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Learning to Mod Minecraft: A Father/Daughter Retrospective


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What do Minecraft and Blockly have in common? Minecraft is a popular, open world video game where players can build structures using digital blocks. Blockly is a open source visual programming language where students can build programs using blocks. LearnToMod combined these together to teach students how to modify Minecraft using either the Blockly visual editor or JavaScript.

This session will be the retrospective of an enthusiastic father teaching his hesitant daughter (who loves Minecraft) about programming. We started with Hour of Code and pair-programmed through LearnToMod’s video lessons. What did we create? How did we like it? What would we recommend to others? Come learn about our experience and ask questions.

Published in: Software

Learning to Mod Minecraft: A Father/Daughter Retrospective

  1. 1. Learning to Mod Minecraft: A Father/Daughter Retrospective Kevin Hakanson Audra Hakanson
  2. 2. Kevin Father Sr. Software Architect 20+ years experience B.A. Comp Sci; Math M.S. Software Engineering Daughter Jr. High Student First Time Coder Honors Curriculum Audra
  3. 3. What’s a Retrospective? Software Development process with goals: ●  Learn from experience ●  Build on what works ●  Gain perspective ●  Decide what to do differently (credit: Esther Derby)
  4. 4. •  Minecraft Hits One Million Concurrent Players on PC (Jan 2015) •  With 10,000 ticket sales, 2015 Minecon earned a Guinness World Record for largest convention for a single video game (July 2015) is very popular
  5. 5. Denmark in Minecraft ●  Geodata for Minecraft ●  4 trillion individual bricks ●  Fed topographic map data into an algorithm that created it in Minecraft automatically
  6. 6. Mod (or Modification) The alteration of content from a video game in order to make it operate in a manner different from its original version (Wikipedia)
  7. 7. How do I get started?
  8. 8. LearnToMod LearnToMod teaches you how to code by teaching you how to mod Minecraft.
  9. 9. LearnToMod Software Online and interactive. Mod Minecraft in your browser. Tutorials and puzzles help you unlock badges and learn to code. ●  Modding Studio ●  Private Server ●  Lessons
  10. 10. LearnToMod with JavaScript Learn to Mod Minecraft with one of the most popular programming languages.
  11. 11. LearnToMod with Blocks Learn to Mod Minecraft without typing. Learn coding concepts without annoying syntax errors. Blocks are every bit as powerful as JavaScript, and they're easier to use.
  12. 12. Blockly Google's Blockly is a web-based, visual programming editor. Users can drag blocks together to build programs.
  13. 13. Hour of Code ( Learn the basic concepts of Computer Science with drag and drop programming. Learn repeat-loops, conditionals, parameters, and basic algorithms.
  14. 14. Pair Programming Technique in which two programmers work as a pair together on one workstation. One, the driver, writes code while the other, the observer, pointer or navigator, reviews each line of code as it is typed in. (Wikipedia)
  15. 15. Hour of Code Example
  16. 16. Hour of Code Example
  17. 17. ●  If you “Sign In” to Hour of Code, progress transfers into Intro Course. ●  Additional stages featuring The Artist and The Farmer
  18. 18. Intro Course Example
  19. 19. Audra’s Comments ●  Learned about different kinds of blocks ●  Bug fixing problems were easiest ●  Learned how to “read” the blocks and understand what they would do ●  Fun to draw pictures and being able to create something
  20. 20. Minecraft Training Kevin needed to learn how to play Minecraft
  21. 21. LAN
  22. 22. Server
  23. 23. Write your own Minecraft plugins and watch your code come to life with flaming cows, flying creepers, teleportation, and interactivity. No previous programming experience necessary
  24. 24. Minecraft Server Mod ●  Plugin API ●  Integrated database and API ●  Easy configuration ●  Rock solid modding framework ●  ...
  25. 25. The book is for anyone who wants to learn how to modify Minecraft--no previous programming experience required! Aimed at kids who already play Minecraft.
  26. 26. ScriptCraft Minecraft Mod that lets you extend Minecraft using the JavaScript programming language. ScriptCraft makes modding Minecraft easier. It includes a logo-like "Drone" object that can be used to build complex buildings, roads, villages, even entire cities.
  27. 27. ScriptCraft Mod API Mod
  28. 28. Different Java JavaScript
  29. 29. Also Different Java Jabba
  30. 30. Audra’s First Mod Visit
  31. 31. Kevin’s First Mod •  Download and Install Java Development Kit •  Download and Install Java IDE •  Download CanaryMod •  Setup Minecraft Server
  32. 32. Compare First Mods
  33. 33. Step by Step Video
  34. 34. Scramble
  35. 35. Scramble
  36. 36. Scramble
  37. 37. Missing
  38. 38. Coding Badges
  39. 39. Order Matters !?! 93% 100%
  40. 40. /fill Already built into Minecraft
  41. 41. Blocks Material.AIR   Blockly JavaScript /fill ID minecraft:air   0  
  42. 42. Air is a Block? Mind Blown!
  43. 43. Frozone Mod Whenever the player moves, a trail of snow is left behind.
  44. 44. FireSheep Mod Problem: Too Many Sheep Solution:
  45. 45. Squid Launcher Oh Yeah!
  46. 46.
  47. 47. /summon /summon Squid ~ ~ ~ {Motion:[2.0,1.5,0.0]}
  48. 48. Be Careful! + Lightning =
  49. 49. LearnToMod Help Documentation Overview: Forum: •  Features or Bugs •  Coding Discussions •  Lesson Help •  …
  50. 50. LearnToMod Private Server Runs older versions of software •  Not a problem for Blockly mods •  May be confusing for JavaScript mods if looking at ScriptCraft documentation/examples.
  51. 51. Setup Your Own Server References: •  Setting up a local Minecraft server with Scriptcraft •  Letting friends play on your Minecraft server •  Sharing your local Minecraft server on the Internet
  52. 52. Retrospective Review ●  Learn from experience ●  Build on what works ●  Gain perspective ●  Decide what to do differently
  53. 53. Learn From Experience Blockly is easier than JavaScript activities helped Forgot details after a long break from modding Minecraft API harder to understand than coding We could change the “rules” of Minecraft
  54. 54. Build On What Works Helpful to have a partner LearnToMod •  sets up a server for you •  code in the web browser •  also lets you code in JavaScript
  55. 55. Gain Perspective Some things just don’t work – and that’s OK •  “order matters” – bug in grading •  “squid launcher” – bug in Minecraft You need to invest the time to learn Won’t teach you how to make DragonMounts Got distracted playing the game with mods
  56. 56. Decide What To Do Differently Extra and unnecessary badges that got boring and felt like wasted time Look for existing in-game commands (e.g. /fill or /summon) Dedicate specific blocks of time
  57. 57. Thank You! Questions?