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Recently I have returned to my childhood hobby (programming games) and found it quite enjoyable. I've been tinkering with PyGame (for Python) for a few months, made a couple of projects for educational purposes. PyGame is nice, however there is not an awful lot of commercial games using PyGame, and I'd like to invest my time in the best way and ideally to make an extra buck in the future.

What I like:

  • doing things alone. I do not dream about working at huge corporation and making one tiny bit of World of Duty-7
  • frameworks like LÖVE (for Lua) or PyGame. I doubt I am able to figure out how to draw those fancy pixels without it
  • cross-platform things.
  • free stuff.

What I don't like:

  • C++ scares me, however feel free to tell me how stupid I am
  • IDEs like GameMaker, RPGmaker etc. I like making my own tools.

My goal is to make 2D games like Terraria, Super Meat Boy, DefCon, etc. Which language and tools should I choose to accomplish my goal?

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Related, since you touch on pygame: gamedev.stackexchange.com/questions/12065/… –  Tetrad Oct 11 '11 at 16:14
    
Also the answers here seem relevant gamedev.stackexchange.com/questions/4459/alternative-to-pygame –  Tetrad Oct 11 '11 at 16:16
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This is really a personal preference. I use xna, I love it, and i recommend it to anybody wanting to make graphics based applications. It is a framework for C# and you can do anything with it as far as I know. And it's fast, very fast. I use Visual Studio Professional but you can get Visual C# Express for free. For modelling 2D geometry I'm working on my own classes and editor, but I used 3D Studio Max at first. For 3D geometry I use 3D Studio Max, although I've built my own terrain editor. For art I just bought Photoshop, and occasionally I use Paint.NET for quick / simple edits. –  Gavin Williams Oct 11 '11 at 16:38
    
You still get an upvote - but this is borderline "how long is a piece of string" or "Gorilla vs. Shark". –  Jonathan Dickinson Oct 12 '11 at 22:25
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closed as not constructive by Tetrad Jan 22 '12 at 2:13

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4 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I want to be a game developer... now what?

This is a pretty comprehensive guide to starting out in game development, covering what languages are available, then a list of the most popular tools and libraries, as well as free and commercial book suggestions. Most of what is inside is completely free and provides direct download links. However, it is a long read, but I promise you that you will be much more knowledgeable when you finish!

There is nothing directly wrong with C++, but it is not a very approachable language and there is a level of difficulty in just getting up and running that adds another level of complexity that a new developer doesn't need. It is a language to consider in the future, but in my humble opinion, not one to learn with! Then again, nobody listens and they start with C++ anyways! :)

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God bless you for that link, I have no need or desire to ask stupid questions anymore. –  HamsteR Oct 13 '11 at 15:56
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LOVE2D seems like a cool language. I'll state now that Lua's weird to me, particularly trying to get OOP down with it, since there's no real built-in easy method to do this with. In any case, Pygame (framework; based on Python), Love2D (framework; based on Lua), Game Maker (game engine with IDE), and StencylWorks (free game engine with IDE; makes Flash games) are pretty good.

On the 3D side, there's a lot of options, but the Blender Game Engine's pretty good (and can make 2D games).

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C++ scares me, however feel free to tell me how stupid I am

You shouldn't fear c++ it is a great language.

My goal is to make 2D games like Terraria, Super Meat Boy, DefCon, etc. Which language and tools should I choose to accomplish my goal?

Awesome! You can do this in pygame, there's nothing wrong with that.

Do you like programming in python with pygame? If so, keep going, you can move on to other languages (read c++) if you so desire later on. As you get more proficient in one language you'll find others come easier as well. Don't worry so much about what you're going to do later- instead focus on getting better with the tools you have, and gaining proficiency in learning new tools, as those are quite dynamic.

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however there is not an awful lot of commercial games using PyGame, and I'd like to invest my time in the best way and ideally to make an extra buck in the future.

And who cares? The toolchain is not what makes a game commercial or not, it's not what makes it a AAA title or not. PyGame will not prevent you from realizing your goal of creating a commercial game that makes you a bit of money.

Only you will prevent (or enable) that success.

If you are comfortable with Python and PyGame, then continue using them to create games, even games you sell. Since you are comfortable with the tools they will be the ones best suited to you and your goals.

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The thing is I am not sure pygame is best suted for me since I have nothing to compare with! That's why I asked for alternatives. Although I see your point, thanks. –  HamsteR Oct 11 '11 at 17:35
    
@HamsteR well then the only thing that will truly answer your question is experience. –  Tetrad Oct 12 '11 at 17:00
    
Not free, but it is worth checking out BlitzMax and the more recent Monkey also by the same guy, however it hasn't really caught on. –  DampeS8N Oct 12 '11 at 18:57
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