Hello, I heart Minecraft and also the Voxatron trailer which I found on Ars Technica today and am really looking forward to seeing what is created here. When I first saw it, I was for sure it had to be the mysterious "other game" that Notch's company is working on but apparently not. Good luck to the devs of this amazing looking project!
I'm a computer science student in college right now ... how do you get into making games with pixels and/or voxels that are portable and run on modern platforms?? Is Java the best approach to doing that? I'd like to become familiar with game design tools where I can decide to either to sell the finished game if it's good enough, or release it open source if I don't think it's commercially viable - I don't wanna get hooked into using stuff that has license restrictions that prevent me from going either way. Anybody have any suggestions on how to get started doing that kind of thing?
I don't think choice of language is too much of an issue these days. It depends which platforms you're targetting, but for any desktop OSes, best just choose the language you feel comfortable using.
To start out with I'd suggest Allegro or SDL which are both portable and have established communities with a lot of sample code. They're also good libraries. I still use SDL for all my releases, and the first version of Jasper's Journeys used Allegro for DOS back in the day. You might also be interested in some of the Ludum Dare 48 hour compo entries that all have source code. Find a game you like that supports the platforms you want, and see how they did it. The advantage of looking at 48 hour games is that, even though the source code is probably messy, at least it's very small.
I like Minecraft (my MC username is the same as my Voxatron one). I also don't have any skill in programming but have made a little thing or two in stencyl. I also use gamemaker but I think stencyl is better (just my opinion. No facts were involved). I make little things here and there. Im no pro, but its still fun.
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