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 Getting Started
 The Main Loop
 Drawing Something
 The Theory

 Drawing Something
 The Practical Part

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The Series
 Part 1
 Part 2
 Part 3

Welcome to the first of a 3 part mini-series on the usage of DirectX Graphics (the graphical component of DirectX 8). Over these 3 articles I will cover everything that you need to know to be a competent programmer in this area. While this series will not cover absolutely every aspect (that would require many more than 3 parts), by the end you will be able to do most things, and anything you can't do you should be able to work out for yourself, or read other tutorials and easily understand them.

Some people may well say that you can't write a proper 3D game in Visual Basic. I’m not here to argue about that, but I will tell you now - it is perfectly possible to write a moderate to advanced game in full 3D using pure Visual Basic - maybe not the next Quake/Half-life, but that doesn’t mean you can't do any games.

In order to program with DirectX you are going to need a few things:

  1. A general knowledge of the Visual Basic language. While complicated things will be explained, I will assume that you can write a reasonably complex program.
  2. A copy of Visual Basic 5 or later. Earlier versions of Visual Basic do not support the Component Object Model (COM), and therefore will not be able to use DirectX 8.
  3. A copy of DirectX 8. The runtimes are perfectly acceptable (the ones that you get from the Microsoft site or magazine CDs). If you’re serious about learning and using DirectX getting the SDK (Software Development Kit) will be a huge advantage.

While these articles are going to be in Visual Basic, the actual DirectX 8 interfaces are almost identical to those used in C/C++ (except for the obvious language differences), so if you can use DirectX 8 in C/C++ then you’ll find this very easy.

Next : Getting Started