Gladiabots and education

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GFX47
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Gladiabots and education

Post#1 » 03 Nov 2017, 20:05

Gladiabots is kind of my love letter to programming.
It's been my passion for a long time now and I want to communicate it through the game.
I find it sad that a lot of people (programmer or not) consider programming as a boring discipline reserved to à geek elite.
I want to show that it can be a very fun and creative activity that anyone with a minimum of will can enjoy.

That's why collaborating with education is a great opportunity for me to playtest the game on non programmers and for teachers to introduce the basics of programming to their students in a fun way.
I'll post about these collaborations in this thread...

If you're a teacher interested in using Gladiabots in your class, please contact me at education{at}gladiabots.com.
If you're a student in programming and would like to learn with Gladiabots, please ask your teacher to contact me at education{at}gladiabots.com.

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GFX47
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Re: Gladiabots and education

Post#2 » 03 Nov 2017, 22:45

The first one who used Gladiabots in a classroom was my friend Laurent Victorino for the Bellecour school in Lyon, France.
He used it to teach programming to future game designers.

Here are some pictures of the class:

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GFX47
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Re: Gladiabots and education

Post#3 » 03 Nov 2017, 23:14

Gladiabots has also been used in computer sciences classes at the Archbishop Ursuline (girl) School of Cologne, Germany.

Some head scratching pics:

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Kanishka
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Re: Gladiabots and education

Post#4 » 04 Nov 2017, 03:47

1. IMO, programming is never boring. Gladiabots gives it a twist, a nice one, in fact, but seeing code come alive even on text editors is equally rewarding. But yes, coding can be frustrating sometimes; we all miss the semicolons some time or the other.

2. People are teaching basic concepts of programming through Gladiabots? NICE! (I've said this before though :D) I would love it if my school had taught us through Gladiabots (then I would have much more experience and much higher ELO :P) Point to be noted, we jumped straight to coding, and I, personally, liked it. Thinking about it, MS Logo is just a rudimentary 2D Gladiabots.

3. There's a fundamental problem with teaching basics of coding through Gladiabots. The absolute basic IF THEN (which can also be used like WHILE) and not-so-appreciated GOTO work. But the problem is in execution: "AIs are checked every tick (250 milliseconds on normal playback)". I literally fumbled once with "real" code after playing Gladiabots, I expected the IF statement to be executed when the variable got changed in a WHILE statement below it. Guess what? Real code is checked once; you need GOTOs to re-check a piece.

4. FOR statements are missing. (though they're not encouraged that much actually)

5.
Someone on Stack Overflow wrote:A journalist was once interviewing a programmer.

Journalist: What is the characteristic feature of "bad" code?
Programmer: No comments.
Fixes break an AI more than bugs do. :ugeek:

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pier4r
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Re: Gladiabots and education

Post#5 » 04 Nov 2017, 10:19

Really nice! I'd love to read some feedback from those.

And yes gladiabots has a lot of potential to teach some programming concepts. Not much if/then/else rather: iterate, don't be hasty, plan first, versioning, etc.

See more here: https://www.reddit.com/r/pireThoughts/w ... h_concepts

and here: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=823

Kanishka wrote: Guess what? Real code is checked once; you need GOTOs to re-check a piece.


Gotos? https://xkcd.com/292/
http://www.reddit.com/r/Gladiabots/wiki/players/pier4r_nvidia_shield_k1 -> Gladiabots CHAT, stats, insights and more ;

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Kanishka
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Re: Gladiabots and education

Post#6 » 04 Nov 2017, 13:27

pier4r wrote:
Kanishka wrote: Guess what? Real code is checked once; you need GOTOs to re-check a piece.


Gotos? https://xkcd.com/292/


Kanishka wrote:not-so-appreciated GOTO
Fixes break an AI more than bugs do. :ugeek:

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0x1de
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Re: Gladiabots and education

Post#7 » 10 Nov 2017, 05:08

I can see how Gladiabots might interest someone in programming but it doesn't teach them how to. So many fundamentals are missing. Even boolean logic is undermined by the fact that it's arbitrary whether it's AND or OR that combines the conditions/filters.

Don't get me wrong, I am in awe of GFX. He has created a programming language, an editor, and a runtime environment within a distributed network. It's amazing. And fun.

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GFX47
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Re: Gladiabots and education

Post#8 » 10 Nov 2017, 08:39

It's actually used to teach the programming logic more than programming itself.

Monger81
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Re: Gladiabots and education

Post#9 » 24 Aug 2018, 20:55

I had an interesting discussion with a teacher about how educational games depict programming. In my opinion, none of them get it right.
Modern software usually has far less complex code branches than the average gladiabot, but e.g. is full of callbacks and complex return states. Most educational games make it seem like programming is still about bit shifting, although modern frameworks can be quite expressive. The Tensorflow tutorial for number recognition has about 20 lines, or so. Even the for loop is getting less and less common, the more concepts like map/reduce become popular.

Having said that, games like these have - in my opinion - still a lot of educational value as a puzzle, to train about cause and effect and iteratively approaching a problem.

ElvenMonk
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Re: Gladiabots and education

Post#10 » 24 Aug 2018, 23:45

Monger81 wrote:I had an interesting discussion with a teacher about how educational games depict programming. In my opinion, none of them get it right.
Modern software usually has far less complex code branches than the average gladiabot, but e.g. is full of callbacks and complex return states. Most educational games make it seem like programming is still about bit shifting, although modern frameworks can be quite expressive. The Tensorflow tutorial for number recognition has about 20 lines, or so. Even the for loop is getting less and less common, the more concepts like map/reduce become popular.

Having said that, games like these have - in my opinion - still a lot of educational value as a puzzle, to train about cause and effect and iteratively approaching a problem.


And still there are people, who are creating Tensorflow, React, etc. libraries and frameworks for you to use. Those are true programmers as opposed to Web Developers or Data Engineers. And programming is always about bit shifting to some extent.

Monger81
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Re: Gladiabots and education

Post#11 » 25 Aug 2018, 00:21

ElvenMonk wrote:And still there are people, who are creating Tensorflow, React, etc. libraries and frameworks for you to use. Those are true programmers as opposed to Web Developers or Data Engineers. And programming is always about bit shifting to some extent.

Even framework and driver developers write code differently today. Paradigms have shifted significantly in the last decades.

All I am saying is: A child or young adult will get a misleading impression about programming from most educational games.

ElvenMonk
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Re: Gladiabots and education

Post#12 » 25 Aug 2018, 05:51

Can't agree with that statement. At school children learn about geometry axioms and square equations, despite almost nobody uses it at work. The thing is, you need to uderstand basic concepts to get to something bigger and more complex.

Binary representation, bitwise operations, conditions, loops and functions are absolutely necessary to get basic understanding of how things really work in computer world.

I'm not saying that we don't need to teach students MathLab, NumPy or Tensorflow later on. Or more likely html5, css and javascript.

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