Beta has a new website and blog! Go to: www.BetaTheGame.com
This weekend Team Beta participated in this year's DIY Days Conference at the New School. It's a conference about story telling, hacking, education and experiential learning. We set up a play station where players could come and play test Beta and codePop. It's amazing what some of the players were able to do with Beta. One very bright young man was able to get Beta to do backflips! Players provided feedback and insight into their experience to help us continue to make Beta better.
We want to thank every one that came out to see us! Stay in touch!
- Team Beta
Using the latest in home 3D printing (www.makerbot.com) and an open source 3D modeling software called Blender (www.blender.org) we've been able to bring Beta into the world of atoms and 3D. Check out the first run of the first Beta! action figure.
Here are the latest screens from a Beta! playtest session.
We are nearing alpha stage of the engine. It's stock full of features: projectiles, wall building, springs, moving platforms, gravity control, doorways, grid controls and even a grappling hook!
We are currently optimizing #codePop and developing levels that really allow for great game flow and quick learning. Of course level design is very very difficult when the player can use code to affect the environment!
It just means we've got to think outside the box. We are in for some extreme gameplay!
- Team Beta!
“Imagination is more important than knowledge”
Here is the level design station where we brainstorm and prototype various mechanics for Beta!
Games for Change is a pretty awesome conference I've been going to for the last couple of years. I've seen it grow and have always wanted to submit a game. If you are interested in games that are about social justice or making a difference thats the place to be. We just heard that the deadline for submissions to the Games for Change conference is April 17th. That is 20 days away...looks like there may be some sleepless nights ahead of us. The countdown begins!
- Team Playground
This is the first time Beta is in his new world. We used AS3 and the Citrus Engine, NAPE, Starling and other open source engines to create this world. Brings a tear to my eye.
In this video, you get to see each of the animations being tested before we import it into the game. Here we are using Flash and a Dragon Bones plugin to handle creating our graphics. You'll get to see Beta dancing!
codePop is an simple and powerful scripting language that powers Beta!. Here are some of the key features:
- Tweet-Sized Commands: Each command is up to 140 characters for simplicity and ease of use. We’ve reduced the code syntax to simply spaces. This allows students to focus on understanding rather than learning language specific syntax.
Sample Command: set gravity x:-50 y:600
Sample Response: Gravity set to: x:-50 y:600
- Non-Breaking and Friendly Errors: Beta will never crash or shut down on the player. If you give him a command that he can’t understand he will help you. The “Error Messages” are friendly messages from Beta that encourage the player and provide basic syntactical flaws.
Sample Incorrect Command: set gravity 100
Sample Error: “The gravity command requires two numbers. You only provided one.”
- Instant Gratification: BetaScript is real-time. The moment the player enters their first code he/she will see the benefits of their work immediately. This can spark the curiosity of a life long coder!
- The Coder Mindset: Players will walk away with an understanding of how code works. We will key certain key words from the usual programmer vocabulary such as functions, variables, arguments, return and more. This will allow players to translate their understanding of these key programming concepts to any other language they choose.
There will be some tutorials and a wiki around the time of launch. If you have any questions feel free to comment.
- Team Beta!
Beta! is an arcade puzzle platformer that requires quick reflexes and a little coding to win! The hero is a lovable A.I. with a problem; he has memory loss. Beta must battle the virus to regain his memory, save his world and discover his true power.
Beta! is a game designed to make learning how to code more fun. The hero explores his world in search of memory and programs. Programs contain codes that the player can enter during game play. Memory enables the player to collect more powerful programs. Players are given a great deal of control including abilities to add and remove game objects (blocks, crates doors, etc.), change gravity and manipulate time!
Through their relationship with Beta! players will learn computer terminology, programming concepts and a language called codePop.
codePop is a tweet-sized game scripting language that powers Beta and his world. codePop provides kid-friendly errors, has a very simple syntax and allows players to play and code in real-time. Beta also includes a private sandbox area where players can create and share levels using codePop.
In this blog we will be posting new features, video updates, Beta Outtakes and more...
- Team BETA!
According to the statistics provided by CODE.org (see below ) the best paying jobs are in the design and technology fields. Unfortunately, our current education system is not producing enough designers or technologists to fill the need. Using the playground we are creating a game that will not only foster early interest in technology and design but provide the player with core tech skills that will last them a lifetime! More to come...