Game: Emacs of the Dead

By Xah Lee. Date: ,
typing of the dead 36588
Typing of the Dead Typing of the Dead

There's a game called “Typing of the Dead”, where zombies come at you, and you have to type quickly to kill it.

how about a similar game for Emacs, but instead of typing speed game, your task is to complete some editing task using emacs's features as fast as possible.

in “Emacs of the Dead”, a window might be split into 2 panes, where one is user area and the other is the example area. The example area contains a sample text with instruction on what final result should be like, and the user types in the bottom pane to create identical text in the example area, using any emacs commands to carry out the task.

This game will be timed and keep score, based on correctness and speed, and lower number of keystrokes will be exponential bonus points.

We can have levels, beginning with basic operation such as: cut, copy, paste, paste previous (yank-pop), kill-line, undo, kill-word, backward-kill-word, isearch-forward.

Then, user will need to use narrow-to-region, paste from clipboard history, using regex replace, tell user to create a buffer named “abc” and “xyz”, and switch back to “abc”. (test on switch/list buffers).

In mid levels, we ask user to align text, or insert text to a column (rectangle commands). Ask them to do something such that if they knew about keyboard macros it'd make it 10 times faster.

In advanced levels, have a task that basically without using registers will become very tedious. A task to create lots of directories {a, b, c, …, z} and files {A.txt, B.txt, C.txt, …, Z.txt}, then removed the “odd” letter ones (requiring knowledge of dired). And, ask user to navigate info until a given node is arrived. And, we must also have a level where user needs to know how to run a shell commands to complete. And, we should also have test on view a man page, locate elisp doc ….

Perhaps at the boss level will require user to write simple elisp command to insert some string on the spot.

In the above, the game is a real time based game. That is, the clock is ticking and your score depends on speed.

In another twist, the game can be made into a flash-card quiz or knowledge testing based, where each question asks you to do something and you have to carry it out in order to pass, without a time limit.

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