The last lesson project my Code Club worked through before starting to design their own Scratch game was Space Junk from Code Club World. This one is similar to the Space Odyssey project in Super Scratch where Scratch Cat has to avoid the obstacles and “survive” for 30 seconds. I could have gone with either one. In the end it was just easier to be able to print the pdf from Code Club World.
I spent some time presenting the project to the students. I also made available a project template with the assets and some of the code provided, but without any of the movements of the objects. The coding for the timer was set and the hero’s arrow key responses. Starting with this stubbed out version of the project was optional. Some students opted to use it and others wanted to start with a blank project (ie from scratch, har har).
In creating a template of the Space Junk project I did use one Super Scratch Space Odyssey Sprite – because, well, it’s the Scratch Cat wearing a spacesuit. The template was helpful to many. It allowed them to work and test out the movements of the obstacles that the hero was to avoid. Of course, customization is what it is all about in 4th grade Code Club.
The template also helped them be successful in a shorter amount of time, which was important this time as I made them stop early so I could go over the Game Design Document and how to develop their own game. I chose to introduce the independent projects at the end of Code Club so the students would leave thinking about the project they were going to design. They only had one week to come up with a plan before their design review.
Interestingly, some of the independent projects are survivor or obstacle avoidance type games and resemble Space Junk, so I think it was a hit.