Once again proving how poorly I lurk on newsgroups, it didn't take me more than a few days to post to the REALbasic mailing list, before even finishing my first app using REALbasic (hopefully will have time this weekend). Got a few positive comments on the post, so I figured I'd do a quick copy & paste into ye ole blog.

>OK, I've talked to some people about it, and decided that I should not
>make a game that is just "easy," but also something I really wanna do.

I'm about as new to REALbasic as it gets (though I've years of Visual
Basic under my belt), but just fwiw let me warn against too ambitious an
undertaking.

Back in another life I set up a cross-assembly suite for the 6507
processor with MPW so that I could program Atari 2600 games [sic] on my
StarMax 3000. I wanted to do a game like Jumpman for the Commodore 64,
and had all sorts of fancy algorithms that helped me scrunch the most
boards per 4kb cartridge, the highest resolution ("single scan line")
possible, and the smartest AI the 2600 had ever seen.

Though I got the board compression proof of concepted and built, let's
just say the game never got done (partially to blame on getting a good
day job and partially b/c I was shooting much too high/pie in the sky
there). Furthermore, most of the games that do get done for the 2600
now-a-days are demos gone wild -- people started playing with the
hardware and that eventually morphed into an original game.

I've also enjoyed what I've seen of REALbasic so far (two nights of play
with the 30-day trial) because it gets me a much more responsive GUI on
OS X with about a tenth of the effort I was spending to build in Java.
I'd love to get a "true cross-platform app" (incl Linux) with Java and
have the programming "done right" (whatever that bias of mine means --
probably from too much VB codin'!), but it's probably much better in the
long run to quickly get out a number apps that work instead of a very
few that are "artful masterpieces" of code.

So, short story long, start with something incredibly easy. Play with
REALbasic and let your play morph into a game. You'll feel better
having accomplished that game, and probably learned the skills you'll
need to make your Diablo-like game all the more quickly for having the
first game under your belt!

Hey, who hasn't had a great time playing Stratega?!! Nothing to be
ashamed of there, and probably a slightly easier undertaking overall.