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#1 crebba  Icon User is offline

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ascii pacman

Posted 27 June 2013 - 11:13 AM

My son wants to learn programming and I thought a simple ascii game may be a fun way for him to learn, so he thought of attempting to code a simple pacman.
He wants to code on the Windows platform and I was wondering if people can suggest a scripting language with easy cursor control with something like gotoxy or similar?

Or does someone have any other suggestions on how to control ascii characters that will represent pacman and the ghosts in a console window?

Thanks!
Crebba

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Replies To: ascii pacman

#2 anonymous26  Icon User is offline

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Re: ascii pacman

Posted 27 June 2013 - 11:26 AM

Programming the motion for Pacman may be a little complicated for him depending on his age. How about having a go at naughts and crosses first and see how that goes.

You can use any scripting language to do this (python, lua, php for example).
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#3 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: ascii pacman

Posted 27 June 2013 - 11:27 AM

well.. you can use MS Visual Studios Express and that has console app programming abilities.. you just need to know when to clear the screen so it appears to be animated. ;)
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#4 crebba  Icon User is offline

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Re: ascii pacman

Posted 27 June 2013 - 11:42 AM

View PostButchDean, on 27 June 2013 - 11:26 AM, said:

Programming the motion for Pacman may be a little complicated for him depending on his age. How about having a go at naughts and crosses first and see how that goes.

You can use any scripting language to do this (python, lua, php for example).



He is 14, so should be able to think for himself ;)

View Postmodi123_1, on 27 June 2013 - 11:27 AM, said:

well.. you can use MS Visual Studios Express and that has console app programming abilities.. you just need to know when to clear the screen so it appears to be animated. ;)/>


He has to use C++ or C# then, right? I was hoping a simple language like lua would have cursor control...
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#5 anonymous26  Icon User is offline

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Re: ascii pacman

Posted 27 June 2013 - 11:43 AM

But if he doesn't know programming it will be a problem, irrespective of whether he thinks for himself or not. Good luck anyway. :)
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#6 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: ascii pacman

Posted 27 June 2013 - 11:44 AM

I can appreciate that. I remember starting programming around that age as well. Pacman is going to be too complicated for someone who hasn't written much code. is really correct here; go with something simpler. It's better to provide a challenging project your son can complete, than a project he has no hope of completing. Speaking as someone who has bitten off too much too soon, before. :)
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#7 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: ascii pacman

Posted 27 June 2013 - 12:04 PM

View Postcrebba, on 27 June 2013 - 01:42 PM, said:

View PostButchDean, on 27 June 2013 - 11:26 AM, said:

Programming the motion for Pacman may be a little complicated for him depending on his age. How about having a go at naughts and crosses first and see how that goes.

You can use any scripting language to do this (python, lua, php for example).



He is 14, so should be able to think for himself ;)/>



Well, you did ask for advice. You're getting good advice.

I want to echo the concerns about letting him bite off too much to swallow. It can be very discouraging. Learning in small steps and getting a foundation seems to me a more sensible approach, especially since he's 14. That's old enough to handle the complexities of real programming.
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#8 crebba  Icon User is offline

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Re: ascii pacman

Posted 27 June 2013 - 12:57 PM

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 27 June 2013 - 12:04 PM, said:

View Postcrebba, on 27 June 2013 - 01:42 PM, said:

View PostButchDean, on 27 June 2013 - 11:26 AM, said:

Programming the motion for Pacman may be a little complicated for him depending on his age. How about having a go at naughts and crosses first and see how that goes.

You can use any scripting language to do this (python, lua, php for example).



He is 14, so should be able to think for himself ;)/>/>



Well, you did ask for advice. You're getting good advice.

I want to echo the concerns about letting him bite off too much to swallow. It can be very discouraging. Learning in small steps and getting a foundation seems to me a more sensible approach, especially since he's 14. That's old enough to handle the complexities of real programming.


Thanks for all the comments. I suspect you are all correct that pacman may be too complex.
I will monitor how he progresses and give him something else to do if needed.

I just saw that love2d exists for lua. I will look into that some more.
Again, thanks for the advice :)
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#9 anonymous26  Icon User is offline

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Re: ascii pacman

Posted 27 June 2013 - 01:11 PM

If it's any help try to give your son something that you can solve in a reasonable amount of time, if you can't do it then it is unlikely he will be able to. It will also help him if he can lean on you a little for his first few steps into programming games - plus you'll get lots of kudos as he will be able to boast that his daddy helped him to program his game... or maybe not. :\
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#10 crebba  Icon User is offline

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Re: ascii pacman

Posted 27 June 2013 - 10:47 PM

View PostButchDean, on 27 June 2013 - 01:11 PM, said:

If it's any help try to give your son something that you can solve in a reasonable amount of time, if you can't do it then it is unlikely he will be able to. It will also help him if he can lean on you a little for his first few steps into programming games - plus you'll get lots of kudos as he will be able to boast that his daddy helped him to program his game... or maybe not. :\


Yes, that is true. I am now considering taking him step-by-step through a simple space invaders-like game. We will start by drawing the ship at the bottom and get it to move as expected, the one alien to shoot and moves horizontally. Then the bullet and so forth.

It has to be simple, because his daddy is not a game-programming guru himself :) It will be a nice exercise for me as well...

Thanks for that!
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#11 anonymous26  Icon User is offline

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Re: ascii pacman

Posted 28 June 2013 - 01:37 AM

Cool. Good luck! :)
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#12 Flukeshot  Icon User is offline

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Re: ascii pacman

Posted 28 June 2013 - 02:00 AM

View Postmacosxnerd101, on 28 June 2013 - 03:44 AM, said:

I can appreciate that. I remember starting programming around that age as well. Pacman is going to be too complicated for someone who hasn't written much code. is really correct here; go with something simpler. It's better to provide a challenging project your son can complete, than a project he has no hope of completing. Speaking as someone who has bitten off too much too soon, before. :)


Totally second this.

For kids, it's all about success. Failure just turns them off completely. Hand him a project that's too hard if you want him to despise programming and quit. Once he's built up an understanding of the fundamentals and developed a hobby-style liking for programming (eg. you see him trying to build small applications instead of doing other things in his spare time) then drop some real challenges on him.

Just an opinion based on my own experience of learning as a kid, of course.
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