Simple Pong by Peter Kwak (Edited by Topher Pedersen)
On my way back to Dallas from Austin on Labor Day I happened to hear about this really awesome course on game development from Harvard University taught by David Malan (of CS50) and Colton Ogden. I immediately enrolled in the course via edX.org on my phone, and jumped right into lesson 0 after I arrived back in Dallas.
One of the things that I really liked about the course is that they kick things off with one of the original video games, Pong. When I first started teaching at theCoderSchool this was one of the first games I built myself to make sure I knew what I was doing when it game to programming simple 2D games in Python with my students. That first summer of teaching we actually used an extremely slimmed down ~100 line version of the game one of my coworkers Peter Kwak wrote for our summer camp.
Fast forward a few hours though, and I’ve quickly fallen out of love with Malan & Ogden’s course. While the Lua programming language and Love2D game engine seem really promising, their code examples haven’t been updated in two years, and include bugs that prevent them from running. While I was able to find a bug fix that someone posted in the YouTube comments for the course lecture, I realized that the 100 line program that Peter wrote is actually a lot better for teaching purposes than the one used in the Harvard CS50 Game Development Course on edX. So…
I busted out Peter Kwak’s old code, and modified it a little bit so I can run it using real Python instead of the trinket.io web based stuff we were using at camp. I imagine I will probably need to make a lot of tweaks to this code, however, I’m tossing two of my 10 year old students into the deep end of the pool tomorrow with Lesson 0: Pong =>
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