I'm a Games Design Student, aware of the frequent advice that I should be good at something else as well (Programming/Art) so I'm useful when a designer is not required and also for the sake of being more useful - generally as a wish to increase my employability, value in group projects and make me capable of individual projects (which would require Design AND programming AND Art all stemming from what I can produce). As such I wish to complete some minor C# projects. In particular, I wish to write a simple Pong clone over this weekend before term starts up again on Monday.
The problem is, when ever I try to write a program, unless it's blindly following instructions (which is simply parroting) I am unable to establish a workflow that moves me forward. If I have an idea or mechanic I wish to document I have some templates I refer to and fill out. If I wanted to produce an art asset I'd consider what asset is (a car, a person) the graphical style (pixel art or drawing or 3d), the technical constraints (resolution/file formats).
For a programming workflow I'm under the impression I have my pseudo-code of what I want to make, I go through each item and check a scripting reference to see how I make each step and break them down further as required. However I have, say, "Draw Paddle_1, Move Paddle1 up/down in relation to input,..." and I cannot progress.
I've been given modules in different languages over the past two years (which I've passed all of - since it just involves parroting instructions) however I am at a loss for picking something to do, how to do it then doing it.
How do I make this leap between loose knowledge of programming and knowing basics of structure and the vocabulary towards actually being able to write something (short of copy/pasting bodies of code from googling them - after doing that dozens of times I only end up frustrated and angry and walk away from programming for months, until it comes up again)?