My daughter, now 11 years old, had sparked my interest in the Scratch project, developed and supported by MIT. In order to get her in a little deeper and to play with Scratch myself, of course, we developed a game together. I wrote about this experience–which was a complete blast!–previously. We both had a ton of fun and taught each other a lot of things about Scratch. Since then, without my knowledge or prodding, she decided to embark on creating a full-scale game herself!
My daughter is not only a geek like me, but she is very big into reading and is an excellent artist, as well. She has been deep in the Warriors series, by Erin Hunter, reading almost all of the books in Hunter’s five series. If you haven’t had the pleasure, the books focus on clans of cats and their adventures, and after reading them, she decided to develop Warrior Cats: The Game, which is still in DEMO, or beta state at the moment.
I didn’t even know that my daughter was developing the game until she was two whole weeks into it and told me, “I have been working on it every chance I get!” So… she’s hooked! I was in complete awe when I found this out, and I asked a few more questions.
At that time, she had already created 30+ sprites and had over 100 separate scripts for animation and actually playing the game. She’s also implemented morning, day, and nighttime simulations, which are incorporated into all of the scenes in the game. It’s just astonishing what she has been able to accomplish completely on her own. When I told her how impressed I was, she said, “It has been soooo much fun, Daddy! I just can’t stop working on it!”
For her birthday, the main present she asked for was a drawing tablet for the computer. We purchased a HUION H610PRO for her, and she loves it. She uses it directly with Scratch and within GIMP, as well.
I am so proud of my artistic geek. I’d like to take some credit for inspiring her, but it she is rockin’ it out now all on her own. It has been amazing to be a spectator… largely on the sidelines at this point, and we are so proud of her ambition and accomplishments! I hope other parents take the opportunities to inspire their kids, let their imagination develop, and help them gain the courage and chops to express themselves through creative avenues.