So, I am a filmmaker by trade. I understand scripting, pacing, etc. I also have been doing a lot of tabletop design, running a campaign for years with continuity, recurring characters that I design from the ground-up (excluding the rule system, so just all the dungeons, NPCs, plot devices, etc).
With covid, film production has really slowed down and I have some time on my hands, so I thought about trying my hand at video game making, something I have honestly toyed with for decades, but never did too much of. I did have a brief window in the 00s when I had RPG Maker and I made some demos that my friends enjoyed, but that's about it.
So, given that my programing knowledge is super limited (I took a few Java classes over a decade ago and used to do HTML in the 90s), my graphics making abilities are near non-existent (I'm good at motion graphics, but not pixel design or 3D graphics), but I have what I think is a good plot, characters and game design, what should be my first steps in trying to make this a reality? What engine should I use? I have no problem buying, for a couple bucks here and there, other people's art and what not. Ideally, probably make a 16-bit esque RPG, like FFIV, Earthbound, etc. but perhaps with more of a BioWare, "choices matter" type dialog/questing system.
I don't expect to set the world on fire, but I do want to make what would be considered a decent looking first effort from a one man novice that, if nothing else, would be a fun experience for me to make and something fun to give my players as a gift (as we are reaching the end of the story of our campaign). And maybe, why not, something I could release for the broader public if the core is good and it's worth me hiring a few more people to help me polish it. Maybe it won't. As a filmmaker, I know how bad first films are, and a lot of times they are just learning experiences that you keep on a hard drive locked away somewhere. So, trying to be realistic while excited.