarkBasic Classic for Netbook development?

Question #2, Where should I start with Dark Basic? I've been following TDK's tutorials, finding them really helpful, but I've seen that he goes to 2d game programming, are there any 3d tutorials too? Any other sites with good tutorials?

Question #3, Which products are compatible with DarkBasic Classic? Any 'must-have' dlls or packages?

I've searched for a few days, but haven't been able to find a software which will allow me to animate characters using mesh animation. I have used Blender 3d, but I'm not much of an expert with it yet.

Question #4, which products(Alive with downloads) show the true potential of DarkBasic Classic besides SoulHunter and StarWraith?

I really want to use DarkBasic Classic over DarkBasic Pro is because I want to try to make something using something outdated(its in my nature to use outdated stuff to make something interesting. Like how people have modified the Doom 1 Engine with HDR and stuff. It's more rewarding to me this way)

Thanks in advance!

Abdul Ahad

Daniel TGC
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Posted: 4th Aug 2011 01:12 Edited at: 4th Aug 2011 01:14
You're better off with DarkBASIC Professional. All netbooks come with Direct X 9.0c based graphics cards (with the exception of nVidia Ion and Ion2 which are direct x 10 and even less compatible with 8.1 which Classic uses), it's command set is newer and more capable, and it's fully compatible with Windows Vista and Seven which most netbooks come with pre-installed.

The Game Creators sell a couple of excellent books that'll teach you everything you need to get to grips with DarkBASIC Professional.

Hands on DarkBASIC Pro book 1
Hands on DarkBASIC Pro book 2

You can also read the sticky's in this room, the tutorials thread is a good place.

Remember DarkBASIC Professional comes with documentation as well, personally when I joined the community this and asking questions here is how I learned. Though I did already have a basic foundation in BBC Basic, GW Basic and a few other variants such as STOS on the Atari ST.

There's also a ton of video tutorials on my own youtube channel.

Daniel's youtube channel!

There are no compatible DLL's really, the expansion pack is already included for free, DarkBASIC Professional however has a ton, both free from this community and offically supported and paid for plugins on our site.

Learning animation is as challenging as learning programming, but 3D Crafter Pro sold on the TGC website will do the trick. If you want free, then you can't beat blender, it's a little challenging for new users to export compatible .x files, but once you get the hang of it, you'll have a skillset that extends far beyond modelling for DarkBASIC Professional. You even have the potential to to short movies, promotional material, advertising, loading screens, menu screens, artwork, sprites, and whatever else you might need. I'm no expert in Blender, but I'm ok with it, and it does produce some great stuff. Furthermore if you wish to develop for netbooks specifically learning to produce this kind of media in Blender 3D will allow you to add some beautiful graphics at relatively low system cost.

Starwaith and a few others are commercial successes, to get others you really only need to spend 10 minutes doing a youtube search. And even less if you're looking for DarkBASIC Professional games. Remember that we ourselves used DarkBASIC Professional to create FPS Creator which is selling very well.

There really is no benefit to using DarkBASIC Classic over DarkBASIC Professional. But if you really want to use an old language to make a game in, may I suggest you use DOS Batch files?
29 games
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Posted: 4th Aug 2011 01:30 Edited at: 4th Aug 2011 01:33
Hi, AbdulAhad

Danial beat me to it but I might as well post this since I've written it already.

#1: I have an acer 1 net book, 1.6 GHz process, 1 gig ram, and DBC runs very slowly. As a comparison my laptop has 1.5 Ghz processoer, 1 Gb ram, ATI RadeonĀ® Xpress 200M integrated 3D graphics with up to 256 MB of shared memory (I just copied and pasted that and have no idea what it means) and programs that run at 60 fps on that run at 30 fps on the net book. Not good. I suspect that it might have something to do with the netbook not having a graphics card (but I'm not a computer geek so I'll go with Daniel's explanation). This is one of the reasons I've moved to DBP. Programs still run slower but I can still get above 60 fps with a repsectable number of polys on the screen and 60 fps is all you really need.

#2: I've not really used many tutorials, just the manuals, examples in the help files and picking stuff up from the forums then just sort of got on with it (a little bit at a time over many, many years) I also had a smattering of QBASIC knowledge (but not much), so I can't really help there. I have the old boxed version of DBC so it came with a couple of manuals and an extra disc with load of cool stuff on it. I still have the manuals, box and the CDs.

#3: Get the 1.2 update so DBC, and any exes you create, works on vista and windows 7 (see the stickies at the top of the board), the enhancement pack, and sparky's collision dll is very useful, it's not as good as the dll for DBP but it's still very useful (you can't use sparky's dll without the enhancement pack. Make sure you're using DarkEDIT as well, this is better than the native DBC editor. I think it's better than the DBP editor as well.

#4: Try G Speed, I really liked it.

Quote: "...haven't been able to find a software which will allow me to animate characters using mesh animation..."


DBC does not support bone/mesh animation only hierarchical animation. I've had a problem exporting animations from Blender to work with DBC (and couldn't be bothered to figure it out, what with everything else that I'm trying to do, another reason I moved to DBP).


Quote: "I really want to use DarkBasic Classic over DarkBasic Pro​ is because I want to try to make something using something outdated..."

I was about to suggest you try DBPro instead, seeing as its free (providing you don't want to sell any games you make) but there's obviously no point.


Link to Sparky's collision dll for DBC:
http://forum.thegamecreators.com/?m=forum_view&t=31051&b=5

Link to G Speed:
http://forum.thegamecreators.com/?m=forum_view&t=133708&b=5
AbdulAhad
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Posted: 4th Aug 2011 01:32 Edited at: 4th Aug 2011 01:37
Thanks for the speedy reply Daniel!

I'll be sure to check out your videos.

I have been using blender 3d for quite a while, so I am aware of its potential. I just haven't touched the animation part at the moment.

I have checked out quite a few games on youtube, I just wanted to see how far Dark Basic Classic can go!

I already have a number of plugins for Dark Basic Pro as I already am a proud DarkGameStudio owner!

Quote: "But if you really want to use an old language to make a game in, may I suggest you use DOS Batch files? "


You have a link to a tutorial somewhere?

EDIT

@29 games
Thanks for the reply too mate! I guess DBPro it is then.

Same time for reply.

Abdul Ahad

29 games
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Posted: 4th Aug 2011 01:35
And I see Abdul beat me to as well... that's what you get for answering the phone half way through a post...
AbdulAhad
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Posted: 4th Aug 2011 01:39 Edited at: 4th Aug 2011 02:13
lol

My page might have not refreshed when you posted.

Abdul Ahad

Latch
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Posted: 4th Aug 2011 10:03
@AbdulAhad

Before you throw in the towel completely on DBC:

#1 Never ran it on a notebook - but I run it on a 1.5ghz single core athlon made about 100 years ago and I can get about 55 fps with 65,000 textured polygons showing.

#2 Did you check these 2 3d tuts?
http://www.thegamecreators.com/?m=view_product&id=2030&page=tutorials

#3 This has been answered above but I'd stress Sparky's collision dll (for DBC). There's also a compression dll that came in the boxed version of DBC. It allows you to compress your media. I'll look around for it. Also, check out the utilitiy software made with DBC for DBC in the following post. These used to be available in a showcase page that seems to have vanished. Check the last message in this post. I have attached a few old apps:

http://forum.thegamecreators.com/?m=forum_view&t=185735&b=10

Also, for 3d animation in DarkBASIC Classic, you need a modeler that will do hierarchical animation. Of course Blender was mentioned and the Direct X exporter by Kira Vakaan should work.

http://forum.thegamecreators.com/?m=forum_view&t=166987&b=3

And of course there is TrueSpace by Caligari which is now free. This is a top level program that can export animations that DBC can use. Check it out here:

TrueSpace

And personally, I don't think you can beat Deled 3D for quick level creation. Anim8or for quick modeling.

For 2d, if you can get Photoshop, I think it's a must have. If not that then Gimp (for free). Also always have on hand MS Paint. A simple paint program but often that's exactly what you need.

Also you can download Cartography Shop 4 for free from this website. It seems to be a pretty decent level/object designer complete with lightmapping and such. I really never got into it because it didn't have small enough units to work in. Things tend to have to be made on a larger scale than I want.

#4 Besides the programs you mentioned that showcase DBC, check this out:

The Last Half of Darkness

Enjoy your day.
AbdulAhad
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Posted: 4th Aug 2011 12:10 Edited at: 4th Aug 2011 12:12
Appreciate the response Latch! Seriously, now I feel like staying with DarkBasic Classic again!!!

I think I'll stay with blender for modeling, texturing and animation for now. I also use gimp.

Quote: "The Last Half of Darkness"


Is all that stuff made in DarkBasic Classic?

I'm guessing that 2d stuff written in DarkBasic Classic Should run fine on netbooks, I guess I'll have to try once I've learnt something.

As for 3d, I will be using DarkBasic Classic for now. I just found this code on this guys website, so I think I can learn a thing or two from there too. He's also made an IDE.

Dark Matter 1 does work with DarkBasic Classic right?

Thanks a whole bunch mate!

Abdul Ahad

Latch
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Posted: 4th Aug 2011 20:30
Yes,DarkMatter 1 works with DBC. I'm one of the few that still tinkers with DBC and it fits my needs but I want to be fair to you in saying that DBPro can do a lot more. It was made to expand the capabilities of DarkBASIC.

Enjoy your day.
AbdulAhad
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Posted: 4th Aug 2011 22:24 Edited at: 4th Aug 2011 22:24
Yes mate I am aware of the capabilities of DarkBasic Professional, which is why its so overwhelming for beginners!

I WANT to learn DBC and I have already started with the tutorials!

I'll learn Dark Basic Professional some other time!

Abdul Ahad

Latch
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Posted: 5th Aug 2011 00:16
The recent titles since around 2000 til about 2009 or 2010 of The Last Half of Darkness were done using DBC. You can verify that with the author. They were very clever and obviously know their way around 3D modeling. It seems that they did a whole series of pre-rendered cinematics as well as environments and characters and mapped those onto planes and other 3d objects as well as background images and so forth. It allows a high level of visual detail with a low cost polygon rendering. Very Clever Stuff!

Enjoy your day.
AbdulAhad
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Posted: 7th Aug 2011 15:32
Just wanted to know, are there any drag and drop level editors for Dark Basic Classic?

Are Cartography Shop 4/DeleD compatible with Dark Basic Classic, if so which one would you prefer and why?

Abdul Ahad

AbdulAhad
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Posted: 10th Aug 2011 12:14
Anybody? I guess not.

Abdul Ahad

DVader
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Posted: 11th Aug 2011 21:13 Edited at: 11th Aug 2011 21:16
Well there is mat edit, that was about the best tool I used for DB classic. I only really used the matrix designing and texturing tools, but I think it had object placement etc as well. By the way I have used mat edit for DB Pro projects as well, but most people use terrains instead of matrix objects. Search for mat edit TDK man and you are bound to find it easy enough.

As to your original question, DB Pro will be faster. The original DB is an interpreted language and thus will run slower as it has to interpret the code and convert it to C++. DB Pro is compiled directly to C++ so is faster. It was one of the main selling points when it was released.

From my playing about getting games running on a netbook, you will probably need DB Pro, as even that struggles with many things on a standard netbook. You need every ounce of speed you can get.

You will also have more luck with 2D than 3D. 3D is ok on a netbook, but there is a pretty low poly limit in comparison to your average PC. My first project for a netbook was an elite style game, where you could run around the space stations or planets that you had landed on first person style. I put up a demo in the appup developers thread at the time. However even with every optimization idea I could think of the netbook ran it at 10 fps or so at best. My PC could run it at 2000+ fps. So you do have to limit your games a little I am afraid.

DBPro is free now, at least for non commercial ventures. So no reason not to play about with both and compare speeds.

http://s6.bitefight.org/c.php?uid=103081
Latch
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Posted: 12th Aug 2011 01:43
@AbdulAhad

Quote: "Are Cartography Shop 4/DeleD compatible with Dark Basic Classic, if so which one would you prefer and why?"

Yes they are compatible if you export to Direct X or 3DS .

I prefer DeleD 3d especially now as it has gone open source. I believe the current version (DeleD CE) has all of the features of the Pro version which was originally the commercial product of Delgine that could be purchased.

It has quite a few features, including basic animation - though I don't believe the animation is compatible with DBC (I have never tried it though).

When I was first geting in 3D, Deled made texturing objects super easy. You didn't have to know anything about texture coordinates to do some fairly decent stuff.

Enjoy your day.
AbdulAhad
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Posted: 12th Aug 2011 02:31
OK!

Thanks for the response guys!

Looking forward to starting an actual 'game' after this learning phase and practice phase!

Abdul Ahad

TheComet
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Posted: 12th Aug 2011 17:23
NOOO now another innocent person has been turned to the dark side (DBC). LUUKE, join me (DBP), and together, we shall RULE THE FORUMS!

Jokes asside,

I actually agree with learning DBC first. The help files for DBP are very limited, so it's a pain to jump straight into DBP without some expirience first. DBCs helpfiles are incredibly informative, and can really answer almost any question you may have on your mind.

DBP is similar to DBC, though it requires some adjustments (you can't just copy any code from DBC into DBP and think it will run).

Only downside with DBC is that it's an interpreted language, making it pretty slow... Of course it's sufficient enough for learning, but if you're ready to make a huge game, I recommend going up a few levels (like learning Dark GDK).

TheComet

AbdulAhad
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Posted: 12th Aug 2011 22:19
Quote: "NOOO now another innocent person has been turned to the dark side (DBC). LUUKE, join me (DBP), and together, we shall RULE THE FORUMS!"


Made my day!

I have been reading quite a handful of tutorials, including the ones by TDK, Binary moon and the ones supplied in the Dark Basic Classic Help files! I'm loving it!

Abdul Ahad

DarkDISCUSSION
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Posted: 31st Oct 2011 21:11
You can install DirectX 8.1 or DirectX 7.0a over any old netbook and run DBC. Simply run the installer set to compatability mode with Windows95 or Windows98/ME and simply work fine.

Captain Wicker
http://captainwicker.webs.com/
AbdulAhad
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Posted: 2nd Nov 2011 22:42
Thanks DD

But what I meant was that will the user be able to get considerable fps and stuff on a netbook as opposed to a desktop or laptop.

I'm still learning DBC, slowly, but surely.

Abdul Ahad

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