Step by Step Video Guides to Game Design

JOIN FIRST CODING AS WE MAKE A LOCKDOWN COMPUTER GAME

Starting Friday 24th April

First Coding is about to start making its first computer game inspired by the current lockdown. We’ll be  making Lockdown Letters step by step in a series of weekly videos, with a new one available every Friday.

We would love it if you followed along and made your own version of the game – adding your own ideas too. The concept is simple, you’re one of many people in a town currently under lockdown and you must circulate letters of encouragement to other households to keep the town’s spirits up. You can only communicate with people by writing notes on paper aeroplanes and flying them to their destinations.

We’ll be building the game in Scratch, and during the guide, you’ll find out how to make the game, converting it to HTML so that you can package it up for distribution, and even some tips on how you can earn some cash from your game.

About Scratch
At First Coding, we regularly submit the games we make in Scratch to game design competitions, competing alongside Unity developers and other independent game designers. Never assume Scratch is something only younger children use! You can see our recent Scratch competition entries at The Rocket Arcade if you’re interested!

Starting Friday 24th April on Facebook and YouTube!

Like our Facebook page and YouTube channel to follow your dreams of becoming a games designer. Open to all ages and abilities. Every week a new video will be posted, along with the opportunity to view previous sessions if you may have missed. There will be four weekly videos concluding with a fifth live Q & A session.

How Can We Help?

This week our school groups will be moving online for the foreseeable future and we look forward to continuing the great work everyone has been doing. Unfortunately due to the nature of some of the other workshops, it just wouldn’t be feasible hosting them online and I just want to thank the children and parents for being so understanding during this time.

As a parent myself, I am finding all the offers of remote learning and digital resources in all topics a little overwhelming at the moment, so First Coding has been looking at other ways to help.

We have been lending out our laptops to allow families to continue their schooling remotely after the recent closure of schools.

With a little more time on their hands, our older students are offering to help Salisbury independent businesses with a variety of skills such as setting up ecommerce on shops’ websites to designing posters. We couldn’t be more prouder of them and what a great way to work on their portfolio.

TEDx Salisbury

Last night Salisbury’s Arts Centre played host to a very special event, the city’s first ever TEDx talks. The theme of the evening was all about crossing boundaries with a set comprising of four guest speakers and two musicians. I was very flattered to have been selected as one of those speakers.

I thought long and hard about the topic of my talk and in the end went with something very personal to me, dealing with self doubt when artists and creatives showcase their work. I called it Connecting the Dots Differently and is all about the benefits of stepping outside your comfort zone. The video of my talk should be available to watch on the TED platform soon.

I remember the tickets selling out rather quickly but the popularity of the event wasn’t realised until I stepped out onto the red spot to be greeted by the audience. To be the first speaker at the very first event was a huge privilege, if not a little scary but once I settled into the talk and spoke about the many paths my creative coding projects have led me down, it all felt strangely natural. I think part of that is down to teaching and running classes both in schools and out.

Afterwards, the audience were encouraged to chat with all the speakers and I really enjoyed meeting everyone last night. There are so many kind and creative people who came out to see us, there was a lovely positive vibe about the whole event. To the people who told me they were going to give coding a try for the first time – go for it! To the others who said they never post about their passion projects through fear of rejection but are going to give it a shot after attending this event, you are awesome in so many ways.

I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who helped organise the TEDx Salisbury event. They were all volunteers, giving up their own free time to help make something magical and get the people of Salisbury sharing and discussing ideas.

My chatbot projects featured heavily in my talk, highlighting the many uses for a simple project born out of boredom a couple of years ago. There is now a simplified version of Cass online for people to play with, pull apart and add their own features if they wish to. The online version along with the code and Android download can be found here. I would love it if people were to get in touch in a few weeks time to share with me their ideas.

 

Advanced Scratch Course Starting in March

First Coding will be running another of its popular workshops. This course is designed for children who are already confident with working with Scratch and who would like to explore further possibilities with the things they make. This is a four week Saturday afternoon course starting on 14th March, 2.30pm – 3.30pm. The cost of this course is £80 per pupil for the four weeks.

To book, please email hello@firstcoding.co.uk

Read All About It!!!

Keep an eye out for First Coding’s Minecraft project in the papers. We’ve set everyone the challenge to build the whole of Salisbury in a virtual world and there will be more exciting news about future events with Wiltshire Creative happening soon.

A short video of the progress the children made back in December can be seen below. Well done to everyone involved.