Josiah Gets a Head Start on His Game-Making Career!
For Featured Maker Josiah, learning to code with Tynker is a big step on his path toward becoming a video game maker! 9-year-old Josiah, who’s entering the 4th grade in New Jersey this year, wants to be an engineer who creates games and gaming systems. He loves to code and play video games in his free time – he’s even gotten his brother into coding! “I love playing games,” Josiah told us, “and there’s nothing I do better than play games. Every second of the day I play games. When I’m done playing games, I play games. I love learning also!” Read on to learn more about why innovative Josiah loves creating with Tynker.
What’s your favorite subject in school? Math. I like how it gets really challenging, and when it gets more challenging it gets more fun!
How did you get introduced to Tynker and how long have you been coding? We did it in school about a year and three months ago, I think. I am a fast learner!
How did you learn how to use Tynker when you were first starting out? When I first started I didn’t really do the code – I just saw my friend and he was doing the Minecraft part, like where you edit how the Minecraft mods look. So I was doing that and then I found out there was a coding part to it! When I found out what the app could do – that you could make games – I was like, “This is super cool!” So I did it more often.
How have your coding skills improved since you started using Tynker? At first I just made weird games – I had no idea what to do. I didn’t really make the games, I usually went to the Workshop and chose one of the selection of types of game so I could learn how to code on Tynker. Then, when I knew how to do it, I selected a blank project more often.
How did you feel when you found out your project had been featured? I was just excited! I had just went on my tablet and clicked on Tynker. I was going through my projects when it popped up and I’m like, “Whaaat?!” I had no idea this was coming!
How do you get inspiration for your projects? Well, basically, what I learned is when I mess up with the coding, I try out different ways and see what will work. Usually I get it off a game that I already know, or I just make it up from scratch.
Why do you like to code? It’s just fun! You get to code and you get to see your games, and I like mostly when it works and it kind of gives me ideas for different games! Like, I didn’t even think about “Your Singing Monsters: Make Your Own Monsters” until I made, “Your Singing Monsters.”
“Your Singing Monsters”
What do you do with a project when you’re done with it? When I’m done with it I check it out and let my brother play on it. Then, I think if I’m going to edit some more parts to it or if I’m going to edit it while it’s published like “Your Singing Monsters.” When I come to my decision, I either publish it or I continue editing it.
What are you planning to make next? I think the next one that’s going to be published will be my game called Joe. It’s about this guy who’s talking to you, asking you about stuff, telling you about himself. And then he has an annoying brother who keeps asking him stuff and telling him stuff. He has a mom that keeps on clipping all his hair off!
What’s your favorite thing you can do in Tynker? My favorite thing is mostly seeing other people’s games because it gives me ideas. I think I’m running out of ideas, so I’m looking for other people’s help and I’m asking them to make a project that gives me ideas for another project I can make! I like to look at the code a lot and it helps me learn how to code. I didn’t know how to do, “when something touches another thing, that thing does something,” but one time when I was looking at someone else’s code, I saw how to do that!
How do you think learning to code has prepared you for the future? I think I’ve gained more experience. I basically do Tynker a lot so that I can learn how to make games, so when I’m a gamemaker I’ll have ideas and also I’ll learn how to code them. But text coding, I don’t know how to do that at all.
Do you think other kids should try coding? Yes, definitely. My brother did not know coding at all. I had to help him with some stuff because he didn’t know anything about coding at all at that time, and then that’s when I found out that Tynker was an app. I told him about that also because I thought he would like it. And now he plays it a lot – he’s playing it right now!
What advice would you give to kids starting out with Tynker? I would say that they should code what they like, and if they don’t have any ideas they should go on the community part of Tynker so they can get ideas for codes.
We also had a chance to speak to Tonya, Josiah’s mom, about her family’s experience coding with Tynker. She thinks it’s amazing that Josiah is learning to code and is getting excited about programming things like robots. “I like it because it’s very educational,” she said, “and I’d rather them to coding than all these crazy gun games.”
Tonya has noticed that coding is also helping Josiah exercise patience. “I know sometimes he gets frustrated when he messes up, so I just tell him to be patient and take his time. He really loves it, so he picked up on it really well and got it down pat.” She also loves that coding with Tynker is an activity that her sons can enjoy together!
“I think it helps them strategize and learn to work together and learn to put ideas together,” Tonya said. “I think it’s really good because it helps them work together as a team, and anything that helps them learn together is a bonus.”
When we asked whether she feels like Josiah is better prepared for the future now that he is learning to code, Tonya replied, “Yes, very much! He really loves making his own ideas and his own creations.” We loved hearing that Tynker is helping Josiah on his path to becoming a gamemaker!
Thank you for taking the time to share your Tynker experience, Josiah and Tonya. We can’t wait to see Josiah’s video games in stores down the line!