Like everything else in life, learning how to program video games seems slightly difficult and therefore best left to other people. In reality, you can pick up everything you'll need in around ten minutes.

Do you have Notepad on your computer? Congratulations, you have everything you need. This powerful text editor doubles as an ideal programming environment because it's capable of displaying pretty much every character that you can type on your keyboard. This industry standard does, of course have its drawbacks. Mac users have to jump through hoops to get the program running, which is why there are so few games for the platform. As long as you're using Windows, however, you should be ready to code.

The first line is always used to tell the computer what type of game you're trying to make. Open up Notepad and input the following:


As you can see, we're making a good game. There are other options such as terrible, decent, amazing and best. Let's just stick with good for now. We don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves.

Before getting any further, it's best to decide what genre we have in mind. First Person Shooters are big sellers, but thoughtful indie games net you way more credibility. Let's try to play things safe by combining elements of both:


Graphics probably seem like the most daunting aspect of any project. Once you realize how simple they are, however, you should be able to approach the rest of the project with confidence.


Piece of cake, right? If you're been paying attention, the code for audio and controls should be familiar - they share many of the techniques that we've learned so far.


Almost done! In the last stretch, we'll address our enemies, their artificial intelligence, and finally the most important part of all modern games:


Believe it or not, the hard part is over. All that's left now is to compile your code into a fully-functioning program. In Notepad, select File>Save As from the menu, then enter the following in the dialog box that pops up:



Congratulations! Now that you have a solid programming foundation, the rest comes down to experimentation and creativity. Keep making games and in no time at all you'll be a regular John Carmack or the guy that worked on that one Lego game, I think it was either the second Harry Potter game or the fifth Star Wars one.

– Dennis "Corin Tucker's Stalker" Farrell

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