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Scratch Programming 101: How to make your first 3D game without coding

3D games are popular right now! Due to the rich visual experience it offers players, it's no surprise that this is virtually the norm these days. Wh

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3D games are popular right now! Due to the rich visual experience it offers players, it’s no surprise that this is virtually the norm these days.

What if we told you that you can make a simple 3D game, even if you’ve never written a single line of code in your life? This is possible thanks to a programming language called Scratch.

Scratch coding logo

For this post, we will guide you through creating your first 3D game, even if you have no previous coding experience. These are rough step-by-step instructions, which allow you some flexibility when creating your own project.

What you need to know about Scratch

Scratch is a coding community and programming language developed by Scratch Foundation. It is free and available in 70 languages ​​and is designed to help children aged 8 to 16 develop their creativity, problem-solving skills and computer thinking. If they want to try graphic art like at https://cyber-fox.net/blog/what-is-3d-rendering, these skills will come in handy.

In a world that is only becoming more digital, coding skills will eventually become a necessity. Think of it as how everyone now knows how to use a computer, even though it was considered a specialized skill decades ago.

But even if you’re outside the target demographic, Scratch is still a great way to introduce yourself to the world of coding. It’s never too late to start!

Make your first 3D game

Although Scratch is a visual programming language, you can make a 3D game here, even if you have no programming skills. This is what makes it a great tool for learning the logic and basics of programming.

Surprisingly though, you can not technically make anything 3D here. What can make this possible is to create the illusion that something is in 3D by using changes in size and motion. This process is called jet casting.

If this is something you’re interested in, here’s how you can complete your first project:

Create an account on Scratch

To use their free platform, you must first create an account with them. No matter how exciting it may be to go straight to creating your 3D game, we strongly discourage it. You first have to navigate everything it offers (even without a clear goal!) Just so you get a little familiar with how things work.

If you still feel lost, there are discussion forums where you can look up or ask your questions. Alternatively, you can go to the “Ideas” tab to see the tutorials they have available.

Conceptualize your game

What should the game be about? At this point, you should already be able to visualize what you want the end product to be. This will help you to guide you on what to do and to prepare to complete the project successfully.

Since this is your first time, we recommend that you try something simple. By doing so, you will gain the confidence to use Scratch to pursue your more complex ideas along the way. For the purpose of this tutorial, let’s go with a maze.

Make the Foundations

Do not worry about making it look 3D for now. It will come later. First, you need to design your maze. Make it as basic or as complicated as you want. You can also just download something from the internet.

Either way, you want to make a maze sprite with a color of your choice. Those that will be considered the entrance and exit must be different colors. Then clone the maze so that you can trace the intended exit or end to the game. Then delete the clone.

The next thing you want to do is create a trigger when the player goes through the exit. You can use this code to make it happen:

Scratch code snippet - foundation

Then just write a message of your choice as a new sprite and the code that will make this message appear when you win:

Scratch code snippet - win

Finally, create your player. For the purpose of this exercise, let’s go with just a simple box. To activate its movement, you can use the code below. You can experiment with some of the variables there and see the effect on the final project:

Scratch code snippet - experiment

Then use the code below so that the player does not run through walls. At this point you already have a fully functioning game. But let’s take it to the next level, shall we?

Turn it into 3D

We do this by making a radar. In Scratch, it’s what keeps track of the distance between the walls of your maze and the player (the box you created in the first step). This is the radar code we used:

Scratch code snippet - radar code

Essentially, what you are trying to do here is to create variables as outlined above. Just remember, with the pink box, select “Run without screen refresh” because otherwise it will not work.

Give

To complete the project, you want the lines to look thick when they are close and thin when they are far away. You can do this by using this code:

Scratch code snippet - 3D version

That’s it! You have officially completed your first 3D game.

The possibilities are endless!

When your imagination is the limit, anything is possible. These same steps can also be used for similar projects. Feel free to change it as you wish and create something that is completely your own.

Whether you want to commit to game development or just use it as a step in learning programming languages, practice will help you get better. And as you become more confident in using Scratch, you will be able to easily progress with more complex projects.

Scratch Learn Website Screenshot

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