2. What Kind of Game Should I Make?

There’s a lot of really solid advice out there about making your first game, and I think you can sort of distill that absolute basic advice into a small flowchart:

  1. Think about what kind of games you like
  2. Shave that idea down to the complexity of pong
  3. Do it again because you’re still probably being too ambitious

So we start with the first point – what kind of games do I like?

Right off the bat, the answer is MMOs – I am a fiend for them and always have been. Star Wars: Galaxies, WoW, Guild Wars 2 were all past obsessions and my current one is Final Fantasy XIV.

But MMOs are way too complex to even think about, so scratch that.

What about RPGS, then? I love the Final Fantasy series, and my favorite classics are all 2D and on the shorter side.

Still, any decent RPG is going to full of mechanics, writing, and graphics – too ambitious for just starting out.

And so after wracking my brain, I’m left with one thing:

Golf Story Is Just Adorable
Golf Story, from kotaku.com

For whatever reason, despite my complete inability to play the sport in real life, I’ve always loved golf games. Golf Story was one of my sleeper favorites recently, and Everybody’s Golf is one of my go-to downtime games. I still play Mario Golf on the N64 when I see my college buddies, too.

And I think we can scale this back one step as well: for a truly simple beginner game, let’s make a 2D single-hole mini-golf game. We keep it on a single plane and can use minimal graphics.

I also like this idea because I can see a clear chain of growth in terms of complexity over the course of three separate but related games:

  1. Single-hole mini-golf
  2. 18 hole mini-golf
  3. Added mechanic to create unique game

This is where I’m going to start. So how hard can it be?

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