Sunday 26 October 2014

FutureLearn: Begin Programming: Build your first mobile game (Week 1)

A friend posted a link on Facebook about an online training course to an Introduction to Forensic Science.  Sounds like great fun ,if you're a CSI fan, like I am, but I delved a little deeper to see what other courses were available.

All the courses are free and seem to be run by reputable universities.  The courses are structured to be carried out over a few weeks, requiring a few hours that week.  I chose the "Begin Programming: Build your first mobile game" as my first course.  It runs for 7 weeks, requiring around 3 hours per week depending on your level of experience.  I haven't programmed since I was in university, so thought it may be fun to see what programming is like 20 years on!!

There is a need to register on the site, but nothing too horrific!  This course was already underway, but as it was only week 1, there was still time to catch up before week 2's content was released.

The first week required the installation covered off a number of elements, including:

  • An introduction to programming
  • How to use the FutureLearn website
  • Software requirements for the course
  • How to download & install the JDK
  • How to download & install the Android SDK
  • How to download the game framework for the course
  • Setting up the IDE
  • Setting up the game and running it
  • Understanding the Android folder system
  • Setting up the game on an Android device
I ran through the above, and it took around three hours.  I had a couple of glitches, as the original course didn't allow for the release of Android 5.0 Lollypop in mind, and so there were some changes required for the Android SDK.  It took me a couple of goes to get it right.  Although a little frustrating, it was not the fault of the course, when Google update software!  That said, the content so far has been great and certainly at right pace for someone who is not a programmer.

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