There are a lot of tools out there to turn learning into a game. The process when game thinking, game mechanics or whole games are used in non-game contexts is called gamification. Nowadays, specialists can gamify almost everything from customers interaction with a website to education. They turn routine processes into fun to improve user engagement, make learning more effective, and provide new unique user experience. As coders always were hardcore gamers, the appearance of gamified coding programs and courses was inevitable. Nowadays, there are dozens of video games which purpose is learning programming. To become a good coder, you just need a right game. Of course, it works better with theoretical courses but in this post we will tell you about games.
Skills and prerequisites you need to have in every RPG to reach a new level are often organised in a form of tree. The folks at 352 Media thought that it can be a good tool for real life learning. As a result, they created Dungeons & Developers – an RPG-style skill tree. This useful tool outlines what you need to master to become a good web developer. All the skills from the tree are represented with dedicated icons. The skills include such things as HTML, CSS, AJAX, etc. You create a character and start to gain stats and unlock more advanced skills by learning something new from the tree. Each skill provides a link to the appropriate course or an educational resource. A skill tree of every user is tied to a unique URL, so everyone can bookmark it to save the progress and see the level up.
There is also a cool game to learn Ruby syntax in a funny way. The game is called Ruby Warrior. You start as a tiny pixelated warrior and master levels by by typing some Ruby codelines. The objective of Ruby Warrior is to get to the next level and score as many points as you can. With each new level, the previous code is copied over, and new functionality may also be available. The game is great to improve the knowledge in conditions, loops, method declaration syntaxes. The only downside of Ruby Warrior is music. The soundtrack is good, but it is too short, so after the 2 minute it can become very annoying. The good news is you can disable it any time.
Play My Code is more than a codding game. It is an online platform for building, playing and distributing. Two main products of the platform are experienced developers and browser games. Play My Code is powered by HTML5, so you can build your games within the browser and embed them anywhere. No account is necessary for testing the platform. You can also play games built at Play My Code without registration. Play My Code provide a complete toolkit for game creation right in your browser. You can code, test and debug with ease. All games created within the platform are written in Quby. Play My Code is easy to learn and extremely fast solution for learning game programming and browser games creation. There is also a responsible community around the platform, so you will newer stuck.
Robocode is another programming game. This time the goal is to develop a tank to battle against other players. The available programming languages are Java and .NET. The battles are running in real-time. To create a simple robot, you need just a few minutes, but you can spend months perfecting your unit. Robots can move, shoot, scan, and hit the walls (if misprogrammed). Robocode combines a simple idea with the complex strategy. Sometimes, thousands of code lines are required for the winning strategy. To test a robot against others, you just need to download the Java bytecode or CLR Class Library.
You can learn programming easily with Code Hunt – another educational coding game. The premise is simple: you win levels and earn points. On every level you turn into the code hunter, who discovers missing code fragments. Keep in mind, that elegant solutions provide extra bonuses. You can play in Java, C#, or in both. Code Hunt provides a rich coding experience with squiggles, syntax coloring, search and keyboard shortcuts. As you progresses the sectors, the game teaches you about arithmetic operators and conditional statements, strings and loops, search algorithms and more. Code Hunt starts with simple problems and covers advanced tasks as you progress through the game. It is a great tool to get new knowledge and sharpen the existing algorithm skills. The game runs in most modern browsers and also works on iPad.
Vim adventures is a well-crafted adventurous game that lets you progress through levels by using Vim script. You move with the help of vim keystrokes and defy obstacles with shortcuts. When the game starts, you just can move up and down, left and right. You use a keyboard to get through the maze, open treasure chests, collect keys, and follow hints. Going from one level to another, you master VIM script. After the first free level, you get access to the rest of them. Vim adventures costs $25 for the 6 months.
With this game, you will write better code in Python. CheckiO provides a safe environment for code learning. The game suits for both beginners and advanced programmers. Keep in mind, that CheckiO is a place to train your own understanding of a perfect code. By sharing your solutions with others, you can get the review from the community and inspire other developers with your unique approach.
Learning HTML and CSS is easy with Code Pupil. The platform provides a lot of visual exercises and games designed to entertain you. The basics of web design were never so clear and affordable. Gamification techniques provide a unique approach to code learning and the combination of theory and practice implemented into games make the boring routine processes fun and engaging.
With Schemaverse – a space-based strategy game – you will become a fleet commander. The game is implemented entirely within a PostgreSQL database, and relies on raw SQL commands to fight against other players. With a strong PL/pgSQL-foo, you can even write an AI and make your fleet independent.
CeeBot is based on a programming language which is very similar to those used by professional programmers. Being a set of software products adapted to age groups, CeeBot introduces modern features from such environments as C++, C# or Java. You start from learning the syntax of CeeBot. Then, exercises lead you to such concepts as variables, conditional branching, loops, functions, objects, classes, etc. CeeBot includes 4 major software products: CeeBot-Teen; CeeBot-A; CeeBot3; CeeBot4.
The name of this programming game speaks for itself. Every level in Python Challenge can be solved by a bit of Python coding, and all tasks can be solved by short and straightforward scripts. It is also possible to solve most riddles in any programming language, so Python Challenge welcomes all possible codders. Of course, some tasks require Python only. Keep in mind, that extra modules are also required. Fortunately, everything can be downloaded for free. New skills and a lot of experience are waiting for you at the end. Keep the scripts you write while playing Python Challenge, as they might become useful.
Beta The Game is a run and jump style platform. It uses codePOP – a custom-built language designed for gamified learning of programming. There is an in-game coding terminal in Beta the Game. Players use it to enter the codePOP commands to interact with the world around them. They can modify the environment by adding new platforms and changing properties of objects. The code POP as a programming language offers a nice mix of code scripting with object-oriented programming. At the same time it also carries some idiosyncrasies. Beta The Game provides a great set of support features. For example, thanks to level sharing the community produces tons of additional challenges.
This is a puzzle action game about hacking. Gameplay of Hack ‘n’ Slash relies on reprograming object properties, hijacking global variables, hacking behavior of creatures, and rewriting the game’s code. The player sees the same code that underlies the game. At first glance, it is ordinary puzzle action, but the only way to win here is to ignore the rules. Being based on Zelda series, the game aims to push the learn-to-code genre into new territory. Hack ‘n’ Slash is the best way to master game programming with fun.
With JSdares, you can learn programming by completing short puzzles called dares. To solve the puzzle you should copy the example and reduce the number of code lines as much as possible. The game starts with simple dares and becomes more difficult as you progress. The number of examples is limited. The developers of JSdares promise new collections of puzzles. There should also be the ability to create your own dares.
Gamify your life
In addition to the gamified learning of programming , we’d also like to introduce some other useful tools:
HabitRPG– a tool for general productivity based on a role playing game;