I have been going through the two GameMaker tutorials that are built into the software. They are the “Your First Game” and “Scrolling Shooters”. It is always a challenge to work through a tutorial written by the software maker. The number of assumptions about retained knowledge from the previous page is astounding (or maybe I just do not retain much when doing tutorials). I believe the second tutorial assumes direct contact with the god of intuition. It took me an hour to get the little plane to fly around the room like it was supposed to. Of course having spent the hour I can now explain how it works to the kids. I made all the mistakes. Tutorial should never be written by the experts; they know the system too well and do not realize that idiots have to read these things. I should become a tutorial author.
Tomorrow I am going to throw Kinect and Scratch at my two advanced kids. I have it running (pretty easy, it had to be if I was going to get it running) and it is really slick for a garage project. It sort of fits with my philosophy of teaching programming – find something cool to do and learn a language to do it. The C# may have to wait until January when the book I ordered on Amazon “Beginning Kinect Programming with the Microsoft Kinect SDK” becomes available. I simply do not have time to do my usual method of spending hours tinkering.