It’s Phrogram release day! Woohoo!

People who haven’t worked through a software development and release cycle probably can’t quite appreciate the experience, or the intensity implicit in this process of bringing order out of chaos and complexity. But the relief and the satisfaction match that intensity, when you’re done – which we are, today! Woohoo!

Phrogram has officially released! In a nutshell, Phrogram is the version 2 to Kid’s Programming Language’s version 1 – and it isn’t just for kids any more. Both products are carefully designed to be useful and interesting to beginning programmers. Phrogram offers a bunch of great improvements over KPL, while remaining at least as easy for beginners to use.

Phrogram produces EXE files, for instance, and even has a slick wizard that will package them into SETUP programs that will impress your friends, parents, teachers – and which let you “release” your own programs as freeware or shareware.

Phrogram also adds class-based programming, support for interactive debugging, and file I/O. But perhaps the feature that gets the most interest and “wow!”s is that Phrogram, unlike KPL, does 3D programming.

Actually, Phrogram doesn’t just do 3D – it makes 3D programming easier to do than anyone anywhere has ever made it. Here’s the proof. I keep saying to people “Anyone who can read and can type can learn to program with Phrogram.” Several hundred people have now heard me say that, and seen this example, and no one has ever disagreed. So, what do you think? 🙂

First, the screenshot:

Phrogram 3D

And now the code. By the way, Alan is one of our “lead testers.” When he started “working” on this, he was 9. He’s 10 now. You go, Alan! 😀 Here’s the full code, all of it, that let’s you fly that starfighter around space from your keyboard. Whatcha think?

WordPress doesn’t show the code with the same indenting and color coding that Phrogram uses to make it easy, so it doesn’t look as good here as it does in Phrogram. If you’d like to see it as Phrogram shows it, I have that available in a post on the Phrogram forums.

Program Alans_3D_Project

Method Main()


Define cam As Camera

Define frameTime As Decimal = 0.0

Define sky As Skybox3D

sky.LoadMesh( “Skybox1a.x” )

sky.Scale( 5, 5, 5 )

Define ship As Model3D

ship.LoadMesh( “Fighter1.x” )

ship.MoveTo( 10, 10, 10 )


While Not IsKeyDown( Escape )

Define startTime As Decimal = TickCount()

Define moveAmount As Decimal = 5 * frameTime

If IsKeyDown( Left ) Then

ship.TurnLeft( moveAmount )

End If

If IsKeyDown( Right ) Then

ship.TurnRight( moveAmount )

End If

If IsKeyDown( Up ) Then

Ship.TiltUP( moveAmount )

End If

If IsKeyDown( Down ) Then

Ship.TiltDown( moveAmount )

End If

Ship.Forward( MoveAmount * 10 )

cam.PointAtModel( Ship )


frameTime = Math.Min( 0.01, (TickCount() startTime) * 0.001 )

End While

End Method

End Program


6 thoughts on “It’s Phrogram release day! Woohoo!

  1. joep says:

    bravo! I’m looking fwd to introducing it to my lead testers. Can you pls elaborate on your plans for torque. is it included in the box, as an addon, … ?

  2. theschwartz says:

    Hi Joe! Our partnership with GarageGames allows us to reuse their TorqueX engine code as a new gaming engine for Phrogram, and we have started that work. It’s early in the process, though, so the version of Phrogram which just released includes our own 2D engine, plus our wrapper around the latest DirectX as our 3D engine. We are still discussing and deciding how we are going to package this when TorqueX is included. It might simply be rolled into this release as an update, it might be packaged as an optional add-on, or it might be the basis of a new game-developer-specific package. Feedback on that is welcome. It is very very important that we keep the base Phrogram product as simple and easy to use as it is, for the sake of beginners. Keeping that goal in mind means that it’ll probably be best to release the Phrogram/TorqueX combination as an add-on or as a seperate product.

  3. Kirk Munro says:


    A few months ago I discovered KPL and then Phrogram through your Channel 9 video, and I am totally impressed. I’ve been developing software professionally for 9½ years now, and my 7 year old son has been asking more and more questions about what I do and how I do it. I used KPL to show him how to write a program and how programs work and he’s been enjoying that ever since. He keeps wanting more.

    Now that Phrogram is released I’m looking to move to that environment instead. The pricing you have for the standard edition is fair, however the academic pricing is even better so I want to go that route. The problem I have is that you require proof that we qualify for an academic price, but we homeschool our two children and therefore cannot offer any such proof. The local school board doesn’t even know our children exist. What does a homeschooling family have to do to qualify for your academic pricing?

    Also, now that you are selling Phrogram, do you have plans to localize Phrogram or are you still relying on the Phrogram community to do that for you? Our children don’t speak much English yet, so having access to French resource files is a huge plus for us.

    And finally, regarding Add-ons, can you tell me what add-ons are currently under development that you are aware of?


    Kirk Munro

    P.S. If you don’t mind I’d like to send news about the KPL and Phrogram products to the local homeschooling mailing lists that my wife and I are part of. I suspect there will be quite a bit of interest in it.

  4. Robert says:

    You said we can ” “release” your own programs as freeware or shareware.” What if I wanted to sell them do I have to pay royalties?

  5. theschwartz says:

    Hi Robert: nope, you owe us no royalties, ever. Anything you do with KPL or Phrogram you own, and we have no rights to it. This is pretty standard with software development tools, but we certainly want to be clear that it is the case with ours as well.

  6. theschwartz says:

    Hello Kirk, please mail me at jons at phrogram dot com to discuss an academic license – we’ll be glad to work that out. It’s great to hear KPL is working so well for your son, especially when he’s 7! We know kids as young as 6 are using it, with a parent’s help – but the usual age range is 10 to 14. Phrogram is not yet translated to French, unlike KPL – I’d certainly like to hear about that from you as well, if it’s a requirement for you. We plan translations, and the order in which we do them should certainly be based on user need. And yes, please do let your homeschooling friends know about KPL and Phrogram!

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