Minecraft and Code

This week saw me visit the Bett Show which is an educational tech exhibition held in London’s ExCel Centre. The show is massive to say the least and in order to get the most out of my visit I put together a list of some of the people I wanted to talk to. At the top of my list was Microsoft and the work they’re doing to with their Minecraft Education Edition. I spent a great deal of time talking to them about ways I can incorporate Minecraft into my coding courses and came away feeling very encouraged along with a couple of really good ideas about how to take things forward.

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Integrating coding into Minecraft is easy and fun with the Code Builder which is based around the visual coding platforms such as Scratch that most of us are familiar with. This really simplifies the process of using code to manipulate the virtual world and offers an easy progression process when pupils are ready.

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I also spent time with Google and the Raspberry Pi Foundation, again looking at ways to integrate their products into First Coding courses. Both stands were incredibly interesting to spend time with.

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Other highlights include meeting a number product designers that I’m a huge fan of and have followed and read about them for years. Oh, and I also got to play and see inside the largest working Gameboy in the world. It’s surprisingly similar to how I made my arcade cabinet and I’m now wondering how one goes about breaking a world record.

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Woggle is Growing

Woggle, my Raspberry Pi chatbot is finally coming together. Here it is running in its standard form on the Pi on the small screen on the right, with the Android mobile platform in the middle followed by Woggle running in Minecraft on the left. Getting all three to share the same conversation file is difficult but not impossible. Is it wrong to have a favourite without making the other two jealous?

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Minecraft Model Making

I started making these simple Minecraft models for my little Minecraft obsessed boy and he really enjoys drawing and constructing his own characters. I decided to tidy up the plans we’ve been using to make them so you can download and make your own. All you need to do is click on the image below, print it out and stick it on some card. You shouldn’t have any problems working out the rest.

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Takeaway Pi in a Box

We are becoming huge Minecraft fans in this household. What first appears to be a basic building game, soon becomes something cleverly more complex and it’s lovely to see Charlie get all fired up and plan his next build in the game.

Since we now have a couple of Raspeberry Pis I decided to network them so that they can both run the same game of Minecraft on them so Charlie and myself can play on together. Once I got that all working, which didn’t take very long to be honest I set about building a fully portable Minecraft Pi console for Charlie to use. It’s not finished yet and has already taken over a week to build but it’s coming along nicely.

I have also been experimenting some more with their API, designing basic games in Python that the two of us can play.

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