Coding a game from scratch is hard. Make no mistake about there is a lot to it. OF course many people, especially students, think they are all ready to create the next great game. They can easily be frustrated when they find out that they don’t know near enough about programming (among other things) to make what they want. Fortunately there are shortcuts. One of them is Script TD:
ScriptTD is an open source project that allows anyone to easily create a new Tower Defense game for the Windows Phone 7 platform, without any prior programming knowledge. The project lets you create new art & audio and edit some XML files to bring it all together into a polished game without having to write all of the code required to make the game work.
You can visit the Script TD home page and get started right from there. You can also visit the ScriptTD: Tower Defense Made Easy article on Coding4Fun and learn how to modify the code to really expand the game as well.
I see a couple of possible educational uses for this. One is in a graphics oriented course. There are some talented artists out there who want to create cool new graphics for games but who are not really that interested in coding themselves. Often if they can’t find a programmer or two to work with they are out of luck. Well they can create concept art which is great as far as it goes but lacks the excitement of seeing the art in action. ScriptTD can serve as a platform for that sort of creative expression.
The second use is for programmers. This project allows one to learn the inner workings of a real game at the same time they expand their knowledge of the sorts of code that game development requires. Once they understand this they can move beyond the “out of the box” code and enhance the game in their own image. Hopefully they can find some talented artists to help. Programmers who are great artists seem to be as rare as artists who are great coders. Not that they both don’t exist just that they are less common than some programming students seem to think.
Try this out. Let me know if you or students you know create something very interesting with this framework. And perhaps they’ll even enter something in the Imagine Cup!