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$699.99 $149.95 list($799.99)
1. Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003
$479.99 $149.95 list($549.99)
2. Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003
$92.99 $72.99 list($109.00)
3. Microsoft Visual Basic .NET Standard
$92.99 list($109.00)
4. Microsoft Visual C++ .NET Standard
$92.99 $85.99 list($109.00)
5. Microsoft Visual C# .NET Standard
$74.99 list($99.99)
6. DarkBASIC Professional
$2,349.99 $249.95 list($2,499.99)
7. Microsoft Visual Studio .NET Enterprise
$200.00 list($1,079.00)
8. Microsoft Visual Studio .NET Professional
$1,619.99 $249.95 list($1,799.99)
9. Microsoft Visual Studio .NET Enterprise
$299.99 list()
10. Borland Codewright 7.5 for Win
$89.99 $84.88 list($99.95)
11. REALbasic 5.5
$17.99 list($19.99)
12. DarkBASIC
$399.99
13. REALbasic 5.5 Pro
14. Borland Delphi 2005 Professional
15. Borland Delphi 2005 Professional
$2,700.95
16. Borland Delphi 2005 Enterprise
$1,069.99 list()
17. Borland Delphi 8 Enterprise Upgrade
$329.99 $328.95 list()
18. Borland JBuilder 2005 Developer
$99.99 $94.84
19. REALbasic 5.5 (Mac)
$29.99
20. Game Programming Starter Kit 6.0

1. Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003 Professional Special Edition
list price: $799.99
our price: $699.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0002UECTI
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Microsoft Software
Sales Rank: 789
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

2. Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003 Professional Special Edition Upgrade
list price: $549.99
our price: $479.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0002UEDS8
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Microsoft Software
Sales Rank: 516
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

3. Microsoft Visual Basic .NET Standard 2003
list price: $109.00
our price: $92.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000089GKW
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Microsoft Software
Sales Rank: 299
Average Customer Review: 3.09 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com Review

Visual Basic is a hugely popular programming language that is suitable for students and beginners as well as professional development. This is the .NET version, which is significantly different from older variants of Basic. It’s also the Standard edition, which is intended to be introductory. Professional developers should consider Visual Studio .NET 2003, which includes a more advanced version of Visual Basic as well as other languages. The full Visual Studio is needed for features like compiling code into libraries, or targeting the Compact Framework for mobile devices. Even so, this Standard edition is a capable package that includes all you need to build applications for both Windows and the Web.

Two things make Visual Basic .NET Standard 2003 easy to learn and use. One is the language itself, which is designed to be closer to natural English than others. The other is the array of tools and wizards that Microsoft provides, including a visual form designer for both Windows and Web projects. The web technology is called ASP.NET, and enables easy creation of web page that query and update databases, although note that a Windows web server running .NET is required. The programming environment is slick, with convenient features like docking and tabbed windows, project wizards, auto-completion and pop-up help in the code editor. The .NET version of Visual Basic benefits from full object-orientation and a rich class library. It also supports advanced features like multi-threading, which is a way of writing code to do background tasks.

Whereas Visual Basic 6.0 and earlier version needed a small runtime library, this .NET edition requires the .NET Framework, a runtime engine and class library that manages memory and enforces security. Framework applications perform well, since they are compiled to native code at runtime, but there is an overhead in terms of memory usage and the Framework runtime must be installed. These factors, together with less than perfect code compatibility, have made some Visual Basic developers reluctant to switch. While that’s understandable, the .NET technology is now maturing and this release is probably the right moment to make the move. It’s still important to note the heavy system requirements, and that .NET applications do not run on Windows 95. --Tim Anderson, Amazon.co.uk ... Read more

Reviews (11)

3-0 out of 5 stars Microsoft has a very deceptive website
For the money, I guess I can't complain. The standard edition is a fraction of the cost of the "full meal deal", but wish that MS wasn't so deceptive with their advertising. Microsoft's web page for VB.Net 2003 standard edtion displays all the features of the full blown version and none of the limitations that are in the standard version are listed. Given that, I would still buy it as this is my only choice. The one big limitation is that the standard edtion will not talk to a real SQL server data base. It will hook up to a MSDE database. I did discover that I can talk to an Access database that has tables linked to a SQL server database, so you can fake it, but I can't do Stored procs.
MS used to have a page that listed the differences between versions, but I can't find it now. I don't think you can develop mobile applications either.

Good luck

5-0 out of 5 stars Great buy for the little guy
I bought VB.Net Standard 2003 shortly after having to learn VB for some advanced MS Access programming. What you basically get is the Visual Studio interface with just the VB.Net language functionality. You also get the MSDN library on 3 CDs which comes in handy. There are, however, limits to its functionality:

1) You don't get the Mobile device programming functionality that you get with full Visual Studio.

2) Windows XP Home Edition users: You won't be able to effectively design ASP.Net applications since Microsoft made XP Home incompatible with IIS. There's a couple ways around this, though: (1) there is an unsupported way to install IIS from a Windows 2000 CD- do a web search to find instructions, or (2) download the free WebMatrix from ASP.Net; a very cool and handy program that has it's own little server.

3) Compiling DLLs is not supported in VB.Net Standard. Although I suspect it's possible to program your own compiler, how to do it is still beyond my abilities.

4) There are SQL limitations as well. From what I've read, I think there are limits when using anything more complicated than MSDE or using remote servers.

5) Also, remember how easy it was to draw graphic lines in the VB6 interface? Well those days are definitely over- you had to become a real programmer sometime.

But if you want to learn and program simple executables, this is definitely the way to go. And being able to program ASP.Net websites using VB.Net code from my applications is way-cool.

5-0 out of 5 stars Microsoft Visual
This was great, I got it for a really good deal from one of the Amazon Sellers and I learned alot from it

2-0 out of 5 stars Great marketing - short on delivery
Microsoft has once again succeeded in making a fairly uncomplicated programming enviroment, COMPLICATED. That is not, however, my problem with VB .NET, because after all, if you read up, you will quickly adjust to the platform. My problem is that if you don't buy Visual Studio, you will simply not have the tools to build advanced applications. As usual, if you want a robust MS product, get ready to shell out a weeks worth of pay.

5-0 out of 5 stars For $100, you can't beat it.
If you you are not flush with cash, but want to get the nack of the .Net world, then this is for you.

It is NOT intended for serious production. You CAN NOT talk to a database off your machine (unless you know how to link Access to a SQL Server, then you can).

You can learn how to use WinForms and WebForms, i.e. client-server and WEB apps, talking to a database on your development machine. The MSDE (Microsoft Data Engine) is the heart of the SQL Server 2000 database engine.

If you want to see if programming is for you or get an inexpensive look at the JAVA killer, this is the ticket. ... Read more


4. Microsoft Visual C++ .NET Standard 2003
list price: $109.00
our price: $92.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000089GKV
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Microsoft
Sales Rank: 195
Average Customer Review: 2.17 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com Product Description

Visual C++ .NET 2003 provides developers with a proven, object-oriented language for building powerful and performance-conscious applications. With advanced ISO-conforming template features, low-level platform access, and an optimizing compiler, Visual C++ .NET 2003 delivers superior functionality for generating robust applications and components.

Developers can use Visual C++ .NET 2003 to build a wide variety of solutions, including Microsoft Windows-based and Microsoft .NET-connected applications. C++ is one of the world's most popular systems-level languages, and Visual C++ .NET 2003 gives developers a world-class tool with which to build best-in-class software.

Use Managed Extensions to C++ and compiler support for optimized Microsoft intermediate language (MSIL) code generation. Incorporate Microsoft .NET Framework features including garbage collection, Windows Forms, and threading. Call unmanaged code using high-performance C++ interoperability technology. Write and compile purely unmanaged x86 code. Speed up your application or reduce its size with optimization options for a range of processors, including Whole Program Optimization, and support for Streaming SIMD Extensions (SSE) and Streaming SIMD Extensions 2 (SSE2) instruction sets. ... Read more

Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Optimizing Compiler is available!!
I have been researching this product after reading some disturbing reviews here. The standard edition does not come with the code-optimization features.

You can, however, download the 2003 toolkit - FOR FREE - which includes the Microsoft C/C++ Optimizing Compiler and Linker. This is the same compiler and linker that ships with Visual Studio .NET 2003 Professional!

It can be downloaded here:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/visualc/vctoolkit2003/

The new compiler moves toward ISO conformance. So this version of VC++ is actually more standardized than previous versions. This can be helpful when porting applications to other standardized environments and compilers.

I program mostly 3D graphics and have experienced a frame rate increase since downloading the toolkit. This new version is helpful when working on large group projects as well. Oh and the shader debugger is a plus when writing vertex and pixel shaders.

1-0 out of 5 stars This product is not practical for any type of development.
I've been writing an OpenGL engine for a while now, and decided to make the step up from VC6 to .net in order to continue development. I was already quite adjusted to the interface since I'd been using it for about 6 months where I was previously employed. That said, I'm not a fan of the new interface, having spent so much time adjusting myself to VC5/6. I've got quite a few pet peeves with it (like alt+F7 no longer bringing up project settings even with the VC6 keyboard layout), but that is not my main problem with the product... (obviously, or I would not have ordered it anyway)

Once it arrived, I decided to do some benchmarking to compare performance of builds between VC6 and vc.net. I made a build of my engine to arbitrarily do 500 box-triangle collisions against level geometry per frame, figuring that would be a good way of averaging things out since it's completely cpu-based (and largely dependant on compiler optimizations). I was a bit shocked by the results. My VC6 build maintained a consant 40+ FPS on my p3 1ghz, while using the exact same code and assets, the vc.net build stayed at around 15-20fps. I fiddled with the project settings for a while, but concluded this speed loss was due the lack of compiler optimizations in vc.net standard. Which means there isn't a darn thing I can do about it. Oh, and no, I didn't do something silly like test a release build against a debug build. I made sure the project settings for each build were as similar as possible.

So, in conclusion, I've got no choice but to keep using vc6, and this was a great waste of 100 dollars. My advice is, if performance matters to you at all, don't buy this product. I was expecting to see some amount of performance loss due to the lack of "compiler optimizations", but this is completely absurd. The loss of performance makes this product completely unusable as a serious development platform. For serious development, you really have no choice but to go for a higher-priced development suite. Otherwise if you just want to fool around and performance isn't an issue, you might as well be using one of the many free compiler/IDE sets out there instead of blowing 100 dollars.

1-0 out of 5 stars Stick with Visual C++ 6.0
Absolute and total crap. Try and compile any of your programs with and you will see the following error:

D4029 : optimization is not available in the standard edition compiler

That's right, Visual C++ .NET Standard Edition performs absolutely NO OPTIMIZATION.

My DirectDraw went from rendering more than 100 FPS to *17* FPS. I have never been so pissed off in my life, I have just blown $100.00 for NOTHING.

What's worse, you can not buy just Visual C++ .NET Professional Edition. To get an optimizing C++ .NET compiler, you have to buy *ALL* of Visual Studio .NET (it will only put you back a cool grand).

CRAP, TOTAL CRAP, STICK WITH VISUAL C++ 6.0 STANDARD EDITION

1-0 out of 5 stars Megasloth keeps getting crappier
I got the free evaluation of Visual Studio .net 2003 and couldn't believe how much the product has gone downhill in the last few versions. Microsoft is definately in the business of bloatware! The program hogs up about 4GB on your harddrive, reconfiguring and corrupting your whole operating system so nothing works well ever again.

Nevertheless, I kept trying to work with .net. I've been programming C++ for Windows for a long time. I was expecting new features to help me make better programs, but found just the opposite to be true. After doing a lot of reading and banging my head against the wall, I finally realized that the only new features .net has to offer are:

1) A giant overhead of automatic functions ("managed C++") that slow down the performance and increase the size of programs you make, but they allow sloppy Microsoft programmers to slap together messy code that doesn't crash as much. (I for one don't write programs that crash, because I can manage my own memory, thank you very much!) You are forced into proprietary language syntax, a total departure from standard C++, so that your eventual switch to Linux or whatever else will be difficult or impossible (hopes Microsoft).

2) Support for using multiple programming langauges in projects (forcing you to learn thousands of things from all the other inferior languages that you never wanted to mess with, just so you can make a simple program that shows a dialog box on the screen, for example).

3) A big push to develop "software as a service", with a plethora of difficult and cumbersome new tools that you are forced to use in order to build software that only works with an internet connection, helping Microsoft obtain world domination at last.

Because these features attempt to take me in a different direction than I want to go, I'm looking to use something else. I encourage you to do the same.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not a downgrade...
If you've been using visual studio prior to .Net, .Net adds a lot of time saving features that really make it worth switching over. Some of the most prominent features include code completion, and the ability to put your code into sections that can be expanded or retracted for readability, which really helps for a project with a large codebase (Such as a senior computer science project for a bachelor's degree). Regardless of C++'s standing in the microsoft suite of programming tools, .Net is a good C++ ide. ... Read more


5. Microsoft Visual C# .NET Standard 2003
list price: $109.00
our price: $92.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00008I9K3
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Microsoft
Sales Rank: 1006
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com Product Description

Visual C# .NET 2003 is a modern, innovative programming language and tool for building .NET-connected software for Microsoft Windows, the Web, and a wide range of devices. With familiar C++-like syntax, a flexible integrated development environment (IDE), and the capability to build solutions across a variety of platforms and devices, Visual C# .NET 2003 significantly eases the development of .NET-connected software.

Visual C# .NET provides users with a superior developer environment, bringing together the development community and valuable online resources. The Start Page offers developers a one-click portal to updates, preferences, information on recently used projects, and the MSDN Online community. Improved IntelliSense, the Toolbox, and the Task List provide significant productivity enhancements, while AutoHide windows and multiple-monitor support help programmers maximize screen real estate and customize their development environment.

With Visual C# .NET 2003, developers can take advantage of Microsoft .NET and incorporate next-generation technology for resource management, unified types, and remoting. With Microsoft .NET, developers gain superior memory management technology for seamless garbage collection and reduced program complexity. Developers can use the Microsoft .NET Framework Common Type System to leverage code written in any of more than 20 languages that support .NET, while making efficient remote procedure calls. ... Read more

Features

  • Build .NET-connected software for Windows, the Web, and a wide range of devices
  • Build a variety of applications, from device solutions to datacenter servers. Use code obfuscation technology to protect your intellectual property
  • Reuse code from within any programming language that supports .NET
  • Packed with enhancements and new features
  • Immediately familiar to C++ and Java developers

Reviews (3)

3-0 out of 5 stars careful
There is a typo in the feature list on this page...

It mentions that this product supports development of Compact.NET applications for mobile phones and pocketpc's however this is incorrect. The standard edition does not support pocketpc development, only the professional edition that comes in visual studio supports it. I bought the product partially because i thought i could make programs for my ppc. :/ Other than lack of PPC support in this standard edition, visual C# standard seems like a decent program for web development or quickly making windows apps.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Language Ever
Tis is the most powerful and Dynamic tool for programmers even JAVA or other platforms, Is so easy the OOP process and Web Services XML Creation

5-0 out of 5 stars Dang Wicked Awesome
First of all...I'm not a Microsoft employee nor do I own any of their stock. So, with that said, this is The Best Damn Development Tool, Period! With the purchase of this single piece of software, anyone (and I mean anyone) can learn how to build, test, and deploy (i.e. deliver) professional-grade windows applications.

If you are a C++/MFC developer and thinking of migrating to the the .NET platform. Number 1 - DO IT; Number 2 - USE C#; Number 3 - BUY THE STANDARD VERSION. I, too, was a C++/MFC developer for 5 years. Then, as luck would have it, a project came up where we could flirt with C#, and in literally half the time, we had a more advanced prototype than our C++/MFC prototype. The big hitters were intuitiveness of the language, speed of the compiles, auto-documenation generation (check-out NDoc software), and profession delivery via .msi files.

The professional version is totally over kill for what most businesses need and has more features than you'll ever use. Don't waste you money playing the I-might-use-that-feature-somtime-in-the-future game. The standard edition allows for the complete development of any size software. The 2003 version has fixed a number of quirks found in the last version (which was amazingly stable for a 1.0). One thing to remember if migrating form VC#.NET 2002 to 2003 is that any project build under 2002 must be converted to 2003 and those changes can't be undone. This really isn't an issue for mose people, including myself. ... Read more


6. DarkBASIC Professional
list price: $99.99
our price: $74.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000C7FOD
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Enteractive Inc.
Sales Rank: 428
Average Customer Review: 4.57 out of 5 stars
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Features

  • Powerful language for creating games
  • Ideal for both beginners and more experienced programmers
  • Create 2-D and 3-D effects
  • Make games using Quake 3 levels
  • Powerful, flexible, and easy to use

Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good product, bad manual.
In reviewing this product, I would like to fairly say that I have not written a single complete program using this product yet.

Now, that scentance could be a double edged sword, it could meen I am incompetent, or it could meen there is something wrong with darkbasic pro. What I like to think is that dark basic pro has thoroughly flawed documentation. Just as Peter Patterson said in his review. The programing lanuguage is great and very easily allows you to write software very fast, yet, when you are stuck, the manuals are no help.

Many of the commands do not work as predicted, and same functions seem to be implemented differently for different commands. The 3D rotation commands can drive you nuts. The coordinates system also seems to be a bit unpredictable.

I love the programing language, and that is why I gave it four stars, but they realy need to work on the documentation and help files.

I heard there is an update, hope the documentation update is up to expectations.

3-0 out of 5 stars Once the shine wears off
I have read the other reviews of this product, and wouldn't dispute any of those users experiences with it. There are however many things that become evident once the shine wears off and you try to go beyond the simple spinning cubes you can get running in ten minutes or so.

I have been using DarkBasic now for several months, and while I was initially as enthusiastic as most of the other reviewers, I have run into enough problems that only become apparent when you try to go beyond the basics that I feel compelled to submit a more balanced review.

For example.. while one review mentions the built in help system that has a brief description of each command, what they failed to mention was that this brief description is the only description of the commands available at all even in the printed manual. The printed docs and the online docs are one and the same, and they are not only brief, but provide circular definitions in many cases, and they are definitely not comprehensive descriptions of what each command does.

The reviewer also mentioned the extensive examples, but failed to point out that the examples are lumped into several huge programs that do nothing meaningful except to demonstrate one particular way to use each command and do nothing to help you figure out how to use each command in all possible ways. Again.. there is no comprehensive reference to all of the commands the language provides.

The online help forums are indeed helpful, but more to the point you will almost certainly have to go there to find out how to use the language. Sufficient information and examples are not provided in the box to use this language on your own, even if you are a professional developer.

Familiarity with Direct X will only help out so far. While DarkBasic Pro is really a thin wrapper for accessing the underlying functionality of Direct X, most of the familiar Direct X terminology has been hidden and replaced with new terminology that is never explained leaving you guessing and experimenting just to find out how a command is supposed to work.

Updates for the program are also few and far between. There are many bugs in the various commands that make entire sets of functionality impractical to use, and many of the DarkBasic forum members have games they would like to ship, but cannot do so until and unless updates are provided to make functionality that is advertised as being in the product already work.

Word is that there may be an update sometime around the fall, but if you are used to using other development tools and getting frequent patches, give some thought to how this kind of infrequent update policy will impact your schedule. You should also check out their online forums and make sure that the features you think will make your development cycle go smoothly work as advertised. Some of the documented commands have actually been removed from the language, although they are still listed as valid commands and provide no indication that they have been disabled when you try to use them (other than simply not working).

My feelings about this product are not entirely negative. It is a very useful tool for rapid prototyping of 3D experiences, and it's a great way to explore Direct X concepts. As the teacher who wrote an earlier review said, it allows you to focus on the game aspects without worrying about the low level details, and it is also very cost effective.

There is also an SDK that allows you to expand the language by writing a DLL in C++, and there are many such free and inexpensive third party DLL's to expand the language beyond the basics.

But it falls short as a professional development tool primarily in the areas of documentation and simply working completely as advertised. You would probably find that you can get your idea implemented halfway five times faster than in some other game engine, but you might also find that after getting halfway there, something doesn't work and you need to spend a lot of time trying to come up with a workaround or having to redesign things using different commands.

In short.. if you just want to experiment with and learn about 3D, this product is perfectly suitable. If you want to use it to develop a professional game, or you want something that just works out of the box and doesn't require a lot of guesswork and experimentation, you may end up dissapointed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent!!!!
I am a professor of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago and I use this for my Game Programming class.
In my 15 years of being in the computer graphics field I have never seen a software package integrate all this high-end graphics capability, into a simple-to-use, yet real programming language that creates compiled code. Not only that, the compiled code can be bundled as an executeable that you can then distribute as a standalone running program. This is an excellent way for budding independent game programmers to get a start. Furthermore the online forum is EXCELLENT. I usually get an answer to my questions within half an hour! There are some real dedicated fans out there!

Things that my graduate students used to take a semester to write for research projects are now accessible with a simple command in this language. For example: Binary Space Partion Trees, Surround Sound, Forced Feed Joystick support, A multitude of camera manipulation capabilities, collision detection, model loading and animation, forward kinematics, toon shading, real time shadows, and the list goes on and on... I've even written code to enable stereoscopic rendering so that I can take the output of a dual-headed graphics card, feed it into 2 DLP projectors with polarizing filters. Now my students can write games in true stereoscopic 3D! I know I am not allowed to post web sites in a review, so if you want more info on how to do something like this do a google on geowall darkbasic.

The interesting thing about providing students with so much capability at their finger tips is that they tend to take it all for granted. My students were complaining that the system had this bug or that bug. The hot-shot students wanted to do the class project in C++ and OpenGL instead. So as an experiment, a few of them took an undergrad research class with me the following semester to try and rewrite the game that they had written in DarkBASIC Pro, in C++ and DirectX. A month later I asked them, "next year, when I teach the class again, should I use DarkBASIC or should I use DirectX and C++?" They all said DarkBASIC was the way to go. New students would be too bogged down on the tiny details to be able to understand the whole game development process in a semester. DarkBASIC Pro frees you to think about developing the graphics, the game play, the sound effects- not waste all your time hunting down pointer errors.

Also a great low cost modeling package to go with this is Milkshape. The DarkBASICPro website recommends 3D Canvas. All my students hated 3D Canvas. It was crashing all the time, had an unintuitive interface and created a kzillion windows registry entries making it impossible to use for multiple login IDs on a single Windows box. There were also frequent version changes where 3D models were no longer compatible. Very annoying.

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome!
In three days of using this program I made. (note: I had never used Dzrk BASIC before)

A 3d pong game
A first person shooter (with
a calculator with buttons (harder than it sounds)

This IDE is great, the language is great, and the community is even better.

-Cyberflame

5-0 out of 5 stars Easy and fun to learn, powerful, educational.
Look no further for an easier language to learn, DarkBASIC Pro (DBPro) is by far the easiest language in the market today. The language is procedural and not object oriented, it contains many of the "old school" BASIC commands such as DATA, RESTORE, GOTO, GOSUB plus many modern features such as pointers and user-defined data types. This language is even used in introductory programming courses in many educational institutions all over Europe because of its ease of learning.

If you are planning to develop your own games for commercial purposes, it will be good to know that your games will be license and royalty free, and all games can be distributed as .EXE files with no need to have a runtime application.

In terms of power for developing games I can tell you that it is a very strong and fast language. You can witness its power by going through the many demos with source code included on the bundled CD as well as their website darkbasicpro.com.

Creating your programs is very simple using their Windows-based Integrated Development Environment (IDE), this is one of the many differences between this language and its little brother DarkBASIC.

What types of games can you create? mostly anything you can imagine: 3-D games, First Person Shooters (FPS) such as Quake, Unreal Tournament and Half-Life, Role playing games (RPGs), 2-D scrolling games (a la R-Type), Maze Games (Pac-Man), Multi-player, Online games, Educational, your imagination is the limit. There's even a best-selling professional driving simulation program developed in England using DBPro (http://www.thegamecreators.com/?f=dts), so you get the idea on the quality level you can reach using this relatively inexpensive development tool.

DBPro is not drag and drop, let's be very clear, but the language commands are intuitive and easy enough to understand for anyone without exposure to programming. To have an idea, I'll show you a 4 line program that creates a 3-D cube and rotates it on it's Y axis, something that would require hours using other programming languages:
MAKE OBJECT CUBE 1,100
DO
YROTATE OBJECT 1,OBJECT ANGLE Y(1) + 0.1
LOOP
The parameters that follow the commands (e.g. 1,100) are easily understood by simply looking at the context-sensitive HELP menu, summoned with F1 while highlighting the command (In this code example the 1 is the object number assigned to the cube and 100 is the cube size.)

There's a 30-day full-featured downloadable demo version of DBPro on their website. The HELP menu has all the commands available with brief instructions on their purpose. The full version has even working versions of code examples (showcase examples) for every command plus thousands of sample images, maps, sound effects, sprites, etc. to get you started real quick with your own games. I'd recommend downloading this demo to get a good taste of the language and determine if it is for you.

Make sure to download the DBPro patch from their website as soon as you install the CD, to have the latest and greatest release. The DBPatch can not be applied to the demo version though.

The only negative comments I have about this product is their language documentation included in the box. It could be more detailed and extensive. The good thing is that the DBPro community is growing and there are many resources for learning on the Internet. Amazon has a good introductory book on DarkBASIC (with some DBPro on it), ISBN 1592000096, but I think this book still lacks many advanced features since it was written mostly for DarkBASIC. If you are not familiar with 3-D terminology I would recommend to purchase an introductory book in this subject, or do an Internet search for this topic before getting your hands in the 3-D commands of DBPro.

Recommended for game enthusiasts, beginners and to-be professionals. ... Read more


7. Microsoft Visual Studio .NET Enterprise Architect 2003
list price: $2,499.99
our price: $2,349.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000089GKU
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Microsoft
Sales Rank: 4630
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Review

Visual Studio .NET is Microsoft’s multi-faceted development tool, targeting both Windows and Web applications. This 2003 edition includes numerous small improvements as well as major new features like the Compact Framework, for applications that run on Pocket PC and other smart devices. It supports multiple languages, with the main ones being Visual Basic, C#, and C++. There is also a Java-like language called J#, although J# applications only work on Windows so this is not a true Java development tool. The Visual Studio .NET environment is truly integrated. It makes extensive use of docking and tabbed windows, and there are plenty of project wizards along with huge amounts of online help. Auto-completion and pop-up help eases the business of editing code.

Microsoft’s .NET tools are very different from their predecessors. Visual C++ can still compile standard Windows executables, but the other languages all target the .NET Framework, a runtime engine and class library that manages memory and enforces security. Framework applications perform well, since they are compiled to native code at runtime, but there is an overhead in terms of memory usage and the Framework runtime must be installed. In compensation, .NET brings many advantages. All the languages are fully object-oriented, the class library is rich, and XML support is fully integrated. ASP.NET is for web applications, and represents a large advance on the old ASP. Instead of script, ASP.NET supports any of the .NET languages, running on the server and just-in-time compiled to native code. There is a visual web page designer, and carefully designed applications support a wide range of browsers. New in this version of Visual Studio is Mobile Web Forms, which use adaptive rendering to support the browsers in mobile phones and PDAs. The database technology in Visual Studio is called ADO.NET, and uses a disconnected model that is ideal for laptops, smart devices, and wide area networks.

Visual Studio .NET Enterprise Architect 2003 is the top of the range. It’s the only version to include Visio, a drawing and modelling tool with integrated reverse-engineering and code-generation, though sadly not full round-tripping. There are also developer licenses for the key Microsoft server platforms, including Windows Server 2003, Exchange 2000 Server, Biztalk Server and SQL Server 2000. Another key component is the Visual SourceSafe code management system, which is especially important for team development, Application Center Test, for stress-testing web applications, and Enterprise Templates which let architects design and deploy best practices for project development. For those wondering whether to make the jump to .NET, this release is probably the right moment to go ahead. The technology is maturing, and the inclusion of the Compact Framework makes the package more compelling. The deep XML support on offer is essential for many enterprise applications and enables integration with other platforms. It’s still important to note the heavy system requirements, and that .NET applications do not run on Windows 95. In most cases, the higher productivity of .NET languages soon pays for any additional resources. --Tim Anderson, Amazon.co.uk ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Programming Suite
Microsoft Visual Studio.NET Enterprise Architecht enables programmers to take full advantage of the .NET platform. Visual Studio.NET allows programmers to utilize the newer .NET framework 1.1, which contains enhancements in security and performance.

This version of Visual Studio includes: Visual Basic.NET 2003, Visual C++.NET 2003, Visual C#.NET 2003, and Visual J#.NET 2003. Having access to all of the .NET languages means that you have the ability to code in whichever language is most appropriate to your project.

A few language enhancements have also been included in this version. One of the most useful is the ability to declare a variable inside a loop using VB.NET 2003. For example:

For each var1 as string in varArray
'Do action
Next

Microsoft also bundles a handful of useful utilities with this package. These utilities will enable you to monitor your applications, benchmark web services, obfuscate your code, and much more.

.NET has a slightly different syntax than earlier versions of the languages (ie version 6), so if you are new to .NET a reference book would be handy.

Visual Studio.NET 2003 is worth the upgrade.

If you are a developer using several Microsoft technologies, a MSDN subscription is very helpful. MSDN Universal subscriptions include Visual Studio Enterprise Architect, developer licenses for all Microsoft operating systems, developer licenses for all Microsoft server systems, Microsoft Office Professional Enterprise edition, and more. MSDN subscribers have access to support via managed newsgroups and phone support. ... Read more


8. Microsoft Visual Studio .NET Professional 2003 English
list price: $1,079.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00008I9K2
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Microsoft
Sales Rank: 1498
Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Review

Visual Studio .NET Professional 2003 is Microsoft’s multi-faceted development tool, targeting both Windows and Web applications. This 2003 edition includes numerous small improvements as well as major new features like the Compact Framework, for applications that run on Pocket PC and other smart devices. It supports multiple languages, with the main ones being Visual Basic, C#, and C++. There is also a Java-like language called J#, although J# applications only work on Windows so this is not a true Java development tool. The Visual Studio .NET environment is truly integrated. It makes extensive use of docking and tabbed windows, and there are plenty of project wizards along with huge amounts of online help. Auto-completion and pop-up help eases the business of editing code.

Microsoft’s .NET tools are very different from their predecessors. Visual C++ can still compile standard Windows executables, but the other languages all target the .NET Framework, a runtime engine and class library that manages memory and enforces security. Framework applications perform well, since they are compiled to native code at runtime, but there is an overhead in terms of memory usage and the Framework runtime must be installed. In compensation, .NET brings many advantages. All the languages are fully object-oriented, the class library is rich, and XML support is deeply integrated. ASP.NET is for web applications, and represents a large advance on the old ASP. Instead of script, ASP.NET supports any of the .NET languages, running on the server and just-in-time compiled to native code. There is a visual web page designer, and carefully designed applications support a wide range of browsers. A new feature in this version of Visual Studio is Mobile Web Forms, which use adaptive rendering to support the browsers in mobile phones and PDAs.

The database technology in Visual Studio is called ADO.NET. It uses a disconnected model, which means that applications work with data locally, only contacting the server for data transfer or update. It’s a good model for laptops, smart devices, and wide area networks, but there’s a lot to learn for those skilled in older database APIs.

The Visual Studio .NET Professional 2003 edition represents the best value in the range. There’s no Visual SourceSafe or Visio diagramming, and it lacks the server licences found in the high-end Enterprise editions, but it’s otherwise a fully comprehensive package.

For those wondering whether to make the jump to .NET, this release is probably the right moment to go ahead. The technology is maturing, and the inclusion of the Compact Framework makes the package more compelling. Students and newcomers to programming will welcome the clean object-orientation in C#, and the deep XML support on offer is essential for enterprise applications or integrating with other platforms. It’s still important to note the heavy system requirements, and that .NET applications do not run on Windows 95. In most cases, the higher productivity of .NET languages soon pays for any additional resources. --Tim Anderson, Amazon.co.uk ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Peice of kit
I've been working as a web develop for over 5 years, and I've tried hundreds of different editors and IDE. Visual Studio.NET is by far the most complete I have ever used. My boss' at first weren't too happy about forking out so much for one peice of software, but on the first project we used it for, we made the money back on a short development time and testing time.

Because everything can be developed in more or less the same way as an ASP.NET app, we were able to offer clients more solutions for their buck. We now offer desktop and mobile solutions as well as what we offered before!

The learning curve can be somewhat steep, but once you learn to do most things, everything will become a breeze.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good, but not Great
To put simple, this product is good, but it's not great. The true biggest problem is the complexity and learning curve. If your migrating from DevStudio, then you'll have a heck of a time learning the new environment and set up. But once you learn how to use it (which will take a while), it's much better than DevStudio, and the new languages are definately worth it.

1-0 out of 5 stars Why would I buy this?
Can someone please explain why I would buy .Net Pro when the MSDN Pro subscription is cheaper and comes with much more? Frankly, both of them see highly overpriced. They should pay me to develop for their platform.

1-0 out of 5 stars It's Microsoft ...
Just like Crawford Leitch wrote above. Microsoft products are trash. The company should be split-up and managed by monkeys. Name withheld

2-0 out of 5 stars STEP BACKWARDS but has bells and whistles
I used Visual Studio 6 / Visual Interdev a lot and found it very good. I'm a decent VB programmer so I created several apps and managed our corporate website /sub webs with it too. I could do all that my business group needed. VS.NET 2003 has just made all that a lot, lot harder for not much gain. Aside from learning the new languages VB.NET and C# which I don't really mind the new asp.net and web site development is horrendous for people who do it all themselves. It was a lot simpler before. First time you try to delete a test project you won't find a delete option or anything in the help about it. It turns out you need to use explorer to delete the files and IIS to remove the virtual site. Why would they do that? In short the gains are mainly for the big enterprise users with 2003 servers running IIS6. $$$. Very disappointing really and I really like Microsoft stuff. Microsoft SQL server is fantastic for instance. Good luck and be prepared to study... ... Read more


9. Microsoft Visual Studio .NET Enterprise Developer 2003
list price: $1,799.99
our price: $1,619.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00009QWKX
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Microsoft
Sales Rank: 6001
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • Work with a complete set of development languages Visual Basic.NET, Visual C++.NET, Visual C#.NET and more
  • Set up and test your applications and XML Web Services more easily, with the Application Center Test (ACT)
  • Share your source code and design documents more easily with Visual SourceSafe
  • Use the. NET connected reference applications to structure end-to-end. NET applications

10. Borland Codewright 7.5 for Win

our price: $299.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00009M7Q6
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Borland International
Sales Rank: 3138
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

11. REALbasic 5.5
list price: $99.95
our price: $89.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0001IQN8E
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Real Software
Sales Rank: 1914
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • Modern, object-oriented form of BASIC, similar to Visual Basic
  • Create games, utilities, business applications, and more
  • Fast way to learn programming; visual drag-and-drop process
  • Rich set of user-interface controls; easy to learn, fun to use
  • Can be upgraded to REALbasic Professional

12. DarkBASIC
list price: $19.99
our price: $17.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005V57T
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Enteractive Inc.
Sales Rank: 393
Average Customer Review: 3.91 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Review

Easier to comprehend than some other game-programming packages out there, DarkBASIC offers both a fun tutorial and a powerful code editor. You can start programming right away in this offshoot of the BASIC language. First you will learn about the principles of programming, then advance onto media and 3-D topics with further study. The program makes it easy, and with a handful of impressive examples you can learn by doing on several short, fast programs.

The main editor area of the program is attractive, although it does remind us a bit of the role-playing games of the late 1980s. Our favorite perk was the Command Line Interface (CLI) button in the page header: this feature allows you to test single or small groups of commands without constructing an entire program. The online help system is multifaceted: it offers a "fast track" option for those with programming experience (or who are just impatient) as well as a more structured lesson plan.

The user manual is particularly friendly and witty in tone, and we appreciated the Further Tutorials pamphlet that accompanied the package. The initial tutorials cover basic program form, creating line objects, using color, and terraforming. The advanced tutorials examine everything from determining camera perspective to the use of fogs and backdrops, from explosions to bullets and monsters.

We first took DarkBASIC out for a spin with a simple text program, and then moved on to creating a simple 3-D game (unfortunately without conclusion). The package comes with a number of textures for floor, wall, and ceiling, as well as other objects like monsters, weapons, and the like. You're not limited to using only these: DarkBASIC covers how to import your own images and assets for use in your program. This package handles five types of media files: images (as bitmap files), sound (as WAV files), music (as MIDI files), animation (as AVI files), and object models. For each of these, you may specify the correct editor, ensuring a strong connection and compatibility between DarkBASIC and your selected applications.

We were very impressed with the media browser and accompanying contents: in this gallery-style view, you can check out the goblins, samurais, game sounds, streaming music, textures, and game screens (like the "game over" screen). Our only issue with DarkBASIC was that there wasn't a minimize option readily available, making it difficult to multitask with other projects we're working on (yet easy to get engrossed in our dreams of 3-D game generation).

Overall, DarkBASIC ran very smoothly after install and left plenty of resources free for other applications to continue running. In the end, we recommend DarkBASIC to future (and present) game-programming gurus for ease of use, quality, and the overall fun factor. --Emilie Herbst ... Read more

Reviews (11)

3-0 out of 5 stars Good concept, but Darkbasic pro is a better choice
I own both this and darkbasic pro,

I would like to say that they are both great products, but not for those with no programing mentality. Writting a game requires good understanding in maths and generaly thinking in a clear logical way. So it is not as easy as it says on the packaging. The tutorial on the manual is very good, and will get you started writting first person shooter games in no time. Otherwise, the manual is very poor when it comes to describing what the commands do. Only the syntax is explained properly. The actual function of the commands is not very clear unless you already know what you are doing, or the command is a very basic one.

This programing language needs a good book to accompany it before it gains any value.

5-0 out of 5 stars Dude that uses DrakBASIC
DarkBASIC is a great product. I use it as my primary language for the game I am creating. I find it to be an increadably easy to use language. The code is simple, it comes with a manual that explains everything, and some tutorials that explain it further. I find these things really helpful. It has a great interface and uses DirectX to its full extent. It includes sample games that show you how to do certain things, models and art for game creation, and its own editor/compiler. On thier website, they tell news, downlads for other games, support, additional artowrk and examples, links, and other things. A great recommendation, if you use DarkBASIC, is downloading a windows editor that is if not as much, easier to use than the one supplied by Enteractive. Also, due to DarkBASIC being written in C++, it can go as fast, or sometimes even faster, than C++. If you want to make a game, but don't want to spend a lot of time learning C++ and the money for a comiler, DarkBASIC should definently be your choice.

2-0 out of 5 stars Good if you want to work hard
This program is good if you want to mold the matrix bit by bit. But if you want to make games in a snap, spring for the professional and get a level editor on a DarkBASIC website.

5-0 out of 5 stars darkbasic by legolas
If you can't do much else in darkbasic try this sample program:
type this in:
DO
PRINT "WHAT HATH GOD WROUGHT"
LOOP
now you got a crazy program that has that for lines down--- IT'S YOUR FIRST PROGRAM! and the first thing on the telegram, I think. (...)

2-0 out of 5 stars Good idea, but bad design
I got this as a present about two years ago, and I have had mixed feelings. I like it, but I get really frustrated because the program is buggy. I cannot create a standalone executable, and the program has random bugs. Also, it is very hard to create proffesional-type games. Be aware that the machine you run standalone programs on has to have a video card, regardless of whether you use it or not. In conclusion, good idea, but very buggy. ... Read more


13. REALbasic 5.5 Pro
list price: $399.99
our price: $399.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0001IQN84
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Real Software
Sales Rank: 2519
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • New rapid application development (RAD) tool for Windows
  • Modern, object-oriented form of BASIC, similar to Visual Basic
  • Create native applications for Windows, Linux, and Mac
  • Deploy software without external DLLs
  • Includes Visual Basic conversion tool

14. Borland Delphi 2005 Professional - complete package ( HDB0005WWFS180 )

Asin: B000692NF0
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Borland International
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

15. Borland Delphi 2005 Professional - upgrade package ( HDB0005WWCS180 )

Asin: B000692NEQ
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Borland International
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

16. Borland Delphi 2005 Enterprise - complete package ( HDE0005WWFS180 )

(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000692NFK
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Borland International
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

17. Borland Delphi 8 Enterprise Upgrade From Delphi 7

our price: $1,069.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00019DTIU
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Borland International
Sales Rank: 11695
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

18. Borland JBuilder 2005 Developer Upgrade fromJBuilder Dev/SE/Pro

our price: $329.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0002VITAA
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Borland International
Sales Rank: 7062
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

19. REALbasic 5.5 (Mac)
list price: $99.99
our price: $99.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0001IQN7K
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Real Software
Sales Rank: 3473
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Features

  • A modern, object-oriented form of BASIC
  • Create games, utilities, business applications, and more
  • Fast way to learn programming; visual drag-and-drop process
  • Rich set of user-interface controls; easy to learn, fun to use
  • Can be upgraded to REALbasic Professional

20. Game Programming Starter Kit 6.0
list price: $29.99
our price: $29.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000070MRB
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Pearson Software
Sales Rank: 1413
Average Customer Review: 2.75 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (4)

3-0 out of 5 stars Neutral
If you plan on getting this program go to http://www.bloodshed.net and get a free C++ compiler. Use it to compile DLL files for your games. Not being able to compile with Visual C++ that comes on the CD really makes hard to create you're own effects for games. Learn C++, download the free compiler and learn how to use the free compiler. Not all code will work automatically with Dev-C++ so you need to find you're own work arounds. It comes with the lates compiler which I think is GCC 3.6 (see gcc's website).

2-0 out of 5 stars ok for someone just getting into game design
this is an ok set for people looking to get into game design. you can get the book at your bookstore, and that's really the only thing worth anything in the box, and it's not even that great: just a bunch of anecdotes and short interview sections from some noteworthy people in the field. there's not really much time in any section to go in-depth, and the same is true with the software included. you can't save, or in the case of the visual C++ kit, you can't compile, which means you can write your code and just look at it.
my recomendation is this: if you want to program, get as much math as possible, way beyond calculus 3 (quaternion, non-linear, and matrix algebra are just some of the subjects you'll need), and get lots of good experience in C++, and a degree is the best way to go. if you want to go the art side, draw, draw, draw. go to an art school, and get a degree in the field. the Art Institutes, Savannah College of Art and Design and DigiPen Institute of Technology are just some of the noteworthy schools.
whatever you do, 4 year degrees are better than 2, and make sure it's accredited.

1-0 out of 5 stars It's just DEMOS!
All it comes with are DEMOS. YOu can't even save your own games as a standalone product, for that you have to spend even more money. The book is great, but the rest is ..... You can't even create 3d stuff because you can't save in the 3d editor! If you are considering this product, don't get it, i guarantee you will be disapointed

5-0 out of 5 stars Comment on Game Programming Starter Kit 6.0
I have brought this product and find it very very cheap. This is because the Visual Basic 6.0 Learning Edition it gaves cost about the same as the price i brought the starter kit so actually it is like they gave you free books and free softwares and some free articles from other famous aurthors. The learning curve is not very high so you can easliy get the ropes of it. This is a good starter kit to your future game developing career. ... Read more


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