Okay, dark forest. But what is it?

dark forest is a simple to use web application that is targeted at younger students (about middle school age) who might be interested in technology, science, or engineering. Our goal is to help foster and inspire the imaginations of children while helping teach them skills that they can apply to their trade one day.

Our game helps teach the basic concepts of programming logic/structures and allows the student to visualize the actions they have taken. The game is simple and consists of a maze at the lower right corner of the screen and you must escalope at the upper right. The map will initially be cover with black until you start to explore the corners of the forest. During this time, you will control the actions of the main character by selecting basic programming terms and conditions that will guide you through the maze; and hopefully into your future as a programmer.

Why we were excited about making this

We remember that in our pre-hacker years scratch, minecraft, and the like helped us get an early introduction to certain aspects of coding and logic. We look back fondly on those learning opportunities and want to give back so that the next generation of hackers might have those same opportunities for fun, casual exposure. We just hope that kids will get inspired and learn a bit along the way.

It wasn't always easy...

As a team, PHP isn't really our thing. We vary in experience: some of us have never really worked with it. And others of us have but hate it. It's just not our jam, so working with it just isn't the smoothest process.

...but it was worth it

We're pretty excited for how polished this is. There's none of that dark ugly secret side of a hack where it only mostly works. Just a nice looking web app with nothing to hide. If we may say so ourselves, we think it is very pretty. It also plays very well and is a pretty fun, addicting game.

...and we learned some new stuff!

We learned p5.js which we hadn't used. And we got C++ code to work well with JavaScript. Otherwise, it was a great practice on a lot of skills that we kind of knew but not super well.

So, now what for dark forest?

We would love to integrate a high scores or stats page. Ultimately we want this game to be both more collaborative and more competitive for players. Which probably means a possible team element to help you work together to be awesome. Head-to-head races would be another next step. Though it doesn't have all the amazing features yet, it's totally playable and very fun (our team spent quite a bit of time "testing" our game this weekend so if it's not fun, it's at the very least addictive).

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