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The making of… a video game: how a game evolves as it is written

Writing video games is one of my favourite types of sessions when teaching children programming. Games are a very tangible end product of coding that children are very familiar with; and writing games requires a broad range of coding techniques, making them great for learning and consolidating these skills.

Many of us (of all ages) are used to playing games; but where do we start if we wanted to write one?

Have a look at this finished game, written as part of one of our courses with 12-15 year olds in Python:

Now here’s an exercise for you: take a few minutes to think of all the separate actions and interactions that are required in this game. Try to break down this game into as many small steps as possible and write them down somewhere.

Once you have done this brief exercise (and not before, no cheating!) have a look at the rest of this post.

The video below summarises the key parts of this game in video format, showing how the game evolves as it is written. How many of the separate steps are in your list?

[Writing this or similar games is a task we usually finish off our 9-hour 'Fundamentals of Programming in Python' courses for 12-15 year olds]


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