Portable Scratch is a simple program that can be used by children over the age of 8 to learn basic design concepts, while creating their own plays and stories. The program offers highly customizable features, allowing users to create numerous scripts for one or more characters (called “sprites”) from the database.
The “Motion” tab enables users to set the movement of the character using simple algorithms. They can also edit the character's looks, by using various graphic effects or by modifying its costume. From the “Sound” tab, users can adjust the volume, the beat and the tempo, as well as choose the desired instrument of each new sound.
The “Pen” tab allows users to set the pen color, shade and size or use a stamp. From the “Control” tab, users can set the desired start and end options as well as the conditions “if / else”, “wait until” or “repeat until”. The “Sensing” tab enables users to set the preferred actions for when the “space” key is pressed or the mouse is moved.
From the “Numbers” tab, users can add to the script a series of simple mathematical operations, such as addition, subtraction or division. Additionally, users can create or delete variables and generate lists for the current script as well as for future ones.
After creating the script, users can play it and view the results of their efforts; if they are proud of their work they can save it and even share it with friends, on a preferred website.
As it is available in a wide range of languages, Portable Scratch can easily be used by most children. With a little patience and the willingness to persevere, they can create complex scripts with numerous sprites. The program can prove useful particularly to children interested in design and programming while also being a means of letting their imagination run free.
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