After posting a pondering on facebook with regards to the gameplay of an old Half-life Multiplayer and if it would work in 2D I had a short conversation with the friend I worked on that game with which has led to me agreeing to work on Secret Project #28 with him.
This is a good thing; despite programming all week at work I do like programming in general (handy, because it's one of the few things I'm truely good at and about the only one I can get paid for *chuckles*) and I'd like to get some stuff done in my 'off' time in order to work towards escaping the game industry; mostly because I'm not cut out for this work lark but I digress.
The choice however comes down to that of what technology to use and this is where I'm torn; where there are indeed some areas of game development I don't want to stick my head into due to lack of experiance (such as a networking, physics and to an extent sound) there is something of a draw about building the rest + the graphics section on my own instead of using a pre-made 'engine'.
At the same time, while I would of course apply YAGNI to the development process, I'm torn by the fact that I will end up working on 'fluff' before content just to get the content going and getting the content going would seem to be an important part of the process.
At which point you start looking at engines and well... yeah. The main problem here is that I want to use C# for this, I see enough C++ during the week, but there seems to be a lack of C# engines knocking around at which point my brain cycles back around to 'well, just write a damned engine then' and around we go once more.
What I'd LIKE to do is take a look at Unity, while not what I would call 'cheap' as such it does handle everything the game would need, give automagic crossplatformness at which point the £800-£1K price tag for the pro could be very much worth it, plus all the editing is in C#. This does mean sitting about the doing nowt until they release the new version which allows you to use it with Windows however, which I suspect will be at some point during GDC09, or over a week from now.
Of course, if anyone has any suggestions for an engine which supports 3D (DX prefered), written in C# and either has physics, networking and sound or allows other stuff to be plugged it then that would be nice to hear about.
Maybe I'll just do it from the ground up anyway, it's something todo after all... I'll sleep on it.