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Posted 04 September 2014 - 12:46 AM
Members - Reputation: 3866
Posted 04 September 2014 - 03:45 AM
1. What is the easiest engine:
Hard to answer a "what is best" or "is X better than Y" type of question. Ther is not best, and there is no easiest engine. Especially as "an online action RPG" is not a very specific question. I'll try my best.
First have a look at the stickies at the top of the beginner Forum. They are there for people like you.
If we are talking about 3D Engines:
When it comes to beginner friendlyness, Unity is among the best. A fully fleshed out, intuitive editor, a big community and an asset store full of assets to accelerate your development. Lots of tutorials and a good documentation round off the deal.
Unreal Engine 4 most probably comes close, altough I lack hands on expierience with it.
Both these engines differ slightly in feature set, and the licensing options. Both can be downloaded cheaply or for free, with some missing features in the free version you most probably will not notice.
If we are talking about 2D Engines:
Have a look at Game Maker. AFAIK it has been created especially for RPG Style games, that is what it is used for the most.
The language will to some extent be dictated by the engine you pick. Most will give you multiple options, best is to go with the one for the engine of your choice that has more examples.
2. Is it possible to extract game code as a reference:
Generally no. Most code will be in a compiled binary format, thus not human readable. There are programs like decompilers, but they are the reason why most commercial code nowadays is "obfuscated". The original Programmer will have taken some measures that the code stays unreadable even if you decompile it.
Now, even if it WOULD be possible, this is mostly illegal AFAIK.
What you can do though is to have a look at open source game projects (here the source is open for everyone), or to use "template projects" that come with some engines. Both will let you see the code of a working game.
Just be advised that most bigger games will have many tousand lines of code, so I don't know how long it will take you to read the full code, or to understand it. Most probably you as a beginner would understand not much of it.
What you should do:
Start small. Really, forget your Action RPG for now. Forget about the Online part for even longer.
Either download an Engine and start with small projects, using placeholder and stock art you got for free from the internet. Get things moving, learn to use the editor, learn to programm behaviour scripts and engine extensions. When you get good at creating games with it, and have created some small games already, think about your planned art style, either learn how to create the art, or look for an artist.
Or learn programming the bottom up way. Start writing small games from scratch without the help of an engine. It will take you longer, but you will learn more.