Alternatives to Scratch
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Alternatives to Scratch are other programs and languages used for similar purposes. Though Scratch can be an amazing resource for learning to code and expressing one's talents, if one is very serious, he or she may need to advance to other languages. Most of these alternatives are free like Scratch, but some of them cost money to use.
In software development there are two main fields:
- Programming — the code for the application
- Modeling / Art — the visual interface of an application
Drag and Drop Programming
|Program||Description||Code On||Code For|
|Android App Inventor||The Android App Inventor by Google allows Android apps to be created with a simple, Scratch-like interface. In fact, it was based on Scratch and coded by a team at MIT.||Desktop||Android|
|Stencyl||Stencyl has an interface similar to Scratch, but it has slightly more advanced editing features.||Desktop, Mobile||Desktop, Mobile|
|Gamefroot||An online game creation software for creating side-scrolling games. It has a drag and drop block editor for advanced scripting.||Desktop, Mobile||Desktop, Mobile|
|Pocket Code||A visual programming language and app for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone smartphones, tablets, and HTML5 enabled mobile browsers. It is inspired by Scratch and developed by the Catrobat team as free open source software.||Android||Android|
|Hopscotch||An iOS-based application which is similar to Scratch but is simpler and easier to use. It's somewhat based in the middle of Scratch and ScratchJr. Hopscotch is primarily for iPad, with the player being the only thing accessible on other devices.||iOS||iOS|
|GameSalad||A drag-and-drop programming software, aimed at inexperienced coders, which allows anyone to create games easily.||Desktop||Desktop, Mobile|
|GameMaker Studio||A drag-and-drop game-making software that can be used by inexperienced coders to create video games of many genres. Also uses "Game Maker Language", a CUI programming language used to add more advanced features to a game.||Microsoft Windows||Desktop, mobile, Xbox One, PlayStation 4|
- BeetleBlocks: A GUI-based programming language, based off Scratch, which can be used for 3D modeling, unlike Alice.
- Alice: Features 3D projects. Created by Carnegie Mellon.
- Starlogo-TNG: Supports 3D models and terrain. Block-based, and meant for simulations and education purposes. Created by the MIT STEP group.
Text-based programming is done through a programming language. Here are several:
|Java||Java was originally created and popularized as a platform-independent programming language. In modern day, Java is a general purpose language.|
|Python||Python is a general-purpose coding language with emphasis on readability. There are also libraries available for communicating with Scratch and reading/writing Scratch files.||
|C, C#, C++||C is a language originally praised for its portability. C# and C++ are based off of C. Nowadays, they are often used in operating systems and embedded systems. They are also commonly taught languages.||
|Flash||Flash is a general purpose coding language. Flash provides powerful libraries for graphics and animations. It is, however, not free.||
|Lua||Lua is a lightweight programming language which uses multiple paradigms. Lua is used in many games such as ROBLOX.||
|HTML & CSS||Websites are coded in HTML & CSS. The basics are simple to learn.||
|Logo||Logo is the predecessor to Scratch, created by MIT. It is text-based, however, with commands closely resembling those of Scratch. It provides a single sprite, a turtle, which is used to draw via a set of Pen instructions. It has procedures (which may output values), recursion and first class lists.||n/a|
To learn how to code in text-based programming languages, try:
- The Joy of Code tutorials teach basic Java syntax with video tutorials. The program used is Greenfoot, a Java-based game creator.
- GameMaker: GameMaker is quite similar to Scratch, except it also allows the option of typing commands and features commands geared more towards making games, whereas Scratch is more open. It is a good introduction to text-based programming and debugging. It is not free, but a free version is available with less features.
- Godot: Godot is an open-source game engine. Godot uses its own programming language, GDScript.
- See also: Three Dimensional Projects
|Note:||Before trying 3D animation, it is recommended to master 2D animation, as some aspects of 3D animation can be confusing.|
|Note:||3D animation software can be rigged to make 2D animations.|
- See also: Two Dimensional Objects
- Adobe Animate
- Flipnote Studio 3D (only compatible with Nintendo 3DS, availability can be varied, can be also used for 3D animation)