- Platform: Windows 95 / 98
- Media: CD-ROM
- Item Quantity: 1
Play with this tool for any length of time and it soon becomes obvious that the shortcomings are more than made up for by DIV's strengths. It's a joy to code with the command set given, which includes pre-built functions for collision detection, distance between onscreen objects, full screen scrolling and more. Everything is handled by the custom development environment that incorporates a graphics manipulation environment text editor--with full syntax colouring, full debugger and sundry other utilities designed to help pull all the bits together to create an identifiable game. The gaudy yellow manual is worth keeping by the desk. It falls short in some areas but in others excels with its description of the command set et. al., which hopefully won't hold too many people back. a thriving community of users has sprung up at the official Web site, so users are always on hand through a series of online message boards to give help and coding advice--and to clarify the bits of the manual that haven't translated well from Spanish to English.
To claim that this package will turn the user into a games expert would be wrong, and don't expect to be able to churn out games by the minute. First and foremost, this is a programming environment with its emphasis completely on games. It requires time and patience from the newbie and a little understanding from the older hands to get over the initially high learning curve and to start to get the best out of it. That said, from a cold start this reviewer had a passable, if graphically dire, version of Defender up and running inside of two hours--no mean feat if you've ever wrestled with the intricacies of packages like Visual C++. Nor is this a tool for the gaming professional. That said, if you're a weekend coder with a yen to finally create that electronic version of a table top wargame, a retro fan who wants to recreate the halcyon days of Chuckie Egg and Space Invaders or a newcomer with patience and a desire to create rather than just to play this is a great way to have a crack at games coding. But if your creating is tood, there's nothing to stop you turning out Shareware or even commercial(esque) games, since the distributors grant owners full rights to distribute their creations without paying royalties. --Gordon James