From Flappy Dove to TF Math: Our Incredible Cambrian Code Off Journey

May 3, 2024
Our family had an unforgettable experience at the Cambrian Code Off
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Dear Grace and George,
Remember a couple of weeks ago when we went to the Cambrian Code Off together? It was so much fun! We got to be a family team, which was really cool because Dad could help you out.
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When we got there, we found a seat and waited for everything to start. Some big kids told us that the theme was "education," but you know what? We didn't really care about that. Grace, you wanted to make a game like Flappy Bird, so that's what we did! We found a nice and easy example on the Scratch website, and you changed the code to make it your own. You called it "Flappy Dove," and it had a cute little dove flying and trying not to hit the pipes.
Then, we added a bunch of funny animals as obstacles. First, we put in a dinosaur, and we learned how to flip the pictures and make the dinosaur's mouth face the right way. We even made copies of the dinosaur and flipped them around. After that, you added a frog that shot its tongue out to catch a fly. The game had some silly problems, but it worked, and we had a blast making it!
Press ‘Spacebar’ to flap your wings.
While we were working on the game, Mom kept messaging me, saying that we should do something about education. I told her that I didn't mind if we didn't do education stuff because I just wanted you to have fun learning. But you know how Mom is – we can't ignore her! She had this idea that we could change the Flappy Dove game to be about a girl trying to get to school while avoiding obstacles. Grace, you said a girl can't flap, and when I suggested using the dove, you said, "The dove doesn't need to go to school. It's a bird!"
I asked an AI to give us some ideas for education games on Scratch, and one of them was about math. We searched the Scratch website and found a cool project that used Yoshi and Mario. There were math problems, and you had to choose the right answer by moving Yoshi with the arrow keys.
That's when you had your brilliant idea, Grace! You said we should make a true/false game, and I loved it! We quickly made a blackboard background with true and false buttons on each side. You added a cat and figured out how to make the cat move with the mouse all by yourself. I was so impressed!
I copied the number system from the Yoshi game and made it so that the game would show addition problems with random numbers. The player could move their mouse to click on the true or false button. You added the scoreboard and put it right in the middle. It was perfect!
You named it “TF Math”.
We only had two hours to make our games, and we spent 90 minutes on the Flappy Dove game and looking for ideas. But the math game only took us 30 minutes! It was exciting and a little scary because we didn't have much time. Grace, you kept telling me how much time we had left, but I told you not to worry because I knew we would finish it. And we did!
Mom and George came to join us after his baseball game, and we showed her the game. Then, the judges came to look at our game. While we were waiting for the judging to end, we played some other fun games on Scratch. Grace, do you remember Stella? The girl sitting at our desk? She came over and played the Pikachu volleyball game with me!
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When the judging was over, the organizers started giving out prizes. They showed us the prizes first, and there was a super cool coding robot. You said you really wanted it. Guess what? When they called out the winner, it was our ticket number! Both of you ran to the front to get the robot. George, you grabbed it and ran back to us so fast! The organizer had to stop you two to take a picture. It was amazing! You wanted the robot, and you got it. And George, you helped out with your quick moves.
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Finally, they announced the winners for the individual, team, and family categories. They said who won second place, and it was Stella and her dad! We cheered for them. Then, they called out the first-place winner, and it was us! They said that our game looked like something people would really enjoy playing. Grace, you ran up to the front to get the trophy and the certificate. The trophy was shaped like a light bulb, and it said that you are a "Luminaries of Logic." You were so happy, and we celebrated with Stella and took some pictures together.
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We came to the Cambrian Code Off, had an incredible time, and won both the raffle and the game. It was a day we'll never forget!

© Victor Augusteo 2021 - 2024