Posse Spotlight: Making Text-Based Games with Miyamoto Posse

Last module, the Miyamoto posse was founded. Our focus is game development, and we are named after esteemed game creator Shigeru Miyamoto , who created a lot of the games we love (Donkey Kong, Legend of Zelda, Metroid Prime). We began the module by following some tutorials on how to build 2D games with the Gosu gem. The Gosu gem has a lot of built-in methods that make game development easier. However, we had a lot of students in the posse who were newer to programming, so the syntax-heavy 2D games were a bit too challenging at the time. We started on a text-based game, which is a great introduction to game development. No need to worry about rendering images — you only need to worry about the logic of the game itself. We decided the theme of our game would be “Turing Apocalypse,” and you would need to enter the various rooms of the “dungeon” in order to advance in the game. Text-based games allow newer programmers to practice principles of object-oriented programming. It is conceptually easy to break the games in OOP components, such as Player, Monster, Room, etc. For example, here is our Player class: The Player class only has two attributes: name and health. We instantiate a new Player object at the beginning of the game after we ask the player’s name. We also have a Monster class that has virtually the same attributes. Games rely on loops — the game needs to continue until the player beats the game (or they die). Here is our current game loop: The playing variable is a boolean (is set to true or false) that controls when the game ends. As soon as the player dies, this variable is set to false, and the game ends. In our loop,...
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Posse Spotlight on Pahlka Posse

One of the aspects of Turing life is our posses, which are student groups designed to provide peer support and are named after well-known people in tech history. Last intermission week, Turing decided to do a "posse reboot," changing a number of things about the ways posses work at Turing. Namely, they are now opt-in and are focused on a particular topic or meeting schedule. I and a number of other students were invited to be new posse leaders. At first, I felt pretty hesitant about heading up a new posse. My prior posse was a little lackluster, and I had already put a lot of my time into other community programs and wasn’t sure if I would have the ability to head up a new posse well. But then, another student, Beth Sebian, asked for a partner in creating a posse focused on civic tech. Beth is one of the coolest people on the planet and I feel very passionate about addressing social issues, so, (of course) I had to ask Beth if she’d have me as her partner. She, (of course) was happy to have me, and we ventured forth on the creation of the Pahlka Posse, named after Code for America founder Jen Pahlka . Creating a Space People Want to Be In First step to getting our posse off the ground: recruit people to be in it. I ran around hyping the posse up to anyone who would listen, and then we pitched our posse along with all the other posses in front of the student body. From this, we got our first 10 members! Next step to starting the posse: get people to stay active in the group. We have all seen our fair share of groups form and then lose momentum and peter out...
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