Monday, January 19, 2009

Scratch

My 12-year-old wanted to make a game, so we searched for KPL (Kids Programming Language), but unfortunately its developer has chosen to make its successor not-free and to prevent access to KPL. So we kept searching ... and happened upon Scratch, a visual scripting language by The Lifelong Kindergarten Group at MIT. Free... cool, my favorite price.

Downloaded it... started playing with it... and it's actually pretty cool. You can make games, interactive animations, all sorts of things. And it's actually pretty simple... yet provides a great background on event-driven (and also both functional and object oriented) programming, including variables, logic elements, etc. Even I, having been programming for for nearly a quarter of a century, enjoyed it.

That being said, here is the initial version of my 12-year-old's "Easiest Game on Earth" (his moniker when I mentioned that it didn't have any way to lose). A little input from me, but he did a lot of it himself. Not bad for a first attempt! Enjoy...

Learn more about this project

2 comments:

Dog snob said...

I can't see the game for whatever reason, but that's a pretty cool thing out there you found. My 10 year old loves computers and constantly surprises me with what all he knows about them. I'm going to have to look into what you found.

Tony M said...

Glad you like the concept - my 10-year-old also plays with "Scratch" some, so he (your 10-year-old) should enjoy it. You might, too! :) Give it a try, probably pretty easy to figure out.

If you want to see the game, it's here. If you want to see the other projects my 12-year-old has "published," look here. Some of them are pretty basic, but it's a start, and gives you an idea of what a 12-year-old can do basically on his own (I only helped a little with the first one and with "Scary Man Prank" - the rest are all his own work!).

If you need help, try the tutorials, or I can try to give you some pointers if you ask (no pun intended - but I suppose only computer programmers would understand the potential pun).