teaching machines

Fourlords Field

In a couple of weeks, I start teaching a brand new elective on game development. Students will team up and build a single game throughout the semester. I’ve taught several such courses in the past, but this one has a couple of twists:

  1. The games must be locally cooperative. These games are intended to be played together, with somebody right next to you.
  2. The games must be controlled by custom hardware that the students build using Arduinos or Raspberry Pis.

Whenever I teach project-based courses, I always vow to work on one of my own. This semester I’m hoping to recreate a game from my childhood: Warlords, for the Atari 2600.

I spent twenty minutes the other day getting the field laid out. Each of the four players has a castle to defend, with walls protecting it from the enemy’s projectiles. The walls are up:

Small steps, oft repeated. That’s how things get made.

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