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several lame newbie questions: 1. which language has the most help/support avalible for tile-based games? 2. where should i go to get started? all this information is more than a little overwhelming, and all the examples/tutorials i have seen expect you to know at least something about graphics or tile based games, i know next to nothing about graphics... thanks

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Choose whatever language you feel like. The important thing is that you''ll be interpreting a format for your map files. You can do this in any language you see fit. For example, you could Google for "mappy" (I don''t know off-hand the location), which is a map editor. Use that to create your maps and then read in the data using your language''s file I/O functions (they all have them).

There are lots of tutorials written in C++ and quite a few in Delphi. I don''t know about the case for other languages, however. If you have a preferred language then try Googling for pre-built engines and source code, or go to Sourceforge.net. They''ll bound to have at least one tile engine for your chosen language.

As for getting started, you can begin here at Gamedev! Check out the resources/articles section (find the link at the top of the page). There''s a big section talking about how to render the maps, etc. If you get confused you can also ask here. Also, a few people have books about iso and tile games (for example, TANSTAAFL, altough I''m only 99% certain of that).

If you ever get stuck then try asking in this forum. You can also browse through the archives of this forum, where you''ll undoubtedly find a huge bundle of questions about most aspects.

As for graphics formats, there are a few choices. You can use a 2D API such as SDL or the Delphi version (I think Cone3D, hosted at this site, has recently done a tutorial about tile games with SDL). You can also use DirectDraw (which is relatively easy to use once you get past the intimidating initialization) (DX SDK is over at Micrsoft, but it''s a farking huge download!). Note, though, that DDraw won''t be updated with new DXs. You could also consider Allegro or using a 3D API to set up 2D games (which might prove a bit of a pain if you''ve not used any graphics stuff before).

All graphics libraries come with lots of examples of how to use them, so try some of the above and see whether you like their style. Also, check out the "Hands-on Game Development Forum" here. It talks about setting up DirectDraw et al, so it''ll help you get started (even if you only read the sections about DDraw and pixel manipulation).

Finally, the best recommendation of all: read this series all the way through. It goes over all the relevant aspects.

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