MIT STEP Lab Presents

StarLogo TNG

StarLogo TNG is a downloadable programming environment that lets students and teachers create 3D games and simulations for understanding complex systems.



StarLogo TNG is a client-based modeling and simulation software.  It is the archived predecessor to our current StarLogo Nova.   It facilitates the creation and understanding of simulations of complex systems. Its 3-D graphics, sound, blocks-based interface and keyboard input make StarLogo a great tool for programming educational video games. Through TNG we hope to:

Explore complex systems

Lower the barrier to entry and garner interest in programming using a graphical interface in which colored blocks that fit together like puzzle pieces represent language elements

Use 3-D graphics to make compelling, rich games and simulation models



You can still download the unsupported versions of StarLogo TNG from our website.

The following are TNG orientation materials and tutorials for beginners: 

Quick Start Guide: Explore the interface, drag blocks to the canvas, connect them, and execute commands.

Orientation Activity: Extends the activities of the Quick Start Guide.

Navigate in Spaceland: Navigate and interface with Spaceland, StarLogo’s 3D environment.

Breeds: Create and edit breeds or categories of agents that share the same shape.

Spaceland Terrain: Alter Spaceland to create unique environments.

Draw:  Color and draw on Spaceland Terrain

The following are intermediate TNG tutorials: 

Procedures: Create procedures to use a set of instructions multiple times or to break down a complicated task into discrete parts.

Levels: Created and save edited terrains as levels in a game.

Epidemic Models: Create extensible models using variables, monitors, line graphs, and sliders..

Paintball: Explore basic game mechanics including movement, collisions, terrain and “say bubbles.”

Import Graphics: Import Shapes and graphics

Subsets: Create, edit and organize frequently used blocks

The following are 30 minute to hour-long activities or exercises that can be conducted with groups of varying size:

Termites Activity

Blind Mice Activity

Flocking Activity

Introducing Programming Activity

Treasure Game Programming Activity

Fountain Programming Activity

Simpler Treasure Game Programming Activity

Each of the following are units include lesson plans, student TNG file and solution, student worksheet, and teacher guide.


StarLogo research has focused on how students build models and how students learn through model exploration and creation. If you are interested in collaborative research using StarLogo, contact us.

The following represents a sampling of our publications in this area:
Colella, V., Klopfer, E., & Resnick, M. (2001). Adventures in Modeling: Exploring Complex, Dynamic Systems with StarLogo. Teachers College Press.

Klopfer, E., Scheintaub, H., Huang, W, Wendel, D., Roque, R. (2009) The Simulation Cycle – Combining Games, Simulations, Engineering and Science Using StarLogo TNG. Journal of E-Learning and Digital Media 6(1) 71-96

starlogo tng 1

Project Specifics


Upper Elementary through High School/College

Content Area

Science, Complex Systems


Java (Desktop for Mac and Windows)

Project Contact

Daniel Wendel