Creating a New Class : Crafter

So, I notice that the game’s content (reasonably so) focuses on the exciting prospect of combat. In my experience as an educator, I find that some students, particularly many of my female students report that they do not always feel immediately enabled or fulfilled by this sort of gameplay. I am considering for some of my students seeing if I can’t hack together some tools akin to the build option but moreso that offer alternative approaches to exploring code through play that may appeal to the Bartle Test roles of Achiever/Explorer. This would serve as a jump-off point for a new class - Crafters would engage the game through less “adventurous” but equally effective tasks like carrying materials between sites, creating “buildings” by constructing walls, gardening/farming, and sheparding/fishing. I think that while this may be a serious bit of work, the ability to reach players who are oriented towards constructivist instead of militant play makes it worth potentially tackling.

It’s my plan to look at offering some of that sort of work to the CC github once it is far enough along. Is this something that would interest people?

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There is a way of not using direct weaponry to defeat your opponents you can use an item called the builder hammer it is very effective if you can figure out how to use it to take out your opponents but there are some levels where using a sword is required

Hi @BoT! It would be great to work on more items and methods that supported non-combat alternatives. We were originally going to do more of this with the buildXY stuff, but it quickly became hard to fit both into the same campaign, and the programming to do combat was a lot easier for beginners than the programming to manage resources, moving, building, repairing, etc. So we have building only at the end of the first world, collecting gold toward the end of the second, drawing stuff in the fourth world, but yet haven’t done the more specialized things like other resources, repairing, and other building types.

Are your students raw beginners or could they possibly jump to a bit more advanced syntax and methods early on, if there were an alternate campaign that didn’t use combat?

It is true that the game is mostly oriented around combat and health points.
However, there are some levels that don’t require any fighting. A few types that spring to mind are the flower-grove levels, some coin-collecting levels, ice soccer, etc. Basically when not fighting, they are just walking around. Some levels require a builder’s hammer equipped instead of a weapon but the building is still usually for combat or survival purposes.

Having more levels that are not oriented around combat would be good for diversity though. There’s a limited amount that you can learn from hitting ogres and it would be useful if CodeCombat covered more types of problems. An alternate campaign or at least alternate levels covering different areas would be great.

@Feinty : Yes, the builder hammer is actually the reason that I began inI agree. It will be a challenge to figure out ways of allowing them to progress that do no require combat. I’m still in the ideation phase to figure out how to approach it and perhaps I should start with a campaign.

@nick While my students are often raw beginners this really exists as a supplementary activity for them beyond what their classes are providing - a chance to practice in a no-pressure environment that gamifies to activity. As a result, if things were a little more complex that is something that I could engage them with conversations about and so long as there were a few levels that were akin to the hammer building one before jumping heavy, I think they’d have time to process.

In my experience the students I deal with (college-age) can pick up and develop reasonable algorithms fairly fast, it’s the syntax that trips them up. As a result, levels that require managing a lot of things with feedback aren’t as intimidating as complex cloture, nesting and writing multi-method problems.
If you are interested, I’m more than willing to see what I can put together design-wise to create an alternative to a lot of the starting levels with an eye towards scaffolding in more complex syntax and algorithmic thinking.

@zuf Agreed!

Sure; let’s perhaps come up with some sample code for levels using new creative, non-combat methods and see which ones end up leading to the most flexible, interesting gameplay.

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