How Allcancode, an adventurous coding game, came to be
All started back in August of 2011 when I decided to introduce my then 5 y.o. son to computer programming. Being a developer with 20+ years of professional career does not mean that you can teach your art to kids without tools. But I couldn’t find one that fit my requirements given that I believed from the very first moment that I needed a real game as a basis. So I decided to build my own!
The project was named Allcancode to make clear the vision of teaching everyone the art of programming. After 2 years on researching and building the right team, on January 2014 everything was set up. The team formed by me as team lead and developer, an illustrator, an animator, a UI designer, a game designer, a children’s literature writer and a music composer and sound engineer. All senior professionals and committed to deliver high-quality services.
We believed that the best way to master programming is by making it a fun process through games. Starting from younger kids (6 to 12 y.o.) we designed an adventure game where Marco is the main character. He starts a long journey towards learning more about himself. Down the path friends will help him and enemies will hinder him. Levels or series of them present a goal that the player needs to achieve by giving step-by-step instructions to Marco.
It took us 2 months to build a proof of concept, another 3 months to deliver a prototype and another 2 months to release the first beta. This brings us to July 2014 when I asked from EU Code Week Ambassadors for feedback. I also asked for their help in translating the game in their respective languages. The response was overwhelming! Some of them, such as Rica Williams from Estonia and Wendy Vermoesen from Belgium, even tested it during events with kids!
The last 9 months was a great journey for us. We managed to deliver the first 10 levels of the game to browsers, Chrome Web Store and Google Play for Android tablets. An iPad edition will be also available soon. These first levels introduce simple instructions and two forms of repetition. The next 10 levels, which we will deliver early in October, will introduce the if-then-else structure. And we are working on the next level set where Marco will enter an ancient temple! In parallel, we are working on material that will support the game in classrooms and at home. The first part of this work is available on our blog.