Where did the idea for ToonTalk
There is rarely a simple answer to a question of
where ideas came from. The design of ToonTalk was influenced by
- Rocky's Boots and Robot Odyssey -
these games from The Learning Company in the early 1980s had players doing a very limited
sort of programming in an animated game world.
- Zelda and other adventure games - many of the
user interface ideas from ToonTalk came from studying games.
- Concurrent Constraint
Programming - the underlying computation model of ToonTalk comes from Janus, a
concurrent constraint programming language. There is a large overlap with the idea of
actor programming pioneered by
Hewitt in the 1970s.
- Logo and Smalltalk - programming languages designed for children
about 30 years ago.
- Grasp - Jaron Lanier started to build an animated
programming language in the early 1980s but became distracted by pioneering work in
- Visual Programming & Program Animation -
ToonTalk can be seen as taking the idea of using static pictures as source code and using
animation as both source code and for depicting the execution of programs.
Janus - A version of Janus which combined the ideas of visual programming and program
- Incredible Machine and Lemmings -
These two games directly inspired the tutorial game in ToonTalk.
Special thanks to Markus Fromherz, David Kahn, and
Mary Dalrymple for their help. And to the many beta testers who sent suggestions.
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