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Would like some advice for 2D Strategy

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Hi there,

 

the time has come for my childhood dream to become true. At least I hope so, since at the moment it looks like this dream is being punched repeatedly by my lack of...well almost anything. I am not a programmer, although I know the basics of programming and also have rudimentary knowledge of javascript, CSS and HTML. I wanted to make some really simple games, but I failed miserably. So I thought maybe you could help me with my approach.

 

What do I want to do?

Make simple 2D strategic games like risk or defcon for windows devices. Always a map, always clickable thingys, windows popping up, number crunching and so on.

 

What can I do?

fundamentals of programming, some javascript, CSS & HTML, making fancy diagrams, learn something new, failing & retrying

 

What have I already tried?

I tried coding with only javascript, but soon learned, that without frameworks, it is rather complicated. But frameworks tend to make it even worse! Tried Cocos2D and some other frameworks and I have to admit, that I'm just way too retarded to use them with all this python compiler here, parser for something there along with unfinished manuals and so on.

I also looked into the game engines that are mostly recommended here, but unfortunately they always seem to focus on 3D or 2D platforming action.

 

So...now?

I'm just confused. There are so many possibilites. I hope you could give me a hint which direction has some potential. I really like to make boring 2D strategic games without any action, explosions and stuff like that and I never found something suitable. Hope you guys can help me out.

 

Thank you.

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You have a bunch of avenues you could take here. 

 

As far as engines go. They may seem to be focused on 2D platforming action, but as a general rule, they're typically rather versatile, and it just takes some tweaking to adapt that 2D sidescroller to a top-down strategy game. I haven't used many myself past tinkering, but I'm fairly certain the major ones (unity, gamemaker, etc) all support the tools to make strategy game. So, don't be dissuaded because you see platforming examples of the game engine. But, that said, and especially for a strategy game, even with an engine, you're going to want to incorporate your programming skills for the game mechanics and this may mean dedicating some time to learn/relearn whichever language you'll be using (your original post mentions your programming knowledge is on the light side of things).

 

On that note. I'd recommend beefing up your programming skills a little. While it's certainly possible in javascript, especially if you're eschewing frameworks, it may not be your best route (though it could be, depending on a lot of things). If you're wanting to avoid using a game engine you may want to look into learning c#, java, python, or even c++, and then incorporating a library like SDL or SFML (they're both rather simple libraries to incorporate, so don't be dismayed by adding yet another framework). I've had a lot similar frustrations with game engines and ultimately found it easier to just not use them.

 

But, all in all, if you're wanting to make a game by yourself, while it's possible without much programming knowledge, I think as a general rule you're going to have an easier time of things, and ultimately your game is going to be better, if you improve your programming skills. If you're willing to work with others, there's always the path of artwork/level design/etc though. Programming is certainly not the only thing to do in game-making. But, when doing things yourself, it's definitely handy.

 

But, all that said, these are just two possible routes you could take, and my experience is limited, so take this only as friendly advice smile.png 

 

Also, the obligatory faq: http://www.gamedev.net/page/reference/faq.php/_/for-beginners-r1 It really is packed with helpful references and resources :)

Edited by Misantes

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Thanks for the advice. I guess you are probably right, that I should improve my programming skills before anything else. Too bad there's no framework or game engine dedicated to 2D strategy games with dry presentation :)

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Well, there could be one dedicated purely to strategy games, just not one I'm aware of. Also, just to be clear, I'm not suggesting that delving deeper into programming is the only way to go about this and my apologies if it came across that way. Honestly, you could probably achieve what you're aiming for with Game Make Studio or Unity. Both engines certainly have been used to make strategy games. I meant only to imply that it's rarely a bad idea to improve your programming skills :)

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I believe the new Unity(beta) has a new way to handle ui elements that should really come handy for games like yours.
Also, Unity is visually simple to use and a good way to get started.
I agree it works better for physics based games but it should still help.
Plus it handles javascript and extend its functionalities tremendously with its own api.

Good luck!

Edited by Orymus3

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Okay, then I will take a closer look at Unity and hopefully skip learning a new programming language :)

Thanks for the help.

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