Programming & Coding

My first computer was an Apple II+, although I learned to program in BASIC on a Radio Shack TRS-80 owned by my colleague and neighbor. He bought it when the two of us took a course at our university (we were both faculty members) to get started in programming. Not too many weeks later, I invested in the Apple because at the time I anticipated I would be better served by it, so taught myself how to program in Applesoft BASIC. It was similar to BASIC in DOS, but enough different it took some work to become proficient. That was the early 1980’s.

Fast forward to 2021. Using some mods in Civ VI and then having my favorite one go out of date due to New Frontier Pass updates was inspiration to consider learning how to at least tweak mods (like fixing the one I enjoyed), if not actually create my own mods. Since the mods are all open source, I was able to look at the code and try to decipher it. That led me to noticing that most mods were coded, at least in part, in Lua.

So, I embarked on the journey of learning how to code in Lua. I started with a few “beginner” videos and eventually decided I was just going to have to learn it on my own by working on a project. The most logical option for a project was to attempt to resurrect my old football game (I called it ‘Coach’s Football’ because it was not an action game, but simply a ‘thinking’ game that involved calling plays and defenses and watching the results.) That game written in Applesoft BASIC had minimal graphics.

Over the course of several months earlier this year, I gradually learned Lua enough to actually finish the core of the football game (minus any graphics) and it is now in ‘test’ mode, but I lost interest in doing the tedious testing.

To keep myself motivated to learn even more of Lua, I decided to use my old baseball game (that I programmed on my then Apple IIe in the mid-1980’s) as the next project because it could use Lua features the football game did not require. I have now completed the fundamental structure of the baseball game in Lua and it too is in ‘test’ mode.

Because, once again, I’m having difficulty finding the motivation to take time to just test the game, my Lua coding is now sporadic at best.

I have much more to learn before I can do anything more than tweak a Civ VI mod, but have not found the right project to learn on yet.


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