2021-12-05

Annual Robo-Reindeer Rumble contest has begun

A free, web-based programming game called Robo-Reindeer Rumble has announced its annual global contest.

Players enter by writing MiniScript code to control a robotic reindeer in a deadly (yet festive) snowball fight, and then posting their script to the forum thread. The "king of the hill" style tournament will be updated weekly, pitting the entrants against each other to see which reindeer is the best. The strongest entry at the end of the month will be declared the 2021 global champion!


2021-11-19

A working MiniScript computer in Stardew Valley

A new open-source mod for Stardew Valley called Stardew M1 Mod has been announced. It adds a fully functional MiniScript computer to the game.

The retro-styled MiniScript M-1 Home Computer is accessed through the television in your cabin, and already supports the complete MiniScript language.

The project is still early in development, but excited fans are already suggesting all sorts of applications: programmable farming/mining robots, analysis/reporting tools, etc. For MiniScript fans, this will be a fun way to get into Stardew Valley — and for Stardew Valley players, a fun introduction to MiniScript programming!


2021-11-03

New open-source Mini Micro game: Sokoban!

A new programmer has recently joined the MiniScript community, and has already created a wonderful Sokoban game! Play it on the web at https://www.sebnozzi.com/demos/mini-micro-sokoban/.

Sebastian has been with us for less than a week, and has been making great strides with MiniScript and Mini Micro. Moreover, he's generously made his code available on GitHub, where he has continued to improve it after the initial release. The game includes 50 levels from the original Sokoban game, and another 155 "Microban" levels. Give it a try, and then be sure to check out the code!


2021-11-01

New blog post: Debugging with a Validate Method

A new blog post details the saga of a bug I ran into while live-streaming, and how I finally boxed it into a corner.

The secret was to add a "validate" method that checks the integrity of the data. This is a general debugging technique that you may find helpful in your own bug hunts.


2021-10-30

New Mini Micro game "Clacks" now available

A new Mini Micro game called Clacks is now available to play on desktop machines in a web browser. This game, heavily inspired by the classic Atari game Klax, sends colored tiles tumbling down a track towards the player, who must arrange them in lines to make them disappear.

Mini Micro users can inspect the code by pressing Control-C to break out of the program, and then using standard commands like clear, dir, load, and edit. The main program is only 750 lines long (with another 64 lines for the animated starfield in the background).


2021-09-27

"One-Page Jam" is complete

The first annual "Mini Micro One-Page Jam", in which participants write small games, demos, or other interesting Mini Micro programs in only one screenful of code, is officially over.

The jam, hosted at itch.io, lasted for three weeks, and got three amazing entries:

Each of these programs uses only one screenful of code! Go to https://itch.io/jam/mini-micro-1-page-jam/entries to play these amazing games.


2021-09-25

Learn to Code in 30 Days now available as Kindle ebook

The definitive beginner's guide to MiniScript programming, and programming in general, is now available in convenient Kindle format! (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09H51R357)

This 386-page book was previously available only in paperback, and only in the United States. The Kindle edition is the same content, but considerably lighter weight and now available worldwide. Suitable for complete beginners to computer programming, this book teaches all the fundamentals in 30 short, engaging chapters. The skills you learn in this book will provide a firm foundation for programming in any language.


2021-09-12

Twitch streamer Briana O'Hearn streams Mini Micro

Programmer and crochet artist Briana O'Hern has begun streaming her work in Mini Micro as she prepares for the One-Page Jam! Check out her Twitch channel at: https://www.twitch.tv/brianaohern

You can watch her exploring Mini Micro for the very first time in this stream, and then see her start work on her One-Page Jam entry here. Biana is brand new to MiniScript and Mini Micro, but figures things out quickly, with an enthusiasm and positivity that is inspiring and a delight to watch. Check out her schedule and follow along as her tiny game develops!


2021-09-10

New video on navigating the file system

MiniScript user "shellrider" has produced a great new introductory video on navigating the file system in Mini Micro: https://youtu.be/Dmo4khN1LbU

Most of the content applies equally well to command-line MiniScript (including the new Soda environment), too!


2021-09-08

"One-Page Jam" is underway

The first annual "Mini Micro One-Page Jam", in which participants write small games, demos, or other interesting Mini Micro programs in only one screenful of code, is officially underway!

The jam, hosted at itch.io, lasts for three weeks, ending on September 30th. Seven participants have signed up so far. But there's still plenty of time for people who have never used Mini Micro before to learn the environment and still create a 1-page program before the deadline. Participants may work alone or in teams, but in any case are encouraged to discuss their efforts and cheer each other on. Go to https://itch.io/jam/mini-micro-1-page-jam to learn more or participate.


2021-09-03

"One-Page Jam" begins Monday

The first annual "Mini Micro One-Page Jam", in which participants write small games, demos, or other interesting Mini Micro programs in only one screenful of code, begins on Monday, September 6.

The jam, hosted at itch.io, lasts for three weeks, ending on September 30th. This gives plenty of time for people who have never used Mini Micro before to learn the environment and still create a 1-page program before the deadline. Participants may work alone or in teams, but in any case are encouraged to discuss their efforts and cheer each other on. Go to https://itch.io/jam/mini-micro-1-page-jam to learn more or participate.


2021-08-30

Academic paper accepted for publication

The first academic paper about MiniScript has been accepted for publication at the iSTEM-Ed 2021 conference in November! Preprint available at: https://miniscript.org/files/Strout_iSTEM-Ed2021.pdf (© 2021 IEEE)

An academic paper titled "MiniScript: a new language for computer programming education" has been accepted for presentation at the IEEE International STEM Education Conference (iSTEM-Ed). This paper, aimed at computer science educators, compares MiniScript to Lua and Python as a language for new programming students. The paper will be presented (online, due to COVID-related travel restrictions) at the conference in Pattaya, Thailand, November 10-12.