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Which game for a father/son (7 YO) to mod?

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I was writing a simple top-down cell based engine for me and my seven year old son to play around with. But, when I mentioned the idea of he and I writing a game together, and he got really excited and started throwing out all kinds of advanced ideas. I quickly realized that my very limited game engine wasn't going to cut it, so I thought, why not mod an existing game? That would let him concentrate on content creation, and I can do the scripting.

I've never made a mod though. What's a good game to start with? Have any been released as freeware and have tools intuitive enough for a child to start picking up?

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I too took the programming engine thing and son and made it quality time... but also made it educational. he is in his early teen years now, but when he was 10, we got into it. he was into baseball, and other sports. and i was an avid golfer so we designed a very simple system to do and handle physics. graphically speaking, wasnt the most important, but he enjoyed modeling different objects that we would have to shoot around and what not.

as we progressed, the code got a little more complex, which was exactly what i wanted him to see. and in depth system, but to be able to start ahead, instead of reacting to. eventually we got a very nice demo we used that had a gui taht we could set differnt parameters. keep in mind, we didnt have tiger woods models or anything, but more of a enter data, and watch the ball fly kind of thing. he enjoyed it a lot and it also helped him understand math and the importance.

now he is in high school, and he is working with his schools comp sci dept along with different instructors at the school on programs and methods of teaching/learning with visual games.

that's just my experience. not sure it helps, but i know that feeling of bonding is important and he will appreciate what you can show him. and don't be afraid if things get complex, i believe it helped him out more when we got into complex topics and the thought process.

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Thanks, NiteLordz. That is the sort of bonding/learning experience I'm hoping for. I don't think he's quite ready for the more technical side of things, so I'll try to start him out with the creative side and ease him into the technical stuff. It's probably a great idea to model something he's interested in, just like you worked on sports physics with your son. He's really into animals and biology, so maybe we'll do something from that angle. An animal themed card game might be quick enough to code that it would hold his interest and let him take part by drawing graphics and contributing ideas. However, I'd still like to know if anyone can recommend a freeware game with beginner friendly mod tools, for when he' ready to move into 3d.

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You might use the Box2D physics (http://box2d.org/) and Gadget2D engine (http://roswellgames.com/gadget2d/) to make something along the lines of angry birds, etc, since ur kid likes animals. But a card game is an awesome idea too and your son would be able to contribute by designing new animal cards and their gameplay effects. Wish you both a great time. smile.png

As for 3D, you might start him off with the Unreal Editor in UDK or even the Crysis SDK which does everything realtime. Both are great with superb tools and thousands of online tutorials.

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