Developing an approach 
Author Message
 Developing an approach

   e Edwin, I think your idea  is good, as a motivator I know thats what
the kids want to do. One way round  not having time to churn out  pages and
pages of code is to provide some pre-writen routines to get over soem  of
the main hurdles. It is possible to  provide functionality like 'a
descending box' and a 'box generator' and a 'box  hit' routine. Make these
so that they can be used in a number of ways, size  colour, speed, etc.  
The other way would be  to have a target of a choice of several easy games,
like ping pong. I am realy  trying tho draw a parallel with the early
electronic  kits that we  constructed as kids. For example I built a radio
when I was 11, there were lots  of bits to solder together and there was
the case to construct, but some parts  came prebuit. You know when you
build a PC you dont try to build the power  supply. You buy the unit.I
think it should be the same for building a computer  game, yes there are
things to put together that let you learn by doing it  yourself, but I
would provide for example routines for saveing game options to  disk, so
that the games can be constructed from units, and then the units can be
amended as required.   It is very difficult now  ot get children e{*filter*}d
about programming the kind of games that can be doen in  under 5 hours of
code. For exmaple I programmed 'life' on a bbc machine back in  81 and was
very very happy about that. But now, well it just is not very  impresive
compared to everything that is available, and ny son can 'buy' a game  for
5 pounds that far exceedes anything he can build. In 81 I could not even
buy  any games. So I coded them. Sometimes these were typed in from  sheets
of  paper, but I think I picked up techniques and Idea along the  way.  
Peter  Marshall[]
Quote:
   -----Original Message-----From: Edwin Pilobello


I am about to    conclude my initial offering of "Code Programming : Game
Development".  The draw in the catalog description is the assumption
that students would learn how to create their own    games.       I
believe we    all learned that 12 hours of class time is not long
enough.  Not long enough, that is, to create something that they are
used to playing.  Nonetheless, the class has produced 3 budding    ELICA
programmers.  Each has consistently surprised themselves with how    well
they can hack at the code samples and build their own knowledge.  We    can
all point to these three and say "They are going to be great
programmers."       The other six are    very appreciative, but their
desires are bound to manipulating larger objects    rather than minute
code.  They want immediate and grand results.  As    was the case with
walker.eli (the walking stickman),  They all delighted    at poking at the
figure.  But when challenged to coordinate a    different movement, they
choked.  The three "programmers" picked out the    relevant functions and
made swimmers, climbers and break-dancers.  The    others got lost trying
to absorb the lenght and breath of every line and    function in five pages
of code.       Too bad that    marketing demands oversimplify the process.
Nonetheless, I learned quite    a few things.  I'm looking forward to the
next two sections with fresh    ideas on developing a better approach.  It
sure is a lot of work to get    the samples ready.       How would you have
done this class?       Cheers,   :-)     edwinTo unsubscribe from this
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Sat, 13 Nov 2004 07:22:52 GMT  
 Developing an approach

Quote:
> For exmaple I programmed 'life' on a bbc machine back in 81

http://plus.maths.org/
Games, Life and the Game of Life +
When we finally meet the Martians, John Conway believes they are going to
want to talk mathematics. He talks to Plus about his Life game, artificial
life and what we will have in common with extraterrestrials.

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Sat, 13 Nov 2004 07:24:14 GMT  
 Developing an approach
Dale, where do you find these way cool web sites? This one is a keeper and on
the favorites list. Thanks a lot.

Paul Kosuth

Quote:

> > For exmaple I programmed 'life' on a bbc machine back in 81

> http://plus.maths.org/
> Games, Life and the Game of Life +
> When we finally meet the Martians, John Conway believes they are going to
> want to talk mathematics. He talks to Plus about his Life game, artificial
> life and what we will have in common with extraterrestrials.

> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:

> LogoForum messages are archived at:
> http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LogoForum

> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/

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Sat, 13 Nov 2004 12:51:33 GMT  
 Developing an approach
   e I am about to  conclude my initial offering of "Code Programming :
Game  Development".  The draw in the catalog description is the assumption
that students would learn how to create their own  games.   I believe we
all learned that 12 hours of class time is not long enough.   Not long
enough, that is, to create something that they are used to  playing.
Nonetheless, the class has produced 3 budding ELICA  programmers.  Each has
consistently surprised themselves with how well they  can hack at the code
samples and build their own knowledge.  We can all  point to these three
and say "They are going to be great  programmers."   The other six are
very appreciative, but their desires are bound to manipulating larger
objects  rather than minute code.  They want immediate and grand results.
As  was the case with walker.eli (the walking stickman),  They all
delighted at  poking at the figure.  But when challenged to coordinate a
different  movement, they choked.  The three "programmers" picked out the
relevant  functions and made swimmers, climbers and break-dancers.  The
others got  lost trying to absorb the lenght and breath of every line and
function in five  pages of code.   Too bad that  marketing demands
oversimplify the process.  Nonetheless, I learned quite a  few things.  I'm
looking forward to the next two sections with fresh ideas  on developing a
better approach.  It sure is a lot of work to get the  samples ready.   How
would you have  done this class?   Cheers, :-)   edwin
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Sat, 13 Nov 2004 07:20:27 GMT  
 Developing an approach
   e You're  absolutely right, Peter.  Modularizing the code "toolbox"
hastens program  development.   At the  start of the class, we opened up
each of the 10 PingPong levels in ELICA to  study the incremental steps in
the program's development.  Then we voted on  several new features for a
new game level.  One of the students, a  senior in High School, created a
design document for Water Polo Pong.  This  we shared in a team programming
effort.  That's when the lack of some basic  programming skills became very
apparent.   For  example, one of the first lines encountered in ELICA
graphix is "lookat".   It has three vectors as arguments that are easy to
demonstrate.  These  were all understood in Session 1, or so they
indicated.  Guess  what?  Last week in Session 5, we spent an hour
re-visiting the  concept of vectors in 3D space.   It was  not difficult to
justify going back to the basics.  The need was evident  since most of the
kids had difficulty drawing a 3D Tic Tac Toe grid using simple
segments.  Anyway, this past few days, I've been putting myself in the
students shoes.  The result will hopefully teach how to define points  in
3D space.     Check  out the attachments in ELICA.  I created 3DTTT.ELI
using cylinders and  deliberately made it crude.  Pavel enhanced it in
3DTTT1.ELI.  Tomorrow, we will discover and discuss each  line in 3DTTT and
the process of enhancing it into 3DTTT1.  Hopefully,  we'll have enough
time to anticipate what's needed to complete the game on their  own this
summer.   Advertising "Game Development" is getting a lot of attention and
generating a waiting list to get into the class. Now I simply have to
figure out how to shuttle back and forth between the real basics and the
macros  (which the kids perceive to be the basics).   Oh  well...   :-)
edwin
Quote:
      -----Original Message-----From: Marshall, Peter    (ELS)


approach   Edwin, I think your    idea is good, as a motivator I know thats
what the kids want to do. One way    round not   having time to churn
out pages and pages of code is to provide some pre-writen routines to get
over    soem of the main hurdles.   It is possible to    provide
functionality like 'a descending box' and a 'box generator' and a 'box
hit' routine. Make these so that they can be used in a number of ways, size
colour, speed, etc.        The other way would be    to have a target of a
choice of several easy games, like ping pong. I am realy    trying tho draw
a parallel with the early electronic  kits that we    constructed as kids.
For example I built a radio when I was 11, there were    lots of bits to
solder together and there was the case to construct, but some    parts came
prebuit. You know when you build a PC you dont try to build the    power
supply. You buy the unit.I think it should be the same for building a
computer game, yes there are things to put together that let you learn by
doing it yourself, but I would provide for example routines for saveing
game    options to disk, so that the games can be constructed from units,
and then the    units can be amended as required.       It is very
difficult    now ot get children e{*filter*}d about programming the kind of
games that can be    doen in under 5 hours of code. For exmaple I
programmed 'life' on a bbc    machine back in 81 and was very very happy
about that. But now, well it just    is not very impresive compared to
everything that is available, and ny son can    'buy' a game for 5 pounds
that far exceedes anything he can build. In 81 I    could not even buy any
games. So I coded them. Sometimes these were typed in    from  sheets of
paper, but I think I picked up techniques and Idea along    the way.    
Peter    Marshall[]
     -----Original Message-----From: Edwin Pilobello


I am about      to conclude my initial offering of "Code Programming : Game
Development".  The draw in the catalog description is the assumption
that students would learn how to create their own      games.           I
believe we all learned that 12 hours of class time      is not long
enough.  Not long enough, that is, to create      something that they are
used to playing.  Nonetheless, the class has      produced 3 budding ELICA
programmers.  Each has consistently      surprised themselves with how well
they can hack at the code samples and      build their own knowledge.  We
can all point to these three and say      "They are going to be great
programmers."           The other six      are very appreciative, but their
desires are bound to manipulating larger      objects rather than minute
code.  They want immediate and grand      results.  As was the case with
walker.eli (the walking stickman),       They all delighted at poking at
the figure.  But when challenged      to coordinate a different movement,
they choked.  The three      "programmers" picked out the relevant
functions and made swimmers, climbers      and break-dancers.  The others
got lost trying to absorb the lenght and      breath of every line and
function in five pages of code.           Too bad that      marketing
demands oversimplify the process.  Nonetheless, I learned      quite a few
things.  I'm looking forward to the next two sections with      fresh ideas
on developing a better approach.  It sure is a lot of work      to get the
samples ready.           How would you      have done this class?      
Cheers,     :-)       edwinTo unsubscribe from this group, send an

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< http://www.*-*-*.com/ ; Yahoo! Terms of Service. Content-Type:
application/octet-stream; name="3DTTT1.ELI"
Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="3DTTT1.ELI"

Attachment converted: Macintosh HD:3DTTT1.ELI (????/----) (0003414A)
Content-Type: application/octet-stream; name="3DTTT.ELI"
Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="3DTTT.ELI"

Attachment converted: Macintosh HD:3DTTT.ELI (????/----) (0003414B)



Sat, 13 Nov 2004 07:25:56 GMT  
 Developing an approach

Quote:

>   I believe we
>all learned that 12 hours of class time is not long enough.

I was in a similar situation last summer with a group of high school
students, mornings for two weeks.  We did two things that helped, although
I'm not sure they helped enough.  One is that we didn't do an animated game;
we wrote Mastermind, with the computer picking random colors and the user
trying to guess them.  So the programming was easier in some ways.  The other
is that we decided how far we wanted them to get each day, and the next day
we gave them our version of yesterday's solution, so even if they didn't get
it all done they could start on today's task instead of falling behind.
(They worked in pairs, not all together, so some groups worked faster than
others.)

But we had 30 hours of class and it still wasn't enough.  :-)

The idea of giving them partial code each day came from thinking that there
were two ways to run the class, both unacceptable:

1.  Start from the beginning, teach them how to program, and not get far
enough in the available time for them to finish a project.  The result is
that they feel they met our expectations, but not their own, because they
never do a project.

2.  Jump into a project.  The result is that they see that such projects are
possible, but they all end up feeling like failures because we go too fast
and they don't get it.

So we tried to do something in between.



Sun, 14 Nov 2004 21:08:16 GMT  
 Developing an approach
I used the "Games, Life and Game of Life" illustrations and rules in a
class discussion today.  The other article on "Why was the Computer
Invented When It Was" also caught the attention of most of the kids in
class.

DEBRIEFING:
----------
Section 1 of "Code Programming : Game Development" is history.  I've
just read all the class evaluations.  The "black boxing" session needed
a bit more prepping.  Everything else met their expectations.

As planned, I presented 3DTTT.ELI and Pavel's 3DTTT1.ELI.  They readily
saw how my 12 cylinders got created by Pavel's repeats and how the balls
got defined and colored.  The fun part was playing with the mouse-driven
pan, tilt and zoom.  We were all amazed at how OpenGL kept up with
twirling the grid at high speed every which way.

I think the twirling helped the students visualize how tables and arrays
could be built to accommodate actual play.  Of course, they still need
an algorithm for the computer to win/tie against 1 to 3 human players.
That they will have to figure out on their own.

In conclusion, I think I'll stay with the same pedagogy for the next two
classes.  I'll present the 17 page listing for PingPong01 - 10, prep
them a bit more for the "black boxing" then present simpler prototypical
examples.  I guess this technique can be compared to piggy-back
skydiving...first give them the big thrills THEN show them the ropes.

Cheers,
:-)  edwin

Quote:
-----Original Message-----

Sent: Monday, May 27, 2002 7:50 PM

Subject: Re: [LogoForum] Developing an approach

Dale, where do you find these way cool web sites? This one is a keeper
and on the favorites list. Thanks a lot.

Paul Kosuth


> > For exmaple I programmed 'life' on a bbc machine back in 81

> http://plus.maths.org/
> Games, Life and the Game of Life +
> When we finally meet the Martians, John Conway believes they are going

> to want to talk mathematics. He talks to Plus about his Life game,
> artificial life and what we will have in common with
> extraterrestrials.

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Mon, 15 Nov 2004 20:23:21 GMT  
 Developing an approach
It worked!  The "Game of Life" discussion moved two kids to create their
own "rules".  They just emailed their design documents to me for
comment.  Thanks Dale, the article has helped fill a need.  I'm glad you
posted it.

Cheers,
:-)  edwin

Quote:
-----Original Message-----

Sent: Tuesday, May 28, 2002 11:29 PM

Subject: RE: [LogoForum] Developing an approach

I used the "Games, Life and Game of Life" illustrations and rules in a
class discussion today.  The other article on "Why was the Computer
Invented When It Was" also caught the attention of most of the kids in
class.

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Mon, 15 Nov 2004 20:27:23 GMT  
 
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