I first tried C+ but got Borland Compiler and somehow the book didn't seem to go with the complier. It was confusing. And I thought I should do something easier and I wasn't really planning on doing animation so the easier the language the better.
Keep in mind my goal wasn't to do something professional. I just wanted to make my game. So, when I was reading the books in Borders I saw that Visual Basic 6 could make games and was easy to use. I kind of got the impression you shouldn't try to make complex/speed intensive games with it but I thought what I was looking to do didn't require fast computing.
But in reality I really just didn't know what was best but I had to start somewhere. If I had to do it over again (and if I make another game) I would probably go with Python or Game Maker.
So, I started reading my visual basic dummies book and a few books on VB and went to a few forums on programming and tried to muddle my way through. Yes, I was learning to program to make one program and one program only. My dream game. I didn't do anything simpler or any other type of program. Obviously there were going to be many road blocks along the way. But I was prepared for this as I wasn't really trying to make a game for money. Just to make my idea.
The first road block came with the storing of character info. But I got some help and stored it all in a User Defined Type. I didn't realize it at the time but this was the perfect choice...even though it was my first complex issue (considering I knew very little at the time).
It kind of goes to show how much luck can play a role in a creative process. And its not the first time I realized this (but I'll go into this later). The reason it was lucky because UDT's are great for saving/loading and sending to/from a server. And are great for simple organization.
One of the next things I remember is just coming up with a main battlefield. My first idea was to simply use little shapes that could be made with VB. I used a plain background and just put a bunch of rectangles together and was actually proud enough of what I came up with to bring my sister in to have a look at it. She was polite of course. Here is a kind of sample of what I mean.
Later I decided to use clip art and came up with several versions of a new battlefield doing this. I used clip art for everything and later realized it was a good way to have "place holder" art. Although at the time I didn't know what the term "place holder" was.
Here are a couple samples of early battlefields with clip art used.
And of course this eventually came to be what you see at the very top of this web page/journal. This required a professional artist (but I'm getting ahead of myself).
More to follow...including how the game evolved, professional art, getting help, etc.