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Ideas for games to clone.

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Hi all,

In an attempt to break down "learning to develop games" into small managable chunks, I'm putting together a list of games that could be cloned in ascending order of complexity/difficulty.

The idea is that I will set my sights on the first, most simple game, this will serve to focus research how to develop a clone. I will then attempt to clone the chosen game and after several clones, and hopefully becoming familiar with the methods involved, I will move on to the next step.

I was hoping people might chip in suggestions for a list.

I know nothing about game design, and so the research on how to build the first game will inform things that I currently don't understand at all, like "what language?" etc...

Here's what I have:


Hello World - This will presumably feature as a staple part of the learning curve.

1) Pong - A simple graphical game with players and a measurable element of success/goals.

2) Tetris - A slighly less simple game, with a wider spectrum of elements and a more complex pattern of gameplay.

3) Pac-Man - A game featuring basic traditional action elements (protagonists, collectables etc...).

4) Tamagochi/Virtual Pet - A game where a series of stats are managed in order to yield a variety of potential outcomes.

5) *Static 2D Platformer (Abe's Odyssey?) - A game with graphically simple levels, the potential for puzzles and more diverse protagonists and other game elements.

6) *Side Scrolling 2D Platformer (Super Mario?) - A game with mostly same core elements as a static 2D platformer, but with the function and interaction of the game levels presented in a significantly different way to the player.

7) 2D Platformer (Both Static and Side Scrolling) w/ Player Stats - A game with the integration of both the elements of a regular platformer, but also the element of player stats.

8) 2D RPG- A game that combines most of the elements of the above games, but expands on each one, within the confines of the same game.

At this point it's tempting to start experimenting with more complex graphics, perhaps going back over my list, but learning about and developing 3D incarnations of each? I am unsure.


I'm not neccesarily sure about which order the games marked with an asterisk should go. I also wondered where I would put a "Space Invaders" clone, and where text based games would feature?

What would you add/change?

Also - where could the list go from here? If I am right about looking into 3D, then after the 3D stage, presumably variations like first person games could be developed? Edited by TexasJack

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5 - 7 inclusive can be the same project - scrolling features are not difficult at all.

Rest seems fine, Tamagotchi/Virtual Pet is a great idea actually, that's not a common early project.

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I thought the same about combining all of the platformer games, but figured I might as well do the three increments from scratch so that I'm not running before I can walk. It does make sense to get stuck in like that though.

To someone who has never even touched game development before, how challenging do you think a pong clone would be?

Also, what other thoughts does anyone have for additions to the list, or where it could progress to?

If I can get this off the ground properly, I'd be interested in doing documenting the learning curve as a resource for other people in a similar position to me.

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Thanks Jwezorek.

Looks like something I'd enjoy experimenting with.

The cover art to that game made me chuckle. They've made no attempt to hide the hero's likeness to Luke Skywalker, or the villian's likeness to Darth Vader. Hell, if you add a "B" onto beginning of the title, you've got enough infringement to have Harrison Ford's lawyers chasing you until the end of time.


I digress.

Is my list logistically sound?

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