What's Happening With The Alice in Wonderland Project?

Tardis blue police box from Doctor Who appearing to move through space. The stylized photo is a purplish blue.

The Alice in Wonderland Project started a lot of enthusiasm, but without much planning during Hacktoberfest 2022. Getting involved in open source and learning GitHub workflows can be intimidating and challenging for new developers. So I created an open source repo to help other new developers learn GitHub work flows, learn how to contribute to a remote team project, get involved with open source while being social and making something fun.

However, I've since realized that I was actually creating something more than an open source project. It's the fledgling curriculum of a project based learning program. I stopped teaching in 2019, but I guess I've never actually stopped being a teacher. The best way to accomplish the goals of the project are to take a pause, reflect, and start over using my teacher skills to create a comprehensive experiential, project based learning curriculum.

So instead of just building something as we go, I'm going to have to:

  • completely build out the project in a private repo
  • create a new public repo so we can start fresh
  • pre-plan the steps in building the project
  • develop onboarding
  • figure out roles, responsibilities, and how many devs are ideal at once
  • create lesson plans, and written and/or video lessons
  • find one or more experienced devs that would be willing to serve as mentors/maintainers on different parts of the project (eg, html, css, js)
  • create a landing page and signup form
  • most likely create a discord community to allow video chat, screen sharing, and a place for longer discussions. The challenge will be to be clear about what discussions belong on discord, and what should be part of the GitHub repo.

I'm aiming to have things ready for September so we're ready for the influx of people during Hacktoberfest 2023.

About the Project:

The Alice In Wonderland Project History

This game was originally created as a python console game as part of a computer science course at Massey University, New Zealand in 2020. Part of the assignment was documenting the thought process using comments. (So there's a lot of comments in the .py file!). The assignment was the classic Camel Game from "Program Arcade Games and With Python And Pygame" and originally conceived in 1979 in "More BASIC Computer Games".

However, the premise of the game is both racist and colonialist - stealing an camel from the "natives" and racing away from them across the Mobi desert. So I changed the theme to Alice from Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland movie rescuing the Red Queen's Bandersnatch from his imprisonment and racing across Underland to get to the White Queen's castle. I also added a random chance that the player would be attacked by the Jabberwocky, be killed, and the Jabberwocky poem would print on the screen.

From Python Console to Javascript Text Based Web App

The original goal was to take the existing python code and turn it into an accessible text based web game in html, css, and vanilla javascript. The game type is much like the classic text based "Oregon Trail" PC game. However, with the change to a project based learning program, the objectives will be rewritten so participants don't have to understand the Python code. This will also help in getting devs who are interested in the html/css/vanilla javascript/markdown stack, and not python.