About Silent Teacher

In a nutshell

A minimalist game where beginners can discover what coding is all about and the key concepts behind code, with no explanations given. Through several series of questions, the player is led to guess the rules of this language and learn from his own mistakes.

Objective

This game is an introduction to the concept of programming. After finishing Silent Teacher, a player will not necessarily be able to write code, even basic one, but has an overview of what code is and has mastered a few basic concepts about it. Could eventually be used to get over the mental block beginners often experience when trying to understand programming or mathematical equations.

Target

For beginners who have never coded - those who always wanted to give it a try but were never brave enough to start, or else people who, out of curiosity, want to know a bit more about it (for example, to better understand the job of their partner, friend or work colleague). Warning: a minimum ability to do arithmetics is necessary, not adapted to very young children.

Specificities

No instructions, no text, the player is first presented with questions that seem like simple arithmetics, then gradually introduced to more difficult problems, and ends up understanding important concepts by trial and error.

Well adapted to people who do not feel confident or have a mental block when it comes to maths or IT and who would be put off by an explanatory text.

This also applies to the many people who develop a complex as soon as a friend or a teacher tries to explain something technical to them. Good news for them: in Silent Teacher there is nothing of all that, you are left alone to figure it all out, no one to explain anything to you, the teacher is silent !

Bonus: because there is no explanation and no text in the game, it is accessible to any player whatever his language !

Key concepts

Even if the game is quite short, it still introduces the player to most of the basic concepts of programming:

Which programming language ?

For the moment, the language used is JavaScript. The reasons for this choice are simple:

That being said, the player is never told that the language he is using is Javascript. At that point, no need to bother him with a technical detail that would be of no use to him - and the principle of the game is once again, to have no teacher ! The idea is to introduce him to programming without focusing on any specific language.

Actually, we are now considering using no longer Javascript, but instead, a made-up language without semi-colons and other typical Javascript details that make it more complicated to learn basic coding.

We are also thinking of developing a specific version of the game for each programming language, including one for Javascript.

A few details

Several small functionalities make it easier for the user to play the game without any instructions. A beginner will probably not notice them - and that’s the whole point - but these do contribute to make the game a more pleasant experience. They include the following:

Shortcomings