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Posted

Hey everyone. I'm a web developer with experience in PHP, MySQL, Ruby, JavaScript to name a few and have reached a point in time where I have plenty of free time to branch out into things I *really* want to do - specifically game development. I have a fantastic artist wife that can handle any artistic side of the project, so that leaves me to handle the development side of things. Now, I'm not going crazy saying that I want to be a one man team making AAA games... however, I do want to put some basic indie titles together (think Cave Story, Fez, Braid) eventually with a few friends (I know a few programmers that would probably jump on the opportunity - though their skills are spread out over a wide spectrum of languages/fields).

So yeah, I'm thinking 2d, maybe some isometric 2.5d stuff. Side scrolling, top down, NES style games to start.

[i]What language should I look into learning? I've heard conflicting opinions on each option. [/i]

[b]C#[/b] - Most will tell me to jump straight into C# and work with XNA, but that leaves mutli-platform out of the question. I'm not too concerned about multi-platform, but I think it's a good option to leave open.

[b]Java[/b] - So, that would lead me towards Java. I'm not a fan of Java, as a user. VM always seemed bulky and slow, with tons of vulnerabilities.

[b]C++[/b] - C++ might be a little bit too much of an undertaking, but I can see the benefit of learning proper memory management out of the gate. However, it might add too much time to development where, say, C# has XNA that handles a lot of the work out of the box.

[b]Python[/b] - I see Python as an alternative, but I'm not sure I want to venture too far off the beaten path. Python is a very elegant language that I could pick up rather quickly, but the games I have seen developed in Python leave me wondering how capable it -really- is.

Would love to see some opinions here. Hopefully I didn't come off as too optimistic. :)

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Posted

Not Java
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Posted

[quote name='remixedcat' timestamp='1349515814' post='595229427']
Not Java
[/quote]
+?

Either C++ (best but hardest; You have to know C if you are going to make a game) or C#

Python is too weak to make a decent game.
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Posted

I had pretty much no intention of using Java from the get-go, but I always get such polarizing opinions on it that I thought I should leave it there as an option, just in case someone can sway me.

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Posted

C++ is the best if you can manage it, but you can do a lot of stuff with C#.

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Posted

Are there any recommendations for C++/C# books? I've been looking into the Head First series of books.

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Posted

Another vote for C++. There are a lot of great libraries out there for game development. If you have the time to learn it, it will definitely be worth it in the long run.

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Posted

Assembly! Nah I'm kidding, C++. I still need to get round to learning it.

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Posted

Sure! I'll learn assembly and make some c64 games. :)

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Posted

Assembly isn't just for C64, somethings in C++ run very slow and recoding small parts in ASM is worthwhile.
Or you could go full geek like say the people that made http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UchVsOVxYXQ who probably coded that in pure assembly :)

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Posted

XNA is no longer maintained, though there are open source alternatives.

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Posted

I bought c++ primer plus for my ipad via kindle. Hopefully it's as good and thorough as the reviews state. Thanks fellows!

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[quote name='Brian Lewis' timestamp='1349515754' post='595229425'][i]What language should I look into learning? I've heard conflicting opinions on each option. [/i]

[b]C#[/b] - Most will tell me to jump straight into C# and work with XNA, but that leaves mutli-platform out of the question. I'm not too concerned about multi-platform, but I think it's a good option to leave open.

[b]Java[/b] - So, that would lead me towards Java. I'm not a fan of Java, as a user. VM always seemed bulky and slow, with tons of vulnerabilities.

[b]C++[/b] - C++ might be a little bit too much of an undertaking, but I can see the benefit of learning proper memory management out of the gate. However, it might add too much time to development where, say, C# has XNA that handles a lot of the work out of the box.

[b]Python[/b] - I see Python as an alternative, but I'm not sure I want to venture too far off the beaten path. Python is a very elegant language that I could pick up rather quickly, but the games I have seen developed in Python leave me wondering how capable it -really- is.
[/quote]
[b]C#:[/b] XNA has a working open-source and multi-platform implementation, [url="http://monogame.codeplex.com/"]MonoGame[/url]. It has already been used in several commercial titles. This makes XNA an excellent choice not only for the awesome language, tooling, documentation and API, but also to develop your game for all existing mobile and desktop platforms. At a much higher level, you also have Unity, which is widely used in the game industry and is also as multi-platform as engines go. If you want to learn C#, the best book I know of is a free one: [url="http://www.csharpcourse.com/"]The Yellow Book[/url]. Recently updated for C# 5 as well!

[b]Java[/b]: the VM is anything but slow: the best implementations (Hotspot) can optimize code beyond what the best optimizing C++ compilers can do. However, the Java language is kinda boring and I don't know of any good game APIs for it. If you want to target the Java platform I suggest using the [url="http://www.scala-lang.org/"]Scala[/url] language; it's quickly gaining ground as a better language for developing Java-based applications.

[b]C++[/b]: depends what you want to do. If you want to program games, bad choice. The multitude of pitfalls, slow compilation and poor error reporting will just get in your way; performance-wise, there's no way you'll beat what the .NET or Java VMs offer you unless you really know what you're doing and in specific circumstances. Most likely, your game will simply be less portable, less performant and a lot less feature-rich because you'll spend most of your time fighting the tools and language rules. Yes, C++ is widely used by the big game studios: that's because they have the specific need of extracting maximum performance out of closed and unorthodox platforms. You don't, so you don't need C++.

[b]Python:[/b] great for learning and experimentation, PyGame is an excellent game development library. This one [i]IS[/i] slow however, but if 2D NES-style games are your objective you shouldn't run into performance problems anytime soon.

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Posted

Hands down I'd recommend C#. You may be worried that there's only XNA, but that's not the case. There's a few libraries out there, such as OpenTK and MonoGame, that alleviate the problem of cross-platform compatibility. Personally, I wrote my own game library/framework based on the C-based library [url="http://liballeg.org/"]Allegro 5[/url].

The speed is nothing to scoff at, either. Obviously it's not as fast as C++ in some cases, but C# makes development [i]so much faster[/i] because of the lack of the quirks present in C++. So regardless of if you're developing a small 2D platformer or a complete 3D engine, I do think that C# is the wiser choice in this day and age. The features and richness are just unmatched by C++, in my opinion.

On a side note, I'm actively developing a video game in C#. It has some pretty nifty features that would be absolutely annoying or impossible to implement nicely in C++. Hence my choice. Most of the time spent is not in C#-land but in the GPU (although it may not look like it, it's pretty GPU demanding because of the features I use to sustain graphics quality), if you want to know from personal experience. This is why I believe that C# is suited for games development, especially if you're not designing something on the scale of Unreal 4.

It looked like this a few days ago:

[img]http://i.imgur.com/rOFky.png[/img]

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Posted

[quote name='Aethec' timestamp='1349526258' post='595229591']
XNA is no longer maintained, though there are open source alternatives.
[/quote]Has there been any announcement to that effect? Microsoft hasn't announced any new version of XNA, but they still support the platform. My optimist theory is they will announce something around the same time as Xbox Next. Worst case scenario, they never update it again and we all switch to MonoGame, which anyway is more-crossplatform, Xbox excepted.

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Posted

I'm starting with C++, but may not necessarily work in C++ on the games themselves. I've heard from a few people that it is good to start in C++, making something like C# easier to comprehend.

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Posted

If you plan on writing a game in C#, you may as well start with C#. There is little point picking up the intricacies of a language that you aren't going to use.

For instance, you are going to learn a lot about deciphering compiler error messages and things like template metaprogramming with C++. Neither of which you will need for C# development.
On the otherhand you could be learning about things that are much more important to C# such as reflection, the generics system (which is very different to templates) and other ideas.

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Posted

I like C, Java, and Python for game development, although, in truth, it can be done in almost any language. I do have a preference for fully crossplatform FOSS languages / development platforms.

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Posted

I think this really depends on the platforms you want to target, then decide on the language.

Yes, C++ is definitely the best one to learn if you want to write AAA games, or attempt to get a game on XBLA. However, take a look at some of the big names in indie games right now. They got their start in, and still make games in, AS3. I know there's a lot of hate out there for Flash but AS3 is an amazing language and kicks the crap out of anything else that is web based.

Just my two cents from inside the industry.
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Posted

I personally am writing a C#/XNA Game in my free time, it's nothing crazy yet, still doing the basic interface. I've been re-writing standard form controls and the whole idea of screens/forms to make my job easier. I am using purely the base includes (outside of say IO, .Net.Sockets) so doing everything inside the XNA Framework. But I've got it to the point where I can do things like:

Button btnLogin = new Button(1);
btnLogin.Text = "Login";
btnLogin.Click += new Control.ClickEventArgs(btnLogin_Click);
AddControl(btnLogin);

I don't have it as fancy as the stock windows forms, but I also don't want to use them. It's a fun challenge but it makes doing things way quicker in some ways.

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Posted

If you decide to go down the C++ route for games then good luck to you. Honestly you will need it.

I quite like what this guy has to say about the subject.

[url="http://www.gamefromscratch.com/post/2011/08/04/I-want-to-be-a-game-developer.aspx"]http://www.gamefromscratch.com/post/2011/08/04/I-want-to-be-a-game-developer.aspx[/url]

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[quote name='Ryano121' timestamp='1349622368' post='595231509'][url="http://www.gamefromscratch.com/post/2011/08/04/I-want-to-be-a-game-developer.aspx"]http://www.gamefroms...-developer.aspx[/url][/quote]This guy speaks the truth. Listen to him.

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Posted

I wouldn't recommend XNA, not since they got stuck in 2004 with DX9c-only support. :rolleyes:

I will however say that C# with [url="http://slimdx.org/index.php"]SlimDX[/url] or [url="http://www.sharpdx.org/"]SharpDX[/url] are very good places to start.

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The number of people blindly recommending C++ is frighting. If you're not going to be making AAA titles, and you don't require massive performance, then there is almost no reason what so ever to learn and use C++.

Performance wise, Java and C# are going to be close, and unless your pushing the hardware to its limits (which you shouldn't be with a non-3D game), then you will have no trouble with either of these languages. C# probably has the advantage here when dealing with game libraries and engines, although I don't think Java is a bad choice either.

Python is easiest to learn, and with things like pyGame, you can start making games very quickly.

Look at the languages, look at the tools available and make a choice based on that.

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Posted

[quote name='@Leo' timestamp='1349638240' post='595231941']
I wouldn't recommend XNA, not since they got stuck in 2004 with DX9c-only support. :rolleyes:

I will however say that C# with [url="http://slimdx.org/index.php"]SlimDX[/url] or [url="http://www.sharpdx.org/"]SharpDX[/url] are very good places to start.
[/quote]XNA and SharpDX have totally different goals. The purpose of XNA is to provide a complete game development framework including asset management, networking, deployment, etc., for students and hobbyists, and abstract away the hardware differences between platforms as much as possible. The purpose of SharpDX is only to provide a fast managed wrapper around DirectX: it's every bit as complex and powerful as the original API, and yet it doesn't cover half the scope of what XNA does.

So, they different tools serving different purposes. That XNA uses Direct3D 9 under the cover is not much of an issue to its target users. Plus that will all change as the open-source MonoGame implementation will use SharpDX to support Windows 8.

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