Aaron Sokoloff Scratch Journal
First, I'll just say that I enjoyed this project and will probably continue to play around with Scratch. I found the program itself to be extremely user-friendly and intuitive. Although a rookie programmer, I was able to get some basic scripts written pretty quickly. The user-friendly format was, I thought, particularly appropriate for the class, because it helped demsytify the programming experience.
I was intrigued by the different approaches people took to their games. At one end of the spectrum were the Mimi and Mary games we looked at in class: they didn't focus on the gameplay component, but would probably be best described as animated art with an interactive component. Then there were games whose gameplay was based on a familiar model, but were interesting visual experiences: for example, "Surrealist Showdown" used a point-and-shoot format along the lines of Duck Hunt, but what made it fresh was the complex and unpredictable visuals. "Tube Wars" also used a familiar gameplay setup, with the intrigue coming from the visual scheme. I took a different approach with my game and tried to focus entirely on the gameplay aspect without much regard for the visuals - I liked the idea of a game based on not being able to see the character, and it also reminded me of the Riddle of the Three Hats, as you can only figure out where the character is by its relation to other characters. However, my game has little if any visual appeal because it requires a basically unchanging screen.
The lesson of this, for me, was that it's really a continuum between animated art and computer games, and that the game format can be used as a vehicle for a visual expression as much for the experience of gameplaying itself.
- nesson here: very cool. love the invisibility challenge. is there an optimal strategy for moving to the castle?