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2d games, need help choosing API/Engine

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A couple of friends and I are putting together a development project for fun.

We have several little game ideas of ascending difficulty to warm up and get comfortable with the tools. I've been looking around trying to figure out what engines, libraries and languages would work best.

Our main interests are portability and price (we're short on budget). We like to work on Linux so that's a plus.

Given that we, for now, are interested in 2D games only, with reasonable physics simulation, I've thought of coding in C++ with OpenGL and Box2D to handle the graphics and physics interaction. However, one of my friends has argued this might be biting more than we can chew since those solutions are very "Professional".

So what do you suggest for the stage we're at? Is there any engine out there that covers our needs? Or should we stick to what I proposed?

Thanks. Edited by Falcord

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[quote name='Falcord' timestamp='1342600291' post='4960386']
Given that we, for now, are interested in 2D games only, with reasonable physics simulation, I've thought of coding in C++ with OpenGL and Box2D to handle the graphics and physics interaction.
One of the most fun will come from crossplattform :-)

Take a look into [url="http://www.sfml-dev.org/"]sfml[/url], a lib which already utilize many other projects including opengl and some simple 2d graphics api. Using a physics simulation is always tricky, even if it easy to tumble some boxes over, it is very hard to control actually a player avatar (ok, depends on lib).

If you want to start really small, start with sfml and use it 2d API, no phyiscs or opengl at first.

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