Dive right into C++ and create your first game—but that’s just the beginning. Explore commonalities between games and find similarities in how the code is structured; really dig into the underlying system to discover what's at the core of all games, from the parts designed to quickly add new content to implementing game-specific features, then adapt that code into your own work.
Put this knowledge to use by creating your own game engine. Learn what code to keep and what to leave out as you build a foundation for your projects. Game engines not only save time at the start of each new project, they enable iteration on mechanics and balance until the project is perfect—they’re an essential part of professional video game development.