If you want to make games and animations you must know the Scratch editor.

The Scratch editor is a very intuitive development environment. The screen is divided into several panels. On the right side you can create scripts, edit costumes and sounds. On the left side you will find the main stage where the game and animations comes to live. Under the stage is the backdrop and sprite list. You can add them from your computer, use the ones provided by the Scratch community or create them yourself with with the painting editor. In the middle you will find the blocks palette. These blocks are code fragments that all programs on Scratch are made off. Simply drag and drop them to the scripts area. These code blocks are organized into 10 categories. Lets have a look at them.

Scratch editor.The first is the dark-blue Motion category. Use these blocks to move your characters, change their x and y coordinates and use different angles of impact.

The category below is the Looks category. Code fragments in this category control the appearance of sprites. You can change the background, let your sprites speak out their minds. Change their size, shade and attach all kinds of special effects to them.

A list of categories in the editor.

  • The next category in the Scratch editor is Sounds. Here you will find all kinds of blocks related to music, sound effects etc.
  • Next is the Pen category. It allows you to draw and use all kinds of colors for various games and animations.
  • The Data category is for making and using variables and lists.
  • The next column’s top category is the Events blocks. You can make scripts run under particular circumstances. These blocks are placed on top of other blocks.
  • Control blocks contain ”forever”, ”repeat” blocks, and ”if-then-else” conditional statement blocks.
  • The light-blue category is contains various sensing blocks, which you can use to make sprites interact with the environment.
  • The Operators blocks contain arithmetic blocks, random number generator, and different statement blocks, such as and-or and more.
  • Lastly, the More blocks allow you create custom blocks. This is great for saving time and effort if you have to use scripts repeatedly.

Online games and animations are very popular these days, and the best place to start creating them is the Scratch editor. It will teach you the basics, and it will take time until you are ready for more heavy duty editors. The Scratch designer team worked hard to make the Scratch editor intuitive and easy to learn by all age groups with no previous programming experience. In the script area you can arrange the script blocks as you wish. At the bottom you will find zoom-in and zoom-out options, to enlarge or shrink the blocks. If you right click on block, you can delete or duplicate them. The block automatically join together. The most helpful feature you will find is the question mark tool in the Toolbar. It allows you to find out what each block can do, and it gives a brief and helpful explanation in a script example. Simply click on the question mark icon and click on the block of your desire.

Written by ProgrammingMax

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