A big shout out to the Scratch beginners group at Shrewton Primary! A great online coding club session today that resulted in some fabulous ideas from the children. We look forward to seeing what games you come up with over half term.
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.
Welcome to the first episode of our Scratch game design series. 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.
First Coding will be running another of its popular workshops. This course is designed for children who are already confident with working with Scratch and who would like to explore further possibilities with the things they make. This is a four week Saturday afternoon course starting on 14th March, 2.30pm – 3.30pm. The cost of this course is £80 per pupil for the four weeks.
We will be running our popular Young Coders’ course again on Saturdays for 7 – 10 year olds. Commencing on 11th January 2020, 2.30pm – 3.30pm, it runs for four weeks and costs £80 per child.
The theme of this course is Ciphers and Secret Messages and over the four weeks we’ll not only be covering important programming concepts that can be applied to applications and game design but we’ll also be working up to a final project where the class will learn how to make their own cipher machines, encoding and decoding messages.
We’ve been putting together an ecology simulator in Scratch where the user has to decide when to introduce predators in order to bring balance to the ecosystem. Both the insects and predators follow rules:
The game will include habitat that insects will feed off
Feeding insects gain energy
Increased insect feeding will result in a shrinking landscape
Reduced insect feeding will result in an expanding landscape
Insects can only reproduce if they have sufficient energy
Insects die if energy levels reach zero
One predator at a time will be introduced by the player
A maximum of three introductions at a time
Predators feed off insects to gain energy
Predators can only reproduce if they have sufficient energy
The summer workshops may not be over yet but I’m already so impressed with the standard of work being produced. Whether it’s the young coders who are giving Scratch a go for the first time or teens who are wanting to develop their Python more, along with building their own apps, your ideas and projects have been a great deal of fun. Keep up the great work.
Here are the titles from one of the games to come out of the app building workshop.
Weekly game jams such as the one held over at WeeklyGameJam are a great way of getting inspired and experimenting with new game design ideas. It’s also a great way to meet and interact with a community of people who share the same passion for games and coding as you do.
I decided to take my own advice this time and took part in the Can’t Touch It! theme where you have to build a game within a week that fits with the week’s chosen topic. After brainstorming a couple of ideas I got to work building a prototype in Scratch, then I worked on polishing it once I was happy the game mechanics were working. I’ve seen the most fantastic games that were built within a day, mine titled Circles was built in two days. I’ve detailed the process I followed over on my personal blog here.
The idea of the game is to continuously contain the smaller moving circle with the ever decreasing perimeter.