When asked in class this week to reflect on what I know about coding I realized how little I know, yet I rely on coding in my everyday life when I am online. Coding sounds like a very complicated task and it has never been something I have dove into because of the complexity of it. Our task this week was to go on a coding website to try out some easy coding tasks. This sounded very intimidating until I got on the website. I chose to try out coding on Hour of Code, when I entered the website there was an abundance of options for simple coding teaching guides.
They all looked very appealing, but as soon as I saw the Flappy Code guide, I knew that was the one I wanted to complete. I remembered playing Flappy Bird back in jr. high before the game was taken off of the app store, it brought back some fond memories.
As I started my coding task, I was quite pleased with the amount of instruction that was given. The instructions would appear at the top, once you believe you had completed the proper step, you can run the game and see if it works. In order to move on to the next step, you need to successfully complete the step you are on.
Steps 2-5 allowed me to set up the game. I was able to set what happens when the bird hits the ground, what happens when you click, what happens when the bird hits an obstacle, and I was able to set up the scoring system. Whenever the bird passes through the objects, a point is earned in the game, but if the bird hits the ground or the object, it is game over.
When I reached step 6, I was very surprised that it was getting me to choose the amount the bird flaps in the game when you click. I was honestly unaware that there were other speeds that the bird could go or that was an aspect of the game that could be adjusted.
Steps 7-8 incorporated background changes into the game. As you can see in the images below, I was able to change the background to the ocean as well as a cave. I found this step very interesting because I could initiate scene changes to happen when the bird moved through an object or when the bird hit the ground. In step 8, I was also able to change the character. There was a long list of characters to choose from, such as Santa, but I chose to go with a bunny!
Step 9 allowed me to change the outcome when the bird hit an object. Instead of ending the game, I was able to reset the score to zero. The player could continue playing, but would lose all points once an object was hit. I personally think this would be SO frustrating while playing, especially if you accumulated an immense amount of points and lost them all.
Step 10 was a ton of fun! In this step, I was able to create the game from scratch however I wanted. I used a ton of the codes I was taught over the past 9 steps, including changing the character, the setting, and the speed of the bird. When I tried it out, it worked great! I did try to screen record... but I personally suck at the game and could not make it past the first obstacle no matter how many times I tried! So, instead of posting a five second video of me epically failing, I thought a screenshot would do.
After this experience, I have realized that code doesn't have to be complicated, it can actually be a fun experience. Code is very important within our society since it centers around technology. technology is constantly evolving, and code is the only way it can advance like it has been the past 15 years. Incorporating these games into the classroom as a fun activity is also very important because it shows students that code isn't something to be scared of, it is something to embrace and appreciate. I will definitely be using Hour of Code again!