First off, hey. I expect to become a lot more active here over the coming weeks and months.
I think I should give a breif intro as to who I am, and what I want out of game development.
My names Matthew, im 22. I left school having done my A levels, one of which being computing. I really enjoyed the programming aspect (we were using pascal), and went to university hopign to study computer games development. I couldnt get on that course, (my A levels sucked and it had high requirements) so I did computer forensics for a year, using that as a step onto the games course. Half way through my first year on the games course, I made the decision to take on a full-time job to cover my extensive debts, and attempted to do both uni and work.... however that didn't work out all too well as you might imagine. A couple years down the line, and I'm now looking at creating some games as a hobby, to start. I then want to be making some games to build up my portfolio, hopefully get a few games that prove to be a success as far as being an indie developer goes... and finally use all of that to help me land my dream job. (its with one particular company).
So, with that information... I have one game idea that I think is great, its a 2d game that tackles a popular game type, but gives it a whole new spin. I would like to start off working towards that sort of game. The genre BTW is a tower defence sort of game. What I want to do, is make some basic games, starting off dead simple, to progress into my full game idea. Once I've made that, I will try other 2d games, and hope to progress onto 3d games as well after that. My budget is practically non existent, and I know that there are plenty of free tools out there for non commercial use, my question is... what do you think I would be best using?
I am leaning towards using XNA and moving onto unity perhaps later either as an "instead of" or as an "aswell as". However... I am not the expert on this decision and thought I would post here to ask your advice. As well as game engines, I would like advice for other sorts of tools I might need, or jsut other general tips, theyre all very welcomed!
Oh I should have put this a couple paragraphs up.... but in uni I worked with both Jave and C++ as well... all be it not to a great knowledge... jsut the basic stuff I guess. (everything up to pointers). Im a really quick learner with programming, and my mind works very much on the "problem solving wavelength". If you want to know any more about it, please ask away Id be happy to share any other info!
I look forward to your feedback!
good luck Matthew, just believe in yourself, you can do it.
XNA or unity are both good, so is anything else really, doesnt matter what you use, its just how you use it.
Im trying to set up an online gathering myself, make a small amount of money with advertising, it would be nice to get a bit of money from what I like to do.
The most important thing to have is motivation, I think everyone pretty much has the ability to understand, but getting someone to actually finish something he starts is the thing thats lacking.
I think those are solid choices. XNA is pretty good for 2d and Unity is a pretty good 3d engine. Partly, you want to look at your market. If you want to put a game on Xbox live, then XNA is a good choice. If you want to do an online game for computers, then you might want to look at something like FlashPunk or an html5 engine. You've already gotten experience with languages, so that's out of the way. If you are thinking about doing 3d, then keep in mind you'll need to do some modeling also, so it might be a good idea to get started with Blender also. 2d art tools are all over, but one to possibly look at is Inkscape.
Thanks for the advice thus far.
I have a quick qustion I didnt think deserved a thread of its own... If I was to look for some tutorials to get me on the ground running with XNA, where would you suggest I go for tutorials?
Obviosuely I can use google etc... was just looking for your advice as to what you think is a GOOD tutorial series to follow etc.
The best source of information to get started with XNA is directly from Microsoft. MSDN has a wealth of information and examples with source code to get you started, both for 2D and 3D development.