Data Rebellion presents
Demons and Dwarves, An Intro to Python Adventure Course
Table of Contents
Call to Adventure
A shadow falls over the land. Hero after hero arises to confront the encroaching evil, yet hero after hero is mercilessly slain (or accepts an offer for a pretty sweet management gig). Now, only two things stand between the all-powerful Emperor and his plans of enslaving every sentient lifeform in existence: a dwarven office clerk and the Python programming language. Welcome to the world of Demons and Dwarves.
Demons and Dwarves is an introductory Python programming course in the form of a story that revolves around a puzzle. As you progress through the story, you will learn all of the programming concepts required to solve the puzzle. These are also more or less the minimal set of concepts required to begin programming useful things in the real world.
In case the puzzle remains cryptic in spite of your efforts, know that there are one or more hints hidden in every chapter, some more subtle than others, and that each section of the puzzle has at least one corresponding hint.
Preparing for the Journey Ahead
To get the most out of Demons and Dwarves you will want to not only run the code that occurs in the story as you read through it, but tinker with the code and test creative hypotheses about what might work and why. The more errors the merrier.
To run your code, you’re going to need a code editor. Here are a few options that I suggest:
- repl.it: a convenient online editor. You can even make a free account and save your code there.
- Python IDLE: the basic editor that comes with a Python installation
- Spyder: an advanced editor that comes with an Anaconda installation
If you’re brand new to programming, you may also want to read up on the difference between running code in interactive mode versus script mode, as the code in some parts of the story will be easier to run in a particular mode.
Leave a comment if you have any questions.
Acknowledgements: Demons and Dwarves was inspired by many other works, but The Wheel of Time series in particular.