If the microphone is not connecting, try directly on the scratch site.

I did Global Game Jam 2016 at the University of Otago. I was tutoring at Code Club teaching kids to code with Scratch and I wanted to show what you could make in a weekend. The theme was 'Ritual' and I was inspired by the game GNILLEY from the 2010 Global Game Jam where it was controlled by your voice. Scratch has an easy way of getting the volume so I thought I could make a platformer where instead of jumping you had to sing to ascend.

I got the core functionality going with the microphone and added a key to represent it so I didn't annoy the other teams with my play testing. To make it a bit longer I added platforms where you could catch a breath. In Scratch objects can't go off the screen so there is just one platform moving up and down, hiding itself when it hits the bottom and changing its look when it comes back from the top. This gives the illusion that you are travelling up but ended up being much harder than a normal game engine where you would stick the camera on the player and have the map scrolling past. The other area I hit the limits of Scratch was having different animations spread over multiple frames. I had to keep track of how many frames were in each animation and use a mod and an offset to loop through them.

Once the game was playable I added some enemies to increase the challenge. These 'bad vibes' would attach themselves to you and drag you down. To over come them you had to physically sing louder or land on a platform and make a load noise to get them off. With this I added some polish to the start and end of having your parents ascend and meet you at the top. The final hour of the game jam I sat outside and tuned the microphone levels to find a good level.

A great thing about an in person game jame is that you get to see other peoples reaction to your game live. No one had seen a voice controlled game before so it got a lot of interest and a minute was just the right length for it. My favourite experience was a team who all sung together in harmony to reach the top. It was also a great one to present and got a lot of laughs. When I showed the kids the next week I had a line of them wanting to try it out and looking through the code. It was great to show what they were learning could be extending into a more complex game and give them ideas to try out.

Lessons Learnt

Voice controlled games are great for in person events.
Complex things are possible in Scratch but you end up having to do work arounds.