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Beginner in need of help

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Hey! I'm new here and I'd like to learn to develop games. I realize it takes a lot of work and am willing to learn programming (I've played around with Basic a bit, but nothing more than that) and whatever software is necessary. So, eventually I'd like to build a game, probably a 3D shooter with an aircraft on a small (fictional) planet... I've got a plot in mind, but I won't go into that. Nothing with a long story or anything, I'd like to keep my first project simple, as it'll be mostly for learning purposes. So! My question... basically, what should I get/learn to use? Programming language? I'm thinking C++ or C#, but I'm not sure. As I said, I'm willing to learn. Graphics engine? I have no idea what I'm gonna use, but I'd prefer if it were either free or very inexpensive. Physics engine? I'm thinking NVIDIA PhysX looks pretty good, but I'm open to anything, but I'd prefer if it were free. That's it! As far as graphics are concerned, I'll be using Blender 3D and Photoshop CS4 mostly. What should I use to build maps anyway? I'm all covered as far as sound is concerned... I've got somebody to do it for free for me. :) I realize this is a big undertaking that will probably take a couple years at least to finish, but I'm happy to learn and would love to hear some suggestions for those who know what they're talking about... I'm good with computers, but I haven't had much experience with this aspect of them. So if you could recommend some software that'd be great. Thanks a lot!

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The only question you need to answer right now is which language to learn. All the others don't matter until you have some experience writing programs in that language. There are certainly many free or low-cost third-party libraries and tools out there, so you certainly don't need to worry about that -- cross that bridge when it's time.

As for a first language, I would generally recommend Python or C#. C++ is generally less favorable as a first language. The former two will have you up and running more quickly and aren't as burdened by legacy, idiosyncrasy, and a cultural bent that strongly favors the experienced programmer over the neophyte (which is what C++ has).

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I am personally going to recommend Game Maker since you do not have any programming experience. It will let you get something up and running pretty quickly and should serve as a good introduction to game concepts. Lots of people have made shooter type games in Game Maker and their is a large community of developers who could help you. If you can get a 2D shooter up and running it will be easier for you to understand how to make a 3D shooter. I think after you are up and running in Game Maker you should check out C# and XNA and start trying out some 3D stuff. Moving to 3D can be difficult if you do not already know the math involved. If you are familiar with matrices and vectors then it will not be a difficult transition.

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OK, sounds good... I think I'll learn C# as it's more similar to C++ than Python. Could someone recommend some good resources for learning? (books, videos, etc)

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