Discuss Scratch

makethebrainhappy
Scratcher
1000+ posts

Building Your Project Idea ↪ One Block at a Time


The authors of this guide would like to first acknowledge that we here have broken down the process of creating a larger project into many steps. Each step gradually builds on one another to form the whole part. We would like to acknowledge that this is not the only way of programming, and that all other methods are just as acceptable as this one is. For us, it is harder to describe these other methods, as they are much more abstract. Paddle2See describes it well when he states that “Scratch was designed to be a “hands on” tool where you can mess around and change things on the fly - it supports a trial-and-error creation style as well”. If you are a first-time scratcher, we would recommend trying one of these other methods first, as it will help you gain valuable programming experience!

Creating larger projects is one of the main parts of Scratch. This does not always mean it is always easy, though. Huge projects can take hours, days, weeks, months, or even years! In this guide, we have broken down the steps of a project creating into three main parts; planning, creating, and sharing - each section with its own unique set of steps. If you have something to add to this guide, or just have a question, please post.

Planning
Planning is arguably the most important step of creating a project. You can not just dive head first into your project, or it will end up unorganized and probably will not be as successful.

1.) Time. Approximate how long it will take you to complete the intended project. This will help keep you on track and it will help you set a release date! This is very important when it comes time to market and brand your project in the wider community.Many projects are released every second to the world, and you need to prepare in advance to make sure that your project stands out! You will also need to think of how much time you have, and how much time the project you want to create will take. If you do not have enough time, maybe this is not the project for you, or you should consider scaling back the size your project.

2.) Category Choice. You get to decide what type of project you would like to create. This will be important as it dictates what you are programming. You are not limited to any one category, such as games, animation, and art, but could do a combination of certain categories. This studio features many good examples of multiple categories mixed together. You can learn more about different popular project types on the wiki page. If none of these project categories work for you, or you would like to be inventive, you could try creating your own unique category!

3.) Research. Gain insight into how other projects in this category type are created. Draw inspiration from many sources, as you may find ways to improve the quality of your own project. See how others stylistically organized their projects, and you will personally be able to decide what styles you want to avoid, and what styles you want to highlight in your project. Drawing ideas and combining them in new ways is not copying, it is invention! Scratch is a community which builds on one another. If someone has already created a foundation for your idea, build off of it by remixing their project! Make sure though to always give credit to sources which you used!

Creating
Now for the fun part! It is time to start creating your project.

1.) Background. Choose what canvas you are going to set your project on. If you are making a painting app, then maybe a simple whiteboard is the best option, but if you are doing a complicated platformer, you are probably going to want a different backdrop for each level. The background will help dictate the tone which the project conveys. To quote the Google Dictionary, "tone" is “the general character or attitude of a place, piece of writing, situation, etc.” in this context. Backgrounds can be found in the backdrop library built into the project editor, or you can draw your own.

2.) Sprites. This is where you ask yourself, what types of sprites do I need? What function will my project serve? How will I program this so that it is as effective and efficient as possible? You should always have a general outline for what sprites you are going to need, if your project requires more, you can always add on at a later point in time . The sprites should help convey the context of the tone and should give the character life. If need you ever need help finding high-quality sprites, you can check out this studio called The Media Library.

3.) Programming. Programming is at the heart of your project! Any game can be changed hugely by how you program it, so make sure to do it just the way you want it! Also, don't be afraid to use other's scripts! Just make sure you give credit. Try to make it as efficient as possible, but if you don't know, remember that there are always friendly people in the Help with Scripts forum that can help!

4.) Comments. Leave comments behind in your project, so someone can exactly trace where/how you created a certain piece. Explaining your thought process in the moment is a great way to help yourself and others gain insight. By explaining to yourself how you created this project, you will be able to easily fabricate a better idea for your next project. Writing up these comments, however long or short, may give others the spark of creativity which they need to draw from new sources throughout their own “research phase”.



5.) Although it sounds simple, music can be one of the most important parts of projects and is often very overlooked. Music can help the background to dictate the tone, or it can just keep the viewer of the project interested. You can not just pick any music though, it has to fit with the theme of your project. If your project is a fun platformer, you could have some fast paced happy music. If you are creating an uplifting animation, you will want to find music that has the same theme.

Sharing
This step does sound simple, but it can sometimes be a little challenging to make sure you do it right.

1.) Writing the Instructions and the Notes & Credits. Make sure to clearly explain all commands and parts of your project, if they are not included in an in-project tutorial. In your instructions, be sure to state what category your project belongs to, and what function it serves. If experienced users run the project and experience a glitch, they will be able to examine your text and help you fix the code so that it does carry out your intended function. In the notes, make sure to credit where you may have drawn earlier inspiration from. For copyright purposes, it is very important that you credit any music, art, images, and scripts from other users which you may have used. At the bottom, insert some tags with the categories that your project falls under. This will help improve your search rankings!

2.) Advertising. Use the Show+Tell forum and studios to introduce your project to the scratch community. Speak with scratchers about your project in advance, and get them excited for its release! If you can get a large enough love-spike, you could achieve high rankings in the “explore” category or even appear on the front page! Remember to not make projects simply to become “famous”. Although it is nice to be on the front page, your projects are good no matter how popular they are. Always be kind, if someone does not want to hear about it, then respect their decision. Try not to be too pushy while advertising. If you want to get your project curated, you can check out thenextcurator, to see a list of the upcoming FPCs who might be able to curate your project.

3.) Thumbnail. A good thumbnail will attract many viewers. The thumbnail should build up excitement for the project and should convey the tone at the same time. Try not to make your thumbnails look like clickbait or promising dubious claims. It should be honest and attractive and appeal to a large range of Scratchers. If you do not know how to create a thumbnail, then make sure to check out this tutorial! We would not recommend using an animated thumbnail since your project will never be eligible for the front page!



This guide was written by makethebrainhappy, ZLGames, jromagnoli and BrickWildcat. It was edited by pianogirl84, -Lite- and Drunken_Sailor. The amazing banner is by jromagnoli. The first graphic was made by BrownieBatter987 the second graphic was made by jromagnoli.

Last edited by makethebrainhappy (May 16, 2017 00:30:56)

-Lite-
Scratcher
500+ posts

Building Your Project Idea ↪ One Block at a Time

Where's the glue?

“There are two different types of people in the world: those who want to know, and those who want to believe.”
Friedrich Nietzsche
jromagnoli
Scratcher
1000+ posts

Building Your Project Idea ↪ One Block at a Time

-Lite- wrote:

Where's the glue?
I'll get it! ;D


I like making quality, challenging platformers! Please check them out! Don't like platformers? There's always art and other games!


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makethebrainhappy
Scratcher
1000+ posts

Building Your Project Idea ↪ One Block at a Time

jromagnoli
Scratcher
1000+ posts

Building Your Project Idea ↪ One Block at a Time

makethebrainhappy wrote:

jromagnoli wrote:

-Lite- wrote:

Where's the glue?
I'll get it! ;D

They haven't responded yet.


I like making quality, challenging platformers! Please check them out! Don't like platformers? There's always art and other games!


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makethebrainhappy
Scratcher
1000+ posts

Building Your Project Idea ↪ One Block at a Time

jromagnoli wrote:

makethebrainhappy wrote:

jromagnoli wrote:

-Lite- wrote:

Where's the glue?
I'll get it! ;D

They haven't responded yet.

I believe that Paddle has been offline for 4 hrs. That's alright. Hopefully it'll be up by tomorrow morning . Anyway! It's time to discuss our next project!
WolfCat67
Scratcher
1000+ posts

Building Your Project Idea ↪ One Block at a Time

I've requested for this to be stickied. Really nice guide!
makethebrainhappy
Scratcher
1000+ posts

Building Your Project Idea ↪ One Block at a Time

WolfCat67 wrote:

I've requested for this to be stickied. Really nice guide!

Thank you! The team worked for a very long time to get this one just right! .

Last edited by makethebrainhappy (May 14, 2017 23:08:06)

WolfCat67
Scratcher
1000+ posts

Building Your Project Idea ↪ One Block at a Time

makethebrainhappy wrote:

WolfCat67 wrote:

I've requested for this to be stickied. Really nice guide!

Thank you! The team worked for a very long time to get this one just right! .
Hmm, may I suggest removing either the period (or full-stop, whatever you call it) or the bracket (or parentheses, whatever you call it) on the numbered segments of the “list” format of stuff? What I mean is changing “1.)” to either “1)” or “1.”. I've never seen both used in a single list before, and I've seen lots in textbooks, school papers, etc.
If you don't want to change that, that's fine.
-Lite-
Scratcher
500+ posts

Building Your Project Idea ↪ One Block at a Time

WolfCat67 wrote:

makethebrainhappy wrote:

WolfCat67 wrote:

I've requested for this to be stickied. Really nice guide!

Thank you! The team worked for a very long time to get this one just right! .
Hmm, may I suggest removing either the period (or full-stop, whatever you call it) or the bracket (or parentheses, whatever you call it) on the numbered segments of the “list” format of stuff? What I mean is changing “1.)” to either “1)” or “1.”. I've never seen both used in a single list before, and I've seen lots in textbooks, school papers, etc.
If you don't want to change that, that's fine.
OCD much?

“There are two different types of people in the world: those who want to know, and those who want to believe.”
Friedrich Nietzsche
WolfCat67
Scratcher
1000+ posts

Building Your Project Idea ↪ One Block at a Time

-Lite- wrote:

WolfCat67 wrote:

makethebrainhappy wrote:

WolfCat67 wrote:

I've requested for this to be stickied. Really nice guide!

Thank you! The team worked for a very long time to get this one just right! .
Hmm, may I suggest removing either the period (or full-stop, whatever you call it) or the bracket (or parentheses, whatever you call it) on the numbered segments of the “list” format of stuff? What I mean is changing “1.)” to either “1)” or “1.”. I've never seen both used in a single list before, and I've seen lots in textbooks, school papers, etc.
If you don't want to change that, that's fine.
OCD much?
Oh no, you've figured it out!

Last edited by WolfCat67 (May 14, 2017 23:20:28)

makethebrainhappy
Scratcher
1000+ posts

Building Your Project Idea ↪ One Block at a Time

WolfCat67 wrote:

-Lite- wrote:

WolfCat67 wrote:

makethebrainhappy wrote:

WolfCat67 wrote:

I've requested for this to be stickied. Really nice guide!

Thank you! The team worked for a very long time to get this one just right! .
Hmm, may I suggest removing either the period (or full-stop, whatever you call it) or the bracket (or parentheses, whatever you call it) on the numbered segments of the “list” format of stuff? What I mean is changing “1.)” to either “1)” or “1.”. I've never seen both used in a single list before, and I've seen lots in textbooks, school papers, etc.
If you don't want to change that, that's fine.
OCD much?
Oh no, you've figured it out!

I have always written it with both. Either one of the others looks quite strange xD.

What do you think -Lite-?
-Lite-
Scratcher
500+ posts

Building Your Project Idea ↪ One Block at a Time

makethebrainhappy wrote:

WolfCat67 wrote:

-Lite- wrote:

WolfCat67 wrote:

makethebrainhappy wrote:

WolfCat67 wrote:

I've requested for this to be stickied. Really nice guide!

Thank you! The team worked for a very long time to get this one just right! .
Hmm, may I suggest removing either the period (or full-stop, whatever you call it) or the bracket (or parentheses, whatever you call it) on the numbered segments of the “list” format of stuff? What I mean is changing “1.)” to either “1)” or “1.”. I've never seen both used in a single list before, and I've seen lots in textbooks, school papers, etc.
If you don't want to change that, that's fine.
OCD much?
Oh no, you've figured it out!

I have always written it with both. Either one of the others looks quite strange xD.

What do you think -Lite-?
It's a stylistic choice. I personally prefer roman numerals.

“There are two different types of people in the world: those who want to know, and those who want to believe.”
Friedrich Nietzsche
Drunken_Sailor
Scratcher
1000+ posts

Building Your Project Idea ↪ One Block at a Time

-Lite- wrote:

makethebrainhappy wrote:

WolfCat67 wrote:

-Lite- wrote:

WolfCat67 wrote:

makethebrainhappy wrote:

WolfCat67 wrote:

I've requested for this to be stickied. Really nice guide!

Thank you! The team worked for a very long time to get this one just right! .
Hmm, may I suggest removing either the period (or full-stop, whatever you call it) or the bracket (or parentheses, whatever you call it) on the numbered segments of the “list” format of stuff? What I mean is changing “1.)” to either “1)” or “1.”. I've never seen both used in a single list before, and I've seen lots in textbooks, school papers, etc.
If you don't want to change that, that's fine.
OCD much?
Oh no, you've figured it out!

I have always written it with both. Either one of the others looks quite strange xD.

What do you think -Lite-?
It's a stylistic choice. I personally prefer roman numerals.
I usually use:
1.
a)

jromagnoli
Scratcher
1000+ posts

Building Your Project Idea ↪ One Block at a Time

makethebrainhappy wrote:

jromagnoli wrote:

makethebrainhappy wrote:

jromagnoli wrote:

-Lite- wrote:

Where's the glue?
I'll get it! ;D

They haven't responded yet.

I believe that Paddle has been offline for 4 hrs. That's alright. Hopefully it'll be up by tomorrow morning . Anyway! It's time to discuss our next project!
Needs more glue….


I like making quality, challenging platformers! Please check them out! Don't like platformers? There's always art and other games!


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makethebrainhappy
Scratcher
1000+ posts

Building Your Project Idea ↪ One Block at a Time

jromagnoli wrote:

makethebrainhappy wrote:

jromagnoli wrote:

makethebrainhappy wrote:

jromagnoli wrote:

-Lite- wrote:

Where's the glue?
I'll get it! ;D

They haven't responded yet.

I believe that Paddle has been offline for 4 hrs. That's alright. Hopefully it'll be up by tomorrow morning . Anyway! It's time to discuss our next project!
Needs more glue….

True….
makethebrainhappy
Scratcher
1000+ posts

Building Your Project Idea ↪ One Block at a Time

This forum is much more inactive than it used to be, that may be the reason for the delay…
Paddle2See
Scratch Team
1000+ posts

Building Your Project Idea ↪ One Block at a Time

It's a very nice guide - well formatted and illustrated with nice clear language.

I do wonder about the tone though. It makes it sound like making a Scratch Project is a very formal and rigorous process. While it can be that way, not all Scratchers like to create that way - or need to. Scratch was designed to be a “hands on” tool where you can mess around and change things on the fly - it supports a trial-and-error creation style as well.

Another aspect of Scratch that doesn't seem to be represented here is the remix philosophy. One of the easiest ways to make something interesting is to find something that is close and build on that idea by remixing.

Scratch Team Member, kayak enthusiast, and servant to multiple cats.

;
jromagnoli
Scratcher
1000+ posts

Building Your Project Idea ↪ One Block at a Time

Paddle2See wrote:

It's a very nice guide - well formatted and illustrated with nice clear language.

I do wonder about the tone though. It makes it sound like making a Scratch Project is a very formal and rigorous process. While it can be that way, not all Scratchers like to create that way - or need to. Scratch was designed to be a “hands on” tool where you can mess around and change things on the fly - it supports a trial-and-error creation style as well.
Ok, we can edit it a bit.

Paddle2See wrote:

Another aspect of Scratch that doesn't seem to be represented here is the remix philosophy. One of the easiest ways to make something interesting is to find something that is close and build on that idea by remixing.
Good point, do you think we should create a guide about remixing?


I like making quality, challenging platformers! Please check them out! Don't like platformers? There's always art and other games!


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makethebrainhappy
Scratcher
1000+ posts

Building Your Project Idea ↪ One Block at a Time

Paddle2See wrote:

It's a very nice guide - well formatted and illustrated with nice clear language.

I do wonder about the tone though. It makes it sound like making a Scratch Project is a very formal and rigorous process. While it can be that way, not all Scratchers like to create that way - or need to. Scratch was designed to be a “hands on” tool where you can mess around and change things on the fly - it supports a trial-and-error creation style as well.

Another aspect of Scratch that doesn't seem to be represented here is the remix philosophy. One of the easiest ways to make something interesting is to find something that is close and build on that idea by remixing.

We could easily add a note about the first point at the top!

I personally thought that the second point involving remixing was covered in the research clause, but we can also definitely make that a bit clearer!

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