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02 February, 2016

Simply Coding JavaScript #Coding Course #Review #Simplycode


     My nephew is an amazing little guy.  He's all of 10 and knows how to change scripts and create mods for his video games.  No one taught him, he just picked it up.  He's so smart.  He inspired The Big One to want to learn coding so that she could better understand how games work.
     So we decided to check out coding courses and Simply Coding was nice enough to let us test out one of theirs.  We went with the JavaScript course, it shows you the basics of creating simple video games using Java Script.
     In the lessons, you first learn about the different parts of html, then you branch into what goes between the tags inside that html.  We learned about functions, variables, types, and methods.  We learned what each of those does and how to write them out correctly.  We learned how to make objects bounce, disappear, randomize, and change.
     The first game we did was Pong, basically ping pong in digital form.  It was easy to customize the objects and text in the game.  I used digital scrapping elements for the ball and paddles.
     We learned how to make objects interact with each other.  For instance, in the Fish game that we did next, we learned how to make it so that the big fish could eat smaller fish and grow.  We were also able to customize that one fairly easily.  We used a more decorative background and changed the fish up a little.  We controlled the big yellow fish you see up above.  It changed direction when we changed the arrow we were pressing.  In this second game we did come across the first flaw of the program.  We had to copy and paste the images from the Fish Image folder to the Pong Image folder because the code didn't work otherwise.  It was an easy fix and anyone with a good understanding of how computer things work could have figured it out, so I don't consider it a big downfall.
     The program does come with all the files you need for creating the games, including audio.  It comes in a downloadable WinZip file.  What's nice is that the program also comes with a cool 8 GB flash drive that looks similar to a key.  It's one of the coolest USB drives I have ever seen and it's a nice size storage too.
     Now, this is where I'm brutally honest.  I really don't think my daughter would be able to handle this course.  It's not that she's not smart, she's so incredibly smart... it's that the coding needs to be exact, you need to focus and memorize... I think my nephew could do it.  He has a head for this sort of thing.  I think The Big One might be more interested in html and website design.  This course is definitely for kids who are okay with techy speak, a sample code would be something like this:
enemy.scaleSize(.5 + Math.random() * 1.2);
enemy.moveTo(-enemy.getWidth(), Math.random()*(enemy.getClamp().y))
     I'm glad to have it though, it makes for a really fun time.  It was interesting to see what happened when I made small changes to things like friction, acceleration, etc.
     To learn more, check out Simply Coding on Facebook, Blogger, Instagram, Amazon, or on their website at SimplyCoding.org.

Except for the product(s) given to me for the purpose of reviewing, I received no compensation for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.

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