Every year, our first-year students of the Game Development major need to prove that they understand the basics of C++. What better way than asking them to recreate one of their childhood favourites – games they have probably played for hours on end, and of which they have the best of memories. Each year the Kirbys, Marios and Megamans return and are joined by more modern arcade or retro-style games such as Hotline Miami and Braid, showing once again that the current game developers’ childhood classics live on in the future generations.
These games are a true test of their understanding of the basic C++ programming language, memory management, physics and collision detection in games, but also of time management, planning and perseverance. Special attention is paid to code organisation and style, the correct use of inheritance and composition and the first steps into the standard library. For many students, this step-by-step approach is what is needed to introduce them to a whole new world, in which a programming language becomes a useful tool that will help them to create and express their ideas.