Learning to Code for My Degree

I study English and Creative Writing, so you’d think coding wouldn’t really factor into it. And, it doesn’t. Not unless you decide that for your final project you’re going to create a text based video game. My teacher said “do something a bit out there. Something unlike what you’ve created before.” Well, this is it.

If you’ve tried to learn about coding at any point, you’ll probably know about Code Academy (not spon). It’s basically online coding lessons, it takes you through everything step-by-step. I’ll be mainly using the site to learn HTML and basic JavaScript, essentially enough to help me understand the fundamental elements of Twine, the program I’ll be using to create my game. Now, you can use Twine without knowing how to code, but because I need to find a suitable way for my teacher to actually play the game and assess it, I need to know a little bit of what’s going on behind the text. Most likely, I’ll end up publishing the game here for everyone to see.


Progress

Image result for html coding

So far, I’ve gone through the Introduction to HMTL. And, I did consider creating this post through HTML, but I’m writing this late at night and it would hurt my brain. Though, I know enough to implement images, alter text, and lay things out. In fact, the lessons allow you to practice creating the code as you go, having you develop a website about Brown Bears. It’ll tell you what to do, give you example text, image, and videos to include and gives you examples of how to put it all together. Most importantly, I now know how to read the code, which doesn’t hurt.

I love learning new things, so it’s all interesting stuff, and I’m finding it pretty easy for now. But, my housemate who uses Python coding for his degree has warned me that “no coding is easy”. I suppose once I get to JavaScript, the real struggle will start. Though, as it’s all self-taught, I am able to take things at my own pace – so if I don’t understand something I can just try again.


The Narrative

Image result for secret life of walter mitty

As for what my game is actually about, I’m not 100%. I wish to explore maladaptive daydreaming.

Maladaptive daydreaming = “a disordered form of dissociative absorption associated with vivid and excessive fantasy activity that often involves elaborate and fanciful scenarios.”

Basically, it’s obsessive daydreaming. If you’ve ever seen The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, you get the gist. I’m not ashamed to say that I would actually probably be diagnosed with this if I went to see a professional. I spent the majority of my time daydreaming, when I wake up, when I get ready, walking to Uni, stacking shelves at work, etc. I daydream any chance I get. And, I would excuse it as a ‘writer’s habit’ – constantly developing narratives, characters, and plots – but I’ve been doing this longer than I’ve been properly writing.

With my story, I want to mix reality and fantasy. The goal for the player is to stay on track and do the normal things you would do in life, all while this fantasy is pressing on their mind.


It’s a work in progress, but I’ll keep you updated on how my project goes!

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