Computer Tech Post #7 – Game Design (LAST BLOG POST)

For my game design project, I chose “Scrolling,” also known as the game called “Flappy Bird.” In my game, one has to control the sprite using the space bar and make sure not to touch the green bars. Along the way, through each of the four phases, one unlocks different sprites. You start off using the parrot, then the toucan, the owl, and then the dragon.

The hardest part in making my game was definitely the scoring. At first, I based the scoring using time. For example, wait 5 seconds and then add 1 to the score, but that didn’t work because over time, the score would get messed up. Then I realized that when the pair of green bars gets to the middle, where the sprite is, there 1 should be added to the score, (obviously if the sprite doesn’t touch the green bars). Once I tried that it worked, which is what I’m most proud of throughout the process of creating the game because I was able to get through it and solve the issue.

If I had more time, I would have probably made a maze game, but because of COVID-19 and because there’s only 4 more days of school, that isn’t possible.

SMS4CM2’s maze game I thought was very clever because what you need to do is go through the maze to a certain point, touch a green dot which opens up a gate, then go back up the way you came to the open gate, and then find your way to the finishing point, and you win! What I also liked about it is that there’s a timer. This way, even if we win, we can still be entertained by trying to beat our fastest time.

My favorite part about computer tech was using Scratch. I think I got much better at coding and got really creative with some projects. Before computer tech, I wasn’t very interested in coding, but now I really like it. It feels great when you finish a project you’ve been working long and hard on.

Doing work at home, at least for me, wasn’t bad at all. Of course it wasn’t the same, but it was still very productive. I learned a lot in computer tech and I think that if I were in school this quarter, it really wouldn’t have been much different. At home, there aren’t any friend distractions, which helped me focus on my work. Well, of course there’s also a lot of other distractions at home, but I don’t tend to get so distracted because I know the consequences. The hardest part about working from home was that when I wanted something to be clarified, and there wouldn’t be any zooms that day, I would have to email my teacher. Those questions can be easily answered in 1 second if we were in school, but they take much longer through email. That wasn’t a big deal, but I really didn’t have many problems with distance learning, working from home.

Computer tech was amazing this year and I’m looking forward to it in 7th grade!

Computer Tech Post #6 – Final Spreadsheet Lesson

Yesterday we were assigned our third and last spreadsheet lesson. What we have to do is add data to one of the google sheets that has a chosen topic. The topic that I chose out of the others was the NY Yankees’ and Mets’ home runs. I added a formula, function, and chart to it. The formula I made was to find the total home runs hit every year, and the function I made was to find the average home runs hit between the two teams every year. This was interesting because it seemed to me that the closer it is to modern day, the greater the total and average home runs got. The Mets were founded much later than the Yankees, so starting in 1962, there were two teams that made the total and average, not one. Although, also, as years passed by, the Yankees and Mets started hitting more home runs. in 1913, the Yankees only hit 8 home runs, but later in 2009 they hit 244! I think this is because one, today there are more games played, and two, the game was invented long ago, so it evolved and the way it’s played changed.

This is the chart made using Google Sheets based on the data collected:

(It might be hard to see)

Computer Tech Post #5 – Learn to Code: Conditional Code and Logical Operators

After completing the topics of Conditional Code and Logical Operators under Learn to Code 1, I didn’t find any puzzles especially hard. Some were a bit more challenging than others, but after about 3 tries or so, I was able to figure them out.

Conditional code and logical operators make code easier and also specify what you want Blu, Byte, or another character to do.

Conditional code is making your character follow a set of commands if a situation, or boolean, is true. (A situation and a boolean are the same). For example, if you want your character to collect a gem if they are on one, you’d use an ”if” block and code, “if isOnGem ( collectGem() )” If this situation is possibly false, you’d either add an “else if” statement or just an “else” statement. For example, ”if isOnGem ( collectGem ) else if isOnSwitch ( toggleSwitch() ) You’d add an “else if” statement when there are multiple possible situations, but if there is only one other possible situation, you’d just add an ”else” statement with a set of commands and no boolean. When using ”else if”, if the boolean you proposed is true, than your character would follow your set of commands. On the other hand, for just an ”else” statement, there is no boolean because there is no other possible outcome if the first boolean was false. For example, if you want your character to move forward if there is an open switch on their left, but the boolean is false and the only other possible situation is that your character would be behind a closed switch, then you’d put an ”else” statement and add the commands: ”moveForward() toggleSwitch()”

Logical Operators are a feature you can add to your boolean to make the code more specific for your character. There are 3 logical operators I learned. One was the ”NOT” operator, which in code reads as ”!” Another was the AND operator, which in code reads as ”&&” Lastly, the third operator was the OR, which in code reads as ”II” These operators are supposed to change the boolean in a specific way. the NOT operator you’d use right in front of a boolean if you want your character to follow your set of commands if the boolean you proposed is the opposite. For example, “if !isBlocked ( moveForward() ) This would read as, if not is blocked ahead, move forward. The 2 other operators are the AND and the OR. The AND operator is used if you want your character to follow your set of commands when both situations are true. For example, if you want your character to collect a gem and toggle a switch when they’re on a gem and a switch, you’d use it that way. the OR operator is used when you want your character to follow your set of commands if at least one boolean is true.

Computer Tech Post #4 – Learn To Code: Commands

This week in Computer Tech, we have just begun to start using the coding app, Playgrounds. We did the Learn To Code tutorial on commands in which Byte has to successfully complete a task by following the commands you give him. Byte is the orange, alien-like creature on the right of the screenshot.

When coding, you have to be very careful because one wrong step makes the entire thing collapse and off-task. Sometimes, when I was doing this tutorial, Byte would move 2 steps instead of one because of a mistake, and then he’d be doing something totally different than what I wanted him to.

A good strategy to use when coding is going step by step. To make Byte successfully complete a task, before I started coding, I made a route for Byte in my head and then put the pieces together one by one, following those steps. It was very helpful and this way there weren’t as many errors.

Here are the steps for Byte to collect the gem andtoggle the switch using the shortest route:

a. Move forward

b. Move forward

c. Move forward

d. Collect gem

e. Move forward

f. Move forward

g. Move forward

h. Move forward

i. Toggle switch

Although coding is a bit time consuming, I think it really improves your problem solving skills and creativity.

Computer Tech Post #3 – Music Video

The next project we have been working on, after the About Me, is the Music Video.

There’s one project that I really liked that was made by the user, SMS4CKH, (another student in my class). One thing I liked was the animation. He used the original Sprite, the orange cat, and while the music plays, the cat glides and bounces on edges and duplicates itself about every 3 seconds. Also, when you press the space bar, the cat dances to the music, which I thought was great as well.

One thing I liked about the music was that it was an uploaded loop that I’ve heard before. I think it sounded really good.

Lastly, there were two speakers in the background that were meant to be the Sprites playing the music. I also used this feature in my project.

Computer Tech Post #2 – “Coding Stars”

The video, “Coding Stars,” I found very inspiring and it taught me a lot about coding. The one idea that I keep thinking about is that coding doesn’t take smarts, it takes determination and effort. Another thing that I found very interesting and amazing is that computers can be used for anything you want them to be used for. You can program them to do whatever you want. A lot of the coders were describing the amazing feeling of making computers do things that many people are able to access and see. Coding makes you think in many different, creative ways, and you learn a lot. As one of the coders states, ‘It should be mandatory for a citizen to learn how to read and write code.’ Coding opens many doors to amazing things and, after watching this video, I’m inspired to code and make computers do things that I, myself, want.

Computer Tech Post #1 – About Me Project

Our first assignment for computer tech was to try out Scratch and make a project including sprites and backdrops to make people learn more about us. It was pretty fun and taught me many cool things I can do with this coding application. Anyway, I included many different sprites in my project. I also got images from my photos and others from the internet. I included a soccer player, because my favorite sport is soccer, a water polo player, because my second-favorite sport is water polo, my fish, a plate of different fruits, (oranges and watermelon are my favorite), a snare drum, hi-hat, and suspended cymbal, because I play percussion, and one of my favorite books, The Hobbit, because I love to read. Lastly, I made my backdrop blue because it’s my favorite color. The link below will take you to my project…

LINK

 

Video of My Rube Goldberg – Cooper 6 Science Simple Machines Mini-Project

Here is the video to my Rube Goldberg for the simple machines mini project my class was assigned:

First click on the link below, then click: “6th_Grade_Rube_Goldberg.MOV

Link to Video

 

For more info on my Rube Goldberg, if you haven’t already, go check out my E-Portfolio in this link below. Look for ‘Journal Entry #9: Rube Goldberg Project

Link to E-Portfolio

Passion Project (Plan) – Post #3

This week, I filmed my first video! I used one of my brother’s ninja turtle legos that I found in one of his bins. I also got very lucky because my brother just had a birthday party and in the goody bag, he got some chocolate soccer balls. I figured they’d be the perfect size for the lego ninja turtle, so I asked my brother if I could use one of them for my first attempt. I used blue tac that I brought home from camp this summer to keep the soccer ball and the ninja turtle in place while taking pictures. As well as finding the ninja turtle in one of my brother’s bins, I found a mini soccer goal that I used one year for my birthday cake. It was also the perfect size. I came up with the idea of using confetti once the ninja turtle scores, so my mom said that I could hole punch red paper. For the field, I printed out a picture of grass and I also printed the word “GOAL” to add as graphics when the turtle scores.

About the app, I really enjoy using it because it’s not complicated at all. It’s very easy to use. It keeps all of your pictures in order and plays them all together to make a video.

Before making my first video, I watched some tutorials online that gave great tips. Here are some links:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_ppedXZHhE0

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=td2DgP56DP0

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YvJm7p9Q58Y

After making a couple of videos, I learned some things that I could do differently for my final product. One: at the end of my second video, I accidentally moved the iPad, which messed up the angle of the next pictures. Next time, I’ll attach the iPad to the table by using blue tac, so the frame won’t move while taking pictures. Two: at the part when the figure scores, and I make confetti fall down, it was too far away from the camera, so my mom, (who helped me by taking the picture), wasn’t able to capture the confetti in the air. Next time, I’ll make sure to drop the confetti right in front of the camera. Three: I didn’t take multiple pictures of the goal sign, and I didn’t fix the posture of the figure right after kicking the ball. Next time, I’ll take at least three pictures of the goal sign, so it doesn’t disappear so quickly and I’ll also make sure to move the figure’s leg back to its regular position after kicking the ball. Finally, the fourth thing that I need to improve is making sure that in the video it looks like the ball rolls instead of just moving forward. I’ll need to rotate it a little each time and not just move it further down.

Here is my second product (the first one was an even simpler version just to try out the app):

IMG_0077