Around an hour later I had a functional game! Sure, it was a super simple and nobody would look at it twice, but it was mine. I made that thing. For someone whose only previous programming achievements were a calculator and a hangman type game, both text mode only, this was a great feeling.
The code from the magazine covered just the basic gameplay. Press button to start, bounce the ball to get score. If you lose a ball, it just reappears and you play until you run out of lives. Once this happens, the game just stops. Done. If you are just starting your programming journey, I think things like this zine's tutorial are a great way to do it. Not only it slowly teaches you the basics, but it gives you something that you can actually play in short amount of time. Sure it gives you a really barebone product, but I think it was a brilliant tactic, because you will want to expand it on your own. After playing for a while I wanted to implement things like "Game Over screen" or ability to serve the ball from the paddle. I have willingly stepped into an uncharted territory, trying to code things on my own. To my surprise, I was able to implement few extra features the same afternoon.