Most of my early programming work was done with RPG Maker XP.
RPGs are my favorite genre of game (other than puzzles).
There is a newer one that has been released in Japan VX Ace a couple of days ago (3). I don’t know if it will be available in the US typically they have translated them.
The good thing about these game engines are that they abstract out a lot of details, such as character design and map making and provide a lot of artwork for you to use rather than code all of this up by hand. The interface are easy to use.
To code you use Ruby which is an easily language to quickly pick up.
I don’t play around much with RM anymore, but I thought this was interesting to share.