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Starting a New Project

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Hello everyone! I'm new here, been browsing for a couple of hours through the different areas of the forum. So I have a very specific project in mind but I am approaching this without knowing a programming language first.


This is because I don't know which language would be best. I'm going to try and explain the art style, UI, and overall mechanics to help you help me.


The art style and functionality is going to be in the range of an HD SimTower. It will have side scrolling (and a character the player controls) that walks about talking to other people in the game. This will be very much like Terraria in terms of the mobility. I feel this is 2D but I don't know enough to say that definitively. There won't be multiple views but there may be a zooming feature.


The UI will be a mixture of interactivity in the 'world' the player walks around in, and buttons along the edges of the screen with many sub-menus (think Europa Universalis, Hearts of Iron, or Crusader Kings most recent editions). There will also be dialogue interfaces along the lines of Civilization.


Now the mechanics: turn based, each character in the game provides a numerical value supporting, lets say, their religion of choice and that impacts other characters. The player chooses to give them his support (in a numerical value or through a scripted decision- there will be a lot of scripted decisions). Now each turn the world will be re-created with adjustments made from the previous turn, including the triggering of new artwork and characters as their conditions are unlocked. Now I feel most of this could be represented in easily modded text files; but if this impacts the requirements of the engine I'd like to know.


So my question is, knowing this, what else is needed to be known of the idea of the game (which is fleshed out in a sixty page document my team has been working on) to make a judgment on which language is best for this game? We are designing our own engine from scratch; to enable us to have greater versatility in creating sequels or different adaptations in development. Our plan is to release on PC (Windows) but potentially also Windows Phone (which is a nightmare of form factoring).


But I'm at a loss to figure out the path forward; which language is best for our engine?

Also I hope this isn't too detailed or forward a question, and I hope I'm posting in the right location. Apologies if this is done in error.




The guy you'll be seeing a lot of around here.

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We are designing our own engine from scratch;


Hmm...this is the part that I'm not so sure about.

Does anyone on the team have code experience?

If not, you should stay away from this, it isn't necessary

for the type of game you are creating and will only make things more complex.

Usually one embarks on creating an engine because they have some tight demands for the physics or graphics of an existing engine.

But that wouldn't be the case for (even a 3D version of) a sim-tower like game


You may want to look at using C#, as it is the language of choice for the Unity engine.

Unity is also cross platform, so porting to windows phone is possible.

Also take a look at Visual Studio Express.


Keep in mind, learning a computer language is no small task.

You won't be able to jump right into your project,

which is why I recommend using Unity, as it had a lot of code free tools, which can get you started easier and faster.


Now I feel most of this could be represented in easily modded text files


Yep, you can do that with C# and just about any other language out there.

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Building an engine from scratch with little to no experience is like wanting to build the Empire State Building with no experience. You have a lot of disciplines you have to learn and be comfortable with before tackling even a simple 2D game engine. I would recommend making several simple games before even thinking about making an engine because the games will let you see what certain games require to ease the confusion of making an engine. 

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