How to Code Your Own Game with JavaScript

Interested in helping your kids learn how to code their own JavaScript game? With a bit of programming knowledge and dedication, you can help them create their own interactive game within a couple of hours.

Why JavaScript?

JavaScript is a popular programming language for developing websites, games, and other types of software. It's easy to learn, powerful enough to create complex applications, and is cross-platform compatible. This makes it an excellent choice for kids looking to develop their own browser game or mobile application.

Furthermore, it's also quite a robust programming language that's used from the most basic websites to the most sophisticated applications. So kids can get a great introduction to coding and logic with JavaScript while also having the potential to grow their skills and create more complex projects.

What You'll Need

To get started, you'll need a few essential tools:

  • A computer capable of running JavaScript programs. This includes both desktop and mobile devices.
  • A text editor, such as Sublime Text, or another JavaScript coding environment like Visual Studio Code.
  • Access to a JavaScript library or framework such as Node.js or React.js
  • An understanding of basic programming concepts such as variables, functions and objects.

The Process

Of course, coding a game is still a challenging task. It takes creativity, hard work, and dedication to create one that is both enjoyable and functional. However, you can easily break down the development process into five manageable chunks.

Research HTML and JavaScript

Before you start writing any code, it is vital to research HTML5 and JavaScript basics. These two languages are used together to create dynamic web pages and can be used to develop games.

Choose an Idea for Your Game

Brainstorm ideas for the game with your child. This can include characters, enemies, items, levels, etc. Then take those ideas and sketch them out on paper so you have a visual representation of the game that you can refer to as you code.

Write the Code

Using HTML and JavaScript, write up your game code. Your code should include creating the variables, functions, and procedural logic that will be used while playing the game.

Test the Game

Try out your game by running it in a web browser or emulator. This will allow you to see how the game will work in real-time and make any changes or additions that may be necessary.

Publish the Game

Once everything works correctly, it is time to publish your game for everyone to enjoy! Depending on where you want to publish your game, different methods may be required, such as uploading the game to a website or submitting it for review to an app store.

Diving into the Specifics

Coding the actual game, however, is considerably longer. For one thing, choosing which game engine to use is already quite a complicated task. There are free and paid options, so you'll need to choose the best one for your needs. For KidoCode coders, we include the Phaser game engine in the curriculum as it's one of the most advanced and easy-to-use game engines currently available.

However, plenty of other game engines offer different features, such as automatic completions, Git support, and other goodies. Of course, the more features you want, the more expensive they tend to get.

Here are some great alternatives:

  1. Visual Studio Code
  2. Sublime Text
  3. Brackets
  4. Atom
  5. WebStorm

These game engines enable you to add sounds, physics, animations, and graphics to your code. First, you'll need to decide which features to include in your game and write the code accordingly.

Additionally, learning how to code in JavaScript can be daunting, especially if you need to familiarize yourself with programming language syntax.

Fortunately, plenty of resources are available online that teach the fundamentals of JavaScript for kids.

To help you out, here are some of the specific steps you'll need in coding your first JavaScript game:

Step 1: Choose a code editor

A code editor is a program where you'll actually write your JavaScript code.

Step 2: Build your game canvas

The game canvas is the background of the game you're developing. Insert your canvas code between the <style></style> tags. It could be something as simple as a solid colour or as complex as an animated background layer.

Step 3: Add your character/player

You can now add your player by using the function "createPlayer()". This should come with width, height, and y-axis parameters.

Step 4: Enhance your game with physics and collisions

At this stage, you'll be adding the rules to the game. This includes rules and variables for gravity, collisions, and how the player will interact with objects in the game.

Step 5: Add animations and sounds

Finally, it's time to add some life to your game. Animations and sound effects can make a huge difference when it comes to making a JavaScript game more enjoyable.

Let's Get Started on Your First JavaScript game!

Having kids learn how to code their own games can be both fun and educational! With the tips above, you should have a better idea of how to get started coding your child's JavaScript game.

Of course, these are just some simple applications of JavaScript. There are far more complex games out there with advanced animations, beautiful graphics, and complex levels. But with JavaScript, anything is possible! 

If you and your child are ready to start coding JavaScript games, head on over to for our JavaScript for kids course! We'll help you get started on building that amazing game in no time.

Good luck, coders! Now, let's go create some awesome JavaScript games together!