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How to come prepared

Many of the activities at Hack the Future require that you have some software program installed on your computer. You will get the most out of the day if this is already pre-installed, and you don't have to do this on the day of the event. Maybe you want to check it out beforehand, and you'll already have ideas for a project, or questions for us?

Unity 3D

Unity is a professional 3D game development tool for Windows and macOS. First-time users should use the standalone installer. Unity Hub is a newer tool to manage multiple versions of the Unity Editor. If you choose Unity Hub, after initial installation go to the Installs tab to download a recent version. This is one of our largest downloads.

3D Printing

We have some 3D printers that will print anything you can design. SketchUp is a simple modeling program that lets you create your own printable objects.


Python comes preinstalled on macOS, but typically without an integrated developer environment (IDE). IDLE is an IDE bundled with Python's main distribution for Windows or macOS.

iOS Apps

Swift is an open-source language for first-class development of iOS applications. Xcode is by far the largest and longest software installation, so consider getting this ready prior to Hack the Future.


Greenfoot is an interactive Java development environment designed primarily for educational purposes. It allows easy development of two-dimensional graphical applications such as games.

Minecraft Mods

Minecraft mods are often built using the Forge framework. Both Minecraft and Forge are written in Java and require Java 8 (will not work with Java 9 and above). You should also install an IDE.


The Arduino is a small microcontroller board for electronics projects. To program it, you should install the open-source development environment.

Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi is a series of single-board computers designed for teaching software and hardware from the ground up. Linux and macOS are set up to interface with a Pi, while Windows benefits from terminal software. Minecraft: Pi Edition is a version of Minecraft developed for educational purposes which can be controlled via the mcpi package for Python 2.


The BBC micro:bit is a microcontroller board that comes with web-based block programming, MicroPython, built-in accelerometers, Bluetooth support, and other "batteries included". PuTTY or other terminal software is helpful for MicroPython, while block-based programming can be done entirely in the browser.


Scratch is a simple programming environment from MIT that lets you create interactive games, stories, and animations. Scratch 2.0 is built on Flash Player which comes bundled with some modern browsers. Snap! is built on modern web standards, adds more features, and can import Scratch 2.0 projects.

Webpages and JavaScript

If your goal is to create a webpage or a JavaScript game, a text editor and a browser are all you need to get started.