ThoughtSTEM Launches $50,000 Kickstarter Campaign For Coding Video Game

University of California San Diego Computer Science and Engineering alumni Lindsey Handley, with the startup company ThoughtSTEM, launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign earlier this week to raise $50,000 for a new video game which will help teach children how to code.

ThoughtSTEMCodeSpells provides a coding interface where the player can specify exactly what spells they wish to do. According to the university, the program uses drag-and-drop language that even children may use. Students can learn to code, syntax-error free, using a Blockly spell-crafting interface that has all the tools available in Javascript.  Examples of what the player do range from making mountains out of a terrain, to even creating golem creatures out of the surrounding rocks.

Features of the game include:

  • Spell-craft sandbox: Craft and test your spells on a surrounding landscape.
  • Unlimited creative expression: With four different elements (earth, water, fire, air) along with the ability to combine them, the number of spells the player can create is not limited.
  • Learn some coding: Play a fun game while learning the basics of coding.
  • Share spells with friends: As soon as the player creates a new spell, they have the ability to send it over to friends to try out. CodeSpells will have a community forum where users may show off their favorite spells
  • Play online: Create new game modes to play with or against friends.

Sharing details about the game, CodeSpells team stated, “For the CodeSpells world, we will be creating procedurally generated levels that change over time as you affect the elements and their distributions throughout the map. We’ve come up with a system for simulating the effects of elements in the world that will dynamically change as the environment changes.”

CodeSpells 1“An area in shadow will be less hot than an area in direct sunlight. Altitude will change the weather. Land close to a water source will be humid, so more vegetation will grow there. Hot and dry areas will be more prone to catching fire. We’ll be able to simulate fire spreading, water flowing through new areas, and constantly changing biomes. The world will feel truly dynamic and alive.”

“For the sandbox version of CodeSpells, you’ll be able to freely use any spell you create to affect these environments and understand the way the systems work together. You’ll be able to redirect rivers and play with the environment as a living system.”

Set to close on October 4, the CodeSpells has already reached nearly $30,000 from over 1,000 backers.

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