Hello. I've been playing and studying games for a long time, and in the not too distant future, will even be attending college with a focus on game design.
However, I want to get the ball rolling early, and try my hand at making a game myself. However, I'm not sure where to start. I'm well versed in game design (and design in general), and am decently apt at coding (I've made a few programs in Java and C++), but I've never actually made a game yet. So my questions are:
1) What types of games are best suited to being made by a single person?
I'd guess that this would be things that don't require a lot of content, like an RPG would, and not something that requires a ton of testing, like any PvP game.
2) What game development platforms work best for a single person?
I've played around a bit with Unity and tried looking at other systems, but most of them seem better suited for large projects with lots of people on them, and/or are very expensive. I've also seen a few things like RPG Maker and Game Maker, but those seem too simplistic to make a "real" game, and don't seem to leverage my ability to write code any. Is there a middle-ground between these, or am I not giving one side enough credit?
3) What is a good goal to strive for for a first game?
I recall reading about how new art students start by copying existing art. Should I try to re-create existing games as a first step, or branch out and do something new? How long should I expect to spend making the game? What's a good way to know if I'm being too ambitious and setting myself up for failure?
And in general, any other advice for a new game developer?