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Question about languages.

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Firstly, I would like to say hello. I have lurked on this site for a rather long time. Not untill recently have I had the urge to post. I have a few qestions, but first, I will give you some of my background. For about 5 years, I was an avid Linux user. While playing with linux, I started to code in perl. From there, I went onto C but never quite got it. I can code some very minor programs, but not at a epic level, or anything. As time passed, I realized that programming is an art in itself. While I can draw half way decently, I cannot code all that well. So now I have a few questions. I have had a few ideas (like everyone else) for game design. This includes a RTS and a RPG. I would really like to flush out my ideas to see how they work. I have some math planned out on paper for balancing and such. But I know, as most of you do, every game design you think of is wonderful, in theory. But once you get it going, it may just be horrible in the end. I am well aware of this. So my question is, I really want to get my design down on paper, and then from there, possibly make a small game. My main focus will be on design, control, and playability. Graphics are not an issue for me. So the question I have is: What would be a good language/engine/tool I can use to make a rather simple graphic engine (or use one) that isn't going to take me 5 years to master? As I have said I use to code in perl and was pretty good with it. I still dabble with it. I know this post is rather long, so I will make a list: 1) Use to code in perl, tried C and failed (horribly). 2) Want to focus on design, game play, and playability (is that a word?) 3) What languages/toolsets can I use that will be easy to pick up from a language like perl? Thank you.

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Welcome to the forums. [wink]

Depending on the design you have in mind, you might be able to use an authorware package such as Game Maker or Adventure Game Studio. There are plenty of similar packages out there with a wide range of different capabilities, so it may be worth your while doing a bit of a search to see if there's anything suitable.

You could also consider modding existing games. Many modern games provide the ability for users to make extensive changes, almost to the point of having an entirely different game. If a game can be modded it's quite likely that there's an online community somewhere that can help you out with tools and tutorials, and since I don't know the specifics or your ideas or what games you already own I'll again leave it up to you to do some searching for any games you might want to try this for.


As for programming languages, you could perhaps try learning Python with the freely available How To Think Like A Computer Scientist and Dive Into Python, and use the PyGame library.

A couple of other options you could look into include Kid's Programming Language and Basic4GL.

Hope something there helps. [smile]

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I second Python. It is very much like Perl in some ways, but with cleaner syntax. PyGame is great for 2D games. There are also a few 3D engines with Pyhton bindings if you are looking to go the 3D route.

Also I should mention that Perl has bindings to the SDL library. So you could code a simple game in Perl (though I would really reccommend Python).

Good Luck

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Not sure if it's the kind of lines you want to go along but you could also try looking at games similar to what you're thinking of doing and seeing if they have game editors in with them. For instance, I've been wanting to create an RPG but just do not have the spare time to start learning everything I'll need to know. Instead I've picked up a copy (and don't mean that as in illegal copy) of Neverwinter Nights and plan to start using the game editor in that.
While I'll be limited to using whatever functions and game elements etc that the game makers have provided I'm more interested in the story/setting side of it at the moment and using an editor cuts out all the extra groundwork that would otherwise be needed, but for those extra bits there's scripting functionality in the editor to create trigger events etc so there should still be some extra level of control. Then time and skills permitting if it takes my fancy I'll move on to actual creation of a game engine.

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Thanks so much. I think I am going to look into Python. I looked at PyGame before but never followed up on it. Thanks for the info. Tonight I am going to start messing with it (blasted work!). I would love to get on a team to help out, but I know that designers are not really needed for small game projects. So, I will stick with my game to get the experience, and hope one day I find a game that may need my skills.

Also, about modding a previous game, I may also look into that. My problem with that is actually getting down low and dirty with the back design with the game. My RTS idea is going to have alot of math involved due to commanders and setting up platoons/companies with a exp system and ranks. But I will look into it.


Thanks again!

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