The good news, we both completed the basic programming lessons. The bad news, we did not get as far as planned. Both of us got bogged down with making loops. Our loops either ran on forever or stopped prematurely. We are not giving up. The summer of coding has simply become the year of coding.
Although we did not learn to code and build an app, we did design a game. Through a great connection, we discovered an easier way to build a game. Jumala, from Blade Games World, allows kids and parents to create their own game from the ground up without having to learn to code.
Players start with a basic template that they can manipulate in endless ways. They can change the terrain by adding hills, mountains, valleys, houses, rocks, trees etc. After modifying the terrain, players can build lots of different challenges. It is a great way to learn game design without loops and strings. In fact, the University of Washington uses Jumala to teach an entry-level game design class.
Now, here is a few words from my eldest child on the summer of coding and game design.
A girl in my class once told me she hated math and wanted to be a video game designer in the same sentence. I held my tongue, smiled, and nodded, but if I had been able to code at the time I would have laughed. Learning coding is like learning another language; a really complicated language derived from math and spoken by computers. The video game industry is growing and so are many other tech industries. Jumala provides a simple, fun, and easy-to-use way to introduce kids to video game design. What do you think will excite us more about computers and technology, a string of code or making your own video game?
So, if you want to make your own video game, without assigning variables and manipulating strings, check out Jumala. If you want to develop an appreciate for your computer programming friends, check out Codecademy.