Microsoft MakeCode

Play Only Share Links?

Hello All,

Is there a way to create a share link that is play only? Allow someone to play the game without seeing the code? Sharing is good in many situations, but sometimes you don’t want to. As a teacher, I like students play the game they are about to code, but I don’t want to hand them the finished code. I’d also like students to post works-in-progress with their peers for feedback, but not share code (yet).

If not, I’d love to register this as a possible enhancement.

Thanks!

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Not as a share link, but you can do effectively that with the github authoring if you create a private repo: https://makecode.com/extensions/github-authoring

When you do that, it will automatically create a github pages site for you; e.g. github.com/jwunderl/pxt-fireworks is one example repo I’ve made, and when you push a release it builds a site like this one: https://jwunderl.github.io/pxt-fireworks/ . If the repo is private, it will still make the site, but the students will not have access to the repo itself / the source code.

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Thanks for that, but I am really interested in the feature being part of the site and more student friendly. I am curious, is arcade still under active development and improvement? Is there a place for enhancement requests? I have a few to make it more resilient in an educational setting. Just curious. I am seriously considering ditching Game Maker and moving my Game Design course to Arcade when we return next year, but I’d love a few basic improvements to code management.

Saving code in the browser cache is problematic. Educational software is crap and you’d be shocked at how often students are told to clear the browser cache. I don’t think MakeCode needs to not save in the cache, but a Save All (to downloads) would help immensely. And the Play Only link of course :wink:

Thanks Again

Yes, arcade is under active development - we just put out a minor patch last night, and we have some cool features that are slated to come out in the nearish future! https://github.com/microsoft/pxt-arcade is the target repo where we track bugs / feature requests for arcade, much of the development is done elsewhere though (e.g. https://github.com/microsoft/pxt).

Persisting user info properly outside of the browser cache is being worked on right now. For now it might be worth looking at the offline app linked from https://arcade.makecode.com/offline - that is an option that will save the users files locally (e.g. for windows we create a folder under my documents). If that sounds useful I’m happy to discuss it a bit more, there are some small advantages and disadvantages between using it vs the site at the moment.

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I would also really like some classroom management tools similar to how Scratch does it. I pretty much only use MakeCode Arcade with my students now but losing their work through clearing their browser cache is my biggest issue, especially during distance learning.

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Thank you for the info and links! I would love the know the trade-offs between the app and the web version if that is documented somewhere. All my instructional videos and docs are based on the web version.

timber mentioned Scratch like classroom management tools, but I want to mention that the completely anonymous access really avoids a lot of legal headaches and nasty approval processes. Our district, where MSFT corp is housed, actually does not allow the use of Scratch for various privacy concerns. We have solid and strict interpretations of Federal Laws regulating students online. I only mention this as most MakeCode sites avoid all this…would love it to stay this way. If you are considering any addition of built in community forums, commenting, etc…please DONT! Pretty much kills any approval for middle school age use.

Anyway, like I said, I am in the neighborhood, have deep IT background (life before teaching) and would love to provide teacher perspective anytime the team might find it helpful.

I can see how that would be an issue. I work in an OST environment, so the privacy issues are not something I have to work through as much.

Here are some of the current difference between offline app vs live site:

  • Offline app has tutorials and some examples prebuilt to load while offline – this is nice when offline, but does occasionally mean that you won’t get the latest updates for that content.
  • Similarly, translations are prebuilt when we make the app - on the live site translations get updated as they are added, for the electron app they are set per release / no updates will come until the next release.
  • github integration is currently disabled in the electron app
  • webusb is currently disabled in the electron app, though if an arcade device is connect it will copy directly to the device
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@jwunderl I tried following your instructions to release from a private repo and have it show up in GitHub Pages, but it didn’t work for me. I’m able to do it from a public repo no problem. Private repo doesn’t offer the option.

Private repo:
image

Public repo:
image

Am I missing something?

Hm, could you try going to http://eanders-ms.github.io/{repo-name} and see if it’s there (the button may just be missing)? You may have to go to the repo settings and enable it explicitly for private repos – I don’t remember doing so for this private repo but not 100% sure.

image

Oh I think this explains it!
image

Thanks for your help.

Oh hm, I hadn’t realized that was a ‘pro feature’. That doesn’t really work for our use case then… @peli did we have any docs on handling alternate hosting for the sites?

Upgrading my account enabled the feature. $4(US)/month.