My First Game - Why its important!

It started from a board game... It was my first semester (Fall 2006) "introduction to programming" project. I had no idea about game design.

It was a two player car racing board game, I coded it in C++ so you can imagine there were no graphics at all and the game was all text based. Funny thing is I still managed to create all roads and cars through dotted lines and alphabets but what about the game design? This where I took inspiration from my friend's game who was coding snake and ladders. I thought it would be fun to merge it with my game. The board game wasn't actually on the board, it was coded in C++

So the game was a two player game, the primary objective of the game was to reach the final destination of a road which was numbered from 1 to 100. Every time the dice rolls (which was basically a random number generation function) each player would have to move the car towards that number. Here is the fun part, few numbers would pack a reward for the player. The surprise can make you either jump ahead or go backward, or go back to start.
It was all about the luck of the player!

Just when I thought the game was ready for submission, for a first semseter student it was like an achievement but... some magic, a grave tragedy happened and all roads got messed up. The only output that appeared  on the screen was a text that I wrote in between just for testing purposes;

"anything funny... :)"

Seemed like a joke had been played with me right before the submission deadline! I spent all day to fix the roads, turned out it was just a missing semicolon which messed up all loops! Life of a programmer, its always a single semicolon silently plotting it's revenge. :D

I completed the game and got an A in the project, the appreciation from my teacher was priceless.

After many years, while studying Game Design Principles, I tried to re-create this game with a bunch of rules & new features, still it wasn't that good. 

Creating games is really hard!

This was the refined version of that board game.

The most important thing that this game did to me was that it developed my interest in programming. I enjoyed spending time and creating logics for that game which i never enjoyed while coding  algorithms to find smallest number in the array for no reason at all! 
My university teacher was very dedicated to teach us coding by giving us so many surprise quizzes, assignments and the most horrifying Lab quizzes! 

Video games can add a lot of fun in simple coding

They can also improve logic building. I think this was the only reason I became a good programmer as compared to several others in the same class. We should use video games to teach coding and logic building.
After graduation I worked as a programmer for one year but after some time I decided to quit because I had more interest in the field of art and video games.

Sadia Bashir

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