Conference paper

Game Programming by Demonstration

The increasing adoption of smartphones and tablets has provided tens of millions of users with substantial resources for computation, communication and sensing. The availability of these resources has a huge potential to positively transform our society and empower individuals. Unfortunately, although the number of users has increased dramatically, the number of developers is still limited by the high barrier that existing programming environments impose. To understand possible directions for helping end users to program, we present Pong Designer, an environment for developing 2D physics games through direct manipulation of object behaviors. Pong Designer is built using Scala and runs on Android tablets with the multi-touch screen as the main input. We show that Pong Designer can create simple games in a few steps. This includes (multi-player and multi-screen) Pong, Brick Breaker, Pacman, Tilting maze. We make available Pong Designer as well as several editable games that we created using it. This paper describes the main principles behind Pong Designer, and illustrates the process of developing and customizing behavior in this approach.

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