Ancient Brain
Code. Play. Teach. Learn. Research. Demo.

Getting started

Here is a guide to getting started running Worlds and coding on Ancient Brain.

We have a text Introduction to the site.
And we have the following video introduction.
This video does not assume you have ever coded, or ever heard of JavaScript (what is behind this site).
See also:

You can "run" any World by clicking on it. No install needed.
Try running some of the Editor's Choice Worlds.

There are currently 9,345 Worlds on this site.
Here are a few random choice Worlds to try (reload for more):


Text-to-speech "...
9 runs ♦ 0 likes
By Sam Murphy  
Created: 1 Dec 2023
Modified: 4 Feb 2024
Test of two APIs: (1) Test of OpenAI GPT API. Hard-coded prompt. Clone and Edit "messages" data ...
Design Your Own ...
4413 runs ♦ 0 likes
By Jack O'Connor  
Created: 18 Feb 2019
Modified: 17 Sep 2023
Design Your Own Room Escape Game
Bomberman
294 runs ♦ 0 likes
By Enhanced  
Created: 21 Jun 2018
Modified: 17 Sep 2023
Classic game of Bomberman, try to kill the ennemy with a bomb !
Catch the flag
4349 runs ♦ 2 likes
By Meabh Horan  
Created: 16 Nov 2016
Modified: 17 Sep 2023

OK you are ready to code. All Worlds are coded in JavaScript (JS). We use a JavaScript graphics "library" to make it easy to code the graphics.

You need to pick a library: The "P5" library or the "Three.js" library.

  • The P5 library has pluses and minuses:
    • It is easier to get into if you are a beginner coder.
    • It has features that may annoy non-beginners (global namespace taken up, timing loop controlled for you).
    • It is harder to do advanced graphics.
    • There are a number of P5 teaching courses on this site.

  • The Three.js library has pluses and minuses:
    • It is more intimidating for a beginner coder.
    • It is well suited to non-beginners.
    • It is designed for advanced graphics. Almost all the advanced graphics Worlds on this site are Three.js.
    • There is currently no Three.js teaching course here.

For beginners, we recommend P5.

Having picked your graphics library, do the starter tutorial.

Using P5:

P5 Starter tutorial

Or using Three.js:

Three.js Starter tutorial

When coding, the Docs menu has all the help and reference that you need:

Docs
One Cube World (...
1114 runs ♦ 2 likes
By Starter user  
Created: 11 Apr 2018
Modified: 17 Sep 2023
Simple starter World (Three.js version). Built-in camera control.
One Cube World (P5)
1874 runs ♦ 1 like
By Starter user  
Created: 10 Nov 2018
Modified: 17 Sep 2023
Simple starter World (P5 version). No camera control. So cube rotates to show 3D.
  • Once you have seen how to code on Ancient Brain, the easiest way to progress is to start modifying existing Worlds.
  • Pick one of the Starter Worlds. "Clone" it, and edit your copy.
  • The easiest parts of the code to change are in the "tweaker's box" at the top.
Complex World
8210 runs ♦ 5 likes
By Starter user  
Created: 1 Oct 2016
Modified: 17 Sep 2023
World with a Mind-controlled agent, actively-pursuing enemy, random maze, skybox, music.
Blank Three.js World
1511 runs ♦ 2 likes
By Starter user  
Created: 20 Nov 2016
Modified: 17 Sep 2023
A simple starter World. An Array of spheres. Painted with textures. Random motion.
Simple World
1648 runs ♦ 2 likes
By Starter user  
Created: 1 Oct 2016
Modified: 17 Sep 2023
Simple World with a Mind-controlled agent, randomly-moving enemy, paint blocks with texture.
MineCraft
1116 runs ♦ 2 likes
By Starter user  
Created: 27 Nov 2016
Modified: 17 Sep 2023
Use keyboard to draw blocks like in MineCraft. Use arrow keys and PgUp, PgDn to draw. Can save w...
There are a number of coding courses and exercises on this site that you can do:
  • Introduction to Programming. This is a proper Introduction to Programming course, with videos, using JavaScript and P5. This does not assume you have ever written a program.

  • Introduction to Programming: Part Two.

  • Alternative JavaScript course for kids. This is an alternative introduction to programming, with kid-friendly language. This does not assume you have ever written a program.

  • WebGL course. This is a course in JavaScript 3D graphics ("WebGL") programming, using P5.

  • AI exercises. This does not have a full set of notes explaining AI theory. You will need to get that somewhere else. Rather this is a series of online AI programming exercises, with problems for students to solve. All code is in JavaScript using P5.


As well as courses, there are accounts with certain collections of Worlds:

P5 Editor porting project  
Port to Ancient Brain of P5 Editor built-in sketches. Source: editor.p5js.org/p5/sketches. Port ...

threejs.org porting project  
Project to port threejs.org examples. All credit to: https://github.com/mrdoob/three.js/tree/mas...

"Coding Train" project  
Project to port JS Worlds from The Coding Train to Ancient Brain.

"3D Game Programming for K...  
Proposed project to port code from the book "3D Game Programming for Kids" by Chris Strom. Await...

Discover three.js  
Project to port code from "Discover three.js" book and site by Lewy Blue. Done with permission o...

As you keep learning, here are some examples of what you can build on this site. Build something beautiful!
Competitive Hangman
422 runs ♦ 2 likes
By David Jusev  
Created: 5 Dec 2022
Modified: 17 Sep 2023
Play hangman against friends. Multi-user port of https://codingartistweb.com/2022/05/hangman-gam...
escape...
800 runs ♦ 2 likes
By Jon Bryan Ortiz  
Created: 22 Nov 2022
Modified: 17 Sep 2023
There are 10 pages scattered around the map. First person to find all 10 pages escapes...the res...
Battleship
4277 runs ♦ 2 likes
By Aaron Crawford  
Created: 30 Oct 2022
Modified: 17 Sep 2023
Space Hero
120 runs ♦ 0 likes
By Enhanced  
Created: 13 Jun 2018
Modified: 17 Sep 2023
Drag the Earth the collect the suns. Don't get hit by the asteriods ! Enhanced version of "Space...
No brain
203 runs ♦ 0 likes
By Enhanced  
Created: 12 Jun 2018
Modified: 17 Sep 2023
Float through hypnotic space cubes. No user input required, it's only an animation
AI music
159 runs ♦ 0 likes
By Mark Humphrys  
Created: 5 Jan 2020
Modified: 17 Sep 2023
Experiments in auto generating music
Websockets boxes
803 runs ♦ 0 likes
By Starter user  
Created: 29 Feb 2020
Modified: 17 Sep 2023
Demo of Websockets in 3D World. Click to change the boxes on the other user's machine, while the...
Sun
127 runs ♦ 0 likes
By Enhanced  
Created: 15 Aug 2018
Modified: 17 Sep 2023
Here is a prototype of a sun object that you can copy to your world !