Blowing Things Up!

Scratch is a fun-to-use program that teaches you about animating, programming, and building games.

You already know this because you have been making simple games with Scratch for a while, and now you want to learn more. This project will use some of the most important Scratch tools and explain some basic game programming principles.

Mission briefing

We will make an artillery game. You might know this type of game from the very popular Angry Birds series, but this is actually a very old concept, dating back to the earliest computers. It was an obvious choice for imaginative programmers to turn military calculations into a game, because computers were originally used to calculate missile trajectories.

Why is it awesome?

We won't be able to guide any real missiles (luckily) with the scripts in this game. Instead of using proper mathematical calculations, we will use some simple tricks to get the desired results.

In games, it is rarely necessary to be absolutely realistic. Sometimes, bending the rules of reality creates more spectacular results; take Angry Birds, for instance:

We won't build a game as sophisticated as Angry Birds straight away. Our example will be more bare bones but still fun to play. In later projects, we will look back at this first example, and you will be challenged to add new things to this game to make it more interesting.

Your Hotshot objectives

In this project we will be:

  • Creating a new project

  • Starting scripts

  • Adding targets

  • Creating a parabolic shot

  • Creating a landscape

While doing this, you will learn about (among other things):

  • Drawing with Scratch

  • Using variables

  • The xy-coordinate system

  • Operators and conditions (what has to happen and when)

  • The very useful cloning feature to quickly duplicate objects

Mission checklist

To get started, go to the Scratch website ( and start a new project by clicking on the Create button at the top of the page. If you already have a Scratch account, it might be useful to log in first, so that you can save your work in your account. If you are new to Scratch and are unfamiliar with the interface, have a look at Appendix, The New Scratch Interface.