To heck with PHP for the moment. I’m taking on JavaScript. I had been waiting for the book I’d ordered, Marjin Haverbeke’s Eloquent JavaScript, to show up in the mail, but now I can’t wait.

Why? It goes like this: I have a Humanities background, so writing and interpretation are like comfortable old sweaters for me. I’d been tossing around ideas for projects I could take on to further my programming and web skills, and hit on the notion of putting together either a choose-your-own-adventure style story or text adventure.

I’m well aware that this is not a new idea – people built novels using HyperCard stacks in the late 1980s and 1990s, while web-based hypertext novels were trendy in the mid to late 1990s. I’m not in it for originality, just to give myself something concrete to center my learning around.

However, I’m not interested in just building another webpage. I want something a bit meatier, that users can interact with on a level beyond clicking one of a few prompts, that can dynamically react without requiring a new page to load. I figured JavaScript would be a good option to implement the idea, and ordered the JavaScript book to teach myself enough that I can figure it out myself.

This morning, I was browsing through CodeAcademy’s stand-alone modules, and stumbled on…a beginner-friendly tutorial for building a JavaScript choose-your-own-adventure.

Go figure.

I’m delighted to be even less original than I thought. The only thing better than hitting on a good idea is finding out that there’s lots of support out there for that idea.

So here goes. I’ll be working on the introductory modules this evening, and I’m aiming to get far enough along to tackle the game module by Monday.