Building a computer game is one of the most challenging things you can do with a computer. Most modern computer games rely on DirectX support for 3D graphics and other functions. Until recently, you were forced to learn C or C++ if you wanted to learn game programming. Now, with as little as six months' knowledge of Visual Basic, you too can learn how to use DirectX to create your own games. This book guides you through the creation of a SimCity like game called Swim Mall. Set underwater and featuring stores such as Barnacles and Noble and Kelp-Fil-A, Swim Mall places you in the role of mall manager. Your goal is to make as much money as possible while keeping your customers happy through advertising and offering the right mix of stores. The game features true 3D graphics that you can move, rotate, or zoom, plus support for MP3 background music, coupled with a real-time simulation of a shopping mall. The learning doesn't end when you finish the book, either. With the source code provided, you can modify the game to add new features and submit them to the book's Web site. While you are there, you can check out the changes other readers have created. Then you can use the information you learned from Windows Game Programming with Visual Basic and DirectX as a springboard to designing your very own computer games. CD-ROM Includes: Microsoft DirectX 8.1 SDK, Microsoft Speech SDK, Caligari trueSpace 5.1, Adobe PhotoShop 5, Jasc Paint Shop Pro 7, code examples, images, and Web resources. Design a simulation game using Visual Basic and DirectX. Display 3D graphics using Direct3D. Rotate, zoom, and scroll the 3D graphics display. Create your own 3D graphics with trueSpace 5. Learn how to simulate character movement through the game. Build time-driven simulations using finite state machines. Construct your own random number generators. Play MP3 files and sounds using DirectAudio. Edit sounds and music with Cool Edit 2000. Process game commands using DirectInput. Use the Microsoft Speech API to make your characters speak.