Coding #6 Homework

19 Mar
I have some mixed feelings about using Scratch

I have some mixed feelings about using Scratch

After working with Scratch for a couple hours, I have mixed feelings about the tool. On one hand, I can see how its visual approach is a great way to introduce kids and beginners to programming in a way that is not so intimidating.  Snapping the puzzle pieces together is simple and easier to understand than lines of code. However, there doesn’t seem to be a very clear bridge between the visual approach and the actual code. As far as I saw, there is no way to show the code your puzzle pieces are generating. You can’t see what you’re creating, meaning the user isn’t going to be able look at that code and say, “I didn’t know I could do that. Maybe programming isn’t so hard.” Without transparency, the users are going to depend upon the visual interface rather than learning to create without it. Having had experience with Javascript in high school, I have to say I felt a bit handicapped with Scratch.

While I have a general idea of how the tool works, I think several things could make it more helpful. (I’m not sure if these things are possible and I just don’t know how to do them.) For one, having some visual feedback as to the current “step” in the puzzle chain would be useful, such as highlighting that piece.

For my game project, I want to make a game based around catching falling stars. The cursor will control a small cloud that will catch the falling stars to accumulate points. However, failing to catch 3 stars will end the game. I’m not sure how to get multiple stars to fall at the same time unless I make multiple sprites. I also wanted to have them fall at differing intervals so I need to figure out how to do that as well. Lastly, I’m not sure how to add text to the game short of making a sprite for it.

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