Adventures in

Alice Programming

Duke University, Durham, NC

Alice Programming Header Graphic

Tutorials for Grades 5-12



NOTE: These tutorials are OLD. The new tutorial page with example worlds, tutorials and videos is here .



These tutorials were developed from an Alice workshop held in summer 2008. Most of the tutorials are here, we may add a few more. The tutorials are organized by topics.

NOTE about downloading Alice worlds. Most likely your computer does not know what an Alice world file is, with extention .a2w. If the Alice world you download is called story.a2w, your computer may think it is a .zip file and rename it to story.zip or story.a2w.zip. DO NOT unpack it or extract files, but instead rename it back to story.a2w. If you cannot figure out how to rename it, then you can leave it with the .zip extension. Start Alice and when you try to load a file, where it says "Files of Type:", select All Files. Then you can see story.zip there.

Starting Tutorials

We have three starting tutorials available of different lengths. You can do all three from shortest to longest, or older kids could skip and just do the long four part tutorial.

Tutorials on Specific Topics

  • Coming soon - many short tutorials on topics such as creating scores and timers, writing methods, having several objects move at the same time, more detailed events, asking the user to answer questions, etc.

  • Positioning and Moving Objects (by Jenna Hayes)

  • Methods: Part 1 (by Deborah Nelson)
    • Prerequisites: Getting Started, Camera Control
    • Topics: Methods, Introduces Loops
    • Characters: Turtle and Kangaroo (Animal Folder), Road (city folder)
    • Synopsis: Turtle and Kangaroo race each other.
    • Click here for the Handout pdf tutorial.
    • Click here for the Slides pdf tutorial.
    • Click here for the powerpoint tutorial.
    • Click here for the webpage tutorial.
    • Click here for the starting world
    • Click here for the finished world

  • Methods: Part 2 (by Deborah Nelson)
    • Prerequisites: Getting Started, Camera Control, Methods Part 1
    • Topics: Methods, Introduces parameters, properties
    • Characters: Turtle and Kangaroo (Animal Folder), Road (city folder)
    • Synopsis: Turtle and Kangaroo race each other and the turtle hides.
    • Click here for the Handout pdf tutorial.
    • Click here for the Slides pdf tutorial.
    • Click here for the webpage tutorial.
    • Click here for the powerpoint tutorial.
    • Click here for the starting world
    • Click here for the finished world

  • Tutorial on Light (by Ruthie Tucker)
    • Prerequisites: Getting Started, Methods (Both Tutorials), Events
    • Topics: Ambient Light, World Light, Atmosphere Color, SpotLight, Lightbulb, Fog Effects
    • Characters: Zombies, Stepsisters, She-Builder
    • Synopsis: Create a scary world with various lighting effects
    • Click here for the handout (pdf)
    • Click here for the slides (pdf)
    • Click here for the tutorial (ppt)
    • Download the Lightexample world (.a2w)

  • Making a Diamond - Camera Control (by Henry Qin)
    • Prerequisites: None
    • Topics: Camera Manipulation, Use of Dummies
    • Characters: Wizard, Troll, Dragon, Alien_on_Wheels
    • Synopsis: Four characters are standing in a row, and the task of the tutorial is to get them into a diamond formation.
    • Click here for the handout (pdf)
    • Click here for the slides (pdf)
    • Click here for the tutorial (ppt)
    • Click here for the html tutorial. or PDF of the html tutorial.

  • Events (by Henry Qin)
    • Prerequisites: Getting Started
    • Topics: Basic Mouse and Keyboard Events, as well as When the world starts
    • Characters: Blue bird, bird, Two-Button Control, Button
    • Synopsis: Keyboard allows user to move birds back and forth; two-button control causes the bluebird to fly towards the user; the single button toggles the visibility of the two-button control
    • Click here for handout (pdf).
    • Click here for slides (.pdf).
    • Click here for tutorial (.ppt).
    • Click here for the html tutorial or the PDF of the html tutorial.
    • Click here for the starting world.
    • Click here for the finished world.

  • Functions (by Jenna Hayes)
    • Prerequisites: Methods
    • Topics: Functions, Conditionals
    • Characters: A guy and a penguin
    • Synopsis: When the world plays, the taller one will claim he is taller, and then the pengiun gives the guy a hug.
    • Click here for the handout (.pdf)
    • Click here for the slides (.pdf)
    • Click here for the tutorial (.ppt)
    • Click here for the starting world.
    • Click here for the finished world.

  • Creating Functions (by Deborah Nelson)
    • Prerequisites:Getting Started, Methods, Parameters, Functions
    • Topics: writing your own function
    • Characters: junkYard (environments folder) fire, smoke, a lot of objects from the object and furniture folders
    • Synopsis: the user writes a function so that only the objects in the junkyard are burned
    • Click here for the handout (.pdf).
    • Click here for the slides (.pdf).
    • Click here for the tutorial (.ppt).
    • Click here for the html tutorial.
    • Click here for the starter world
    • Click here for the finished world

  • Lists (by Deborah Nelson)
    • Prerequisites:Getting Started, Methods, Functions
    • Topics: making a list and learning the loops: For all together and For all in order
    • Characters: four ninjas (People Folder) scientist-woman, samurai and scientist-man(web gallery People folder)
    • Synopsis: All of the characters behave together
    • Click here for the handout (.pdf)
    • Click here for the slides (.pdf)
    • Click here for the tutorial (.ppt)
    • Click here for the webpage tutorial.
    • Click here for the finished world

  • Making Billboards (by Deborah Nelson)
    • Prerequisites:Getting Started, Methods, Events
    • Topics: making and importing a text billboard
    • Characters: two billboards
    • Synopsis: two billboards are created in paint and powerpoint and imported into an Alice world. An event is used to switch between the two
    • Click here for the handout (.pdf)
    • Click here for the slides (.pdf)
    • Click here for the tutorial (.ppt)
    • Click here for the webpage tutorial.
    • Click here for the finished world

  • From the outside In - Navigating the Drag-And-Drop Paradigm (by Henry Qin)
    • Prerequisites: Functions
    • Topics: Constructing a complex expression.
    • Characters: Any two characters
    • Synopsis: Write a function to check for intersection, and use it on two objects.
    • Click here for the handout (.pdf)
    • Click here for the slides (.pdf)
    • Click here for the tutorial (.ppt)
    • Click here for the html tutorial or the PDF for the pdf of the html tutorial

  • The AsSeenBy Argument (by Jenna Hayes)
    • Prerequisites: Methods, Events
    • Topics: AsSeenBy, Adding Sounds to Alice
    • Characters: Shark, T-rex
    • Synopsis: Shark asks for a coconut, and depending on Y or N, the T-Rex gives or does not give. If the coconut is given, then the shark celebrates; else the shark becomes aggravated and circles the island.
    • Click here for the handout (.pdf)
    • Click here for the slides (.pdf)
    • Click here for the tutorial (.ppt)
    • Click here for the starting world (.a2w)
    • Click here for the ending world (.a2w)
    • Click here for the sound file (jaws.wav)

  • BDE events (by Deborah Nelson)
    • Prerequisites:Getting Started, Methods, Functions, Events
    • Topics: Begin, During End event
    • Characters: shark, oceanFloor and lilFish2(web gallery Ocean folder)
    • Synopsis: The shark chases the lilFish
    • Click here for the handout (.pdf)
    • Click here for the slides (.pdf)
    • Click here for the tutorial (.ppt)
    • Click here for the webpage tutorial.
    • Click here for the finished world

  • Class-Level Variables Tutorial (by Henry Qin)
    • Prerequisites: Functions, Methods, Events, Conditionals
    • Topics: Class-Level Variables, How to Display Variables
    • Characters: Wizard, Many Cubes, 3D Text
    • Synopsis: A game in which a wizard must collect glowing gems. The wizard can teleport and magically locate gems. The user of the tutorial will learn how to put restrictions (limit on Mana) on the use of magic, and how to display.
    • Click here for the handout (.pdf)
    • Click here for the slides (.pdf)
    • Click here for the tutorial (.ppt)
    • Click here for the starting world (.a2w)
    • Click here for the world for part 5 (.a2w)
    • Click here for the html tutorial.
    • Click here for the PDF version of the html tutorial.
    • Further Examples: See the "Alice's Questions" example world below.

  • Vehicle Property and Inheritance (by Ruthie Tucker)
    • Prerequisites: Getting Started Tutorial, Methods, Parameters, Loops
    • Topics: Vehicle Property, Inheritance
    • Characters: Ground Roamer, Lunar Landar, Space Colonist, Cow
    • Synopsis: This world teaches users how to work the vehicle property. It will involve a space colonist climbing down a lunar lander ladder, walking to his vehicle and going for a trip. The second world on inhertance will show how to use the same methods in a new world. The spacecolonist will climb down a tree and ride a triceratops.
    • Click here for the handout (.pdf)
    • Click here for the slides (.pdf)
    • Click here for the tutorial (.ppt).
    • Click here for the finished world (.a2w).
    • Click here for the second alice world mentioned in this tutorial (.a2w).

  • How to Restrict which user-initiated events are permitted at a particular point in the game (by Henry Qin)
    • Prerequisites: Getting Started, Variables, Conditionals
    • Topics: Controlling User Actions in an interactive world
    • Characters: Chicken, Little Chick, 3D Text
    • Synopsis: Find the little chick, and then go to the next task. (This tutorial teaches how to prevent going to the next task until the first one is complete)
    • Click here for the handout (.pdf)
    • Click here for the slides (.pdf)
    • Click here for the tutorial (.ppt)
    • Click here for the html tutorial.
    • Click here for the starting world (.a2w)
    • Click here for the finished world (.a2w)

  • Randomness (by Jenna Hayes)
    • Prerequisites: Paramters, If/Else, Functions, Methods
    • Topics: Random Selection, Changing Colors, Adding Text Objects
    • Characters: Penguins (4)
    • Synopsis: Each penguin changes color in turn, and after each penguin changes color, the name of that color will manifest in the sky. The colors are selected randomly.
    • Click here for the handout (.pdf)
    • Click here for the slides (.pdft)
    • Click here for the tutorial (.ppt)
    • Click here for the starting world (.a2w)
    • Click here for the finished world (.a2w)

  • Timer (by Jenna Hayes)
    • Prerequisites: Variables, Paramters, While Loops, Functions
    • Topics: Making a Timer
    • Characters: Timer
    • Synopsis: Construct a Timer and watch it count down!
    • Click here for the handout(.pdf).
    • Click here for the slides (.pdf).
    • Click here for the tutorial(.ppt).

  • Arrays and Lists (Ruthie Tucker)
    • Prerequisites: All (excluding this one)
    • Topics: Arrays, Lists, (Beginning-During-End event) BDE
    • Characters: 6 Chickens, Cinderella, a Cow, a Barn, Farmhouse
    • Synopsis: Learn how to make Cinderella conduct the chickens in a happy dance on the farm using arrays and lists (also demonstrates how to shorten code)
    • Click here for the handout (.pdf)
    • Click here for the slides (.pdf)
    • Click here for the tutorial (.ppt)
    • Click here for the Starting World.
    • Click here for the Completed World.

  • Scene Change (with superGround object imported) (by Deborah Nelson)
    • Prerequisites:methods, variables, dummy objects
    • Topics: Introducing and using the superground object to make scene changes
    • Characters: superground object (imported) Oasis, Island (Environments folder), lunarLander(Space Folder)
    • Synopsis: how to add objects, move the camera, drop dummys and change the texture of the ground in order to create animations/games with scene changes
    • Click here for the superground object to import into your world
    • Click here for the handout (.pdf)
    • Click here for the slides
    • Click here for the powerpoint
    • Click here for the finished world


  • MORE TUTORIALS COMING!