In order to become a better game programmer, I would like to work on several games in the nearby future. I think this article is an excellent guide on starting game development. In short, the article states the following:

  1. Create a Tetris clone: To learn about the game loop and controls. Don’t need any real design skills. It contains the basic code for every single game.
  2. Create a Breakout clone: To learn about more advanced collision detection compared to the Tetris game. Also add level loading into the mix.
  3. Create a PacMan clone: To learn about AI & pathfinding.
  4. Create a Mario clone: To learn more about physics & dynamic loading of content while player moves left or right on screen. Also create a level editor.

Tetris Breakout PacMan Mario

Sadly I found this article only after I already spent lots of time on my Bomberman game. I’d say Bomberman deals with many of the same issues as Tetris, Breakout & PacMan combined.

I certainly would not recommend starting with a game like Bomberman. At least the article gave me some pointers on what a future project should be like.

Potential Future Projects

My future game projects should be relatively easy to implement. Old school arcade games seem the best fit in this regard. I’d like to re-create old school Mac games for modern platforms.

I think after finishing Bomberman I will focus on platform games. I could create a platform game framework to speed up development on many titles. Platformers could work well on tvOS.

Platformer

Bonkheads

A single-player or co-op platformer on just 1 screen. Objective is to kill waves of enemies until level is completed. Already available on the AppStore, but could create a version with a different theme or for tvOS.

Bonkheads (1) Bonkheads (2)

Glypha III

A single-player platformer on just 1 screen. Objective is to kill waves of enemies until level is completed. Original source code available here.

Glypha III (1) Glypha III (2)

Bub & Bob (Bubble Bobble)

A single-player or co-op platformer on just 1 screen. Objective is to kill waves of enemies until level is completed. Already available for Mac OS X, but could create a version with a different theme or for tvOS.

Bub & Bob (1) Bub & Bob (2)

Bill the Demon

A Mario-like platformer where one plays a little demon in hell. Seems these days a Flash version of the game is available. Again, theme could be different, but it’s good inspiration.

Bill The Demon (1) Bill The Demon (2)

Arcade

Mortal Pongbat

A pong clone, but with power-ups. The paddle also has a lazer beam that can be used to destroy (parts of) the opponents paddle.

Mortal Pongbat (1)

Candy Crisis

A tetris clone. Player versus player.

Candy Crisis (1) Candy Crisis (2)

Action

Apache Strike

Command an Apache Gunship helicoper in a 3D maze. Kill tanks, planes and reach the final objective. Funny thing about the game is that the theme song resembles the theme from the Airwolf TV show.

Apache Strike (1) Apache Strike (2)

Adventure

Scarab of Ra

A 3D maze crawler in an Egyptian pyramid. Goal is to get to the bottom of the pyramid. Every level is a slightly bigger maze. In the maze are mummies, lions, stealing monkeys, etcetera.

Scarab Of Ra (1) Scarab Of Ra (2)

Dungeon of Doom

A rogue-like classic. Every new game a random dungeon is generated.

Dungeon Of Doom (1) Dungeon Of Doom (2)

Strategy

Magecraft

A popular Warcraft 3 PvP mod. A mage creates spells by combining orbs. E.g. frost orb + frost orb + earth orb could teach the spell Frost Wall. Mages can spend money to send minions to other mages. The spells are used to kill the minions of opposing players. Killing minions grants gold. The last mage standing wins.