While Scratch has always been pretty awesome for neat experiments and mini-games, it has never really become a practice tool for the majority of commercially developed games. This is for a wide number of reasons such as, the general inexperience of the Scratch community, the horrible art editor, and the lack of critical functions (cloning and multi-dimentional arrays). Scratch has gotten a ton better over the years too though, after the move away from the sluggish Java player to the flash one, lag in projects has gotten much more manageable. I think Scratch v2 is the final push the program needs to be considered a tool for professionals (or just really good amateurs). There are a few projects I think that have been popular on flash game sites that will become popular with Scratch v2.
1. Mario-esque Platformers and Various Tile-Based Games
This is one of the MOST popular project types on Scratch, that is always imitated but never duplicated. Easily the biggest issue with this is that the world in platform games are generally pretty big, and most scrolling games in Scratch use huge bitmap images to make up the map. I remember doing this with the game Archknight’s Adventure the result was a pretty fun scroller with 5 levels. Main issues were that the game, while only 5 levels, took up 10 megabytes with compressed images (forget having sound!). The original Mario Bros has way more than 5 levels but with a tiny file size of less than 1 megabyte, this was achieved though the use of tiles. Rather than having a number of huge bitmaps, you would ideally have 1 tile sprite that would clone itself to make the map and would have those clones change costumes as the player moved. I tried to replicate this in current Scratch and the results don’t look horrible in the present version of Scratch Linky. This was adapted from a Flash Actionscript based tutorial, but has a few bugs due to my shoddy transition from using 2d arrays in flash to 1d arrays (lists) in Scratch. This is probably also possible with the current version of Scratch but not ideal since you have to have 100+ individual tile sprites. This is for sure one of the first project I want to try to make with v2.
2. Tower Defense Style Games
This one has done pretty well in current versions of Scratch (example) but no version have the ludicrous numbers of enemies and projectiles that this genre is known for. Most versions have a limited number of enemies and towers, with 1 dedicated projectile per tower. This is also technically difficult to program since you have to be well versed in pathfinding algorithms (such as A*) to make sure that towers do not block the path. The situation with this type of game (and most others) have gotten way better with the flash player, as the Java one had massive lag spikes when sound was played and just became very sluggish when project had too many sprites or costumes. With sprite cloning, the majority of the issues involved with this kind of project are gone and overall development time would be much faster.
3. Any Type of Multiplayer Game
From what I’ve seen on the beta website so far, the cloud variables work pretty well. I tried this MMO project that took your user name and put you in a world where you could walk around with other users. This seems much easier to do with Scratch than it would be to do with other languages so it seems to have potential. However, it was pretty laggy, so maybe this issue will be resolved later or people will learn to make more efficient projects. It also seems to be a good idea for someone to make multiple projects to act as separate game servers, so no one project becomes overloaded. Not 100% sure what the future holds for this one, but it will be fun to find out
Have any opinions on the matter? Leave me a comment below.
Hello internet peoples!
I just installed statcounter on this website to check out how people are finding me since I do get some traffic on this mostly stagnant website. Seems most people are coming from Scratch.mit.edu, which makes sense since I did post quite a bit on their forums a while back and make some neat projects.
Have not touched Scratch at all for a long time (or any programming really) but it is a fave tool of mine and I will probably use it when Scratch 2.0 is officially out. I know that the beta is out right now but I want to be able to share it with people not in the beta and post it in this blog. It looks really promising and might be able to more commercial quality programs like Tower Defense and Tile Based Platformers. I also re-opened my fiverr gig to make a game in Scratch if you want me to make you something neat.
I am pretty busy with school right now, I am a 4th year business student at York University in Toronto Canada. One thing I am experimenting with is SEO and trying to develop a profitable website for cheap. Mainly using Fiverr.com, which is a site that typically gets a lot of hate but if you go though the 99% of gigs that are scams you can find some really high value gigs. I developed hhcc-catsitting.ca for a friend a while ago and it gets pretty decent, targeted traffic and is generally position 2-3 for the search term “cat sitting toronto”. My newest one is johnspestcontroltoronto.ca and this is mainly an experiment to see if I can rank for a moderately competitive keyword using a specific schedule for ordering fiverr gigs, and a little bit of manual work.
Also! I re-enabled comments but added a captcha to prevent spam. This site is a PageRank 3 now, mainly from my Scratch links I think, and theres lot of dirty “marketing professionals” who want to crap all over it. Hopefully you can expect more updates from me and maybe a cool Scratch 2.0 walk-though in the future.
Hey internet peoples, Jonathan here and my website is finally presentable! I used Artisteer to create this theme, and will likely be adjusting it changing it entirely in the upcoming days. The webpages were made with WP Portfolio plugin and loving how it looks, for the moment. I started this to be a sort of portfolio site for my Fiverr clients but I will also post guides and news on things like programming and web development. Thanks for visiting my website and come back often for updates!