One of the more fun projects a programmer can take on is game programming. Whether you do it for work or you do it for your own amusement, game programming is an exciting and rewarding activity.
After all, there's something really cool about being able to create a simulation and to make it as realistic or (anti-realistic) as you want. Personally, as the holidays approach and we all start thinking about sitting down with family for various feasts, I'd love to see a game based on that typical family holiday gathering. Wouldn't it be great if you could banish annoying guests to other realms and collect bad food for points?
The point is that no matter whether your game is a simulation or a real or fictional event, the main purpose is to have fun. And, for programmers, game programming can be a wonderful exercise, allowing you to create complex software systems without the pressure of solving a real-world task.
For Rubyists, a great way to begin game programming is by taking a look at the development and extension library Rubygame, an open-source project inspired by Pygame. We've had so much fun with it that we're bringing you a series of tutorials, including the media downloads you'll need to start gaming.
We'll start with the most basic step: Setting up Rubygame.