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Game creation software for kids?

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9 y/o newphew wants to make an 'app' I assume he means a game, will see them soon. Very hard to gauge what a 9 y/o is capable of, I don't see them much as they live overseas.

 

I suppose drag and drop in Unity should be ok using purchased assets from the store. I could do any scripting.

 

What other software is there. I have briefly looked at construct 2, kodu, rpg maker, scratch, lego creator websites and I know about gamemaker.

 

The lego creator looks the best bet however it is pretty expensive.

 

Has anyone got any experience here.

Edited by rAm_y_

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MIT Scratch, of course! =)

http://scratch.mit.edu/

 

And awesome lectures by David J. Malan from Harvard:

https://cs50.harvard.edu/lectures/0

I believe he introduces people to Scratch somewhere in this lecture. His lectures are fun, so maybe appropriate even for 9yo =)

Edited by GuardianX

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I was nine years old when I first asked the question :-) A QBasic book is where my father pointed me, and so began my long journey. This was twenty years ago, mind you. I was fanatical about Legos as a child :D

 

Perhaps something like the Processing language would be a good start for him. I have used it for rapid prototyping...

Edited by JeffCarp

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I first used RPG maker. Was fun and simple to use, you immediately can create nice looking 2D RPG worlds. Had alot of fun googling matching tilesets to suit a variety of different landscapes and cities. Eventually played around with its scripting capabilities and got some simple but cool story stuff going. Recommended.

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The ones you mentioned are all pretty good. I've heard good things about scratch. It might also be worth taking a look at some Lua based ones which can be quite easy to get into, like Gideros which recently became free to use, Love2D and Moai. These all allow easy building for ios I believe.

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It honestly depends on the 9 year old. Instead of assuming what you think he might want to do, call his parents so you can talk to him for a bit and see what HE wants. He may want to make a game, or he might have thought up an idea for an ipad app. He might want to learn to program, or he may just be the idea man and want you to do all the work. :) If you get a little more information on what he wants out of this, I think we'll all have an easier time identifying what tools might be a good fit.

 

Without knowing that, RPGMaker, Scratch, or Unity might be fun enough to get him interested in programming. If he goes the Unity route, the video tutorials are pretty good and he can work at his own pace. If he has trouble understanding what's going on, he might be motivated to learn to program on his own with something like Python for Kids.

 

- Eck

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