No Way Kids Will All Make Games

May 7th 21:02
by why

I don’t have any proof for this, but part of the idea behind Hackety Hack is to break this ridiculous myth that teaching kids to program somehow involves making games. I am sure of this much: Kids like to play games. This doesn’t mean they necessarily want to make games!! I think we spend so little time thinking about how to really REALLY teach kids that we just blurt it out.

You can't do that on television.

I can’t speak for every kid, of course, and it’s futile to try to lump KIDS together as if they were some big pile of Nickelodeon Double Dare contestants who all like hot dogs and free goldfish and being dropped in goo. But I do speak for the ones I’ve sat at the keyboard with: game programming is one of the least rewarding exercises for some folks.

Game building is tough. (We’re talkin graphical, right??) Tic-tac-toe, for instance, is not trivial. Tic-tac-toe requires a multi-dimensional data structure, maths to draw and position shapes, and a means for two-players to input. (Although, this one for Pugs cuts to the chase.) And then, when you’re done, is it fun enough to have been really worth it? Especially when compared with its paper conterpart which can be done with a pencil in just seconds!!

I’d bet that most kids who work on a game simply do not complete it.

You know, I was helping a kid pick up Windows C programming, which he was compelled to do so he could put together a side-scroller. We started putting together some sprites and drawing backgrounds and I was teaching him blitting and all that. Wanna know what happened to that kid?? He got totally pooped!! We never even got to the joystick and sound.

Instead, I said, “Okay, scrap that.” And I showed him how to make his own bitmapped remote control for Winamp. Bingo! Now that was fun! We moved it into the systray, got it to control some other programs. The tumblers clicked, ladies and gentlemen.

The problem is: game programming isn’t just an exercise in programming. You have to muster up the math, design, writing, and personality — especially if you want to create something original. A lot of people have it in them and the magic is there. What I’m saying is: starting everyone off with game programming is going tire most people out too quickly.

I’m not sure I know the best exercise yet for starting to program. And, actually, modding games can be a great way to start. Stick with playing games for now and jump into something inexpensive like a little blog, RSS reader or forum. These still aren’t great exercises. I think it’s going to take some time doing this to crack that nut.



said on May 7th 21:54

On the one hand, I agree. I’ve never completed a “real” game, on a PC despite starting several times. It’s absolutely overwhelming, the work you have to do. Even just a tile engine…cripes.

But on the other hand, when I first picked up programming, games were all I ever tried to make! And, on my TI calculator, I succeeded in making a few, since the requirements weren’t high. I made a Poker program, and Yahtzee, and they were even graphical. Just like the handheld things you buy in stores. That was achievable. And I kept wanting to do it on the PC, even though I failed with C++, Java, etc.

So there is something to this myth–I think the desire for kids to make games is real. I’m surprised that you’re trying to convince people to ignore this desire, instead of working like you always have to make the impossibly difficult easy.

When I think back on what made the TI games achievable, it was all the limitations. If you gave a kid a 100× pixel canvas (where the “pixels” were actually maybe 5x5 px squares) and the ability to define objects in it that reacted to contact with other objects, mouse clicks, arrow keys, etc., they could come up with fun and creative things.

It’s especially true in an environment like Hackety Hack, where you could make easy network play between two hackers. My coworker recently brought an Atari into our conference room for our Friday lunch, and Pong turns out to still be crazy fun when you’re playing with someone else.


said on May 7th 22:23

I dunno _why. In my high school programming classes (the first time I really started learning any programming), the thing I looked forward to most was making video games.

In my BASIC class our final project was to write Tic Tac Toe with an AI opponent that (and this was the Teacher’s requirement) could not lose if it had the first move.

Now, at the time, I wasn’t that clever about it, so I mapped the entire probability space of Tic Tac Toe (admittedly, not that large) into a series of cascading if-statements. In subsequent classes, I and some friends went on to make Space Invaders, Pac-Man, Tank Wars, Tetris, and one or two other games I’m forgetting. And the most we had were the Borland DOS Graphic manipulation libraries. We painted each damn pixel by hand in the source code. Admittedly, we were just biting on other people’s designs, but that did make it easier to figure out what we had to do.

And that was before I even knew what a function was, we just used sub routines in the really classical sense.

Don’t underestimate the drive a kid can have to make video games and learn about programming in the process. If you think it’s too hard to for a kid to maintain interest in, you’re probably thinking about the process at the wrong abstraction level.

I think the biggest problem with focusing on games is that you sort of ignore all the really cool programming stuff because it’s not directly applicable to making the ghosts follow Pac-Man and if you leave the tools out that make it easier for the ghosts to follow Pac-Man then it starts to become too tedious.

PS: Oh yeah, we did Pong too. That was fun, especially trying out everyone’s different versions. I think someone else did Breakout.

PSS: On the other hand, I’m still not exactly sure what you’re aiming for with Hackety Hack. Is it catering to kids that really want to program or to just teach kids enough about programming so that they can learn more if they ever want or need to?


said on May 7th 22:36

I think part of what you’re saying is that making a sophisticated game requires too much building of infrastructure. For learning, it’s better if the infrastructure is already created, and you can focus on behaviour. For example, the ruby standard library is infrastructure, and you can focus on behaviour, tying it together to create a simple blog. For example, in ZZT, sprites + collision detection + sound + message sending + map drawing is infrastructure, and you can focus on behaviour and build a simple world. For example, in logo, turtles and drawing primitives and screen clearing are infrastructure, and you can focus on behaviour and draw pictures.

I started on those wonderful 15-line programs in Osbourne books and the like. They were simple enough that the “infrastructure” was a 3-line gosub routine to draw a given character at a given position, so the whole thing was behaviour.


said on May 7th 23:02

I’ve not written a game per se since my high school intro to computer science (read: OOP, control flow, and the idiosyncrasies of Java) class a couple years ago. Graphical games are indeed hard to get started with, though some folks I know can tolerate the Java 2d graphics library enough to make some pretty good ones. Personally, I had a lot more fun doing AP Computer Science (read: basic algorithms and data structures) assignments in an OOP-y fashion when I didn’t have to and solving the map coloring problem in AI class as a CSP in such a way that it could be quickly converted to solve Sudoku.1 The fact is, graphics libraries are fiddly at best, obscure and tricky at worst, and really aren’t aimed at someone looking to sit down and code themselves up some Pong. The biggest disappointment for kids comes when they realize the gap between the skills they have and the glitzy video games they’ve played.

1 It’s in Ruby, and it’s blazin’ fast. I’m proud of it. It solved the “world’s hardest Sudoku” in about 4 seconds.


said on May 8th 00:12

I had a similar experience to Klondike. Making games on the old TI-8x series was fun and relatively easy. I haven’t really finished much of anything since. I don’t know about any other kids, but all I and my friends ever wanted to do was make games, and lame as they were, that’s what we did, of course that’s because we liked playing games… during math class.

Some of the limitations of BASIC and the TI environment actually made it a lot easier to make stuff. There’s something in that.


said on May 8th 00:17

Danno gets slimed for saying ‘I dunno’!

Oh, no! slimed

My problem with game programming is that it is a long time before you get to see the actual fruits of your labour, especially when using the “game programming” languages. I wonder if things could be helped by doing it TDD style where the tests provide a little immediate feedback. Or you could try something like pygame or whichever ruby one is actually mature and useful at the moment and see how all the low level infrastructure you now don’t have to care about goes away.

netghost waxes poetic

said on May 8th 00:19

Another thought about environments. The one time that programming really clicked for me was when we were using HyperCard way back in the day. We used it to control a laser disc player, you could play video clips, make noises, and do all kinds of neat stuff. Each object on the screen could be manipulated with the design GUI, and it stayed there so there, that made it all very tactile. _why, if you haven’t ever played with HyperCard, I highly suggest it, it had tons of drawbacks, but at the same time, it was easy to do really fun things with it.


said on May 8th 02:01

…plus HyperCard is object-oriented!!!

Some assorted tumbler-clickers for me in my youth:

–Getting HyperCard to use AppleTalk to send messages between computers. HH has a chat program lesson, does it not? It certainly seems like it would provide the same sort of joy (although unfortunately no telephone wire).
–Writing programs to do math problems for me. I’m not sure I remember what kind of problems, though I recall my father saying that it was probably better than actually doing every step, since coming up with a general solution is a good way to learn something…
–Playing around with this shareware software that generated random texts based on grammars you programmed. I remember it was supposed to generate stuff that sounded like Kant or other philosophers, though clearly I had no idea who those people were. To text what Scribble! is to graphics?

What you say about writing programs to control things already in the environment you’re used to (the windows desktop) certainly hits a chord for me. That seems like the best way to teach new things: to show the things someone knows well in a way they didn’t see before.

I also think that maybe you can do game-like stuff without necessarily making a game and it’ll be rewarding. Just any sort of graphical environment you can manipulate through code. (Back to Scribble!) Here’s a specific implementation idea: what about a little environment in the browser in which you could draw creatures/sprites and move them around?


said on May 8th 02:42

I tend to agree with you about game programming being prohibitively hard (or at least annoying). However, I’ve known a few friends who have had similar experiences to those above: in a very restricted programming environment, a calculator, they really got into it. If Hackety could somehow simulate that, it might be very effective.

I think the key is limiting the available elements of interaction. This limits the “solution space,” so to speak, and paradoxically makes it easier to come up with stuff. I can think of a few ways this might work; we could go calculator-style and just have a grid of 4x4, one-bit dots. We could give more support for text-based games. I think kids would really be able to put their game-making skills to work with stuff like that, without having to deal with the hassle of grucky stuff like graphics.

Douglas F Shearer

said on May 8th 04:23

Like others here, the final programming challenge on BASIC courses at school was to make a simple game such as tic-tac-toe. I took this a bit further and made a clone of the classic GTA (In Visual Basic, of all the horrible things!) with the top down view, but with just the car and some empty space to drive around.

One of the first things I ever programmed in Java was a game of breakout, and that was at university.

Maybe kids don’t really want to program games, but implementing simple games gives them something to look forward to (an incentive in the game itself), but also introduces them to many of the basic concepts (iteration, conditionals, statements) as well as standard library methods (sqrt, mod) in generating results or graphics. Games are a good way to teach the basics.

Obviously full on game programming is a whole different kettle of badgers, and aren’t really ‘programmed’ as such, but developed on top of an engine using an API.


said on May 8th 07:08

Didn’t have a close look at it yet, but i’m pretty sure some hints at how this Sudoku solver in Ruby using SAT works would turn out very instructive.


said on May 8th 07:24

I dunno… all I tried to make was games. But then, I didn’t have the Internet.

I distinctly remember making a slot machine in QBasic with the line-and-circle drawing routines. And… Klik & Play, anyone? That shit rocked.

Also later I wrote a mean Battleship in TI-Basic during Civics class.


said on May 8th 07:44

Some games are hard to do, some games take time. The best approach for Hackety Hack at the moment I think would be using what is already there and make some browser games. You can make a visual novel, a Quiz like who wants to be a millionaire and tons of other stuff. And they are much easier to do than anything else. You can make fun games with just the use of “if” clauses and the ability to display pictures and text on the screen. You can even do animations by using animated GIFs. I once made an interactive advent calendar for christmas for a friend of mine and the calender was nothing more than a website with links and every day there was something interactive like small games behind one of the doors, all done in the browser with PHP.
You want limitations to easily make games? There you have one right built in to Hackety Hack. So, use it ;)

And I completely agree with Why that not everyone wants to make games. Game programmers today are most of the time just working on the engine, the physics, AI and stuff. The actual game makers are the 3D Artists, the Scripters, the game designers and what not.

I may be totally wrong, but these are my thoughts, do with ’em what you want ;)


said on May 8th 08:59

my first programs were games. I agree with the above that the key is limitations. I showed my 8 year old how to make a simple secret number guessing game and he had fun with it for a week. Adding messages about what a dumb ass you are if it took you 15 guesses. That is still a MAJOR draw for kids to start programming. HH would do well to have some simple game engine stuff built in.


said on May 8th 09:58

Lovely stories and recollections. The sentiment about TI calcs and keeping it small. That’s real.

Now, remember: you are a precocious bunch. You’re probably insanely wired to your machines, you all got hooked early and you like your history the way it was. You are geeks straight up and down. Not everyone can do what you did. I definitely couldn’t.

Stephen Waits

said on May 8th 10:09

I’ve been writing games professionally for 11 years now, currently at Sony, for PS3.

I think a lot of kids DO want to make games. Not all though.

Anyway, I think the bigger point is that it’s actually pretty hard to get off of the ground. For that, I recommend you check out Gamemaker:


Dave Burt

said on May 8th 10:31

Games are about creativity, so the best games are the ones you invent.

But this invention doesn’t necessarily result in a computer game for EA to snap up. Building a program can be a game itself! (When you write “Bingo! Now that was fun!” I think you’re near this point.)

The kids who started writing a simple choose-your-own-adventure with a trivial interface together, but didn’t complete it, have played and wrestled with the adventure of building up a new program.

Writing a game with characters and objects and physics may be limited by the student’s understanding of maths etc., but playing is universal; if you can turn it (programming, maths) into a game, it becomes a whole bunch easier for the student to connect with.


said on May 8th 10:58

Maybe not always games, but make computer toys perhaps. I think the coolest thing about making games back in school was that everyone had a TI calculator (it was required), and it was easy to share. There was nothing cooler (ok, lots of things, but I’m trying to make a point) than seeing someone playing with something you have made.

Michael Gorsuch

said on May 8th 11:13

Good article, _why. The big issue is simply scope. If the kid can get some sort of instant gratification, then he or she will be more inclined to work on bigger problems. I would imagine that if you worked with a kid on a game who already had some completed projects in his or her lunchbox, and you used prefab sprites and tiles along with an existing game framework (BlitzBasic, maybe?), the results may be different.

Great job, as always. I really respect what you’re working on here.


said on May 8th 11:55

As a “kid” I can say I really have no real want to make a game. It’s not a problem I want to solve. But I am getting into this live audio stuff, and more graphics stuff. Maybe it’s a game? But yea, I have no want to make Tic-Tac-toe

Anonymous Coward

said on May 8th 13:48

Indeed, it required non-trivial amount of programming to make a game.

But when you spend months and months after months, until it reach years, you love programming just for the sake of programming.

For example, I spent at least 2 months just programming my GUI library and it is still nowhere what I wanted(but it recevied lot of improvements). I love it.

I am a newbie myself…I mean I only have at least 1 years of experience, and I spent much of my time programming a game, a GUI library. Little of my time is spent on other games and other application.


said on May 8th 13:55

Well, I’ve known several pretty skilled programmers who picked it up by doing scripting/modding for games like Quake. That’s one of the reasons that I’m working on Pygmalion, a scenario-style game engine in Ruby. The point is that you can get in quickly with little or no programming—you can combine existing objects with predefined behaviors and have yourself a nice little adventure. But then you can go deeper and write new behaviors for objects, design new rulesets, etc. My hope is that people will be able to go from code-ignorance to code-fluency just through interest in making the stuff they do more interesting. I’ve certainly seen it with other moddable systems.

For what it’s worth, almost all the programming I did as a kid fell into either the ‘game’ or ‘graphics hack’ categories.


said on May 8th 15:36

It’s true that games programming is pretty full on for an introductory hacking experience.

Back before our machines were connected to other machines and people, though, demos (you know, funky graphics and noises) and games were pretty much the only interesting thing to make (unless you got well and truly bitten by programming for programming’s sake)–so that’s the kind of hacking my ZX Spectrum generation did.

These days though I think _why is absolutely right, you can make really cool socially compelling non-game stuff much quicker than games, especially once you have a decent environment like HH, so it isn’t sensible to focus on game creation.


said on May 8th 15:56

If we gather ideas from H-ety H, NodeBox / Scribble! and Live Coding concept, with your post and comments, we could imagine something.

Imagine we have “coding” environment, consisting on “field” and “code” areas. Field area is two-dimensional almost empty field (bird eye perspective), alongside which several characters (foxes?) are walking randomly. And here we begin: a page of code on pastie.

As time goes, there are logic added to characters, new characters and things
added to field, new properties added to environment.

Doesn’t it looks cool? Doesn’t it was new wheel invention?

…Sorry for lengthy comment, don’t have my own blog to put this “idea” there.


said on May 8th 16:30

With Djur, I think game programming can work if you give the kids a pre-made kit that already covers the hard stuff. I’m from an earlier generation (pre-Quake), but I know a number of folks who got into programming via scriptable “game creation systems”.

But, yeah, making a kid bootstrap all the stuff required to make a modernish game? No, not going to happen.


said on May 8th 17:02

The issue is that the resources required to make a ‘modern game’ have increased by leaps and bounds. Making Ultima required, certainly, a degree of ingenuity to deal with the limitations of the hardware, and a small amount of primitive artistic ability. Making Fallout, on the other hand, would have been difficult for anything less than a group of professional programmers and artists, and making FarCry or the like is flat-out impossible for anything other than a well-paid group working full-time.

Furthermore, the amount of time and effort it takes to customize a modern game (let’s say Oblivion or even Morrowind) is substantially greater than that required for older games. Pygmalion was inspired in great part by Blades of Exile, a somewhat popular shareware game creator. There is a large quantity of wonderful art and a great collection of artistic and intelligent scenarios that far outstrips—in aggregate and on average—the quality of the same material available for Morrowind, Neverwinter Nights, etc.

I’m getting a bit off-topic here, and I apologize. But I think that games are an inherently interesting problem for young people to solve with computer programming. In order to make it feasible for them to do so today, however, you’ve got to do the grunt work first, while not closing the door behind you.

It’s kind of like building a chest of drawers for a kid and having them apply the finish and screw in the knobs as they like. But you leave a hammer in one of the drawers with a discreet note mentioning where to find the wood and the nails.

I’d like computers and the programming thereof to be interesting and fun for kids. I see Hackety Hack as a really promising step in that direction. Squeak and HyperCard and other persistent object-oriented environments are similarly inspiring. But hey, some people just want to make a crate puzzle.


said on May 8th 17:13

_why, you’re making the case that Kids DO want to make games–it’s just too hard. And–it is. And that’s (part) of the problem.

My kids TELL me they want to make a games. My oldest (12), anyway. Yeah, he doesn’t know how hard it is, and if he did he’d be discouraged–but it doesn’t have to be that hard.

Remember Pinball Construction Set??? I had it on my Atari–4 colors because 320x200 artifacted on your color TV, OH YEAH! I spent hours–and it wasn’t so much programming as it was learning I could make the computer do what I want (and that the computer follows it’s own rules, not mine).

Remember Adventure Construction Set??? Now we’re getting somewhere–I could make maps, characters, some scripting, all sorts of fun stuff. The tools were simple, but hey–you can make castles from blocks of clay.

From there, it’s just a small set to a sector editor and hacking Ultima III. Ah, the days.

Point is–Making a game doesn’t necessarily mean “making a game from scratch”. It’s our job as responsible adults to provide the tools (including examples, demos, and full-blown games they can dissect and modify) they need to explore.

You got a blog in 4 lines in Hackety Hack. Rock on. Let’s get Pong going in 4 lines. Let’s get a decent Spacewar going in 6. NETWORKED spacewar in 8. Ooh. Yes, that means we’re wrapping a lot of functionality in libraries–so what? You’ve got youtube in one, all the web in another–it’s doable.

We don’t need Quake V (or tic tac toe). Think more “monkeys jumping on the bed, hit em with a firehose”. Make the hard parts simple (or invisible), let them concentrate for now on behaviors and rules, and all hell will break loose. I’m looking forward to it.


said on May 8th 22:17

When I was a kid I spent a lot of time making BASIC programs that would spew out colorful random text in random colors on random parts of the screen. I named my favorite one Monkey Poison, which would ask you to type in a phrase and then randomly print it around over a backdrop of scrolling random characters.

Something like that might be easily doable, weird enough to inpsire strange variations, and could even tie into RSS from a favorite website to make the information more personalized.

So I’m thinking a non-interactive screensaver might fulfill the whiz-bang wowie zowie feeling of making a game, and the lack of real-time interaction could keep it simple.


said on May 8th 23:48

_why, it seems like you’re defending your point about shattering a stereotype, by stereotyping us. What differs us from the average kid, or the kind of kid you’re trying to appeal to? If Hackety Hack does its job, more kids will realize what kids like us did without it, and they’ll become just as wired to their computers. Remember, my story isn’t that I successfully made games on my computer—I wanted to, tried, and when it was insanely hard, I did other things instead, just like the kid in your class.


said on May 9th 01:02

zverok: Glam glosh glorious felix, that’s brilliant, thankyou!!

You lot are the best readers I can ask for. You’ve weathered this transition with all the poise and grace of an actual Brian Dennehey or Coach Buttermaker. Let’s be thick as thieves all crammed in our beehive.


said on May 9th 01:46

Anyone tried this or this or this ?


said on May 9th 11:31

Why, having seemed so insane and insightful previously, this is alarming. People are different, right?

Some (like me) start programming because they want to make things bounce around on the screen. Others because they want to make web pages that send e-mail to people. After two months of programming, some twelve years ago, I could easily make things bounce on the screen any way I wanted to. To this day, I would have to spend an embarrasing amount of time figuring out how to make a web page that sends an e-mail. I can write stupidly fast alpha-transparent image scaling in x86 assembly, but I need to wade trhough documentation in order to open a socket. When I learn new languages, my “hello world” is making a rotating wireframe cube.

I firmly believe, based on own experience, that writing programs that produce fancy animated graphics on the screen is the most instantly rewarding way to learn programming. You really feel like a wizard conjuring up all these amazing images and structures! and in my day, we had to channel this pure force of imagniation through the rusty and unforgiving pipes of x86 real mode assembler. If we went to such lengths to satisfy our need of expression, there will be no stopping today’s kids who need only write ten lines of ruby!


said on May 9th 11:34

@zverok: I’m not my most stable self today, but I am actually crying as the beauty of your idea unfolds before my eyes. Yes, I’d love to see that environment, and I’d want it in a language that I do not know so that I can play around like a true kid.


said on May 9th 15:06

Zverok and Bortels (totally!)

I started on TI-99/4A and I was perfectly happy making little special character based figures run around the screens and bump into the walls and make little noises.

Mind you, I was 13 and English wasn’t my first language, so I was pestering adults to translate for me what the commands meant, and what the manual was trying to teach me.. I could lookup words in the dictionary, but didn’t know sentence structure and grammer etc. Still, I was so driven, because the reward was immediate and I felt like I had so much control. Because of my problems with English and having to look up every thing in a dictionary, I tried writing a simple dictionary program which would lookup a word that I needed the meaning for. Didn’t go too far when I realized I only had 16k to deal with.

So, for me, I was driven to solve what my problems were. Perhaps another way would be to ask children what they want to do and then go from there (sorry if it sounds stupidly simple)

Giving children the behaviours to play with and “program” them is a better approach IMO than doing the from scratch thing.

love the post and the comments! very thought provoking.


said on May 13rd 10:43

How about asking kids what they want? And asking educators?

Us adult programmers suffer from expert blindness. We think game programming sounds so fun but either too simple or beneath us as adults. Problem is, we didn’t do it ourselves as kids. It is very hard and complex.

We need to go forward based on some data and evidence, not just intuitions. Gamemaker, as someone above recommended, has been successfully used with kids, as has hypercard/supercard. Python/ruby are great, but not designed with kids in mind. In fact the evidence is that kids find it just as boring as basic, only harder:


said on May 15th 00:42

Fun with all these recollections. Myself, I remember Amos, on the Amiga 600. Before that I had already played around with C64’s, and Norwegian thing called a TIKI 100 that almost all schools had (similar idea, “operating system” is BASIC, 5,25" disks, no HD, I played with them at school making simple scripts, “Learning BASIC with Dino” etc). Then with Amos it really took off. It was simple BASIC, but with a ton of libraries (although you didn’t have to require them or anything), providing graphics and sound… And it was really high level, I think we would require a “bob” or a “sprite”, and it could even be an animated gif–and it had collision detecting and everything.

My friend loved drawing and I did programming, and in the 6th grade of elementary, we did a Super Mario clone. It wasn’t as good, but the graphics were really funny, and it was actually quite playable… And really fun to work on! I’ve never come across a system that makes it so easy to use graphics again. (I never became a hard core programmer for the record–the math was too hard, C killed all my interest–then I got into politics and social science–only recently have I started playing with Ruby again).

But yeah, I would love some support for all of this in HacketyHack. Funnily enough I’m not thinking that much about children, but about my friends–who have gone from looking at Linux to actually running it and are now thinking of learning a programming language for some stuff… one wants really cool unicode text handling to do crazy stuff with Chinese texts he’s analyzing, another wants to make a simple language learning tool… I would love to give them Hacketyhack to play around with–even as a “stepping stone” to Ruby itself.


said on May 20th 02:04

This largely echoes what other people have said, but I’ll add my $.02. My first experience programming was in BASIC on the TI/994A. The first thing I wanted to do was make games. However, the games I made were pretty simple. I make a guess the number game. I made a game that was like madlibs where it asked for verbs, nouns, etc. and then put them into a story. I made a simple choose-your-own-adventure game. One site that I think is pretty fun is and it’s just springs and masses. My point is that I think you can make some pretty fun things with simple building blocks. You don’t have to expose them to all of that complexity.


said on May 22nd 08:55

Maybe dim3 could make it much easier for some kids to get a grasp of what it’s all about to develop games!


said on May 27th 14:29

I fully agree with why’s article. I guess I’m just one of those very rare people who never had games in mind when I started to learn computer programming.

At first, I learned HTML, because my mom wanted to be able to type in big, red letters (go figure) on this forum she was trolling. HTML was mad simple, and after having used it on several school projects, I wanted to be able to design my own website with things like polls and a shoutbox. It was around grade 8 for me, and that’s how I got into learning PHP. My junior high did not have any programming classes, but due to the tons of PHP tutorials I was able to pull through just fine.

I’m now going into the second year of CompSci, and though I’ve expanded my repertoire to Java and a little C++, I still have not programmed any satisfactory games. I just don’t have any overwhelming desire to plunge into 3D graphics and DirectX/OpenGL…

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