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Zach Oakes - Making Games at Runtime with Clojure

ClojureTV · Youtube · 6 HN points · 3 HN comments
HN Theater has aggregated all Hacker News stories and comments that mention ClojureTV's video "Zach Oakes - Making Games at Runtime with Clojure".
Youtube Summary
Games are a modern art form, and like other artists, game designers need to experience their work as they create it. This talk will explore the benefits of making games "at runtime". Through both abstract discussion and concrete demonstration, we will see why Clojure is uniquely suited to the task.

Zach is an independent programmer and tutor in the Pittsburgh area. He made Nightcode, a Clojure IDE for beginners, and is working to make Clojure games a reality with the play-clj library and Nightmod, a game creation tool. Previously, he was a programmer at the National Security Agency in Maryland.
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Assuming your audience are beginners (as it is an intro talk), I find it immensely useful when tech talks have slides that follow this kind of pattern:

- Problem/Feature/Reason why it's useful

- Code

- Demo of the problem/feature/reason working (whether recorded or live)

Doing a bunch of live demos is real risky for a first tech talk, but if you practice (I mean really practice, with network access turned off for example), and know your stuff, it's possible.

If you're game to do a demo, I think one of the most important things you can demo is going 0-100 with a small kotlin app on Android. This will require you to make some choices that your audience would normally make themselves (like how to develop the app, not everyone uses android studio), but if Kotlin for Android Development is actually valuable, it should be self-evident from watching it used (you may have to throw in some problems that you solve by writing idiomatic Kotlin, and explain why they would look worse in Java or whatever else).

Also you might want to include these slides (probably just one so people don't lose focus):

- Options for native android development (to set up the next slide), you might briefly explain things like React Native, Go for android, Java, Scala, Clojure. Hard to keep this to one slide but it is valuable because it makes the person watching feel like they know the landscape, at least at a high level, and motivates the talk.

- What/Who/When/Why for Kotlin on Android

Here's an excellent talk that came to my mind:

Thanks a lot for the feedback! I'm watching the talk you linked on Youtube right now and taking notes.

I think I'm leaning more against doing a live demo at this point, but I may change my mind as I continue working on my demo material.

Good advice on the slide suggestions. I'll definitely want to cover the Java alternatives on Android and why I prefer Kotlin.

Yeah, I've seen a lot of great talks on youtube (there's a ton out there), but as far as real get-started-with-x talks, I can't remember any that really stick out as good examples (I'm sure I've seen some, just can't remember). I remember when the developer in that video implemented the reverse-time feature it was really impressive to watch.

Your talk seems like it might be split between two topics; introduction to android at large, and why use kotlin over the other choices... It might be a little hard to balance both but.

Also, I think I might have mentioned, but the safe way to go with demos is probably to record the parts before hand, then attempt the demo live, and maybe fall back to the recorded part if things go awry.

Good luck!

Feb 05, 2016 · 6 points, 0 comments · submitted by nonrecursive
If you're interested in Clojure, the gist author (Zach Oakes) maintains a few cool projects [1]:

- play-clj, a Clojure game library

- Nightcode, an IDE for Clojure

- Nightweb, an anonymous P2P social network in Clojure

and (non-Clojure) - SolidOak, an IDE for Rust

Also, his "Making Games at Runtime with Clojure" talk [2] is great.



For Clojure enthusiasts, I highly recomment Zach Oakes' environment in the same vein, Nightmod (his Nightcode IDE specialized with his play-clj library). It's an experimental platform that is a tidy, simple way to experience game programming in a functional style.

Also, here is his presentation on this subject at the last Conj (great talk):

Oh wow, that's cool. Nightcode is fantastic, easily the best Clojure environment I found.
My first question on clicking the link was - Does there something like this exist for Clojure?

Glad to the have my question answered. Thanks for the links!

Lol me too! I'm gonna check out Nightmod asap. Anybody here tried it yet?
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