Charles Draws Coding Inspiration from Classic Games!
Charles is our newest Featured Maker from Ontario! He is eight years old and has a lot of interest in collecting classic Nintendo game characters and even drawing them! Particularly, Charles loves to draw Mario and Sonic and wants to become a game developer when he grows up.
Since he loves to draw, Charles loves art class in school because he gets to create his drawings there! Charles is a really independent learner and wants to go to school to learn how to program.
How did you get introduced to Tynker and how long have you been coding? My dad found Tynker. I’ve been coding for about a year. Now, I’m pretty good at it! I’ve tried other coding apps, but I think this is definitely the best one!
How did you learn how to use Tynker when you were first starting out? I just looked at everyone’s projects. There was this boss battle game that I thought were really fun and inspired me and then I became really good at it! I spent a lot of time remixing games.
How have your coding skills improved since you started using Tynker? A lot! I first started with nothing, now I have almost 30 games! I started with things that were simpler and now I’m making more advanced games. I started making animations and I was surprised at how good I was getting at it.
How did you feel when you found out your project had been featured? I felt really special, I didn’t know what to say!
What is your favorite project you’ve made so far and what do you like about it? My favorite so far is Mario Fighter Beta! I remixed a Pokemon game and thought that I could make it better. I also have lots of Mario Kart games that I like. There’s one where you’re in the cart and there’s things that come out at a distance in front of you, like obstacles that you have to dodge!
Mario Fighter Bata 1.1.0
Where did you get the idea for your favorite project and how long did it take you to make? From Mario games! It took me about an hour for some games, because I just put together blocks and kept adding blocks to it.
How do you get inspiration for your projects? Just by playing classic video games and I look at other Tynker projects.
Why do you like to code? Because I’m learning and doing stuff! It helps me learn how to do it and it gets other kids inspired. I like to make games for kids like me that like to play them.
Do you have a favorite code block? ‘When touching’, because I need that for a lot of stuff. It makes a great code block and I use it for all of my games! ‘Broadcast’ also, I use that for almost every game too.
What do you do with a project when you’re done with it? I’ll just check it out first, test it to see how it is. Then if I think it’s good, I’ll save it and if I don’t like it, I’ll delete it. But, usually I’ll just publish it because I have fun and I like having other kids play my games.
What are you planning to make next? I was going to make a Ninja Turtle fighting game inspired by the NES game. It’s like the arcade game, where there’s this ball that’s falling down these stairs, and you have to dodge it, but I’m going to make one where it’s fire and you have to dodge that! Ninja Turtle Arcade Fighter.
What’s the best thing about Tynker? It’s coding for sure, but it’s also making games and seeing other people’s games. I also like to see how much other kids are enjoying my games!
Do you think learning to code has prepared you for the future? Quite a bit. I feel like it’s inspired me to learn everything about coding and gives me a lot of options. It’s really cool, because I like making games and it’s helped me plan for my future. It’s really fun!
Do you think other kids should try coding? If they’re into coding and making games, then yeah! This program is great for learning!
What advice would you give to kids starting out with Tynker? Start with something simple. If you can’t make something, don’t give up! Just look at remixes and look at the code, memorize it and then you can make great games!
Ian, Charles’ dad, joined in on the conversation and is extremely proud of Charles for learning how to code on his own! “It’s awesome because he has been self-initiated with all of it,” he said, “He’s been wanting a program that he could use and I gave him that. I didn’t know how to use it so he really figured it out on his own.”
Ian sees how coding helps Charles, saying, “He’s had issues with his patience and being frustrated with things before and this has really helped him find better ways to solve problems in the moment. Overall, it’s really helped with patience and his focus and reduced a lot of his frustration, so that’s been great.”
The benefits with coding are apparent to Ian: “Using the blocks, he’s learning how to use things programmatically rather than just writing the code,” he said. “Programs change so frequently and by the time he is making games, who knows where IDEs will be at. You may not be running code yourself at all, so learning to think programmatically is one of the most important things a young person can learn in terms of learning how to code.”
Ian also believes that Charles is one hundred percent prepared for the future, especially with what he wants to do when he grows up. He considers Charles having a leg up since he’s already started programming games.
We want to thank Charles and Ian for interview with us. We are looking forward to the games Charles will develop when he grows older! Happy coding!