Game programming for kids

edited October 2016 in General Discussion

I have started to volunteer for a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) program as a Processing tutor. I need to develop a curriculum to tutor 12 year old girls to get them interested in computer programming. I have found a book titled "Make: Getting Started With Processing, 2nd Edition" by Casey Reas and Ben Fry that is relatively nontechnical and is described as being appropriate for that age group. In the course of my tutoring, I am supposed to help my kids develop a product. Since the examples from the book center around robots, I am thinking of having the kids develop a game in Processing involving robots. However, I am looking for ideas about how to go about this. Would there be a game engine in Processing that would be appropriate, or are there any books or tutorials on game programming that may work as well?



  • Are you familiar with the Hello Ruby book/ curriculum? It is for the Ruby language, but might be an interesting model if you are interested in creating a narrative-based sequence.

    There are Processing game frameworks, but many aren't exactly entry level. Am I a right that you are imagining games that are the equivalent of Scratch games done in Scratch kids programming communities?

  • Something like a Scratch game engine, yes.

  • I don't know of anything like the Scratch interface that can be used for authoring or live interaction in Processing. However, some related materials re: games and Scratch:

    1. game libraries listed under Processing Libraries -- Hermes and Sprites
    2. third party Processing game libraries, like the PixelPie 2D Engine
    3. video tutorials -- e.g. "Scratch to Processing" for people already familiar with Scratch to translate their work into Processing.
    4. a simple Scratch-like library for Processing -- however, it is written in Spanish. OScratchLibreria 2
  • I'd recommend focusing on the artistic side of Processing. Don't worry about robotics or games just yet. Get them drawing circles, then draw a face, then make that face bounce around, stuff like that. Keep it as simple as possible.

    Shameless self-promotion: I've been putting together a series of tutorials aimed at absolute beginners, available here:

    I would think that my tutorials would be a pretty reasonable fit. Start with the basics, and depending on how much time you have, work your way up to more complicated stuff.

    I'd love to help in any way I can, so let me know if you have any questions!

  • edited November 2016

    Another book that may be a good introduction to coding is the Sparkfun Guide to Processing. The projects in it cover a wide range of beginner-level and intermediate programming topics.

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