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I've volunteered to lead a programming club at my son's middle-school. We've covered a lot of fun topics, including showing them how to use a game engine to build 3D interactive environments. One thing they said they would like to see is how to use scripting languages to enhance and extend games.

I know I have heard that a lot of games use Lua as an embedded scripting language, and we have talked about Lua previously. I've found that the kids like to see something fun and flashy and are less interested in practical things. Of course I try to sneak in some learning too.

What game can be recommended that would be fun to extend via scripting?

It doesn't have to be Lua scriptable, but that would be nice. Bonus points if the game is free or open source so the kids can download it at home. I prefer Windows, but Mac is fine too. Game needs to be teen friendly.

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closed as off topic by Mark Trapp Jan 26 '12 at 0:36

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I'd recommend asking this again on the game developers stack exchange site. –  MattDavey Jul 13 '12 at 17:48
    
Two words that are one CatMother –  Jarrod Roberson Jul 14 '12 at 4:26

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Garry's Mod uses Valves Source Engine and has Lua scripting support.

Arma 2 and Arma 2 Operation Arrowhead(stand alone expansion) make heavy use of a scripting engine that doesn't really have an official name but most people call it ArmaScript, it's got a python type syntax. This would be my recommendation for you because Arma 2/OA is basically a military simulation sandbox game. Meaning its a HUGE map, takes hours to walk across, plus you have several modern armies worth of equipment, troops, vehicles, to play with while scripting anything you can imagine.

I helped develop a mod that was a cops and robbers role play, all done via scripting engine, check it out its called Life. Several variations of it like Zargabad Life, Island Life, Takistan Life... and more.

If you go the Arma 2 route just get the Operation Arrowhead stand alone expansion.

some info about Arma 2 modding/scripting http://forums.bistudio.com/showthread.php?t=78089

also here are 2 links with lists of game engines and info about scripting engines involved, though neither is totally complete or up to date.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_game_engines

http://wiki.gamedev.net/index.php/Game_Engines

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Arma 2 sounds really cool, but it is rated 18+ so it is probably out. I'll look at Garry's Mod though. Thanks! –  Jim McKeeth May 29 '11 at 6:47
    
If shooting people is to graphic then your options are severely limited all games at some level have conflict. Garry's mod may be the way to go then because its focus is a bit more on Physics and building contraptions than violence, though it is there if you so choose. –  EddieV223 May 29 '11 at 7:37
    
Yeah, my "faculty advisor" is super conservative (freaked out when I wanted to talk about "hacking") and wants to be careful. I am working with 12 - 13 year olds, so especially nothing too gory. –  Jim McKeeth May 29 '11 at 8:12
    
I am pretty sure 12 - 13 year olds in todays society have seen plenty already by that age judging by the 6 - 7 year olds I saw when I went to see 300, Clash of the Titans and There's Something About Mary. None of which I would let my 7 year old watch in 2012! I bet 99% of the students have at least 2 RockStar produced games in their household that they play on a regular basis. Arma is pretty tame compared to current standards. –  Jarrod Roberson Jul 14 '12 at 4:30

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