Be Successful Learning Scratch

Scratch gets a bad press with its colourful blocks and cartoon sprites, people automatically assume that it’s intended for just primary school learners, when it so isn’t. There is so much to learn and achieve through the platform. So to prove a point, First Coding entered a game built using Scratch into a game dev competition. Pitched against other game developers who were using the likes of Unity and other engines to build their creations, despite feeling like a little fish in a big pond, this little Scratch game came third overall!

Here were some of the comments the game received from other developers:

The voting period was kept open for a week after the competition had finished, giving people plenty of time to play all the games that had been entered. The final result for our entry was as follows:

Satchel Classes

First Coding is very pleased to announce that we’ll be hosting coding classes on the Satchel platform. Satchel are the people behind Show Your Homework, something that a number of pupils and parents might be familiar with.

First Coding’s first class was on game design with the key takeaways being as follows:

  • How to push yourself creatively when coding.

  • The best approach to starting a portfolio of work.

  • Ways to get involved with the game dev community and get your game noticed

If you’re interested, the class can be viewed here.

Satchel Classes

The Radio Interview

You can hear the interview that went out on this morning’s Breakfast Show below. In it I talk about the plans we have to build a series f games in time for Christmas. I can’t believe how much interest it generated, they were even running a phone-in to see what ideas people can come up with. Proof that even the silliest of games can get noticed at times!

 

Coding Projects on the Radio

Listeners to BBC Radio Wiltshire will be able to hear all about some of the great projects coming out of First Coding tomorrow morning. Hopefully the projects featured will demonstrate that even the most simplest of ideas can often be the most fun and creative. The game design idea that is being launched shortly is also revealed as we plan for a creative Christmas. I’ve been told the interview will be aired on the Breakfast Show tomorrow morning. The link will also be posted when it’s made available.

Python School Groups

We continue this week with our popular Python school groups, looking at clever ways to code text-based Choose Your Own Adventure games. Already there are some great ideas forming and we look forward to seeing the results in a few weeks time. In the meantime, you can play one of First Coding’s adventure games where you must navigate a secret underground bunker, solving puzzles and looking for the source of the mysterious radio transmissions.

The game is called Number Station and you can play it online here: http://numberstation.co.uk/

 

A Puzzle Challenge

It’s challenge time!

First Coding asked a couple of game studios to set a challenge and they didn’t disappoint. No coding experience is required for these challenges, it’s open to all with a creative imagination and some paper. There’s also a chance that your idea might get included in a game, with your name in the credits!

A player (represented by the red block) walks into a room containing up to a maximum of eight sprites. The player can only escape the room once the puzzle has been solved. Can you design a suitable puzzle for the player to solve? The sprites can be dragged, stacked or even blasted to bits in order to solve this puzzle.

Can you plan a puzzle using only a limited number of sprites? You can submit your ideas to hello@firstcoding.co.uk and we look forward to seeing what you come up with. Ideas need to be submitted by Friday 15th May.

Good luck!

Game Design Video Series – Part 3

In this week’s game design video we finish up on our Scratch game Lockdown Letters.  Click the video below to learn how to code the paper aeroplanes that the player flies to the targets that we looked at last week.

Never assume Scratch is something only younger children use! At First Coding, we regularly submit the games we make in Scratch to game design competitions, competing alongside Unity developers and other independent game designers.

Files for this game and many other fun Scratch and Python projects can be found on our Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/FirstCoding

Game Design Video Series – Part 2

It’s target time!

In this episode we’ll be looking at how the random targets in the game are coded.

Every Friday they’ll be a new video showing how we make the game Lockdown Letters. Click the video below to learn how to build the title screen as well as the background.

Please consider subscribing to the First Coding Patreon page to get access to the Scratch file for Lockdown Letters as well as other creative coding resources.