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CodeSpells combines JavaScript, Blockly to create ‘ultimate spellcrafting sandbox’

Being a geek and loving the fantasy life go hand-in-hand. That’s why stories like those found in the Discworld series and games like The Witcher appeal to us. Quite simply, they put a spell on us.

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Now, imagine coding your own spells within a sandbox environment where anything could be possible. It’s happening right now in a game called CodeSpells, a Kickstarter funded game that will allow gamers of any skill level to create spells from drag-and-drop code.

Developers ThoughtSTEM are calling it “the ultimate spellcrafting sandbox,” and who are we to argue with this sound logic? The game currently features the spell-crafting sandbox where users can code “unlimited spells” with the four elements (air, water, earth, fire), plus access to the community for those who want to share and learn new magic spells.

What we like is how intuitive it all is. While experienced coders can delve deep into the programming to create some truly interesting and devastating spells, newbies can experiment with the drag-and-drop coding interface without having to suffer too much.

As they gain more coding experience, CodeSpells players can eventually pop their own JavaScript into the game. The developers promise custom tool-sets to create new game modes, like magical capture the flag or spell-based survival games. All of this, in a procedural generated world that adheres to the laws of physics. “The world will feel truly dynamic and alive,” boasts ThoughtSTEM who’re seemingly making a Minecraft-style game where anything is possible.

Why coding and spells though, what is it about this combination that makes it so enticing? CodeSpells developers want to make coding “fun” and to show it as a tool for creative expression. With a Blockly interface (a visual coding tool), coding newbies will learn the basics until they feel confident enough to take it to the next level, which is straight-up JavaScript. Blockly is accessible and JavaScript is widely used, so it seems that ThoughtSTEM may have hit the sweet note when it comes to teaching code in a cool and interesting way. ThoughtSTEM, just by the way, is a learning institution which teaches coding to kids aged eight to 18.

CodeSpells looks to be a natural extension of its ethos. Right now, CodeSpells isn’t much of a game, it’s more of a testing ground for what’s to come. But with 25 days left and its US$50 000 Kickstarter goal almost complete, CodeSpells will eventually make it into our download queue.

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