I am a teacher of coding and a lifetime programmer, and I've noticed that sometimes basic skills like SQL querying and raw typing speed outweigh technical brilliance or virtuosity. Typing speed is a major pain-point in development and bottleneck in coding challenges, the gateway to any serious Developer Job. We wanted to make a fun game to get kids used to reading and writing code early so my students and other kids would have a leg up on the competition! The challenge was to keep kids interested and challenge them with actual code.

What it does

It combines a speed-typing prompt with actual Python code with a classic platformer-style 2D animation with projectile attacks

How we built it

MERN Google App Engine JavaScript CSS3 HTML5

Challenges we ran into

Mostly my computer getting overheated and webpack getting tired of bundling for me :( Also balancing gameplay with the authenticity of our code. We wanted to actually teach real methods and concepts like While loops, For loops, if conditionals and other important aspects of real coding!

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Proud of making a great game to get kids into coding! We managed to introduce to actual compilable code with correct syntax and best practices while keeping a conversational kid-friendly tone.

What we learned

We learned how difficult it can be to write python code that makes sense to kids but still compiles into actual code!

What's next for WizKid

More levels and stage design, more prompts and languages, more music. It would be great to build it out into a full game with tutorials and individualized it for users with an avatar and track their metrics to measure their improvement!

I am a teacher so I plan to incorporate this game into my classes and encourage other teachers to make it a part of their repertoire like other popular classroom apps such as Dojo.

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