Since I’ve decided to start with the basics and create a simple Pong clone, I figured I would do some research. I found quite a few tutorials and other articles, but the following is one I wish I would have found months ago: But Can You Make Pong?
Well, there it is. The good old game Pong can be quite a challenge, and certainly not something you finish in a day or two. And this is exactly the reason I believe Pong is the perfect game to test your skills as an all-round developer and/or studio. It’s not overly ambitious, yet it requires a good amount of discipline. Look at it this way: If you can’t finish a simple game of Pong, do you truly think you are ready for the big games?
I have already worked a couple of hours on my Pong clone, and I can see it taking multiple days, and knowing how I seem to like to underestimate myself, probably a couple of weeks or months. Yeesh, that’s a sobering thought: Pong requiring many, many hours to complete.
I’m not too intimidated. I mean, even with my lack of experience, it is just Pong. It’s not even Massively Multiplayer Pong. I just can’t claim to have made such an “easy” game.
I did a bit of research, thinking I could find some simple tutorials. I found some C# ones, which do me no good, but I did find some general Pong physics tips which might come in handy later: ball physics and Pong “physics” .
The gold mine came from the LinuxDevCenter at O’Reilly: Retro Gaming Hacks, Part 1: Clone Pong, Using Only SDL (and Your Brain) by Josh Glover, a contributer to Retro Gaming Hacks. It’s basically a step-by-step tutorial on writing a Pong clone using SDL. I am not too happy with the example code, but it is called a “hack” for a reason. My goal is to implement Pong, but I will use this tutorial as a guide rather than try to mimic the code very closely.