Its simple-to-use interface allows you to go from command-line programming to game-play testing in one easy function-key press. The 25 in-programme tutorials guide you through all the different elements of the programme, using 45 demos to show you line by line how to make your creation. You will be playing your own first-person shooter or flight simulator in a matter of hours.
The package includes many features to make your games even better, such as the ability to add music and import your own graphics for use within games. Included within the DarkBASIC package is Microsoft's Direct X: this powerful utility handles all the hardware in your PC, such as the graphics card and sound card, allowing you more time to concentrate on creating the game. Also included are tools for making music and animating graphics, so everything that you need to get going is here on the two-disk set.
There are more than 45 demos included on the disk so you can see how some working programmes operate. Also included are 600 textures, 120 sound effects and 900 3-D models to bring your games to life. Games can be saved as single, executable files so you don't need DarkBASIC to run them, allowing you to share them with your friends and give the professionals a good run for their money. --Robert Hyde
Find out more in our Games Programming Buying Guide
DarkBASIC is a programming language that allows you to write games with the speed and power of DirectX & Direct3D. What makes this product so fantastic is that it provides beginners with the best opportunity to learn how to program! The interface has been designed to get you going immediately. So friendly is DarkBASIC, the learning curve alone will provide hours of enjoyment. Imagine your very first program running in less than five minutes!
DarkBASIC will not allow you to create games which will be of commercial saleable quality, i.e. you will not see Quake 4 or H&D2 programmed in DarkBASIC. Similarly DarkBASIC, while much easier than programming C++, will not do all the work for you - you still have to program and you still have to have an idea worth programming.
But DarkBASIC is a lot of fun - you CAN create worthwhile games which play well and look great, games of near-commerical quality. ...In addition there is a thriving on-line community where you can pick up useful tips and share code. But you do need a decent system to run your games on - I wouldn't consider running a decent DB game with multiple 3D objects on screen on less than a P500.
Don't listen to the doubters but do understand you're not buying something which will make you the next Eidos. Then just have fun!
Read that again.
In some of these reviews, people have said that they have found other "languages" faster and better. Unfortunately, most of these aren't programming languages, so all your programs look exactly like everyone elses. DarkBasic allows you to make an *individual* game, which is the only thing that will stand a chance of getting published in the market today.
Additionally, although this is a perfect language for beginners, only advanced programmers will be able to make a good game. Luckily, because of the ease of use, a beginner can easily turn into an advanced programmer by using DarkBasic for a while! As with all programming languages, an tight and fast core loop is extremely important and there are many optimisations you can carry out in your code to make your game run lighting fast.
It is not as fast as C++. But a beginner (or many advanced programmers) are going to find it very hard to make a game in C++, not least because of the unfriendliness of the DX API.
The only reason I have not given this program 5 stars is because of the slow 2D support (but it is a 3D language, not 2D), and because there are 1 or 2 language quirks. These are minor things, but it is useful to know about them before making your perfect game!
DB recently won the isodor software award for best development tool. I think that it really deserved this.
The negative vibes first:-
The editor stinks (but there is a half decent Freeware replacement out there called DarkEdit). You have to use the naff editor for context-sensitive help. Bummer! The printed manual is not much more than the on-line help available in the demo version. I expected more!
Now the good bit:-
Wow! If you want to get a 3D graphics program up and running in no time at all, this is for you. It is VERY EASY to learn the basics. There is an excellent series of tutorials with the commercial version. My nephew is doing 3D stuff that already! There are free 3D terrain editor out there that make life easier. You can load and use loads of 3D models from the web without having to be an expert. Makes 2D and 3D graphics really are easy. Forget the moans about slow. It depends on your machine. On my PC (1Ghz PIII, 390Mb, 32Mb Gfx) DarkBasic executables fly. On my laptop they are slower, but still acceptable. On an old PC (233Mhz, 64Mb total, 8Mb shared Gfx) the executables run too slow for comfort, but so do most MS Office applications. If the authors bring out a compiler in the near future then this will go from an AWESOME product to one of the best of its genere for any platform (AMOS, eat your heart out) to date.
The rating would have been five star, but the supplied editor really is that bad!
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