Scratch 3.0 Released

MIT have just released version 3 of Scratch.  Scratch is a visual programming language and game engine aimed at helping kids learn how to program, I previously featured it in the GameFromScratch Guide to Getting Kids Started in Game Development.  It uses a system similar to virtual lego blocks for coding games that respond to events, sensors and more.  Additionally Scratch comes absolutely loaded with content such as sprites, sound effects and backdrops that help you get started right away.

Scratch 3 brings new behaviours, a new extension system and more.  Details from the 3.0 announcement on Medium:

Scratch Extensions

With Scratch extensions, you can keep adding new coding blocks to Scratch. Program motors, lights, and sensors with the LEGO® Education WeDo 2.0, LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education EV3, and micro:bit extensions. Program characters to speak in other languages with the Google Translate extension, or to talk out loud with the Amazon Text-to-Speech extension. You can even program characters to respond to your body movements using your webcam and the Video Sensing extension.This library of extensions will continue to grow over time, expanding what you can create with Scratch.

To help kids get started with Scratch, there is a new collection of tutorials and “how to” videos.

New Tutorials and Activities

Whether you’re just getting started or looking for inspiration, the new Ideas section of the website includes tutorials for everyone. Animate a character, make music, or create an adventure game with Cartoon Network characters. You can find more activities and full coding curricula from Raspberry Pi Code Club, Google CS First, and the ScratchEd Creative Computing Curriculum Guide.

Scratch 3.0 comes with new, easily remixable characters, backdrops, and sounds.

New Characters, Sounds, and Backgrounds

Tacos, dinosaurs, mermaids, and shoes! Beats, sneezes, squawks, and squeaks. Jungles, concert halls, mountains, and stadiums. We worked with artists to create lots of new, easily remixable characters, sounds, and backgrounds. There are also improved paint and sound editors for creating and editing your own images and sounds.

Scratch Everywhere

Scratch 3.0 is designed to work in any current browser and on a wide variety of devices — including touch devices like tablets. No internet? No problem. Scratch 3.0 has an offline editor called Scratch Desktop.

Scratch has always been more than a coding platform. What makes Scratch special is the global community of kids, educators, families, and organizations who are creating and sharing projects, developing tutorials and resources, and hosting in-person events, workshops, and conferences. We’re looking forward to seeing what you all do with this new generation of Scratch.

You can read more about the 3.0 release details here.  Scratch is a fully open source project with the Github repository available here.  If you are interested in creating JavaScript extensions, you can find code examples here.

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