Learn to Program with Minecraft, by Craig Richardson, is an extremely intelligible book that gives you exactly what the title claims. This book is twelve chapters packed with details, and set up so one could relatively easily achieve what some might think is out of their league. To say the least there is something there that anyone who plays Minecraft would find useful. Check out our Learn to Program with Minecraft Book Review below.
Getting Started with Python
Chapter one starts with helping you get set up. This chapter tells how to get started using PC, Mac, or Raspberry Pi. Then it gets you used to the text editor and the Python shell. Maybe you don’t know too much about programming. This chapter gets you right into it. So whether you are a child or an adult learning something new this will get you there.
So now that you have everything set up and ready to go you are ready to learn to program. Chapter two starts you off fairly easy with learning to teleport your character from one place to another with programming. This chapter has four missions. The first three go through using number in programming and how to teleport. The fourth mission explains how and why you do debugging. Chapter three goes into using programming to build. In this chapter it shows how to use all the parts of (and including) the order of operations to build. This chapter ends with showing how to super jump somewhere with math. Chapter four explains how to use programming to send messages over chat. With the messages you also learn to add a username to chat, create a block with input, and sprint record. The point of creating a block with input is so you can do it within the game. Instead of writing a code for specific blocks, you write a code so you can choose the block in game. The sprint record is exactly what it sounds like. You set a timer to record a certain amount of time and it registers the distance traveled in that amount of time.
Chapter five goes into how you can get answers to different questions using Python. All of the questions it gives to ask are things that you can look at and know, but it is really interesting to see the program being able to give you these answers. The point though of learning these tasks, like everything else up to this point, lead into the rest of the book. The difference is at this point if I were to try to go into any more detail, nothing would make sense unless you were reading the book. Basically though, chapter five teaches how to make blocks unbreakable and answer questions about your location. The user learns this by using what is called a “boolean”, and “operators”, to find out if a condition evaluates to true or false. Chapter six begins to explain what is called “if” and “else” statements. Starting off it explains how to make a crater. To do that you just put in a code that changes a certain amount of blocks in each direction of the player into air. The rest of the chapter is take what you have learned previously and learning how to program the application to make decisions based on conditions in the program.
Chapter seven adds in while loops and incorporates it with everything you’ve learned. Instead of if this then that you have while this is this then this is that. Some things they use to show this is a teleportation tour, diving contest, and a dance floor among several other things. Chapter eight explains functions. The main reasons for using functions are re-usability, debugging, modularity, and scalability. You can use functions again and again changing minor details as needed. Doing this makes it easier to debug, because you have less code to go through than if you were re-writing the code all over. You can use different functions in the same program, and also you can use the same function in different programs which is where the modularity plays. As for scalability, functions make it easier to make the program bigger, and also the amount of data that it can process. Chapter nine shows how to use lists in Python for several different things. To start off it shows how to make and edit a list. Some ways is uses to explain how to use lists include a high and low program, a progress bar program, and a block hits program. Using lists you can figure out how many times you’ve done something, or compare distances between multiple people.
Chapter ten explains for loops. This chapter goes into using lists in your loops. The for loops are extremely useful for building in Minecraft. This chapter starts out going through how to make a magic wand. This is changing the effect of when you hit an item with a sword changing blocks or duplicating others. Instead of doing damage it can change the item you hit, or whatever you choose for it to do. It also goes into generating stairs, pyramids, and creating other art. Chapter eleven shows how to save and load structures to and from files. Up to this point you have only been able to store data temporarily. Once you leave the program you lose all the work. This chapter shows how to save your data and use it later in other worlds. You can even use it in a friends’ world. Chapter twelve explains how to make a class. With the class you can store more data in one place, like locations for teleporting. It shows you how to build a ghost house. This is a house that appears out of nowhere, but will disappear after a certain amount of time just to appear again somewhere else and so on.
These are just some of the things that Learning to Program with Minecraft has to offer. To explain every detail and everything you do in the book would really just be another book quoting the first. In the end though this is a very good book. Learning to program may take some people longer than others to work through. With this book programming can be accomplished by anyone who is able to use a computer.