Jack Hoxley


"What do you think about the current state of the VB game development community?"


I personally think that it's very unclear as to what the current state of the community is. There is no question that things are a bit on the quiet side - there have been very few [big] releases and only a couple of big projects announced in recent months; this could lead to two possible conclusions as far as I see it:

Firstly, and most optimistically, is that we're in the "quiet before the storm" (so to speak), and that come the end of the summer completed games will be flying out every other day. There are several titles that have been known for a long time - and are probably nearly complete, 'Galaxy' by Lucky for example - looks good, but we haven't seen the final thing just yet (or have I just missed it?), Then there was the new project headed up by the reminants of the Atypical-Interactive team (known for the ambitious Enigma project). There is also the Battlefire game by Pascal vd heiden, and quadrant wars by Almar Joling - both of which haven't released playable code, but are definately shaping up to be future hits. I'm sure there are plenty of other smaller, less heard about projects in development - any of which is a possible success...

Secondly, the pessimistic point of view. There are many signs on the message boards and from the various projects being dropped and the sometimes fragmented nature of the community that things aren't going to improve a great deal. There are quite a few people defecting to the world of C/C++, or generally not working on anything much at the moment. There is also the sudden collapse of the incredibly promising 'Enigma' by Atypical-Interactive, which was shaping up to be one of the most impressive games from members of the community (despite being revealed later on that most of the programming was in C/C++). The future along this path sees a lack or real material being produced - there will be the occasional excellent piece of work, but is it really enough to sustain a community? will the new people coming in ever match those leaving (in skill and in numbers)?

I personally much prefer the first outcome (for obvious reasons!). I think there is a lot of underground work going on - and am seriously hoping that the future is bright - and that the mentioned titles do make it to completion, and are as good as they promise. With respect to the C/C++ debate, the point has been made on several occasions that IT IS POSSIBLE to write perfectly good code in VB, however there is no doubt that C/C++ is much faster and does offer many advantages; it was always inevitable that many people would progress from VB to C/C++, but I dont think it's the end of VB.


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Jack Hoxley is:
One of the most talented VB programmers, he runs the very popular DirectX4VB