Sunday, January 4, 2015

Finally, a Use for My iPad - Codea!

I discovered Codea a week ago, and have finally found a use for my iPad.

For those of you who don't know what Codea is, here's the low-down:

Codea is a $10 iPad app made by Two Lives Left that lets you program on the iPad in the LUA programming language.  Codea provides lots of handy features, libraries, and examples to make game programming easy and quick.  You can find out more here:

It's pretty darn cool, and I've been having a lot of fun with it.  Just downloading the app and installing it on my kid's iPad nabbed him a few hours of entertainment playing (and mucking with the code for) the example games.  It's enough to make a dad think that he might just succeed in turning his son into a code slinger.  In fact, a day later he said, "I want to be a coder, like Dad."  Awesome!

I haven't done a whole lot with Codea yet.  I've done my own experimenting with the different example game projects.  I have an idea regarding an example game that came with Codea.  It's an anagram game that involves unscrambling words from a given word list.  My idea is to turn it into a full-fledged spelling game that I can load with my kid's weekly spelling words.  I've taken the first step toward that goal in making the game download new word lists using an HTTP request instead of using a hard-coded list.  Pretty awesome feeling, just making that simple change.

I've also started a simple game project that allows the user to navigate a character around an empty field and shoot at enemies that spawn in random locations.  We'll see where that goes.  Even something as simple as this is enough to entertain my kid for a little bit, though.  And being able to tell him, "I did that today," is pretty cool.

Not sure where this will go, but I'm having fun.  Could it intersect with my bot programming project?  I don't know, but it's definitely a possibility.

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