Project: MY FIRST VIDEO GAMES!
Learn to code by making your own video games!
"Scratch is a programming language and online community where you can create your own interactive stories, games, and animations -- and share your creations with others around the world. In the process of designing and programming Scratch projects, young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively."
(a list only, the activities are linked)
2. WARM-UP - HOUR OF CODE
3. WARM-UP - SCRATCH
4. Main Path
FIRST GAME - FROGGER
- Get your Frogger moving using the arrow keys on the keyboard
- Draw the Highway on the "Stage" (background)
- Set your Frogger to start at the Start
- Create a moving car
- Set your car to kill the Frogger
- Have your Frogger die and then come back to life!
- Duplicate cars into the other lanes
- Fix these duplicated cars so that they stay in their new lanes.
- Create a separate finish area and then code Frogger to "Level Up" when it gets there
- Keep track of points
- Keep track of lives
- Set speed to increase on level up
- Make a "Level Up" Mini-Splash Screen
- Make a "Frogger Has Died" Mini-Splash Screen
- Make a "Game Over" Full Splash Screen (including a "New Game" broadcast)
- Make a "Welcome" Full Splash Screen
- Make the cars stop moving when the Frogger has died.
- Make the cars stop moving on Level Up (when Frogger has reached the Finish Area)
- Set the cars to begin off-screen and drive off the screen (almost)
- Change the frogger's costume if it dies (and changing it back when it is alive again)
SECOND GAME (if time permits)
4. Side Paths
SIDE PATH WITH SCRATCH
Teachers are free to create their own curriculum that promotes the development of systematic reasoning
SIDE PATH WITH
ANOTHER LANGUAGE**Notes about choosing
another languageThese sites charge $ but offer free courses.
Other examples here.SIDE PATH WITH ARDUINO or RASPBERRY PITeachers who are confident in their skills and have access to electronics may also wish to build student activities involving Arduino or Raspberry Pi. These small electronics projects would have coding elements and could be developed to also incorporate other skills.
You will design video games that can be played on your computer or uploaded to play online. The games will have scores, levels, lives and sound effects! The first game is explained step-by-step and the game is played using the keyboard. With the second game, you can choose to play the game using the keyboard, mouse, webcam or a combination!
You will design video games using Scratch. The games will have scores, levels, lives and sound effects!
Game #1 is a game of Frogger, where the frog has to cross the highway without becoming roadkill. To play this game, the player uses the keyboard arrows to get the frog past the traffic.
Game #2 is a game of your choice. Some popular choices are:
- Dress Up (beginner)
- Matching Game for Dress Up (intermediate to advanced)
- Space Shooter (beginner to advanced)
- Choose Your Own Adventure Story (beginner to advanced)
- PacMan (advanced)
Daily Blogging will help you and your teacher track your progress through these activities. Each blog entry must answer 2 questions:
- One sentence about one thing you worked on today
- One sentence about one thing you learned while working in Scratch today
Also, if you have any questions for your teacher, be sure to add that to your blog.
All of your hard work will result in fun games that you can post online for everyone to enjoy! Through these activities, you will get to see what goes into game development and testing.
Recommended Group Size: 1
- Coding is best done individually, where each student has their own computer.
- However, most students benefit from working alongside other students where they can share questions and suggestions. In most cases, working alongside will also reduce the number of questions coming to the teacher and encourage student collaboration and mentoring.
- Internet Web Browser
(Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome/Chromium/Iron,Opera, Konqueror, etc.)
- Scratch 2.0 (locally installed version - download here)
While the web-based version does work, delays between click and action are very frustrating. A local installation removes most of these delays.
- Google Chrome browser (or Chromium or Iron browsers based on Chrome.)
Both Chrome and Iron can be installed permanently by an administrator or temporarily by a student using apps from www.PortableApps.com.
- Student accounts at Weebly.com, Edmodo, KidBlog.org or similar blog/website
Students benefit from seeing their work published!
Students should also blog about their progress.
- Good: submit paper or enter into a MS Word file after every class
- Better: blog your progress online after every class
- Image Editor
Scratch has two image editors built-in, but these are limited. At some point, you may want more. If you already know how to make images, then be sure to save as PNG format. Want a new image editor? Try these:
- Raster Graphics - Adobe Photoshop, Paint.NET, The GIMP, etc.
(Mr. Rich's GIMP exercises are here. The GIMP is free and open source software.)
- Vector Graphics - Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW, Inkscape, etc.
(Mr. Rich's Inkscape exercises are here. Inkscape is free and open source software.)
- "Hour of Code" activities can be completed in one hour, but likely will take two classes (depending on the age and computer ability of the students).
- Game #1 (Frogger) is designed to take 5-6 hours (for able students who are on task).
- Game #2 (Independent project) will likely take 10-15 hours, depending on the complexity of the selected game. Teachers can limit the hours simply by limiting the expectations of the finished game.
- Assessment for introductory exercises (Recommend: "Complete / Incomplete")
- Assessment for Game #1 (Can be per task/video: "Complete / Incomplete" or can be per rubric)
- Assessment for Game #2 (Rubric)
- Assessments for Blog Entries (Recommended) (Rubric)