2022-04-10

New DLC game "Retro Robots" is now available

Retro Robots, a modern take on an arcade classic, is now available as a free add-on to Mini Micro.

This maze shooter builds on the original with power-ups, high scores, fully configurable controls (with gamepad support), and (optional) 2-player co-op play! Available now from the Mini Micro DLC page. Grab a controller, grab a friend, and start blasting robots!


2022-03-30

Announcing the April 2022 "Show Us What You've Got" Jam

The Mini Micro community does a game jam every quarter, with varying themes and restrictions. This time we've decided to do a very permissive one indeed: just show us whatever you've been working on!

The submission period begins April 15th and runs through the 24th, but you can begin working on your entry now, or even polish up something you've already been working on! All the entries will be played live on Twitch on the 25th. See the official jam page for all the details.


2022-03-06

Announcing the 2022 MiniScript Try-It! Contest

The annual MiniScript Try-It! Contest is now officially open. This challenges coders to create fun, interesting, or impressive programs within the limitations of the Try-It! page: programs no more than 2048 characters long, with only basic text input and output.

The official announcement provides all the details. Contest entries will be live-streamed on Sunday, March 27, with winners announced shortly after. Prizes include MiniScript books, bookmarks, and stickers, as well as official "Very Fungible Token" certificates. What will you create?


2022-03-03

New blog: Khornes MiniScript Journey

Community member Khorne has started a new blog documenting his MiniScript journey at https://khornems.blogspot.com/.

The first entry, Where to begin, where to start?, gives some interesting background and talks about some current MiniScript projects, and then gives some actual code you can paste into Mini Micro, along with a cool animated GIF of the result. I'm already looking forward to future posts. Go check it out!


2022-03-01

Mini Micro version 1.1.1 has been released

A maintenance update to Mini Micro has just been released. This release includes three bug fixes, three new features, and some small improvements to the content on the built-in /sys disk.

See the Release Notes for the full list of changes. You can download the new version of Mini Micro from miniscript.org or from itch.io. As always, Mini Micro is 100% free, and this upgrade is recommended for all users — so go get your new Mini Micro today!


2022-02-26

"Foggy Window" demo captures the feel of February

Community member @sebnozzi has produced a very cool Mini Micro demo called Foggy Window, which lets you wipe the fog from a glass window, revealing the beautiful landscape outside.

February is the "Demo Scene" month of our community activity calendar, and for folks in the northern hemisphere, often also the coldest month. Sebnozzi has embraced the spirit of the season with this new demo, which also illustrates some neat graphical techniques. He's also generously shared the code both as a minidisk download (on the itch.io page), and on GitHub. Check it out!


2022-01-25

MiniScript-based mod featured in PC Gamer

Farmtronics, the MiniScript-based mod for Stardew Valley, has been featured in PC Gamer. Stardew Valley is an enormously popular farming/role-playing game; Farmtronics adds a home computer and bots that can be programmed to do your grunt work for you.

The Farmtronics mod is an especially good introduction to MiniScript because it presents as a somewhat smaller, simpler version of Mini Micro, but entirely within Stardew Valley. The article has resulted in an influx of new MiniScript users to our community. We're as excited to see what they do with their new coding powers!


2022-01-23

Mini Micro version 1.1 has been released

The first major update to Mini Micro is now available! This includes a couple of big features, such as the ability to stretch a sprite, adjust the volume or pan of a sound while it's playing, and do pattern-matching on strings. It also includes a long list of smaller enhancements, such as an "auto-save" feature in the code editor.

See the Release Notes for the full list of changes. You can download the new version of Mini Micro from miniscript.org or from itch.io. As always, Mini Micro is 100% free, and this upgrade is recommended for all users — so go get your new Mini Micro today!


2022-01-20

Mini Micro New Year Jam is in underway

The annual January game jam has begun!. The Mini Micro New Year Jam is a roughly two-week (three weekends) event in which participants write a game, demo, or other program in Mini Micro.

Submissions are posted to itch.io, and at the end of the jam, all submissions will be played live on twitch.tv. The theme this year is "fusion," and participants are encouraged to incorporate this theme into their game in any way they like. Game jams are a great way to focus on completing a small project, and share your creativity with the world. There's still plenty of time to jump in, so head over to the event page, click the "Join Jam" button, and get your jam on!


2022-01-01

Mini Micro New Year Jam begins soon

The annual January game jam has been announced. The Mini Micro New Year Jam is a roughly two-week (three weekends) event in which participants write a game in Mini Micro.

Submissions are posted to itch.io, and at the end of the jam, all submissions will be played live on twitch.tv. A theme will be announced when the jam begins, and participants are encouraged to incorporate this theme into their game in any manner. Game jams are a great way to focus on completing a small project, and share your creativity with the world. Head over to the event page, click the "Join Jam" button, and get ready to jam!


2021-12-18

MiniScript language updated to 1.5.1

The core MiniScript language has been officially updated for the first time in over two years, with a number of minor bug fixes and enhancements.

both the C# and the C++ reference implementations have been updated with a laundry-list of improvemets. These include better error reporting, use of `null` as a map key, and more consistent logical comparisons and operators. In addition, empty parentheses are no longer required on a function declaration — eliminating the only place where such empty parentheses were ever required. See the Release Notes for a complete list of changes. The command-line version of MiniScript has been updated for Mac, Windows, and Linux, as the Soda game engine; and the new language version will be used in an upcoming update to Mini Micro.


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.