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Advice for a newbie

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Hey there. First off I do have some background in game development, although it might be rather dated. I got my degree in game design from Full Sail about 10 yrs ago, and the base language we learned was Visual C++. I've decided to try developing games in my spare time with my friends who have coding experience, but I'm not sure what the best format would be.
I know flash is really popular right now, and a friend of mine who's currently a senior game designer recommended the XBLA SDK, but from what I've read they have to approve your idea for that first, which is crap.
Any other ideas (preferably free because I'm poor)? I don't mind learning curves for new languages and such, but nothing too complicated because I don't want to spend all my time getting used to the program/language just to have it become obsolete by the time I get started on the game.

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What are your goals?

Do you want to develop flash games?
Do you want to make XBLA games?
PC Games?
What do your developer friends want to do?

You have to figure these things out for yourself before anyone can help you find the path to take to get there.

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ultimately my own personal goal is to just make games for the fun of it. money and success with them are a distant second. I'm not looking to make a career out of it because I can't move around the country like most designers have to do.
It would be nice to submit a game to XBA eventually, but I'm not comfortable enough yet to jump right into that. Like I said before, I'm about 10 years removed from all this stuff, so I'll have to relearn a lot of it.

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so does anyone have any advice as to what platform is the most user-friendly for casual game creation?
i do want something that has potential for more ambitious projects, but starting off i don't want anything too complicated.

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C# with XNA is pretty easy to get into. It's basically a platform for indie games on Xbox Live (not sure if you've see the indie game section on Xbox Live), though you can use it for PC games too just as easily. No approval necessary unless you want to put the game up for sale on Xbox Live, and it's a community decision of some kind with pretty low standards.

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Quote:
Original post by OSU_Fanatic
C# with XNA is pretty easy to get into. It's basically a platform for indie games on Xbox Live (not sure if you've see the indie game section on Xbox Live), though you can use it for PC games too just as easily. No approval necessary unless you want to put the game up for sale on Xbox Live, and it's a community decision of some kind with pretty low standards.


Perfect. I'd heard rumors about C# when I was learning C++, but never looked into it. How do you get the XNA stuff without approval? Is there a place to download it?

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