So Long, And Thanks For All The Bugs!!

posted May 31, 2016, 6:28 AM by Roland Wilhelm   [ updated May 31, 2016, 6:35 AM ]

(OK, so most of you won't recognize that rephrasing of a famous Douglas Adams book — now you have something to read this summer:  The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy!)

Just a reminder:  there are no Codesmyths classes or office hours for the rest of this school year. 

Congratulations Codesmythies!  We had a great Game Release Party last Friday!  Thank you so much for all your hard work this year and making the party a success.  Your parents and teachers were very impressed by what you learned to do (and yes, they were very impressed even if you weren't happy with where your program was as the moment).  You're learning that coding the kind of programs that you're used to using takes a lot of time and skill, so keep learning!  All the programs that we used this year are freely available, so you can keep going on your own over the summer if you have access to a computer and the internet.

Some final thoughts to ponder and keep you going:

  • Everything you learn is a tool in your toolbox,
    and you never know when that tool might be useful.
    Even tools you know you won't use all the time,
    it's still really good to have them when you need them!

  • The more you learn,
    the more you can learn,
    the better you get at learning,
    the faster you solve problems.

    The more problems you solve,
    the better your life becomes,
    the better the world becomes.

  • Learn as much as you can,
    learn about everything you find interesting,
    and there's a very good chance you'll find your passions!!!

    (Learning about lots of things you're less interested in is a good idea too — you never know what connections you'll discover.)

Have a great summer!  Run around outside, get lots of fresh air and exercise.  Your brain needs all that stuff too!

Game Release Party Today!

posted May 27, 2016, 6:43 AM by Roland Wilhelm

This is it!  Time to show your stuff!!  Remember all the cool things we did this year:
  • Scratch
  • Arduino
  • MIT App Inventor
  • Stencyl
  • and, of course, your very own game!!!
Show off everything you've figured out how to do!

Enjoy, and see you next year!!!

One Week Left!

posted May 20, 2016, 6:36 AM by Roland Wilhelm

This is it!  Next Friday, May 27, is our Games Release Party!  It will happen during normal class time (9:30-10:15), parents are being asked to come at 9:45 so we will have 15 minutes to get ready.

Sooooo, polish up those programs, and keep them backed-up!  You don't want some last minute changed to wipe out your work.

Next Friday will also be the last class of Codesmyths for the year.  So back up your program to Google Drive so you can work on it over the summer!  Right?  That's what you'll be spending most of your summer doing, yes?  Absolutely!  8-D

No Office Hours on SBAC days

posted May 16, 2016, 9:59 AM by Roland Wilhelm

There will be no Office Hours during the SBAC testing days (only Tuesday and Wednesday, this week and next).  These days are community days, so please stay with your community and enjoy the non-test events.  Otherwise, classes and office hours will happen as scheduled (on Monday, Thursday, and Friday).

Thanks, and good luck on the tests!

No Class on Friday May 13th

posted May 10, 2016, 4:51 AM by Erica Bertucci

We will all be attending the premier of the Lion King.  See you there and good luck to all the Codesmythies who are a part of this production.  

See you at office hours- see below if you need a reminder of what your priorities should be

Class & Office Hour Work — Now and until the end of time

posted May 5, 2016, 5:39 AM by Roland Wilhelm

Well, OK.  Maybe it's just until the end of the school year.  But don't bet on it!!
  • Get your programs running.  Make backups at the end of every class!!
  • Get your main characters designed and animated.
  • If you got your game working and characters designed, back it up!!  THEN...
    Enhance it — start working on version 2.0 (or 3, or 4, or...)!  Make it cooler, make it more fun!
  • Back it up!!!
    Regularly save your work to your Codesmyths folder in Google Drive.  Don't want to lose it all now!
    Use file names like (game name).(initials).(date).  For example:  cool thang.rw.16.05.05  (date format is YY.MM.DD)

Class & Office Hour Work — April 25 - 29

posted Apr 26, 2016, 7:34 AM by Roland Wilhelm

Four weeks left!  We're down to the last month, and we're still going to be missing next Monday, and some SBAC days, and who knows what else.  Stay focused!!

Using what you learned yesterday about designing characters, work on getting a couple of your main characters designed and animated.  Again, don't get bogged down in too much detail as you still have programming to get running.  But now you can finally replace your placeholder characters with the one you want in your game!

Have fun, but stay focused!!

Class & Office Hour Work — April 11 - 14

posted Apr 11, 2016, 9:53 AM by Roland Wilhelm

We've got a short week here — no class on Friday!  So focus even more this week!

Again, the near term goal is to get a playable game working as quickly as possible.  Once you have something that runs all the way through, once you have your first, rough draft, then you can go back and start cleaning things up, or adding extra features.  But get your main features working first!

Class & Office Hour Work — April 4 - 8

posted Apr 4, 2016, 9:59 AM by Roland Wilhelm

We are in the final stretch!!!  This is the part of the race where you pour every last ounce of energy you have into reaching the finish line to get your best time.  Likewise for coding:  focus every last minute left on getting your program finished.   Don't let yourself get distracted with chatting, checking out other people's programs, or fiddling with unimportant details (unimportant means "not required for a good working program" — graphics are great, but the code has to work first!)

We have 16 days left!  That's just 12 hours — less than 2 full school days!!  Keep the focus!!!

Class & Office Hour Work — March 21- April 1

posted Mar 21, 2016, 7:07 AM by Roland Wilhelm   [ updated Mar 28, 2016, 9:48 AM ]

  • Get 'er done!
    We should be finishing up our splash and instructions screens by this week.  If, and only if, your project has been approved, you can start working on your first scene(s); otherwise, you need to finish your design and get it approved by one of the teachers.  Again, see previous posts to remind yourself what should be in a good design.

  • Update your checklist!
    Open the master Checklist & Procedure for Creating your Project and copy the new items for "Scene 1" to your personal checklist.
    As always, do the items in order, and when you finish an item, place the letter "x" beside the finished item.

  • Email us when missing classes!
    We've noticed a large number of students are regularly missing classes and we have no idea why.  Remember, you need to email us at least one day before you miss a class if you will be unable to attend.  It may be obvious to you that you can't make it because of a major event (e.g., class or team ski trip [ahem]), but we don't know everything that's going on in every community, so you need to tell us!

    We realize that odd things happen, and you don't always have advance notice when you can't make it, but even then, send an email as soon as you can.  If you are making a personal choice not to come ("Gee, something cool is happening in gym today and I'd rather go there."), then you definitely need to send an email in advance and get that approved before you make that change.

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