I have been having fun playing with the free XNA Game Studio 3.1. Although I have a moderate ability with programming C#, there are excellent tutorial videos available at the XNA Game Studio site that walk you through every line of code you need to program a basic game.
One of the best ways to learn coding is to be fearless and hack away / reverse engineer code and see what the results are. So long as you understand how and why you break the code and get bugs, you are learning how to do it yourself.
I find there is a serious lack of RPG content on Xbox 360 Indie Game marketplace so I did a search and lo and behold there is a recently uploaded starter kit for an RPG!
Once you have installed the free Microsoft’s Visual Studio C# Express Starter Edition and XNA Game Studio 3.1 (also free), you need simply download and install the RPG Game Starter Kit and can open it as a template from the software.
There are some basic XML based tutorials for how to create your own quests, and if you are feeling brave you can start the time-consuming process of creating your own custom Sprites and background textures to make the game feel more like your own. If you want to make this a lot easier, consider using a free program like GraphicsGale to build, develop, animate and save your game sprites.
Because great RPGs are more about excellent storytelling and world-building than anything else, I encourage you to go and try this out. I do caution that you may lose night after night of sleep as you descend into the limitless word of game building, but you will at least know that in the end you can submit your project for peer review and maybe ultimately turn a buck by selling your wares on Xbox Live.
Note: in order to test your game directly on your Xbox 360, get reviewed or put it up for sale, you will have to purchase a premium membership – $99.95 annually. However, you can still program games for Windows PCs that you can distribute to your friends – free.
For an expanded version of this article visit XBLIGR.com