Learn to code by creating simple games! Follow along with this video to learn basic sprite animation! Then get creative and animate your own!
▼ Code Explained at: ▼
Why learn Lua?
Lua is a fantastic language to learn because it is so readable. Many languages take a lot of time just to memorize what all their symbols mean, but Lua uses natural words instead. So reading Lua code pretty much describes exactly what the code is doing! That is so important for beginners because it skips all the headache and frustration of tackling complex jargon, and gets you quickly into creating! And that's where the fun is!
This Fantasy Console has it all! Literally, everything you need is in one place. Coding, Drawing, Maps, Sound FX, and Music are all in a single program! If you've ever tried making games before then you know how amazing that is! Just like Lua, it cuts out the complexity so we can get straight to creating. PICO-8 also has a lot of limitations, and that sounds bad right? NO WAY! These limitations actually fuel your creativity because you don't have to worry about endless possibilities and tire yourself out just thinking about all of the decisions in front of you. The limits also encourage you to move on! Too many people get stuck focused only on their first coding project and this really slows down learning. Learning to code well is all about overcoming a wide variety of projects, and PICO-8 almost forces us to create many small projects instead of a single never-ending one. PICO-8 is perfect for learning code and having fun doing it!
▼ PICO-8 - Fantasy Console ▼
Why Bite-sized Games?
There are so many reasons behind even the smallest details of our lessons. As teachers, we use all of the knowledge we have about education and learning to make whatever we're teaching as effective as possible! Most importantly, we care about what you want to get out of it and your motivation to learn. So without getting into the deeper theories behind it all, the simple answer is that games are fun and that boosts motivation, and since they are bite-sized (short and simple) you can create a lot, fast.
We are also very interested in what you, the student, have to suggest about the lessons. Share with us about how we can improve, make things simpler, more fun, or more interesting. So please share your thoughts and give us feedback!
Why Explain More on the Website?
To provide the bite-sized content we want to deliver, we have to trim as much explanation as possible and provide that as an option for those who wish to understand the code at a deeper level. Also, not all students want to learn in the same order. There are three main things we want our students to do:
(1) create / build / make
(2) explore / play / alter / break / improve
(3) gain knowledge and understanding
But it doesn't have to be in that order, even though we recommend it. A student can choose to follow the video first, then read the explanation before attempting to improve or change it. Or a student can study all there is to know about the project before feeling ready to try to build it themselves. The video and the website together give you that flexibility to study it your way.
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Music - "8 Bit Passion!" by HeatleyBros