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shwayCAT

Indie Game Dev - Where Do I Start?

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I know, you guys probably get this question a lot. But here goes anyway. I'm interested in getting into game development more than I have been thus far in my life, and making it a more pronounced hobby, and possibly in the future, making it more of a career. First off, my background. I'm a front end developer for websites and flash applications, some of which have been games. I have extensive experience in OOP usage, and I know PHP, javascript, Actionscript 1-3, ASP extensively, and I have some knowledge of C (yes, that's right, C - I'm old), Java, and way back when I was writing games in BASIC and 6502 assembly. I am 41 and started writing games when I was 12 on Apple C's and Commodores. A lot has changed... I've been looking around the web, trying to figure out what route would be the best to way to start. I have reviewed pretty much all the major SDK's and dev systems: Dark, Blitz, DX Studio, Unity, XNA, C4, Torque, Leadwerks. I am not interested in jumping into a 3D engine however, I am wanting to start with a 2D style art house game, so I am leaning more towards XNA, Torque, Dark or Blitz. I don't want to start completely from the basics level. I have some understanding of how games works and are designed. So what I'm looking for is something to get started, but also something that I can stick with that I will continue to build upon. I'm looking for any recommendations. So, would XNA 3.0 with VSC# be a good starting point for me? Should I shoot lower, or higher? And also, any really good books out there that thoroughly cover game design and theory? Thanks for all your help!

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I think that XNA 3.0 is a good starting point for you. Is a good framework to develop simple and complex games/applications in 2D or 3D. You also have all base classes defined to handle vector math and sprites (if you are internested only on 2D for now).

Due to the menaged nature of the C# language, you don't have to take care of memory menagement (this cause a lot of bugs for beginners), and you can develop a relatively complex engines.

XNA is completely developed over the component structure and it's content pipeline is customizable writing libraries, so is really extensible.

If you want more you can move to the DirectX 9.0c SDK or OpenGL SDK and Visual C++.

Good books for game/graphics programming are "Game Programming Gems" series, "Graphics Gems" series and the new "GPU Gems" series. You can find some chapters for free on internet or at nVidia or ATI websites. You also can buy these books on-line (most sites have the topic index to see for book contents).

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Don't start here... I see a lot of people waste their time (and their reputation) posting first on the help wanted forums. Your a bit older than most people here though and likely more mature. I would say if you want to get a start, begin writing your own game. Although you've been coding for a while, I don't know your experience, I would say that you should start simple. Make a few 2d games (easy simple ones) then move on up to maybe a turn based game. From there you could give 3d a try, it's a huge stretch from 2d to 3d though (even though it's just one more dimension). Look for a good 3d engine online for you to program under. Take up 2d imaging and when your ready to move into the 3d spectrum, try going to get some artwork over at Turbosquid.

If you would like any more assisstance or help you may contact me personally.

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Patrick, I am signed on this forum for just few deys, but I program PC for passion and hobby from long time.

I've used almost all programming languages (BASIC, ASM, Java, C, C++, C#) for game development over 20 years.

So, I have experience and I post only when I can effectively help a guy that want start developing their games or have some problems.

It's true that forums in general waste a lot of time for search, but sometime I have founded my solution to one problem on a forum. (more frequently on pdf publications of thesis or books).

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