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How do I make games? A Path to Game Development

So where do I start?


Tetris is the perfect game to begin your journey on the path to becoming an able bodied game developer. Why? Because Tetris contains the all the elements found in every game, and can be done with just about the least amount of work. Also, you don't have to be an artist to make a good looking Tetris game. Anyone who can draw a block, which is everyone with a paint program, can make a commercial quality version of Tetris.

This is another one of the big benefits of starting with Tetris. Not only can you make a fully functioning game, that is fun and addictive, but it looks basically just as good as any commercial version done of it. Blocks are blocks no matter who draws them, and tetraminos (the shapes used in Tetris) are all just a collection of four blocks.

Tetris has all the individual components that ALL games share in common. It has a game loop (the process of repeating over and over until the game is quit). The game loop reads in input, processes the input, updates the elements of the game (the falling tetraminos), and checks for victory/loss conditions.

Every single game you will ever make does all of these things, so learning the process and actually implementing it is extremely important. After you have completed this the first time, it will give you an insight into how hard it will be and how long it may take on future games. Without having done this all the way, at least once, you will never fully have a proper grasp of each of the elements. When you have larger projects, there will be more unknowns that you can't judge for in complexity and time. If you don't even fully understand the entire process because you have failed to DO it, you will likely be helpless to create schedules or estimate times properly and will most likely not succeed at the endeavor.

A Tetris clone called Amazing Blocks

Something I need to mention is that when you make your Tetris game, you can't call it "Tetris". Tetris is a trademark of the Tetris Company who is owned by Alexey Pajitnov, the creator of Tetris. It is his exclusive right to use the name Tetris, and I believe they may have won a lawsuit saying that you cannot make a falling blocks game with the syllable "tris", as it is obviously playing off the popularity of the of the name Tetris.

However, this means nothing to you if you call your game "The Sky is Falling", or anything without a "tris" in it, as they do NOT own the gameplay, interface, or idea of falling blocks. If you hear anything differently from anyone, tell them you can't own ideas, and if you require further proof you can look up information on this subject at the USPTO (http://www.uspto.gov/ ).

What's Next?

  Where do I Start?
  What's Next?
  Get Out the Polish...
  These Games are Stupid!
  Be Proud!

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