Predigame Instructional Platform

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Pure Code. Pure Fun. Brain candy for the aspiring coder!

Overview

Predigame is an instructional platform that teaches the basics of coding through the creation of arcade games. The platform was researched and developed by Predicate Academy and used for teaching kids ages 8-17 all the amazingly cool things that can be created with code. Predigame is a minimalistic platform and makes extensive use of coding abstractions to present a "low lift" interface that is especially welcoming to first time coders. Predigame allows aspiring coders to familiarize themselves with computational thinking while downplaying many of the language and keyboard nuances that come with using a text-based coding language. Holding true to form, Predigame seeks to offer a coding experience through the lens of a technologist - specific emphasis is given towards software design, modern programming languages, command line execution, error debugging - skills that are directly transferrable in any journey to becoming a software engineer.

Unlike other introductory platforms that teach coding concepts through visual (drag and drop) interactions, Predigame is written in Python and Pygame. While the core gaming platform covers a number of common use cases, Predigame is completely extensible and games can be amplified with custom code.

Predigame requires minimum computing resources and has been tested on Microsoft Windows 10, macOS 10.12+ (Sierra and High Sierra), and Raspberry Pi Model 2B/3B (Raspbian Jessie and Stretch). It may likely run in on other operating systems, we just haven't tested them (yet).

We assume that all users have some basic computer skills: typing, opening/closing windows, as well as an ability to navigate files and folders.

Example Game - Zombie Madness

Zombie Madness is an instructional implementation that was used by Predicate Academy during their Winter and Sping 2018 seasonal classes. Many of the features have been curated by ~75 aspiring innovators (ages 10+) who love to flex their STEM prowess by putting ideas to code! Click the image below for a video of the game in action!

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Example Game - Click Ninja

Click Ninja was inspired by the app fruit ninja, but it's a little different since we have a mouse and not a touch screen. Click the image below for a video of the game in action!

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Installing Predigame

Install a Text Editor

Every coder needs a good text editor. For python development, we recommend using Atom. New to Atom? Check out their documentation. Sorry Pi Users - Atom isn't currently available for Raspbian, so we'd recommend using IDLE or Thonny (both come preinstalled with Raspbian Stretch).

Microsoft Windows 10

NOTE: installation will require Administrator permissions

New to coding and installing stuff? Check out our Windows Installation Video!

Install Python

Predigame has been tested with Python v3.6.4 (direct download link). When installing, you'll want to make sure to check the box to have Python added to your PATH (it's off by default).

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Install Pygame

Open a command prompt (search: command prompt)

Windows Screenshot

Type the following command in the command prompt window:

python -m pip install -U pygame

Look for line Successfully installed ... to indicate a successful installation.

Install Predigame

Open a command prompt (or reuse the window from the previous step) and type the following command:

python -m pip install -U predigame

This can take a minute or two to complete. Look for the line Successfully installed ... to indicate a successful installation.

macOS

NOTE: installation will require Administrator permissions

New to coding and installing stuff? Check out our macOS installation video!

Install Python

Predigame has been tested with Python v3.6.4 (direct download link).

Install Pygame

Open a Terminal (command search: Terminal or visit this link for help). Type the following command in the terminal:

sudo pip3 install -U pygame

This command will require an administrator account and a prompt for a password. Look for line Successfully installed ... to indicate a successful installation.

Install Predigame

Open a command prompt (or reuse the window from the previous step) and type the following command:

sudo pip3 install -U predigame

This command will require an administrator account and a prompt for a password. The process can take a minute or two to complete. Look for the line Successfully installed ... to indicate a successful installation.

Raspberry Pi

Good news Pi fans! You're just a pip3 install away from coding your first game! Open a Terminal and type the following command:

sudo pip3 install -U predigame

New to coding and installing stuff? Check out our Raspberry Pi Installation Video!

Updating Predigame

Predigame changes frequently. Run the following command(s) to ensure you have the latest and greatest release.

Windows

python -m pip uninstall predigame
python -m pip install predigame

We're not sure pip install -U works correctly on Windows, so it's always good to uninstall first.

macOS and Raspberry Pi

sudo pip3 install -U predigame

Getting Started

Now that you have Predigame installed, let's open a command prompt (Windows) or terminal (macOS, Pi) and test out to an existing game to make sure things are working correctly.

List available game downloads:

pred list

Try downloading the clickninja game:

pred pull clickninja

Assuming that was successful, let's try to start the game!

cd clickninja
pred clickninja-levels.py

The r key can be used to reset the game. Hit Esc to close the window. If you want to run again, the cd clickninja command may not be necessary (if you are already in the clickninja directory).

Want to learn more about customizing Click Ninja? Check out the the game tutorial.

macOS Certificate Errors

Some macOS users may see this error the first time using pred:

ssl.SSLError: [SSL: CERTIFICATE_VERIFY_FAILED] certificate verify failed (_ssl.c:749)

If that happens, run this command to install the certificates and try again:

sudo /Applications/Python 3.6/Install Certificates.command

Coding Your First Game

Our first game is going to be a digital picture frame. It's not TECHNICALLY a game, rather a fun example that showcases some of the flexibilities and power of Predigame.

Open a command prompt (Windows) or terminal (macOS, Pi) and run the following command to create a new game:

pred new hello

Note For windows users, it may be easier to run cd Desktop prior to pred new (files and folders stored on the desktop will be a little easier to find).

This command will create a new directory hello and game template hello/game.py as well as some subdirectories that will be useful to hold custom images, backgrounds, and sounds. Using your favorite code editor, open the file game.py. You'll notice the game already has a few lines of code (we'll discuss what those mean next).

Try adding this line to the bottom of the file:

background()

So the completed code example should look like:

WIDTH = 30
HEIGHT = 20
TITLE = 'Simple Game'

background()

Save your changes. Then in the terminal, you'll want to run:

pred game.py

Did you see the background picture? Make sure you cd hello prior to running pred as you need to be in the same directory as your python files.

There you go! First "game" down. Take a look at the Picture Frame example for some other cool coding additions.

API Docs

Predigame API documentation can be found here: http://predigame.io/api. Not sure what this means? Don't worry. We'll cover this later!

Support

Find a bug? Have a question?