PC Game Programming

Recently my son became interested in PC game programming.  He was playing Spores on the PC with a friend and they were discussing the ways they could ‘mod’ a game. Mod is short for modify.  I began research to find a good book, software or package for him. There is a lot out there, even free.

First,  I  looked at Kidcoder from http://www.homeschoolprogramming.com/. There is a cost involved.  It seems pretty thorough but I wanted to make sure we explored all avenues.

We checked out some books on programming using Python since we were told that it will be new dominant language for programming.  One book is called Invent Your Own Computer Games with Python by Al Sweigart.  We have not started reading it yet but it seems like a straightforward guide  If you go to  www.inventwithpython.com, you can find the entire book online so it’s not necessary to purchase it.

My son’s friend said he found it really easy to get started with Java. It only took him a couple of weeks to learn the basics. He provided this link to a tutorial on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFE2CE09D83EE3E28

He said he also learned some basic python via reading forums and learning how to mod his own games.  He  is also working his way through a course online called Snake wrangling for kids (see below for link).  He showed us his creations. It was great inspiration for my son.

What I am finding is that there are a lot of free really great programs out there. I am loathe to spend money when so much free resource is available. Here are some sites to check out:

Invent with Python

Alice

Anim8or

Computer Science Unplugged

Do Ink

Google SketchUp

Pencil

A Beginner’s Python Tutorial

The Python Tutorial

Scratch

Snake Wrangling for Kids

Code Academy

There’s many more but these provide some fun starting points for us.

Article By Nuria Almeida

Photo By ifindkarma

Homework Help from SmartTutor



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