CHALLENGE: Try writing a computer game!
A fascinating aspect of programming is game program. Game programming has come a long way from where it began. Games can take many forms. From simple text based games to large 3D worlds for the player to explore. The good thing about game programming is you are not tied to one language. You can write games in any programming language! If you understand a programming language, you can write some sort of game. A basic number guessing game or a top down 2D space shooter are in the realm of possibilites. You aren't even limited to desktop games, you can create browser based games as well.
- Number guessing game
- Rock, Paper, Scissors
- Tic-Tac-Toe (human versus human or for a harder challenge against an intelligent computer opponent)
- Tetris style game
- Board game
- Interactive fiction
- Card games
Getting started depends on your language of choice and the game you are going to try and make. For a console game, ie text based, all you need is a compiler or interpreter for your language of choice. For a graphical game you would be best to use an API, SDK, or framework.
There are many tutorials in the Game Programming Tutorials section of Dream.In.Code.
Here are just a few resources I know of for game programming in various languages. The list is far from complete.
SDL - Simple Direct Media Layer
OpenGL – Is installed on all computers by default.
For more free game programming libraries, you can check out this page.
If you are in need of help with your game, check out the Game Programming forum.