Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Another android app with MIT App Inventor - this time, gambling

When I was a kid, we had a little toy top with 6 sides. Each side had an outcome like Take One, Take Two, Give One, Give Two, Everyone Gives, and Take All. We'd all get some coins, sit down, and spin the top to see if we'd get lucky. It was a very innocent form of gambling. I looked it up online, and it's called the Put and Take, or in German (ours was a German toy) Nimm-Gib. Also very similar, but 4-sided, is the jewish dreidel.

Anyway, I remembered it fondly, and decided to make that app my next project. It was fairly simple to put together (although what would it have been like without the internet to help you through rough spots?), except for one bug that I ran into that required a good night's sleep before I was able to resolve it.

This is the kids playing the game. It's a very simple app with only one button that shows the options bouncing around the screen, which gradually disappear until only one is left. The kids would chant, "Take all, take all, take all" when it was their turn, and "Give two, give two, give two" when it was somebody else's turn. We played first for dimes (Kenny won everything!) and then for nickels (it went on a long time, I had to fold, Peter had the most coins left).

The kids were very enthusiastic about it, and it was lots of fun for me to write. But I'm not sure how many more of these little apps I'll be doing with the App Inventor. The graphical interface, while very intuitive and easy to learn, is less useful when you're doing more elaborate projects, and there are no real debugging tools.

The link to install (along with install instructions) is at the bottom of this page.


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