One prediction for 2013 I briefly referred to in my New Year’s Day article, was computer coding. I asked, would CoderDojo infiltrate schools? For those of you who haven’t heard of CoderDojo, it’s a club for young people to learn how to computer program and you can find more about it here. Over the last couple of years, a number of primary schools dipped their toes into the world of computer programming, including my own school. As far as I can tell, the vast majority of them used the programming language, Scratch.
Those of you who read this blog will know that I’ve been writing about Scratch for a good while now and have made a number of videos to teach the basics of the language. I have also written a number of maths games over the last two months, which can be played on an Interactive Whiteboard. I also gave some feedback as to how I created the programs.
Over the next number of weeks, I’m going to write a series of articles, which attempt to show you how to build a complete game from scratch, using Scratch. The idea of these articles is that they could be used in the classroom to teach Scratch to children and for them to learn the various components of a computer game. I’m also going to suggest ways that pupils could improve my ideas.
I’m going to base my first series of articles on the genre of the Platform game. There are several famous platform games out there but Super Mario is probably the most famous of all. I’m going to spend a number of weeks recreating a simple version of the very first Super Mario game, Donkey Kong, dating all the way back to 1981!
The idea of the game is that as Mario, you need to get from the bottom of the screen to the top to rescue the princess while avoiding a barrage of barrels. There were a number of levels to the game and you can check out this play-through video of the full game below.
Next week, I’ll be introducing some of the concepts of the game that we’ll be needing to learn in order to create this game. I’ll be focusing on the first level. For such a simple game, there’s a lot going on in it but there are some great programming skills to learn. We’ll see you next week for the start of “Scratch Kong”