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BitMan

What kind of game should I make first?

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Hello! I was just wondering what kind of game I should make for my first one. I have started other projects but they were a bit ambitious and I just dropped them. 

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You don't need to do a fully featured game if you don't think you're ready.
A single-level, very polished prototype of a game will be an enriching experience, with the added benefit of it taking less time - but not less talent - to be produced. Edited by Kryzon

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Pong. 

 

Then a Shmup.

 

Then a NES Zelda or Pokemon Red/Blue attempt (2D tile engine practice, dont need nothing complicated, just get a tile system going, and a character moving on screen that cant go through obstacles)

 

Then whatever you want! The power. Is yours!

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I agree with Tutorial Doctor and DeafTv on their recommendations. I don't agree with DJDarkViper though because I feel Pong, Shmup, NES Zelda, whatever leave too many holes to go back and learn. I think the list in the article is the best stepping stone list you could have. At the end of the list you can do more 2D games or decide to attempt 3D. I would still read the article, but here is the list if you haven't had time to go to the article just yet.

 

  • Pong = Simple: input, physics, collision detection, sound; scoring
  • Worm = Placement of random powerups, handling of screen boundaries, worm data structure
  • Breakout = Lessons of pong, powerups, maps (brick arrangements)
  • Missile Command = targeting; simple enemy ai, movement, and sound
  • Space Invaders = simple movement for player and enemy, very similar to breakout with the exception that the enemy constantly moves downward, simple sound
  • Asteroids = asteroids (enemies) and player can move in all directions, asteroids appear and move randomly, simple sound
  • Tetris = block design, clearing the lines, scoring, simple animation
  • Pac Man = simple animation, input, collision detection, maps (level design), ai
  • Ikari Warriors = top down view, enemy ai, powerups, scoring, collision detection, maps (level design), input, sound, boss ai
  • Super Mario Bros = lessons of Ikari Warriors (except with side-view instead of top-down view), acceleration, jumping, platforms

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To go a different direction. a 1 player Blackjack game is a pretty reasonable first project even before pong. You have some pretty simple rules to follow, no moving stuff to contend with, works reasonably either with graphics or text only.

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I don't agree with DJDarkViper though because I feel Pong, Shmup, NES Zelda, whatever leave too many holes to go back and learn. 

 

That's the progression I and a great deal of my colleagues went, and we're fine lol to each their own for sure, but the point is to get a fundamental concept of how to make games. 

 

Pong will get you used to basic game architecture and the game loop, input, simple physics, and basic AI. With minimial graphic requirements and the potential for growth (do fun stuff with it) and simplistic requirements from the programming side, its a great place to start, and not have to worry about a scary engine of any sort.

 

A Shmup is, just to me the next step. Knowing now how to create assets to a screen, input controls, collision, and AI, from here you use graphic assets, hardware acceleration, bullet factories (shooting), sound loading and output, and scene management (levels). This still doesnt NEED an "engine" and can be done pretty much straight, which is why its a simple project to approach (and why many articles and tutorials use a Shmup as a starting point, not even pong where I come from)

 

And finally the NES like Zelda or Pokemon thinger, is to get used to the concept of creating your own little game engine to handle a tile renderer and move around with colission detection, NPC's, map loader, and sprite animation

 

 

From there, youll have enough experience to envision and do whatever you please on a 2D landscape, as youve grasped the basic foundation of just about every component of a game. 

 

From there? 3D, why not? maybe more 2D? Sure, why not. Sky is the limit!

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