Welcome to Highlights Under the GUI, a new series of blogs that will follow our students here at Under the GUI to better understand what they are learning through the classes and to follow their progress as they delve into the world of coding and electronic design.

Our first interviewee is David who is 13 years old. David has been with the us for about 3 months and is currently working on a game he calls “Tomato Mountain.” David has spent a month on the game and it is still in its early stages. The game is a “top down” style of play much like Pokémon and David describes it as “tomato guys on a riot.” The coding language that David used for this game was Java, which is one of the many languages used and taught at Under the GUI. David uses the program Game Maker in the creation of “Tomato Mountain”, a basic program that many of the students use in the early stages of the program. Game Maker breaks down the major parts of the game in to five sections and I had David break them down to me in simple terms.

“Sprites are the animated images shown in the game, the things that move. Then there are Objects, things that you can code to an image, to a sprite. Background is the… background of the game and you should know what Sound is. Rooms is where everything is placed.”

David estimates that the game will take about another month before completion and he hopes to add attackers to the game and also more rooms (levels).

I also asked David what he liked about the program and what he hopes to gain from it. David likes that he is able to “do cool things with the computer” and more specifically that it was “practical learning to use computers to be helpful for things tedious to do by hand.” In the future David hopes to become more familiar with the program Game Maker and to better understand how games are made. Eventually, David hopes to be able to understand the deeper complexity of bigger games!