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Tibel

Great idea for a game, but not a programmer.

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I'm new here, even so I'm guessing the topic title is a cliche'. So, apologies. I know some Python, some VB, but I'm not a programmer. I majored in philosophy and did one IT elective and one Maths elective. Whenever I buy a game I usually experiment with the editor (if it has one). My favourite editors are the "StarCraft" and "WarCraft 3" editors. I like making roguelikes (known as "Open RPG's" on B.Net). Anyway, I have (what I think) is a pretty good idea for an RPG but I'm not sure where to begin. Are there any good engines out there that are free to use? Preferably something not too counter-intuitive (though I guess that's fairly subjective). My game would be a roguelike, so top down, real-time is fine, but it could also work in full 3d. As long as it's not turn based. I'm not sure if I'll get flamed for my ignorance, hopefully not. Any advice is good advice, even if it's "Oh, you should probably just give up, only programmers make games".

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Things like Virtools or Game maker might help you :)

And knowing a programing language is not bad, even if you are just designer. You can take a look at XNA. There are video tutorials it's very well done.

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Use gamemaker, plenty of games have been done with that software and it has a pretty big community willing to help new people and I think it's pretty capable of doing what you describe. There's also rpg maker.

The other road would be to learn a proper programming language but have in mind that you'll spend months learning programming techniques before you see your first game completed.

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If you're used to working with RTS engines, you should pick up one of the new EA ones (Red Alert 3). They have a pretty good editor and it's very moddable: and 3D and it has a built in unit leveling system (newer version of the same engine that was used for the Lord of the Rings games with the leveling heroes). [Disclaimer: I'm biased b/c I worked on that engine. Any newer RTS engine should provide similar options. EA is just the current most recent. You could always wait till Starcraft 2 comes out; their engine will no doubt be elite]

-me

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Wow! Great advice so far.

As far as learning a programming language goes, any advice on which? I switched from VB to Python because a friend of mine told me it's the best beginners language if you're looking to make games. The trouble with Python is it's less intuitive than VB5 where I can just make my interface by creating buttons. In Python it's all code and... eugh.

I think I'm looking for "Object Oriented" languages... I hope I used that term right.

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If you're comfortable with VB syntax, you can build your game in VB.NET with Visual Basic 2008 Express Edition (which is a free download). If you want to make a Windows Form, then one of the .NET languages is going to be a whole lot easier than Python.

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There's also flash, if I were starting all over again I'd definitely pick flash as my first development environment. There are tons of resources on the net about flash game programming and a lot of great books you can buy if you want to go further.

You can learn AS3 (the latest iteration of the language you use with flash) from the web there are thousand of resources for beginners. The advantage of flash is that the executable file will run anywhere (windows,linux,mac whatever) and that the language is pretty self contained, you can virtually pick a piece ofcode from the net paste it on the environment, compile it and run it in less than 10 seconds without worrying about libraries, dlls, etc, so you'll see results pretty fast. There are of course extra libraries for flash like physics engines or 3d engines but they are pretty easy to set up.

If you don't want to buy flash you can still code flash programs using the flex sdk but it's a bit complicated to set up for a beginner.

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Check out IndieZen.org we have a growing community of developers, artists, writers and designers. We also have our own game engine that is extensible to fit the needs of most any design. We are focused on community mentoring and collaboration, as Hatboy says "you can't do it all by yourself" so we are here, looking for people like you. Come see, get involved, make things happen. Nothing worth doing comes easy, but the rewards of persistence and diligence are immeasurable. http://www.indiezen.org/ see the news letter archives at http://thescoundrels.net/indiezen-weekly
I hope to see you there.

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Python is an object orientated programming language (well, it can be if used right). What you're looking for are called RAD (Rapid Application Development) tools. The drag and drop form designers you are referring to are available for a number of languages, including Python. However, if you have already used Visual Basic in the past, I see no reason for you to switch. VisualBasic.net 2008 is a free download from Microsoft, so give that a whirl.

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