Oh My….I didn’t know what a big can of worms I was opening by introducing the “Scratch” software to my son. He is all over it, looking for ways to create the games he sees in his head. His process is definitely different from mine…I go searching for code that looks similar to what I want and then edit it. He takes a little fact from current code and edits the backgrounds and images to do what he wants as well as picking random code and seeing what it does when you click “go”. He is such his father’s son!
We did wind up making a pretty good “Mario” game which works, but is still getting better. One of the cool things he did was understand that the computer “recognizes” where Mario is because of a strip of grey pixels under his feet. The code knows that when grey is next to green (the color of the platforms), Mario can “land” there. He went into the Mario image and added grey pixels on Mario’s hands and now Mario can hang from the platforms as well 🙂 He also used the knowledge of “color next to color” to edit background scenes to add yellow “traps” that send you back to the beginning, orange “goals” which take you to the next scene, and red “traps” that block you.
My daughter is even able to do some of the editing, using the “Paint-type” software to change colors, add designs, get new images, etc. I am amazed by the ease of use of this program! I really thought we would need to wait until the kids were old enough to use Lego Mindstorms to have the ability to program. This is even better. You can immediately see the changes you make and it uses computer skills they already have…
Thank you MIT!