Machinist-Fabrique is a game where you learn to code by solving puzzles. The tools at your disposal are different code concepts. It’s fun and easy and suited for kids 10 to 90 (and adults). We believe that learning to code is and will be an essential skill for our children and for ourselves.

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Programming daisy-chain of messages

A Game and a Learning Experience

It’s our experience that it’s intimidating to start learning to code, the starting level is typically slightly too high. You either have to be an expert or spend a lot of effort – this game is an easy first step!

Don’t be fooled if it doesn’t look like ‘proper’ code, once you’ve mastered the game, you’ll be confident to go on to bigger and more difficult things, the sky is the limit! See further down what programming concepts the game contains.

What Machinist-Fabrique is;

  • The game is puzzle-based and suitable for players of all ages (our beta-tester is 10)
  • all levels have narrated walk throughs
  • The game is free for group-teaching events
  • English and Swedish (partial) currently supported

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Claws!
Claws!

Programming Wonderful Machines

Each level consists of a number of bizarre and funny machines that have had their programs scrambled by a solar storm . As you fix the machines, energy is restored to the citizens of the city of Fabrique.

All programming in the game is done through a graphical interface – you won’t be typing any code on your keyboard. This makes it much easier to start out. Every level comes complete with the instructions you need to solve the puzzle – your task is to figure out which instruction goes where and in which order.

What Coding Will I Actually Learn?

You may be wondering what the boxes with texts in the videos have to do with programming? Programming is supposed to contain curly-braces and semi-colons? Actually, there are a number of universal programming concepts that is identical between most programming systems. You can learn these apart from code syntax. Code syntax can come later, it isn’t exactly fun.

Our levels contain;

  • events (things that happen)
  • messages (parts of programs communicating)
  • operations (things you do)
  • loops (things you do over and over)
  • variables (storage of values – values that can change)
  • conditional statements (only do things under certain circumstances)
  • boolean logic (how and, or, xor and not works)
  • etc

Scratch uses a similar graphical programming interface, so Machinist-Fabrique can be an excellent starting point where you move on to Scratch once you’re done. You’ll be familiar with most of the programming techniques available in

Never get stuck!

At the off chance that you get stuck, every level has a detailed walk-through video on youtube demonstrating how to finish each level and why it works the way it does. Here are a few examples A, B and C.

All the videos have been voice-narrated.

An Example: Learning Loops

Here are a few example programs created in Machinist-Fabrique and what they’d look like in javascript.

Loops

Working up to Loops

Showing that repetition is bad. Is equivalent to this code;

  function main() {
    FireBlueOrd(); FireBlueOrd(); FireBlueOrd();
    FireBlueOrd(); FireBlueOrd(); FireBlueOrd();
    FireBlueOrd(); FireBlueOrd(); FireBlueOrd();
  }
Loops

A very simple loop

Showing that loops are good. Is equivalent to this code;

  function main() {
    for(int i=0;i
Loops

Right out there

Showing loops within loops and code after loops. Is equivalent to this code;

  function main() {
    for(int i=0;i

The machinist back story – make sure to watch this in full-screen and HD!

Example Walk Through Films

Make sure to watch this in full-screen and HD!
The texts in the films blow can be hard to read, so make sure you maximize the window and select HD to ensure good quality.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SudRncBBGtc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rLrZ0KOYUo