March 21, 2015

Rapunzel climbs - our first Scratch game

After learning about some basic programming concepts with other tools and environments (more about these in the Introduction post), I thought we'd try out Scratch and see how it goes. It was over six months ago, so I don't remember exactly what conversations we had and whether we talked about game development before or after looking around in Scratch. But I do remember it didn't take long for her to come up with an idea for a game.


I thought it would be nice to combine the "real" world with the digital game a little bit, so I suggested that she draws the background on paper and then I'll "move the picture inside the computer". She was really enthusiastic about the idea and started drawing immediately. The game is about the princess Rapunzel climbing up her tower, so she needed to draw the tower.

She was a little concerned that the lines for the tower walls would not be straight, so I suggested that she could try to use a ruler. We hadn't used a ruler that much before, so it was a nice exercise and the tower came out really well. She was very focused on the drawing and it came out really nice, much more details than what she normally otherwise draws. I only helped a little bit with the roof tiles.

Then of course we needed Rapunzel and also Flynn (the thief from Rapunzel movie) and some rope. I found some images from the internet and cut out backgrounds with an image editor.

Game mechanics

The  actual game mechanic is pretty simple, move the Rapunzel characters sprite up when space button is pressed. Kaisla also wanted to add some sound effects, so we recorded some sound inside Scratch and added them to few key points, like the beginning of a new game and then my voice if Flynn wins (saying "eka ylhäällä", which is "first on top" in Finnish) and her voice if Rapunzel wins (saying "minä voitin", which is "I won" in Finnish).


At first we had made Flynn climb by himself, with a loop that moves him up a bit and waits a second. But later we decided to make a multiplayer version so that I can play with Flynn and we can compete against each other. So we changed it so that pressing the up arrow key moves Flynn up. This turned out better than I had expected, it has been really fun to play after that. We have played it many times just for fun, without any programming. And Kaisla has also played it with her little sister Sohvi.

You can check out the final game here: Tähkäpää kiipeää (Rapunzel climbs). Why not try it out and leave a comment if you like it.Click the green flag to start a new game (and the blue rectangle on top left corner to make it bigger).

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