I've been making games since I was a kid, but I've only finished one game in the last twenty years. When I was young I kept it simple and was able to make a few MS-DOS games. Then I wanted to keep making it better. I've tried so many different strategies to get better at game development. I've tried working with people and getting ghosted by team members one after the other in many different projects. I don't blame them much, it's a big ask for most of their free time for a hobby they find out isn't what they want to do. I also don't want to hold anyone back if they want to move onto a better managed project where they can flourish. And that lead me to my last strategy, to start out simple again and do everything alone, but if people wanted to help I would be happy. And I was doing pretty well, I learned a lot in the project, making a game from start to finish as we know is a lot of work that requires a lot of different skills.
I looked back at the five years I took to make my last game (well, there was a lot of procrastination), where my skills are as a game developer, and where I wanted to be and I was disappointed by what I saw my path was. If I made my next game, a little more complicated and developed a little faster, I was still looking at a project that would take a year or two and I'd learn a little more. I have a few games, like I'm sure we all do, that I really want to make but don't yet have the skills to do them well.
So an idea about training myself up without going through the whole process slowly developed. Focus on one skill at a time, then add in one more once I've gotten good at it, and one more, until I'm pretty good at most things. So I over engineered what I call RIP (repetitive iterations for proficiency). I think the idea is good, I think it will help me get better much faster, and I'm going to try it out to see if it works. I'll blog my progress as I go, maybe other people will find something useful in it. I've already made the first two one level games, a Ninja Gaiden (NES) clone and a Super Mario Bros. (NES) clone, and am currently working on a Bionic Commando (NES) clone.
The first several projects in the plan are to take a game I like to play that falls into the more simple game genres (platformer, action... etc.), and reproduce all the gameplay for the first level.