Making a Game

I read some advice on how to get into game development. This coincides with me reading about a class offered at the local community college about writing games. I remember back at a small development shop where all the developers wanted to be games programmers. However we wrote uninteresting applications for clients there. The hard core developers said that the best developers write games. In their spare time, they were writing code for the next Doom or Quake. We also played a lot of multi player PC games there.

So what does it take to actually learn game development? Should I be like my old coworkers and start up my own Quake variant? The blog post I read said that this was just not realistic. You need to start with baby steps before you are ready to join a team that works on games like Quake. The first recommended task is to knock out a Tetris clone. That sounds like an easy task. But I don’t want to speak too soon before I actually try it out. Tetris has the advantage that the user interface is not too complicated. You don’t need an art degree to draw some blocks that make up the Tetris game.

The blog post I read went on to recommend that you try writing a breakout clone. Then you should attempt Pac Man. And finally you should try to replicate a Mario Brother style game. I tell you what. If I can knock out a game as complex as Mario Brothers, I am going into the game development business full time.

I actually have a great idea for a game. The problem is finding spare time to actually work on the thing. I get a chunk of time and then write some code. But the constant business of life makes me shelf it for another year. Who knows? Perhaps you just need to get good enough and leave the day job to get something like this done. It would sure be nice to be one of those game developers that my old peers said were programming gods.