Brie MacDonald's Scratch Journal
As I had expected, the biggest challenge for me in creating my Scratch game was my lack of programming experience and my fears about that inexperience. While the programming "puzzle pieces" were easy to work with, it still took some time before I felt comfortable actually putting them together. I was actually surprised at how difficult it was to come up with a concept for my game. Not only was I limited by my own lack of creativity, but I was also limited by my belief that I couldn't make it too complicated or it would be impossible to bring it to life given my inexperience. Though it was frustrating at times and took much longer than expected (I probably spent 3-4 hours learning the program, playing around, and making my game), I ultimately enjoyed the experience and was satisfied with my product. I didn't create a particularly complicated or interesting game, but given how intimidated I was at the beginning, I think it turned out pretty well.
I do have a couple of suggestions for ways you might improve the experience in the future. First, think I might have come up with a more elaborate and interesting game if we had done some practice exercises beforehand. For example, if we had been given a few simple, isolated concepts and asked to create them in Scratch one by one (e.g., make a sprite move from point a to point b, make your sprite count from 1 to 10, etc.), I would have developed a better working knowledge of programming before embarking on my own creative project, and thus would have been working with less fear and more confidence. Second, it might be useful to create some templates or demos that less-experienced students can use as a starting point. I spent a lot of time looking at other games and trying to understand their scripts in order to figure out what I might be able to do with my own game. Providing simple, rudimentary demos or templates probably would have been even more helpful to a novice like me and would have provided building blocks for more elaborate projects.
As a final note, I look forward to continuing to experiment with Scratch over the course of the semester - and even the year. My inital experience was positive and looking at the games created by other students inspires me to play around and see what else I can do. I'd also love to experiment with the programs created by other students -- particularly Tron -- and see if I can build on their work to create an even better game. It would be interesting to see what we might come up with if the entire class was charged with creating a single game, with each person building off the previous student's developments...
- nesson here: i totally loved the little lamb. you will love becca's sheepbeats.