Visual C++/VB.NET versus Visual Studio?

Discussion in 'Game Development (Technical)' started by unreason, May 18, 2005.

  1. unreason

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    My academic license for Visual Studio has expired, and I need to decide which stuff to buy. I use C++, VB.NET sometimes, and I might use C#. I can buy these products individually for $100 each for a total of $200-300. If I buy the entire Visual Studio.NET, it'll cost me $800. If I buy the three tools seperately instead of buying Studio, will I really miss out on anything important? I'd like to save that $500-600, but at the same time I don't want to get something only to find that it won't do the job.
     
  2. soniCron

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    I don't use VisualAnything, but unless you know you're going to use it, I don't know why you'd bother spending so much extra money on stuff you're not even sure about. I can't imagine what you won't be able to accomplish with C++, VB, and maaaybe C#. Unless you know what you're missing, and need it, I'd keep the extra bucks.
     
  3. Ryan Clark

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    You may want to look into SharpDevelop; it's an open source .NET IDE. I believe it uses the (freely available) .NET compiler from Microsoft, so you're not really missing out on anything.

    And, to replace VC++, try Dev-C++.

    You may prefer the MS versions of these tools, but it's probably worth spending a bit of time to check out the free alternatives; it could save you a fair chunk of money.
     
  4. Abscissa

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    I'm pretty sure there's nothing major (if at all) you would be missing. But, there should be some version comparisons on MS's site (they usually do have them), so you may want to check those.
     
  5. unreason

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    Thanks, but due to some preexisting projects and stuff that I need, I'm really bound to an MS solution.

     
  6. MrPhil

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    Technically you do not need Visual Studio to develop in any of those languages. All the tools to compile etc you need come in the sdk. The Visual Studio just makes is nice and graphic to work with. In fact, the SDKs have features and capabilities that VS doesn’t expose. Food for thought.

    Platform SDK

    .Net Framework SDK
     
  7. Pyabo

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    Have you tried the Express editions available for free?

    Also, take a look at the Microsoft Empower partner program. You can get an MSDN Universal subscription (which includes all their tools) for $375.

    Finally, there is a Beta version of Visual Studio 2005 available for free. However, I wouldn't really recommend this. I have it installed at home and it feels slow as molasses to me (and took about a month to arrive).
     
  8. soniCron

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    These are also in Beta, and I wouldn't recommend them. I tried them out a bit ago and have had several problems with my computer since. You can't uninstall them all the way, and they leave bits of Beta .NET all over the computer, which isn't good. I strongly recommend against Microsoft's beta software. As many problems people have with their release software, volunteering to use their beta software on your primary computer is just asking for trouble. ;)
     
  9. Hiro_Antagonist

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    Most indie devs probably don't need all of the advanced features found in Enterprise edition, so for most people Standard would be just fine, and well worth the $100 IMO. I've traditionally been used to Enterprise, and was only bitten on a couple of things when I moved to the $100 standard version: There's no source control integration (and certainly no VSS Server included), and no process/thread selector for advanced debugging.

    Frankly, I would *never* develop a .NET app (and maybe not even a Windows C++ app) without Visual Studio. I realize lots of other people don't mind jumping through various hoops to implement cheaper solutions, combining software parts themselves and what-not. But IMO, VS really is a godsend, and I think there's tremendous value in having everything you need (dev environment, resource control, MDSN, debugging, etc.) in one highly functional IDE. The $100 for VC# 2k3 Standard was extremely well spent for me.

    -Hiro_Antagonist
     
  10. Valen

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    Microsoft decided to be real bastards this time around and not release a Pro version of any of their development tools. In other words, if you buy the "standard" edition you won't get the optimizing compiler (at least for C++). There IS a way to get the optimizing compiler through the free MS toolkit (as described here) but the toolkit doesn't have the Multithreaded DLL libraries for the good compiler. That means you can't link dynamically (against DLLs). If you're ok with that, then you can disregard my warning. I wanted to upgrade to Visual C++ 7 for a long time, but paying $800 for just Visual C++ is preposterous.
     
  11. Savant

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    That SharpDevelop app looks very cool. I downloaded it today and it works very well. I haven't tried the debugger yet, but everything else looks just about as good as the Microsoft tools.
     
  12. Diragor

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    This is not true for the 2005 stuff according to the FAQ for the Express Editions (which are basically the new Standard editions).

     
  13. Valen

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    It would certainly be great, but I'd be cautious about this. The toolkit FAQ says something very similar.

     
  14. luggage

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    I must have missed something. Doesn't the free toolkit come with the optimising compiler then? I thought you posted a link about using the toolkit to get the optimising compiler.

    My money goes with the Microsoft Empower program. You basically get all the dev stuff you could possibly want.
     
  15. soniCron

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    Yes, he did. Check it out.
     
  16. Hiro_Antagonist

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    That empower program is a yearly subscription. Does anyone know what happens to the software you're using when the subscription runs out? Is your usage license completely revoked, or do you just not get updated software anymore? Either way, it does seem like a great deal (gracefully accomodating up to 5 people in a single dev house), but it's obviously even better if it comes with indefinite licenses of the software you use during that time.

    -Hiro_Antagonist
     
  17. MrPhil

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    Thought i'd add that if you going to go the SDK route I recommend you look at NAnt to automate your builds (hell, even if you use VS it is still very useful.)
     
  18. Valen

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    It does, and I did. The problem with the toolkit is that it doesn't come with libraries allowing you to set code generation to "Multithreaded DLL" which is necessary if you want to link to, say, SDL. This is discussed in a gamedev.net thread.

     

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