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Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Scratch 3.0 Made KoopaTV's Made-in-Scratch Game Content Broken

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Thanks to a forced upgrade that ruined backwards compatibility.

Today, January 2 2019, the MIT Media Lab released the third version of Scratch, a programming language. The primary reason we didn't release a new videogame on KoopaTV for 2018 was that we knew that if we developed it in Scratch like all of our other videogames, that it would immediately become obsolete with the release of Scratch 3.0. For reference, all of our original videogames from 2013 to 2017 were made using Scratch 2.0. I knew from the middle of 2018 that Scratch 3.0 would release right at the start of 2019, so I figured to wait on any development.

Scratch 3.0 notably ditches Flash as the game technology and opts for HTML5, meaning you can theoretically play the games on mobile trash devices instead of actual computers. (No idea how the controls would work for our games since they're built for computers, and your mobile trash probably doesn't have enough RAM to play them well.) That's a great thing in terms of making our videogame content available to more people, since for some reason a big chunk of our traffic is mobile.

What I didn't know would happen is that they would convert all of the Scratch 2.0 games into Scratch 3.0's engine, and as you might expect, Scratch 3.0 treats some things differently. One of those differences involves how lists are treated, as well as from-engine dialogue boxes. (My game design up to this point has relied on dialogue boxes appearing in front of lists, but now they appear behind lists, and there is no way to change the layering.)

The impact depends on the game—and I haven't looked at all of them—but I don't feel that confident in making a blanket statement that everything is good, nor do I know the extent of all of the engine changes. I assume The Wonderful 1237 is the most heavily impacted game since that's extremely list-heavy, but there may be many other changes I don't know about yet. (The Wonderful 1237's demos are going to be a pain in the ass if those are broken.) This notably impacts the The Wonderful 1237 Negative Ad Soundboard released just last week!

Scratch 3.0 glitch bug dialogue bubble behind list broken
Not only is there now a sort of annoying Scratch logo overlay, but
the size of the lists and the fonts used changed, as did the layering.
The question used to be over the list, but now you can't see the question prompt.

Ironically, Trayvon Tyson's Punch-Out!! is completely safe because it got banned from Scratch, so I had to upload it as a Flash project to Newgrounds, where it is intact from the changes to Scratch. Defend Anita Sarkeesian also looks pretty well-off right now. (Get a Gun is as good now as it was in 2014.)

I'll be trying to fix everything I can soon. I'd rather be playing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and creating new KoopaTV content, but... We need to keep these amazing games playable for you!

Click here for the full list of games.

If you don't care about our games (and you should because they're great), then take this lesson away: be careful about backwards compatibility if you release a new version and automatically upgrade old things.

Ludwig didn't want to post two KoopaTV-category articles in a row, but while he knew that Scratch 3.0 would release today, he didn't know that it would impact already-existing content. At least you know that if KoopaTV continues to use Scratch as a development platform for games, the next game may be mobile-friendly!

You can get absolutely massive points in the KoopaTV Loyalty Rewards Program for creating content around KoopaTV's videogames. If you have something in mind and need me to prioritise the fixing of something specific, please let me know.
By 2022, Ludwig still didn't fix a single thing.
Ludwig still didn't fix anything in 2023, but he / KoopaTV DID release a Scratch 3-native videogame!


  1. That is certainly a justified reason for delaying the game. I did not know that Scratch even updated in the first place considering I have not used the software in a couple of years. Although it seems like forever since the last game, at the least the wait will have been worth it.

    1. Well, it wasn't updated in a couple of years until a couple of days ago...!

      But, yes, the Best PC Game of 2018 GOTY category is quite lacking this year.


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