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I remember good ole blitz basic. Pretty useful but a bit outclassed nowadays I think. Try www.clickteam.com and download Klick and play or The Games Factory, or even the Demo for IMSI Multimedia Fusion. Languages wise, Delphi is pretty good and quite simple to learn, but then you could even make a simple game in Flash.

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I have to agree with Acriku-. Java is well suited for 2D gaming. There are many websites that have games written in java. The bonus of writing a game in Java is that it will be able to run on any machine that supports the Java Virtual Machine. Which would include Linux, Solaris, and Windows.

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Java is good for 2D drawing. It is one of the things it is made for. Although Java is a bit untidy language (with all those '{' and '}') but it is easy to use.

And Delphi Pascal is also a great idea. Know that Pascal was made a programming language for starting programmers, yet you can do very advanced things with it. The same counts for Delphi, which is in fact Pascal, but with better methods to make windows and such stuff. And of course, it is object orientated.

Both languages compilers are free to download. You can download both Delphi and JBuilder (Java) at www.borland.com for free (you must make an account first)

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The problem with flash is that big programs might get very complex and hard to find out what is where. And the second thing is that it runs slowly on slow computers when you use advanced stuff ( < 300 MHz)

But if you make your graphics in flash, then it won't take up so much space

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Having used both C and C++ I would say there is a big difference between the 2 languages. You can write C++ programs like a C program, but then you lose the benefit of using C++. If you used C before C++ this makes things even more difficult in my opinion.

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