What language is best, what engine is recommended and finally where do you start from?
Two game ideas, one is 2D and has the building elements of Prison Architect \Dwarf Fortress plus a management aspect using different windows and charts including possible pie charts for statistics, game would have a fair bit of text.
Next is a simultaneous turns 3D game of tactical plane combat with squadron management aspects and rpg elements.
If you are talking about programming a game...err...unless you have years of relevant experience as a programmer...good luck. Even reasonably simple games are major programming efforts done by people with significant expertise. Anything that looks half decent is done by a team of people who really know what they're doing.
Take just 3D graphics for example. Do you know linear algebra and matrix manipulation? That's how a lot of 3D graphics is done. Then you have to write a graphics engine that incorporates all that mathematics, a lighting model and a bunch of other things. Even if you use someone else's, you still have to know how it works.
It sounds like you haven't done much programming. If that is the case, then it's not impossible for you to produce a game but I hope you're not doing anything for about 10 years because that's about how much full-time work you're going to have to put in to get up to speed. Even then, almost no-one can produce a good game by themselves.
lol - have you ever thought about being a motivational speaker?
Seriously though guys - Wodin has shown an interest in this for a couple of years now and I fully expect he's looking at it through a set of "hobby" eyes...at least initially.
You probably would be better off staying away from 3D...it's an additional, very time consuming level of complexity.
You've always shown an interest in producing a wargame. So produce one...a 2D hex one. Do it as a hobby and take yer time. Plan it out. Write your rules down and keep them simple at first. You'll be best to not get bogged down in a big game initially...so keep your first few attempts simple and small, trying things out.
In terms of language, there's a plethora of languages you can use. C# and C++ for speed. Not sure about XML (never used it). Visual Basic even is fine. All MS tools (I believe) are free for non enterprise programming (learning)
Get yourself a good book on whatever language you choose. It'll at least teach you the basics and give you a fighting chance.
They are correct - it's not going to be easy. I've been a programmer for 20 years almost (predominantly windows based database front ends) and I've looked into programming a game and decided whatever I wanted was already done and better than I could.
But if you do get one up and running, the level of self achievement you feel will be super high.
You're on Grogheads - have a PM conversation with gameleaper over there. He's been touting a few wee games he's been doing himself...so he's more than likely got ideas on where you want to start
Good luck...and keep it simple. If you get bogged down, you'll feel beaten. You need to get a few quick hits from accomplishment from little projects.
Alba gu' brath