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Starting from the ground up.

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I wanted to start crafting a 16bit platformer, hoping it'd be as good as any place to start (that and the nostalgic value). That being said, I have no idea what I'm doing. I was wondering if any good and decently priced game engines would help me on this. If I have to learn code and I should, what code would be good to pick up for this.

Also, I was hoping if anyone knew any good..[list]
[*]Sprite Creation Programs
[*]A simple 8bit music program
[*]A wing and a prayer
It's a lot to ask, I know. While I could just google this, I wanted your guys input. Thank you for anything and yes I know, this gonna suck.

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Heya! Making a game is a long and requiring process. If you don't know about programming, you should first learn the basics before trying to do anything serious. The language doesn't really matter (although this is the most debated topic of all time!), but usually people tend to learn either Java, C, C# or Python as their first language. Also, be warned, learning to write code is also time-consuming, a couple of months at least. After you've acquired decent skills in programming, you can start choosing the engine (or API) for your project. Unity3D is quite popular development environment, although it costs if you want to develop anything even remotely nice-looking. For "retro"-sprite-based games, XNA is one of the easiest APIs. It uses C# as the language, which is quite easy to learn. The downside (if you count it as one) is that you can only use XNA to develop for the Microsoft platforms (those being Windows, Windows Phone 7 and Xbox 360).

For sprite creation, you can use just about any program you want. For starters, you can do pixel art with Paint or Gimp. If you fancy 3D modeling, you can produce 2D sprites by making models in 3D, animating them and rendering them as 2D images. Also, ASEPRITE is a simple, free program which helps you to construct sprite sheets and test your animations beforehand.

8-bit music program: I recommend either Sunvox or Psycle. Both offer you nice features, and I must say that Sunvox in particular suits chiptune music making perfectly.

A wing and a prayer: Learn, learn some more and then learn even more stuff. Try everything you want, start with small and build your knowledge and skills up. It takes a lot of time and patience, but it's really rewarding at the end. And the whole Internet is there for you, even though it may be quite hostile sometimes. :D

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