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Russell C Boatright

Suggestions for my first 2d Game

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My goal is to create a simple, playable, and fun 2d game. I'm a fan of the older 2d isometric perspective games like Baldur's Gate, Jagged Alliance II, Diablo II, etc. I'm hoping to create a game much like these in appearance and game play but not to their depth as I am only one person. In time, it is my intent that the game will grow as I become more skilled.

The problem is I'm a complete beginner with coding and game development in general so I need some help and suggestions finding the tools I'll need to make such a game and some suggestions on what programming language/languages to use keeping in mind that this game will be 2d and I want to be able to expand it in the future.


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How about a Scorched Earth clone? That was my first game ever (I mean the clone...).
It has only bitmap art, and I made a small bitmap editor to it. Later, you can expand it by using sprites (better 2D images than bitmaps (monochrome stuff))
And it's lots of fun (I played with a lot with friends)

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As a complete beginner I suggest to try to create something very simple.

Maybe C# + XNA or just C# and play around with windows forms. (Create a simple RPG with buttons and labels or something like that). Feel what programming means, there is so much to learn and you will have to create and discard many projects for that.

Do not aim too high (I have done that too many times... ;)), learn the basics with try and error. Dont try to create your "masterpiece" as your first game ever.

best of luck!

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Why C# instead of C++?

Yeah I'm not trying to make a masterpiece for my first game, just something to learn from and then move on from there.

Oh, any good tutorial sites/books you would suggest for C#?

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C# is less complicated... ish...

Not to mention win forms is pretty easy with VS and XNA is like a prebuilt game without any content or logic.

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Thanks for the links. I'm checking them out now.

I've also just started checking into XNA. The only question I have is if I made a game for Windows and then wanted to sell it sometime in the future what kind of licensing problems would I run into being that XNA is owned by Microsoft. I know that if you release an indy game for the xbox360 developed with XNA you have to sign up for a premium membership and you make %70 of the profits from your game. Not a bad deal if you could actually make a popular game. I'm not sure how much you would actually be making per sale as customers would by it with "points" on Xbox Live and I don't know what these "points" are worth. Bottom-line is that it's nice to have something like XNA that makes game development much easier but in the end what kind of profit could you expect?

My main inspiration for making an indy 2d game believe it or not is Runescape. I've played the actual game like once and didn't actually enjoy it myself. What does inspire me is the success of the game and the company/developer behind it. It started out free to play and afaik is still free to play but with the addition of a premium option for something like $5/month. The guy who started Runescape made a lot of money off of it, and if he can I figure so can I. But don't get me wrong I'm still very passionate about gaming and my eventual goal is to make something as playable and accessible as Runescape but in a much different setting/style.

But from everything I read about starting out in game development is that it takes time. You start small and grow with experience. So I guess I'll learn first to make Tetris (sigh) and move on from there :)

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