It was Jython
For the uninitiated, Jython is a special blend of the programming language “Python” and some common java libraries. This allows beginner programmers (like myself at the time) to create very clean object-oriented python code in a neat IDE with a console, and makes visual animations easy.
Jython was my first experience in coding, and it saw my first “Hello World” program, very basic number programming, image manipulations, and eventually animations. The final project of this class used a unique aspect of Jython called “Turtles”. You see, in the parallel version of this class which was required for CS majors, the end of the class involved controlling small robots with attached pens around in a pattern. These robots were called ScribblerBots, but they were relatively expensive. Instead, our class made use of the visual libraries provided by java to create small turtles in a picture. The turtles could then be commanded just like the robots, moving and drawing lines, but they could also be used for animation. By using an array of turtles, each with a certain job, the turtles could change the background to create animation, they could change colors to act as an animated object themselves, or they could drop images on to the screen to create new visual objects.
Our Final Assignment
We were expected to use everything we learned throughout the year to create an animation which satisfied several requirements. As best I can remember them, the minimum requirements were:
- Use at least 4 different turtles on the screen at the same time
- Make at least one turtle change color and size
- Make a turtle draw, move, stop drawing, and move again
- Use a randomizer to change at least one attribute of one turtle. (I went a little crazy on this one)
Beyond those requirements, the assignment was very free form, and we were encouraged to be creative. I took it to heart.
What Horror Hath I Wrought?
Pokémon. Registered copyright or trademark or whatever, but let’s be real, it was Pokémon. My goal was to recreate a Pokémon trainer encounter and subsequent battle. For those that have a JES environment (get it here) you can download my code and watch it with full randomness at the usual place. Feel free to download and parse it to see how it works, but remember this is my first real coding work.
For those who have no interest or capability to parse the code and execute it natively, I have a screen recording of the execution.
I hope you enjoy the movie and stay tuned for more!