Legacy and Microsoft are two things I have learnt to deem hand in hand. Having clients at work with office 2003, and IE 7 I have to cater for them too.
With regards to Mono just did a little bit of light reading and that looks like an excellent choice going forward. As cross platform isn't something ive really looked at with getting my foot in the door, my plan so far is as follows.
1. Finishing getting XNA4 installed correctly. Should have guessed it wouldn't run properly in VS2012, just finished the re build of my laptop to Win7 Ent with VS2010 Ult.
2. Follow a tutorial on the basics of 2D game development in XNA using "XNA 4.0 Game Development by Example: Beginner's Guide" which I picked up yesterday.
3. Generate a few clones of some simple games using XNA
4. Get Mono installed.
5. Generate a few clones using Mono.
6. Move onto bigger more technical projects (such as pathfinding).
7. Putting all the pieces of my technical projects together to create a basic RPG type game.
8. Do some polishing.
Thats my 8 "Major" goals for this year, if it only takes 6 months to get to 7 ill be happy. As ive never really looked at this before I dont know if thats a realistic time scale, and no doubt real life will get in the way somewhere.
Anyone with any comments on those points? That seems realistic to me, am I missing something blatantly obvious? Also all of this will be in 2D, Not planning on 3D until I have the resources to actually draw in 3D, my blendering skills are less than desired at the moment.
You are right, its just over a year old, although I have done a few edits to keep it more current. I have considered doing a version two of that article, but truth of the matter is, it's mostly still accurate and their haven't been a ton of new developments since.
The exceptions since that article was written:
Microsoft put an axe in XNA. That doesn't mean you shouldn't use it, but it certainly does suck, as C#+XNA was the perfect beginner recommendation
LUA. Lua is having a rocking good time. There are four major Lua engines and they are a great place to start ( or end! ).
The last one would probably be my biggest change in how I wrote the article, as I *STRONGLY* recommend starting with LUA and one of the game engines ( LOVE, Moai, Gideros or Corona ). Lua is an easy language to learn, and you can get up and going faster than PyGame+Python, but without the heavy performance drop people seem to express.
I'm just going to say thanks for the article, it really did get my foot moving towards the gaming door, and slightly through it.
I can't say I have any incentive to go for HTML5 yet, as there doesn't seem to be a standard, and headaches between browsers is something for now id rather avoid.
I hadn't even looked at LUA, but with that recommendation I may just go do so, isn't it more of a "Scripting" language?
At the moment I think I am going to stick with XNA and see where that takes me, next step would probably be Java with again your recommendation of Jmonkey
A fair warning of one of the pitfalls of game making: User interfaces can make or break a development choice. Look from the beginning at development systems which have good interface development at the start. Take a look at Mono, SharpDX, and Unity 3D. The #GTK has fast start development with GNOME projects to make interfaces, as an example.
Here is a list of game engines and don't overlook the C++ ones, since you are fairly experienced in programming:
Of course you must take into consideration your present and future art abilities. You may wish to be programmer heavy. Finding artists is an option, but good ones will want to see solid progress on your part and something to show for it in a game concept.
Ive looked at Unity in the past, and I think it is a bit above what I am aiming for at the moment, 3D is something I haven't really looked into. SharpDX looks interesting though,
Thanks for those, I had taken a look at the list of engines, I didn't realise there were so many to choose from, do you have any recommendations, personal preferences?
Java is widely supported for game development, and it has plenty of development tools. It has, however, always been seen as the 'slow' language not suited for game development. Having developed games in Java on embedded systems (512K RAM or less), I can say with 99% confidence that it's not true. The people who say it's slow are usually low-level freaks who are concerned with 1 ns difference in their game loop, or people who don't know how to use Java and abuse the GC.
Thanks for reading this and any help would be much appreciated.
You are welcome and welcome to game dev
I had briefly touched on looking at Java, as someone I know recommended JMonkeyEngine.
Thank you for the warm welcome, its good to be here
Maybe have a look through 'Beginning C++ Through Game Programming' by Michael Dawson. I know you have a fare amout of experiance in programming but the book take you through some simple games to get you started
Thanks for the book suggestion, there seems to be a lot of them from a quick browse on the web. Ill probably end up picking up a copy of this along with some general C++ books for some "light reading".