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Dark GDK / Goodbye, DGDK!

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Mister Fuzzy
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Posted: 10th Aug 2012 02:19 Edited at: 10th Aug 2012 02:20
Well, after much deliberation, I have decided that I'm gonna toss DGDK in favor of XNA + XNA Game Studio. Why? Whereas Microsoft doesn't document their software as clearly as TGC, I do feel that they keep their plugins and updates much cleaner. Not to mention that the current XNA version, unlike DGDK, hasn't lost most of its useability to one bad update (Seriously, Mistrel, I know you have DGDK2.0 now, but you at least need to get 1.0 fixed). XNA plugins have FULL installers: DGDK makes me copy over the files manually. Overall, XNA seems a better option for me. Sure, I'll come back once in a while to see what you peoplez are doing, but as of now all of my projects are to be shifted over to XNA instead. Sure, using DGDK has been educational, but I feel that with each update I have to "reinvent the wheel" because a vital bit of code no longer works. It's been fun, so long TGC!

It's been fun: So long, TGC!
MrValentine
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Posted: 10th Aug 2012 14:46
Hey Fuzzy... Email me if you do not mind emailing people on here... Would like to discuss XNA with you... Cheers...

Mister Fuzzy
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Posted: 10th Aug 2012 22:05
Sure thing. E-mail sent.

It's been fun: So long, TGC!
MrValentine
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Posted: 10th Aug 2012 23:20
Thanks... Email received...



Hawkblood
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Posted: 14th Aug 2012 10:54
I am also interested in XNA. I tried using DX directly before-- had lots of headaches over it. I would like to try it again, but I'm worried about having to write all that code to make a wrapper for it.....

The fastest code is the code never written.
Seppuku Arts
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Posted: 14th Aug 2012 13:37 Edited at: 14th Aug 2012 13:54
I think XNA is a lot more complicated than Dark GDK, but of course XNA has many advantages over Dark GDK. I'd say it's hard to compare the two, because Dark GDK is aimed at making game creation easier and whilst XNA is making it easier in many respects it's more about being flexible too, which ultimately makes it more complicated than Dark GDK, but still less complicated than DirectX SDK & C++. Either way, it's hard to make a fair comparison.

However, the advantage XNA does have over Dark GDK is that it is backed by a rather large company with a large set of resources and it means XNA is able to get more attention. TGC is a small business and with the resources they've got, they actually do a fantastic job, I've always supported and loved their products.

Anyway, I hope Mister Fuzzy enjoys XNA. It's a great tool and please, if you create anything, stop by and share your results.

MrValentine
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Posted: 14th Aug 2012 13:40
Quote: "I think XNA is a lot more complicated than XNA"


Somebody needs

Seppuku Arts
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Posted: 14th Aug 2012 13:57
Erm, fixed. And yes I do, I am half asleep on the account of not sleeping much...at least that's my excuse and I'll stick to it.

MrValentine
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Posted: 14th Aug 2012 15:05
me too

Mister Fuzzy
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Posted: 15th Aug 2012 00:57 Edited at: 15th Aug 2012 01:03
There's no real way to determine whether XNA or DBPro/DGDK are easier to use: It's all about how you think about your code. Do you see a pause menu as an image pasted to the screen (DGDK/DBPro), or as an object with it's own behavior (XNA)? Is a level a pre-scripted entity (DGDK/DBPro), or is it an object that invokes other objects to be created (XNA)?

For me, the XNA path seems most logical to me. I've been floundering about with C++ for a while now, and even with the little time I've spent with XNA I can clearly see that XNA/C# is much easier for me to use (mainly regarding how objects are handled).

Then again, if you're hyperconcerned about ease-of-use, I hear thet The Clickteam (Another Europe-based game creation software company - does all good game creation software come from Europe? )has a new XNA exporter for their line of products... Maybe TGC should follow suit?

It's been fun: So long, TGC!
Rudolpho
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Posted: 15th Aug 2012 01:18
Quote: "For me, the [object oriented approach] seems most logical to me."

I agree, however what's stopping you from writing your own wrapper classes (if you require full object orientation, or you can just write your own classes, ie. game states, characters etc. using procedural DGDK code in their methods) for DarkGDK?

That's what I'm currently doing. I guess mostly because of laziness; I already know most things about DBPro, the resources it uses, etc. so I wouldn't have to think about things like "how do you do this in XNA / Unity / Irrlicht / Whatever?"


Still, best of luck to you with whatever tools you use


"Why do programmers get Halloween and Christmas mixed up?"
Seppuku Arts
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Posted: 15th Aug 2012 01:33
I would say XNA has some concept that are more complicated, but then they're more flexible, not simply the difference between being more OOP orientated or more procedural. I personally love the OOP approach and find C# to be quite liberating.

When it comes to 3D manipulation, I think there's more work to be done in XNA. For things like cameras you'll be thinking of world matrices, view matrices and projection matrices, plus other mathematical concepts people using DGDK don't have to worry about. Now it sounds like I'm trying to make XNA sound difficult, but it isn't, I'd just say it's more complex and suits people differently, hence I wouldn't compare the two.


Quote: "Then again, if you're hyperconcerned about ease-of-use, I hear thet The Clickteam (Another Europe-based game creation software company - does all good game creation software come from Europe? )has a new XNA exporter for their line of products... Maybe TGC should follow suit?"


I did not know that. I started game creation on Clickteam software, so it'd be a step backwards, but that's cool. He's another fun Clickteam fact, one of the game demos with The Games Factory, Zeb, you'll see Lee Bamber's name in the credits.

I think it'd be neat to see XNA compatibility within TGC products, I am not sure how viable it is for them to do that, not necessarily in terms of coding, but I mean in terms of resources and what their priorities are as a business - I know at the moment their flagship is AppGameKit, so they're more focused on the mobile market, which I think is a sensible move, but seem to be playing with the idea of updating the 'Dark' side of things with a new product.

Hawkblood
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Posted: 15th Aug 2012 12:38
I have looked for the better part of 2 days and I still can't find XNA for C++. Does it exist?

The fastest code is the code never written.
Seppuku Arts
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Posted: 15th Aug 2012 12:54
I don't think so. At least I've never heard of it. Think it's a C# only affair.

Hawkblood
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Posted: 15th Aug 2012 15:38
That's disappointing. Does anyone know a good, RELIBLE, DirectX wrapper for C++? I'm starting to write my own, but it's slow going.....

The fastest code is the code never written.
Dar13
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Posted: 15th Aug 2012 16:57
Quote: "That's disappointing. Does anyone know a good, RELIBLE, DirectX wrapper for C++? I'm starting to write my own, but it's slow going....."

Ogre3D and irrLicht are the first ones that come to mind. I use Ogre3D, and it's adding a D3D11 rendersystem that'll be somewhat full-featured in the coming months.

Seppuku Arts
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Posted: 15th Aug 2012 19:49 Edited at: 15th Aug 2012 20:01
Yes, irrlicht is a great alternative. And er...the bonus is, a few of us are working on an open source project to write an Irrlicht wrapper for Dark Basic Pro (shameless plug). It's pretty easy to set up and I wouldn't say it's difficult to get the hang of either.

Mister Fuzzy
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Posted: 17th Aug 2012 01:44
Quote: "He's another fun Clickteam fact, one of the game demos with The Games Factory, Zeb, you'll see Lee Bamber's name in the credits."
Yeah, I noticed that when I started with DGDK (Clickteam introduced me to game design, so whereas they may seem a step backward, I still have a soft spot for their software...).

Quote: "I have looked for the better part of 2 days and I still can't find XNA for C++. Does it exist?"
Sorry, but no. But I do believe there's a BASIC version of it somewhere...

I would personally like to see AppGameKit export to XNA... Seems like its functions would wrap nicely to XNA...

It's been fun: So long, TGC!
Dragon slayer
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Posted: 19th Aug 2012 17:40
I typed XNA into my google toolbar search box, it came up with a couple of options XNA game studio being one of them, clicked it and there it was.
3d point in space
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Posted: 21st Aug 2012 06:14 Edited at: 21st Aug 2012 06:18
orge3d is good because it was developed by MIT and still being developed there, but like I have seen a few people go to orge and they hate it they say it is learning direct x. Opengl is good but windows 8 does not support it I think. I think this is a mistake by windows because opengl is just as good as direct x.

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Dar13
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Posted: 21st Aug 2012 14:57
Quote: "orge3d is good because it was developed by MIT and still being developed there, but like I have seen a few people go to orge and they hate it they say it is learning direct x. Opengl is good but windows 8 does not support it I think. I think this is a mistake by windows because opengl is just as good as direct x."

Ogre3D wasn't developed by MIT.
And Ogre3D supports both OpenGL(which is supported in Win8, just not Metro as of yet) and DirectX.

Mister Fuzzy
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Posted: 23rd Aug 2012 02:52
Quote: "opengl is just as good as direct x"
Arguable, I think. Which software is best really depends on a particular machine's hardware: My computer plays a game with graphics on their highest settings at 30FPS with OpenGL, but plays at 120FPS with DirectX. Thus, I use DirectX as my primary graphics mode in pretty much every game I play.

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Dar13
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Posted: 23rd Aug 2012 03:53
Quote: "Arguable, I think. Which software is best really depends on a particular machine's hardware: My computer plays a game with graphics on their highest settings at 30FPS with OpenGL, but plays at 120FPS with DirectX. Thus, I use DirectX as my primary graphics mode in pretty much every game I play."

Not so much the hardware as the software. OpenGL is very different in the needed optimizations than DX. Valve's Source Engine actually runs faster on Linux with OpenGL than on Windows with DX(and Source has been on Win/DX for a lot longer).

Gunslinger
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Posted: 23rd Aug 2012 06:51
I thought the XNA framework is dead when windows 8 comes out, isn't it?
So why switch to XNA 'now'?

Maybe better wait for a new framework from MS.
Mister Fuzzy
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Posted: 24th Aug 2012 05:34
Quote: "I thought the XNA framework is dead when windows 8 comes out, isn't it?"
No, it won't be dead by any means. Microsoft won't just drop one of their major programming languages for Windows Phone and XBox just like that: XNA runs on top of Microsoft C#, like how DGDK runs on top of C++, and isn't something that Microsoft COULD get rid of, as it exports to .exe just like C++ or BASIC.

It's been fun: So long, TGC!
tranquil Chaos
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Posted: 30th Aug 2012 04:46
Quote: "No, it won't be dead by any means. Microsoft won't just drop one of their major programming languages for Windows Phone and XBox just like that: XNA runs on top of Microsoft C#, like how DGDK runs on top of C++, and isn't something that Microsoft COULD get rid of, as it exports to .exe just like C++ or BASIC."


Here is the answer directly from Microsoft:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/hh452780.aspx

Their WinRT stack is forcing XNA out of the 3D game space in the marketplace (for Metro). The new (old) direction is C++/DirectX. From what I have read, they are also "converting" existing XNA apps in the Windows Phone 7 environment to work in Windows Phone 8 (essentially a scaled-down version of the same stack).

The way to look at it is that you can still use XNA to write apps for XBox 360 and the Windows 8 desktop. You will not be able to use XNA for Windows Phone 8 apps or games for the Metro interface. I don't know if it's a limitation of the Metro platform, the WinRT stack or just a bone-headed decision at Microsoft, but lots of game developers are ticked-off. I imagine in a short period of time when the Metro interface doesn't take off like they hope because it's so hard to develop to, they will make XNA a priority.
mistsnake
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Posted: 30th Aug 2012 13:32
maybe you should except xna for being dead.. when vista failed did they revert back? nope
tranquil Chaos
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Posted: 30th Aug 2012 14:55
Quote: "maybe you should except xna for being dead.. when vista failed did they revert back? nope"


Microsoft is banking everything on Windows 8. If it fails like Vista I'm not sure they'll have the resources to just move on again. Right now, they are reaching out to developers like never before to build for Metro. I'm not sure what response they are getting. As a member of the developer app hub, I got a promotional email for all sorts of goodies if I develop and deploy a Windows 8 app for the marketplace before the official launch. The email sounded a little desperate.

What really stinks is that Microsoft convinced lots of developers to switch from C++/DirectX to XNA. They talked about how great it was using managed code, how easy it was and you can reach XBox. Now, they're telling developers they need to use C++/DirectX because it's faster and better. What?

If Microsoft isn't behind their own framework, for all intents and purposes, XNA IS dead.
mistsnake
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Posted: 30th Aug 2012 16:52
well certainly without the extra extrusion its gonna be faster and since ms is effectively competing against themselves - xbox vs pc, they can't just keep upping the power to the console, they run out of headroom quickly so they probably got together to figure how to get more speed - answer, drop the slower framework, it also makes it cheaper for them to support less
Hawkblood
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Posted: 31st Aug 2012 12:54
All this talk about XNA not being available in the future is a little disappointing. Since my last post on this discussion, I've been working directly with DirectX9.0c in C++. I've not run into any problems (that I didn't cause myself) that I couldn't get fixed. It's nice to be able to program without having to work around a problem I can't fix.

When Win8 comes out, will DX9 be supported? There are still games being made that use DX9.

The fastest code is the code never written.
Dar13
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MrValentine
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Posted: 31st Aug 2012 15:57
Dar13 - that is in reference to graphic card drivers... if what you said was valid then you would not be able to run or execute any DBP code or applications in Win8...



mistsnake
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Posted: 31st Aug 2012 17:08
from what i understand of dx11, there is provision of a sort of support for dx9... yet i have heard that win8 is not fully compatible with previous windows so i guess it a case of try it out on the preview version and use that as a rough indicator of your app working or not
MrValentine
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Posted: 31st Aug 2012 17:30
yeah but i think the confusslingness is over WinRT and Windows 8... Windows 8 is basically Win7 with the Windows8 Unnamed interface thing... whereas the WinRT is for tablets which is entirely different...

perhaps this can shed light in the confusion?

Mister Fuzzy
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Posted: 2nd Sep 2012 00:15
Quote: "Here is the answer directly from Microsoft:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/hh452780.aspx
"
I think you'll find that XNA is covered in "managed code languages like C# and Visual Basic."

Quote: "maybe you should except xna for being dead.. when vista failed did they revert back? nope "
Ummm... An OS and a programming library are not really comparable, as they are two COMPLETELY seperate things... XNA is not "dead", it still has all of the same features it had before (It's not like they're deleting random chunks of code from the library), and it will still work on the popular devices; the XBox and PC. Frankly, I don't care about developing for WinPhone 8. I mean, how many people have a Windows phone in comparison to iPhone or Android?

Quote: "I imagine in a short period of time when the Metro interface doesn't take off like they hope because it's so hard to develop to, they will make XNA a priority. "
Even if Metro takes off, making game libraries isn't terribly difficult (Even if it is a bit tedious...), so I'm not worried about difficulty level. Anything is better than the HEX code I used to write! (59696b6573212054616c6b2061626f757420736c6f7721)

It's been fun: So long, TGC!
Hawkblood
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Posted: 2nd Sep 2012 16:31
Quote: "Anything is better than the HEX code I used to write! "

Yuck! I used to write assembly using the old DOS debug program. It sucked cheeze-nuts!

The fastest code is the code never written.
mistsnake
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Posted: 2nd Sep 2012 21:22 Edited at: 2nd Sep 2012 21:26
maybe my comparison was unclear i was't comparing what they are but the fact microsoft will do whatever they like, if they decide to scrap, they will do, users are irrelevant, ms will always walk their own path.
TheComet
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Posted: 3rd Sep 2012 00:15
Quote: "ms will always walk their own path. "


...Hence Windows 8.

TheComet

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Hawkblood
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Posted: 8th Sep 2012 09:48
Does anyone know of a good forum for DirectX/C++ (comparable to this one)?

The fastest code is the code never written.
Dar13
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Posted: 8th Sep 2012 13:34
Quote: "Does anyone know of a good forum for DirectX/C++ (comparable to this one)?"

GameDev.net isn't too bad. The Ogre3D forum is pretty good, but it's focused on Ogre more than DX. Other than those two, I can't think of any more.

aerostudios
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Posted: 9th Sep 2012 03:12
I'm a subscriber to MSDN and XNA is very much alive and well. Plus there is a huge hobbyist network on Windows LIVE surrounding XNA. 4.0 is the latest framework and I haven't heard that XNA is not going to work with Windows 8. It's just another framework. I'm sure its also used internally to develop games that Microsoft sells.
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Posted: 9th Sep 2012 03:48
My main reason for not using GDK 1.0 for a long time now is it's lack of speed compared to the same being built using DBP. Maybe GDK 2.0 is faster but unlikely faster than DBP still for most things. I've played around with Irrlicht for quite some time now and like it, fair enough it may not be as powerful as Ogre3D but it runs 100% on my low end laptop unlike some of the Ogre3D demos.

I've not even looked at XNA, but that's because I'm more for cross platform coding these days and openGL is the only way you can do that. At least with Irrlicht I've had stuff running on both Linux (I use Mint) and Windows and not yet tried a Mac out yet. DirectX is Windows, XBox and maybe one other device, I don't know.

All depending on how the future is with this new Dark Basic Elite then maybe a new C++ version will also be released from TGC just like GDK and hopefully on par.

For now, GDK 1.0 is slow and GDK 2.0 doesn't tickle my fancy as much as Irrlicht does. Although Irrlicht is just a graphics renderer, there's tons of extra API's that you can use for sound, physics, etc. (Maybe these could be put together and DB Elite made using them, he he)

Mental arithmetic? Me? (That's for computers) I can't subtract a fart from a plate of beans!
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Dar13
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Posted: 9th Sep 2012 05:52
If your laptop is that low-end that Ogre can't even run, then that laptop isn't suitable for anything more than basic web browsing much less PC gaming.

At this point, I almost want TGC to integrate DBElite into AppGameKit and make the plunge to OpenGL 3.0+. That way we get cross-platform development and an up-to-date C++ API.

Quote: "For now, GDK 1.0 is slow and GDK 2.0 doesn't tickle my fancy as much as Irrlicht does. Although Irrlicht is just a graphics renderer, there's tons of extra API's that you can use for sound, physics, etc. (Maybe these could be put together and DB Elite made using them, he he)"

Perhaps.

Olby
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Posted: 9th Sep 2012 16:15
Quote: "At this point, I almost want TGC to integrate DBElite into AppGameKit and make the plunge to OpenGL 3.0+. That way we get cross-platform development and an up-to-date C++ API."


Sorry for my ignorance but why would you want cross platform DB Elite if there is AppGameKit which soon will have 3D support. I have stated that before but none of my friends who have MAC play games on it. That's what Android/iOS phones and Xbox/PS3 are made for. I have yet to see real Linux gamers, especially if Linux market is like less than 2% of whole OS share. Most people want to do cross platform (Win/Mac/Linux) but at the same time it's not commercially justified. Real PC gamers have and will always use Windows platform because that's where you can get the bang for your buck compared to overpriced Macs. And real gamers don't play Bejewelled, if you want to do that then use AppGameKit, but if you're into something more advanced then doing it cross platform is simply not commercially viable approach (apart from PS3 and Xbox split). I'll repeat it sounds nice if you can add Linux and Mac to your platforms but have you actually considered how many people will actually play on those platforms and is reasonable to restrict yourself to certain platform limitations for nothing. Personally I see AppGameKit as extremely mobile platform orientated that's why it has to be cross platform in nature whereas DB Elite/GDK has always catered desktop gaming market where Windows is and supposedly will stay on top of the game.


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Dar13
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Posted: 9th Sep 2012 17:25
Quote: "Sorry for my ignorance but why would you want cross platform DB Elite if there is AppGameKit which soon will have 3D support."

My idea was that there wouldn't a DBElite at all, there would just be AppGameKit with OpenGL 3+. And I get what you're saying about Linux gamers and such, but Mac is now a sizable enough market to bring into consideration and Linux is now getting Steam and the Source games so your evaluation of Linux as a gaming platform might change soon.

I don't know what Lee is planning on doing, but he better do it quick and right. I don't think TGC can afford to mess up DB Elite or AppGameKit 3D, not with the large amount of competition nowadays.

Olby
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Posted: 9th Sep 2012 19:50 Edited at: 9th Sep 2012 19:54
Quote: "I don't know what Lee is planning on doing, but he better do it quick and right. I don't think TGC can afford to mess up DB Elite or AppGameKit 3D, not with the large amount of competition nowadays."


Honestly I don't think TGC has enough weight to straddle DBPro/Elite/GDK and AGK. They're both heavy and TGC might end up screwing up everything. Commercially I think AppGameKit has merit.


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Dar13
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Posted: 9th Sep 2012 23:40
They would need to significantly expand their programming team and their quality control system. And that isn't cheap.

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