My First Game – Part 10: Pong – Post Mortem

We made a simple Pong clone using HaxeFlixel. Here is a summary of each parts:

Part 1 – Mental Preparation

This isn’t really part of the Pong tutorial, but if you’re making a game with the intention of commercialising your work some day, then it’s best to know what hurdles you have ahead.

The Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is concept that helps, especially when you have too many game ideas and too little time.

Part 2 – Game Design

Before you start coding your Pong game (or any other game), you need to lay down the design. In a perfect world, your version of Pong would have the most realistic physics, with high-definition graphics and amazing sounds, and an amazing title screen.

Unfortunately, we don’t have the time for that. We gotta pick what we want to make as an MVP, and strip out unnecessary things. Once you list down the necessary components and tasks to complete the game, you can gauge how much time it’ll take to finish it.

Part 3 – Setup

For beginners in HaxeFlixel, this is a short guide on getting your project up and ready for coding.

Part 4 – Paddle

Part 5 – Paddle Movement

Part 6 – Second Paddle

Part 7 – The Ball

Part 8 – Score Text

Part 9 – Sound

Parts 4 to 9 are straightforward — you make a Pong clone with as little effort as possible. Nothing fancy like realistic physics or intelligent AI.

While going through the tutorial, you might have had a lot of nagging thoughts in your head, such as “But the ball doesn’t bounce realistically”, or “But the score text is too plain”.

That’s normal, and it’s good to have these thoughts, but they’re not necessary in completing a game. They are part of the polishing phase — after you’re done with the game’s basic features, you start improving it.

I learned the hard way in failing to complete several of my game projects. Often, I find myself thinking “Oh it’ll be great if the game had this feature”, only to be boggled by its complexity, and ultimately making me lose interest in the game completely.

It is, in fact, a challenge to strip a game idea to its bare minimum. So work your way toward an MVP whenever you have this Amazing Idea™ in your head, and polish from there. More often than not, you’ll struggle just to finish your MVP instead of the actual full game.

In the next post, we shall begin a new tutorial — an Asteroids clone. Or rather, it is a study on an existing HaxeFlixel demo – FlxTeroids.

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