So my 9-year-old is WAY more advanced than I am and has expressed an interest in learning to develop games. Unfortunately, I only know how to play them, but was directed to Panda3D and Python as a language.
He’s used scratch and other modular coding systems, so he understands basic programming concepts. He’s also gone through Python Turtle and some tutorials for Portable Python (code-it.co.uk/index.html) so he knows some Python basics too.
I don’t want to overwhelm him, but he’s finishing tutorials faster than I can find them and I was hoping Panda3D would be a good “next step” for him. I’ve found a few beginners’ books for Panda3D to help him and I can cover art/sound resources.
Any feedback/suggestions/tips for a kid who is too smart for his own good would be much appreciated.
Hmm… Without knowing your son and his abilities I don’t speak with much confidence, but a few thoughts:
First, if he enjoys the coding itself, then Panda might work for him. It might be worth downloading the SDK and getting him to try the tutorial.
Second, have you tried Game Maker? It’s been some time since I last heard much about it, but I recall that it had a reputation for being a fairly gentle introduction to game development, with reasonable power–albeit perhaps somewhat limited once one wants to take on more advanced projects. However, this may have changed in the meanwhile.
Finally, it might be worth looking into Unity–the visual feedback provided by its editor might be beneficial in retaining interest for one so young.
Thanks for the tip, hate to pitch another platform on this forum, but I think that will be better for him to start with.
Man I wish they had this stuff when I was a kid! I used to geeked out about my Atari 2600
It’s a pleasure; if my suggestions of been of help, then I’m glad.
Heh, when I was younger I used Klick 'n Play and The Games Factory–while fairly simple and not enormously powerful, I do think that they were wonderful for me at the time, and I have fond memories of both.
My adventure with game engines also started out in GameMaker as a kid. I was eventually drawn to its 3-D drawing abilities and, finding them very lacking, started looking for proper 3-D engines. That’s how I eventually ended up at Panda3D.
GameMaker is great for starting out with some simple 2-D games, but your son may find himself wanting more if he finds himself being drawn to 3-D; in which case he’d be more than welcome here.