prev next
How young can a child learn to program?

While I'm not ready to indoctrinate my four-year-old into the monkhood of true geekery while he's getting in his prime running around time, I was curious to see how logically he could think. My layman's knowledge was that children began properly interpreting and creating rules around the age of six, while four was still wild imagination territory.

For my experiment, I created an extremely minimal programming game, like a very stripped-down version of RoboRally:

The image depicted is doctored. We had already completed four playthroughs the night before with a similar setup, however. He was able to figure out how to program the robot to collect all of its pieces (three Duplo blocks comprised the robot; successful completion of the robot wins the game). I demonstrated the rules once, and then let him try to play by himself with minimal guidance. One interesting strategy he discovered was placing the "instructions" (the cards with arrows) on the game board in order to create a path.

Apparently he liked the game well enough, because he independently recreated it at school:

The true geekery is probably inevitable.
Two notes:
RGBVS0.8 also RGBVS in the browser

Stephen Lavelle has made a very interesting puzzle engine project with an in-browser editor. It is Turing complete. How do I know? I implemented a 2D Turing machine in it. Hold down X.
I emerge from the darkness to deliver RGBVS v0.7.
Bugfixes? Yes!
Refactors that are unnoticeable if you're not looking at the code? Of course!
Bots? Bots!
Fixed bugs with scores and disappearing blocks. Reuploaded with the same file name, so the link is the same.
Now with almost final art and UI (thanks to for the excellent Crypt of Tomorrow font).
Most of the features and bug fixes are done.
1.0 coming down the pipe soon? Could be!
Another RGBVS update, now RGBVS0.5.

No new features, just bug fixes and polish.

On the fence about whether I'm going to add chat. Faceball didn't have it, I don't think, but the playtests I've run have demonstrated that it's really, really inconvenient not to have it.
Yay, another update to RGBVS! That brings us up to RGBVS version 0.4!

This update includes numerous features and bugfixes. Hopefully, remote clients will be smoother in motion and easier to track. Bullets are colored like their firing player. Shot refractory. Scoreboards should display names properly.

Managed to tie up the loose ends for RGBVS version 0.3. I think it is sufficient to call my Alpha version. That entails full feature-completeness, but with polish and bug-fixing still to do.

download RGBVS0.3 Unity source, assets, and binaries for Linux, Mac, and Windows

Anyone who wants to help with multiplayer testing, send me an e-mail.
Choose Your Own Adventure + Statistical Analysis of a Plaintext = Choose Your Own NGram
All right, I have a new RGBVS0.2 zip for consumption. Again, it includes the full source for Unity as well as builds for Mac, Windows and Linux. This is a pretty big advance from 0.1, but it is still not really done.
prev next