A Tower Defense Game That Teaches Basic Computer Programming | MOUSE n JOYPAD

Back in college, I remember a group of classmates who would sit around changing the code on one of their projects and laughing hysterically in between a series of keyboard assaults. I’m sure they were creating the most hysterical paradoxes and outrageously scaling objects- but sadly I was too basic to understand- well; basic. Thankfully, there’s an intelligent guy who’s created a unique and interesting game that promises to introduce children of all ages this elusive and mysterious language.

Code Defense is a Kickstarter project that promises to introduce computer programming language to its players, with no previous experience required. Players slowly learn code as they slowly build up a tower defense against waves of computer viruses. As the game progresses, and the number of enemies increases, players will learn new skills and build different defenses along with their confidence.

Using JavaScript language, the player will have to learn instantiations, variables, object methods, loops, functions, and logic. I’m sure I misused a couple of those terms, but hey- I’m not a coding genius like some people. At least not yet. If I hope to win the game however, I better start learning.

The game does have a noble pursuit as well; to introduce children to coding at an earlier age. Ivan Craddock, the game’s creator and designer, recognized that “Simulations like Tower Defense games are especially good for educational purposes because they encourage players to innovate and try new gameplay styles.” He states in the Kickstarter that combining that with “a computer science curriculum means that player will be rewarded for mastering these skills and using them for different purposes.” As lame as it may sound, when I was a kid The Oregon Trail taught me resource management and economics at an early age, so I could see a game like this encouraging me to pick up this growing language.

The project is seeking $15,000, so they can focus full-time on developing Code Defense quicker and with better content. They also want to test the game in a classroom setting to help refine it. Even more noble, if they reach $30,000 or more, they’ll make Code Defense a free classroom resource, and will help develop content to incorporate it to into the lessons. Backers can receive a DRM-Free copy of the game, access to all future games the studio release, or (most bizarrely) a stage designed to advertise a cause or business of the donor’s choosing.

You can check out the Kickstarter here, and can also play a demo in your browser by visiting http://codedefense.org/. Hopefully, some of that money goes to a visual upgrade. For more news like this, make sure you keep HTMLing to Mouse N Joypad for all of your HTTP- er… Seriously, I need to take a computer science course…