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Newcomers AppGameKit Corner / Is it worth migrating to Tier 2?

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basicFanatic
3
Years of Service
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Joined: 7th Jun 2017
Location:
Posted: 3rd Apr 2018 11:56
QBASIC has a special place in my heart. It was pretty much the first experience I had with coding. So when I saw the VR AppGameKit bundle on Steam, I naturally got sucked right into AGK.

Object Oriented Programming ... now that's something I never grasped! But I'm sure I could get it, if I really wanted. But is it better? I sort of have the feeling that Tier 2 just makes everything more strict and prone to errors. "Oh, I can't possibly execute, cause the diddlewip hadn't been hapsenfapz in the qwapziwap, which you always should do if but only if, the diddlewip is not hipsonfipz"

The VR plugin has a "Tier 2 C++ Library" ... does this mean: "VR works in Tier 2"

Any performance differences?

What do you feel here?

Carharttguy
4
Years of Service
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Joined: 8th Jul 2016
Location: Belgium
Posted: 3rd Apr 2018 13:02
It all depends on your needs and wishes.

Is Tier 2 faster? Yes, big time. But ONLY on the parts of your code that are not graphic related. Every AppGameKit function you call, either in Tier 1 or 2, will execute at the same speed. But doing other things, like string or integer operations, will be much faster in Tier 2

You won't learn OOP by using Tier 2, you can perfectly write C++ code without knowing OOP. But you shouldn't.
If Basic dialects are the only programming languages you know, it will take some time to grasp OOP and the design patterns related to it.

If you need the raw speed, bite the bullet and follow some college grade C++ and OOP classes.
basicFanatic
3
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Joined: 7th Jun 2017
Location:
Posted: 5th Apr 2018 16:15
Faster code is tempting! I hate it when I buy a new indie game and it makes my computer overheat, even though the game is turn based and using pixel art. I want to be better than that.

But, I think I stick to BASIC.

Raw numbers: I am forty years old, not twenty. I think I have the choice between learning stumbling, mediocre OOP C++ or competent and beautiful BASIC.

Also, I ended up reading this intentionally flamebaitish thread:
BASIC vs. C (BASIC wins, obviously)

It reminded me that BASIC gets the stuff done easier. And for coding games, I think it would be best with a language which fits a playful, experimenting workflow.
Rick Nasher
3
Years of Service
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Joined: 25th Jul 2017
Location: Amsterdam
Posted: 6th Apr 2018 19:27
Just noticed a tempting Tier2 tutorial came out.. AppGameKit - Tier2 Planetarium Tutorial
But I for now I'm after quick results with the stuff I know, so will give it a go later.
Lucas Tiridath
AGK Developer
11
Years of Service
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Joined: 28th Sep 2008
Location: Kings Langley, UK
Posted: 7th Apr 2018 13:31
Rick Nasher wrote: "Just noticed a tempting Tier2 tutorial came out.. AppGameKit - Tier2 Planetarium Tutorial"

There are a full series of these Tier 2 tutorials starting with getting the templates setup and running. They are primarily focused on teaching AppGameKit Tier 2 though, rather than C++, so they do assume a little prior knowledge of C++.

basicFanatic wrote: "I hate it when I buy a new indie game and it makes my computer overheat, even though the game is turn based and using pixel art."

Yeah I find that pretty annoying too! As Carharttguy said though, if you expect graphics to be your bottleneck, you probably don't need to worry. If you expect to be writing very computationally expensive code in BASIC though, then you might like to consider C++. That said, depending on what platforms you're planning on targeting, you may have the option to factor out hotspots in your code into C++ plugins instead.

I think the biggest pain point with Tier 2 over Tier 1 is the setup (that's not Tier 2's fault mind - it's a much broader problem with C++ build systems in general). Once you've got a template compiling though, AppGameKit usually makes everything go very smoothly.

As for when to use Tier 2, I'm totally with basicFanatic and Rick Nasher in the idea of using what you're comfortable with and what fits your workflow. For me, the main advantages I find from using Tier 2 are:
- Improved performance means I actually have to worry less about optimisation.
- C++ is a much more powerful and flexible language than BASIC, meaning that many problems can be solved much more elegantly in C++ than in BASIC.
- Tier 2 gives you the power to work around any limitations you run in to later in development, making you less depending on pre-existing AppGameKit features. This is particularly true on mobile where Tier 1 plugins are not yet supported.
Kot
3
Years of Service
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Joined: 2nd Mar 2017
Location:
Posted: 10th Apr 2018 21:19
If talking about speed, FreeBasic is the king and you can add external libraries for 3D graphics. But your programs won't run on Android devices, which is a serious disadvantage in today's world.

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