How to Program Computer Games

By Techwalla Computers Editor

Serious gamers often dream of making their own computer games, but learning how to program games can seem like a daunting task. Chances are you won't be able to create the lush three-dimensional landscapes and complex worlds of modern commercial games, but you can make a basic computer game with a little bit of personal study and a few tutorials.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer

Step 1

Learn a programming language. You can't program without first learning a language. There are a couple popular and easy to use formats for making computer games: Flash, Basic and Java. These aren't the most state-of-the-art programming languages, but they will give you a grasp of computer game logic and get you used to working with code.

Step 2

Start with Basic. Basic is a mostly outmoded method of programming, dating back to the old command prompt days of MS-DOS, but it makes a great primer for learning the fundamentals of coding. Download QBasic (see Resources section below) and read some of the tutorials from Qbasic News to get started.

Step 3

Download Flash. From the link below, you can get a free trial. This graphical interface is used for many interactive Web games and pages. It is a bit more complicated than Basic, but offers more possibilities.

Step 4

Learn Javascript. Javascript is another Web language that can be used to make computer games. It is a bit like HTML and doesn't require any special programs to run. You can find some good tutorials in the links in the Resources section.

Step 5

Take some real courses. If you can grasp and enjoy these three basic modes of programming computer games, a career in computer game programming might be a good idea for you! More and more technological and trade schools have programs in computer game programming where you can earn a degree while learning advanced coding skills.

Tips & Warnings

  • Strong math and logical reasoning skills are very helpful when learning how to program.
  • The best way to learn is through practice. Follow tutorials and create a program on your own, even if you are just copying code line by line.
  • Coding can be confusing and frustrating at first, but don't get discouraged. It's a little bit like learning math: once you start to get a feel for the logic, it will all start making sense.