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Hello, and... Guidance?

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If your serious about going into game development you should probably learn a well known programming language, I would suggest you learn C# or C++. Ultimately C++ seems to be the primary language in which people prefer to write games. That being said many of the tool development for game engines and such may be made in C# or something else.

Depending on how deep you want to go you could also learn an API such as OpenGL or DirectX. An API is basically what you have described as a library. It is a set of functions someone else has made that simplifies things for the programmer by making easy to use functions that perform more complex things like matrix operations. Another thing you could consider learning is a shader language such as HLSL, GLSL, etc. But this shouldn't take priority until you've mastered an API.

Ultimately you do not have to know DirectX or OpenGL to program games. Ideally you would want to know these if you intend to do it professionally in which case id seriously recommend learning it. You may find yourself more suited to using a game engine, such as Unity, Torque, or even XNA. Another important aspect is to learn as much math as you possibly can, most notably calculus and linear algebra.

I also will offer this link as advice as it seems to be re-iterated all over Gamedev: http://www.sloperama.com/advice.html

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Hi, and welcome to GameDev.Net! smile.png

To me, it sounds like you're not really interested in learning to program -- it's just that you want to make games, and programming is how that is usually done! In your situation I would normally recommend sticking with software packages like Game Maker, Construct 2, FPS Creator, Realm Crafter, etc. As you should know from your earlier experience with Game Maker, these packages allow you to produce games -- and potentially pretty impressive ones if you choose the right package and take the time to learn how to use it well -- with minimal programming knowledge by providing your own assets, working with point-and-click editors, and perhaps learning some simple scripting. If you just want to make games, don't feel you have to learn programming; you can make some absolutely fantastic games without having to do so.

Tools such as Unity3d are very powerful and have great documentation and helpful communities to get you going, and you'll find you start to pick up some programming to implement more advanced features as you go along.

Another option you could potentially explore rather than programming from scratch is to make mods for existing games. This does sometimes involve some programming, but gives you the foundation of an already-working game to build from so that you can get right into your cool ideas for an awesome new map or some interesting new weapon. If this interests you just do some searching on how to mod any commercial game you already own.

All that being said, maybe you do want to learn how to program! If so, I'd recommend learning C# and XNA -- just grab a good book on C# and start from the beginning!

As for how I learned:

I started playing with QBasic when I was very young, just working with the help files and figuring things out by trial-and-error. I later moved through various versions of Visual Basic, and learned various other languages throughout high-school, tafe and university.

Hope some of that is helpful! smile.png

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