Experts Using Scratch

In 2008, experts in the game lab (outstanding consultants who were asked to return to participate during sessions in the school year) spent part of their time learning Scratch, a program from MIT. Experts and game lab organizers agreed that, if the experts spent their school-year time learning Scratch, they would be invited back to a two-week game development session over the summer where they would create their own games.

Experts spent time in the lab learning scratch from game development professionals in the department, and had homework after each session. Activities include:

Day 1: Introduction to Scratch

Through programing the consultants were introduced to the scratch layout and the basic fundamentals of programing in scratch. In the first lesson they learn how to animate a cat that eats bad tuna. They also learned how to change the cat's color and create a word "pop-up" bubble.

Day 2: Bouncing Off the Walls

Consultants were shown how to create interactivity and if statements. They created a swimming fish, and learned how to make it change direction once it hit a wall. They also learned how to add a button that made the fish blow bubbles and generate a bubble noise.

Day 3-4: Broadcasting Messages

In this project, they created a paper doll in Scratch, and they had three sprites act as buttons to change the costumes and backgrounds of the other sprites.

Day 5: Final Project

Through out the scratch curriculum, consultants had been introduced to several different programming scripts and they had to use these tools to create an interactive project of there own.


All of the lesson materials used with the game experts are included below. You can download a zip file of all elements for the lesson (handouts, homework sheets, and sample files), or download each item individually.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3-4

Day 5

The Expert Consultants

The Expert Consultants culminated their year-long efforts in game design with custom exergames during the Expert Summer Session in 2008 in the New Mexico State University's Learning Games Lab. During their previous session, the Experts were introduced to Scratch, a program created by researchers at MIT, and learned the basics of programming. With NMSU game developers, Experts began the summer session with a brainstorming day, inventing possible games that encourage physical activity. Through game development, Experts engaged in additional fundamental practices of game development and programming, including concept development, group work, character animation and design, sound recording, product testing and analysis and project management. Experts were divided into two groups, developing games for a game bike and a dance pad. The PC Exerbike team created the game, "Get Off My Lawn". The dance pad design team created a rapid prototype of "Donkey Kong". In "Get Off My Law' gamers mow lawns as quickly as possible while avoiding obstacles such as toys, trees and fences. In "Donkey Kong", gamers avoid barrels, which can kill the main character Luario (a new character created by the group combining Mario and Luigi), and climb vines to the Donkey. The Experts worked closely with game developers on their game programming, animations and sounds. Throughout the session, the experts reviewed and discussed their experiences using the online educational forum, Moodle. In Moodle, users respond to queries from developers and fellow consultants online, in and outside, lab sessions. Experts are encouraged to continue participating in Moodle forums during the summer.