In Part One of this special Coding at Home series we looked at our new app: Learning Variables.
In Part Two we looked at the Swift Playgrounds we’ve developed at The Code Hub and how to get them on your Mac or iPad.
For part three, we’re going to look at the Text Adventure playground we’ve developed, in particular. This is one of my personal favorites, because it reminds me of my own start in programming; BASIC, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy interactive fiction, and MOOs.
The playground is designed to take advantage of a little library I wrote that models a story with a number of rooms, through which your protagonist navigates. The goal is to use coding to be a little bit creative and get the kids (and adults) telling stories and using code as a means to and end, rather than the end, itself.
Getting the Playground
To start, go grab the playground from the Code Hub’s Playgrounds feed (explained in Part Two). You’ll see the Text Adventure playground front and center now:
Once you have that in Playgrounds, you can open it and you’ll see the introduction to the whole shebang.
Pretty self-explanatory so far, right?
We don’t have to write any code at all, just hit the “Run My Code” button and off we go!
I won’t post any spoilers here, but the stories are gripping, edge-of-your-seat kind of stuff.
Once you’ve exhausted all the possibilities in the first story (and that might happen pretty quick), you can hit the Next button to move on.
The playground is designed to dip you into coding your own story gently and follows a progression that looks like this:
You can skip around if you like, of course, but I try to introduce concepts that will introduce you to code and the features of the Story library as we go. So try it out. If you come up with a particularly cool twist or story of your own, use the built-in tools to record your story.
From the three dots in the menu, select Record Movie to start capturing your story.
One last tip, the stories work best in fullscreen mode. You can enter fullscreen by tapping on the divider between your code and the story view.
Drag to the left, and the story view will take up the full screen. To get out of full screen you’ll just tap on the left side of the screen (you might see the faint arrow on that edge).
You can see a demo of this in action here: https://youtu.be/GjMvIAw4ZNc
Happy story-writing, and we’ll see you again soon!