Online learning – Begin Programming: Build Your First Mobile Game @futurelearn

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I have been looking into available (and free) online courses for more in-depth programming and I came across this one by Future Learn.

Learn basic Java programming by developing a simple mobile game that you can run on your computer, Android phone, or tablet.

https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/begin-programming

This course is only a 7 week course run originally by Reading University – with videos, projects and quizzes.

I am playing catch-up, one of the benefits of online learning is that although I missed the original startdate, I can still join as long as the course is running, but am only up to week 4 and it’s just got really complex!

The first week saw me struggle to download the Android development studio and the java toolkit, plus finding a suitable android device I could test on. You can use the on-board emulator but it doesn’t give you the tactile feedback – or pleasure – of seeing the green screen and animated elements that you yourself have coded.

We’ve gone through code constructs, data types and variables, conditional statements and we are now starting arrays and loops, and the content is good quality – very dry, but I think the subject matter gets quite intense and serious quite quickly.

I am struggling with the exceptionally mathematically minded way that this particular coding syntax is set out, I understand more than I can write myself, which is useful, and I can see where I’ve gone wrong in the code, such as the extra { that broke my game, but when let loose to add in whole new sections, it’s hard, but I will get to the end and hope to gain more insight.

I am finding that I need more than the recommended 3 hrs a week, but can just about cope with that, the best thing with this way of learning is that I can always go back and restart, rewind the video, or try again tomorrow…

The future learn forum for the course tries to encourage you to join in and share, but again, feels flat,perhaps they could schedule a live google hangout session,  and get some real interaction going on!

The Power of Processing #processing #nordevcon #rumyra

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Last friday I went to the NorDevCon http://www.nordevcon.com/ and the most inspirational talk was the one using code to control web API’s from Ruth John. Ruth works for the Lab at O2, UXing, designing and front end coding.

She embarked on a journey back into her vj’ing past when using tape and video (heavy on the thundercats) and wondered if she could recreate the entire experience using code loading directly into a web browser.

She started with a ‘simple’ css animation and showed us the development of the stages she took, adding another functionality until she eventually had video dynamically loading in time to the beat of a music track (also dynamically loaded) she also had her working browser reacting to noise input from us!

These web apis are out there, people are animating, drawing and interacting with their browsers, they are being developed and improved and new functionality added day by day.

Ruth John’s slides from NordevCon

http://rumyras-talks.herokuapp.com/web-vs-native-nordevcon/#/

You need to have a play with this… the animating beats are amazing and got me excited about more code interactivity.

Direct link to the fun demos – http://dancing.rumyra.com/

Ruth recommended this – The Web Audio API O’Reilly book by Boris Smus is free to read online!

I spoke to Ruth afterwards, asking if she had tried interacting between a leap motion and the browser and she thought that it would be possible, so not only can images and video load dynamically, but it could be controlled by gesture.

Explaining my interest and where I was in my research – at the beginning – she recommended that I use javascript as my language to get going on this.

But alongside the .js for mobile/web interactivity, I wanted to look into processing, again this is able to draw, animate and interact within your browser, I don’t know if they are compatible, but will endeavour to find out, but lots of things to play with and look at!

processing examples

https://processing.org/examples/

Books

Getting-Started-Processing-Hands-Introduction

Form-Code-Design-Architecture-Briefs form+and+code

Exploring sound and it’s effect

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So, whilst driving back late last night, I started to record part of my journey, with the snow blowing straight towards me and the windscreen wipers soporific movement and sound.
I wanted to put a low electronic style more ambient sound track with the original sound and I chose Michael Chocholak – Walking Backwards as I felt it had an icy type ‘chinkling’ sound within it.