Teaching introductory progamming using multiplayer board game strategies in Greenfoot

Academic Article


  • Introducing programming concepts to students that are new to the subject is a challenging task. In this paper we discuss the use of multiplayer board game strategies to teach fundamentals of programming in Java with the Greenfoot environment. These strategies will expose students to complex problem solving within an object oriented framework in a fun and engaging activity. By devising strategies to beat fellow classmates, students actively engage skill sets important to programming. We use the Quriodor board game, of which a game engine was developed in Greenfoot. Students spent the first half of the semester learning basic programming constructs such as classes, variables, functions, expressions, control flow and inheritance, as well as familiarizing themselves with the Greenfoot environment. The second half of the semester was spent, paired in teams of two, applying what students had learned to more challenging concepts such as arrays, recursion and use of the game engine's Application Programming Interface (API) to develop a robust player strategy. At the conclusion of the course, students pitted their best strategies against each other in an end of semester Battle Royal.
  • Authors

    Publication Date

  • June 1, 2013
  • Start Page

  • 19
  • End Page

  • 25
  • Volume

  • 28
  • Issue

  • 6