So, to actually get started, we need programs. Many programs, left-side and even-side. Instead of another big, long ramble, I'll just give a list with advice for now. I'll come back to them in my later articles to give some ideas on what to do with them. :P
Visual Studio is a very strong choice for students (who get it for free with the Academic Alliance, should your university have signed up with them), though folks with Â£85 can get it ... for Â£85, interestingly.
Code::Blocks, while not one I've personally tested yet, comes highly recommended as being a very strong choice and, importantly, is totally free!
The Java Software Development Kit is required to create and run your own programs, so this needs to be installed prior to the coding part.
jGRASP is a rather basic program, letting you get some basic skills built up. The errors it throws out are rather poorly described, however, so I would recommend it for beginners who don't want to be flooded with as much information as in:
Eclipse and Netbeans are two excellent programs for coding Java and, while it's a fair bit more complex than jGRASP, I'd still suggest that those who got comfortable with coding would progress on to one of these two. I personally prefer Netbeans, but I'd try both to find the one you prefer.
The first I wish to mention is Scratch, a very basic program that I used last year, which I will therefore use at the start of the design part! Allowing for a fairly basic understanding of a lot of different parts of making a game, letting you learn coding standards without having to go too deep too soon.
Neverwinter Nights is an RPG with a fantastic level editor created by Bioware. Recommended by companies such as Blizzard who readily accept levels created in the Aurora Toolset as part of a portfolio.
I would also recommend the original or even the second Dungeon Keeper for its level editors. They're both rather different from each other, especially as the first needs coded and the second doesn't. But the coding is rather simplified into copying and pasting and lets you focus more on making an interesting and balanced level than heavily coding.
Next time, I will begin to go into Scratch, starting with some basics so you can make a simple program, getting used to the program. Until then, tatty-bye!
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