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- "Collaboration" redirects here. For other uses, see Collaboration (disambiguation).
A collaboration, or collab for short, is a group of Scratchers who work together to make one or more things (these can include, but are not limited to, projects), or to do something related to the community. A collaboration may also sometimes be referred to as a "company", coming from the idea that these groups of Scratchers exemplify a great amount of teamwork and dedication. Each Scratcher contributes their talents to the benefit of other team members, very much like how a real company operates. In the official Scratch Team Blog, andresmh has described collaborations as "[a] group of Scratchers that get together (virtually) to create collaborative projects", and mentions how collaborations on Scratch are an "interesting phenomena" occurring in the Scratch Website. Many companies/collaborations have their own logo, studio, forum thread, and sometimes even a motto. 2010 has been called "the year of the companies" by some users due to many companies/collaborations forming, possibly due to the addition of the Collaboration Forum.
A common structure of having all of the members share a single account is not allowed by the Scratch Team (except immediate family members), and such accounts will be blocked. Instead, it is recommended that the users remix existing projects by other members of the collaboration. The owner of the collaboration account can then put the final result on it.
Qualities of a Good Scratch Collaboration
A good Scratch collaboration requires teamwork and agreement. All participants need to know what is being done in order to make the collaboration successful. Progress should be rapid (but not rushed); if left for too long, participants can lose interest and greatly slow the project. Many people use the Collaborations forum for discussions. Studios are a great way to keep track of the different versions of the projects. The following list has many qualities that make a collaboration successful:
- Every user has his/her own particular category to work in
- The entire group discusses often about the project(s)
- The group has a leader, who takes the responsibility of assuring everyone's jobs
- An organized forum topic with the members and their jobs listed; the communication page
- It is clear who uploads what, and what will be remixed by whom so the uploaded projects do not get mixed up nor out of control
|Note:||These are subject to opinion.|
Common Jobs in Collaborations
In a collaboration, members of the collaboration are assigned to a particular job. Listed below are some common jobs in collaborations.
Programmers may help with the coding in Scratch. Some collaborations will have ranks of programmers based on their abilities and skill in that area. Some collaborations have specialized programmers that work in areas such as Cloud Variables and using 3D in Scratch.
Graphic Artists may design the sprites for projects and they may also help with graphics for the collaboration and complete art orders for shop collaborations.
Sound Experts may deal with sound effects in Scratch projects or composing music for projects. Some band collaborations have different roles for sound experts such as drummers, composers, pianists, and guitarists.
Ideas people may help with brainstorming and design the game. Many collaborations allow all members to brainstorm but not all.
Testers help test the current project and give feedback including bugs and areas for improvement.
Writers may write storylines for projects or for a writing-based collaboration.
Common Structures of Collaborations
Although all collaboration structures are different, here is one common collaboration hierarchy. Many collaborations have set-ups similar to this, but not all.
- Leader: There is usually one leader per collaboration. They tend to have the last say and are responsible for the overall running of the collaboration.
- Executives: Executives are members trusted by the leader and are responsible for helping the leader run the collaboration. They often have the power to hire and dismiss members. May be known as Deputy Chief, Assistant Executive and Co-leader.
- Managers: Managers tend to have less power than executives and may not be able to hire and dismiss members. They are responsible for running teams within the collaboration.
- Worker: Although the workers have the least power, they make up the backbone of a collaboration.
Standard Structure Similar to the hierarchy above.
Democratic Variant Similar to the hierarchy above, but members are allowed to vote on some decisions.
Community Variant This collaboration tends to be between a few friends on Scratch who have equal say in decisions about the collaboration.
Massive Variant This collaboration has many members. They usually have several layers of teams and departments with many levels to the hierarchy.
Elections and Voting Systems
In some collaborations, certain roles are elected by the whole collaboration. There are some different voting systems collaborations can use for this. Included below are examples of a few of them.
First Past The Post Also known as Winner Takes All and abbreviated FPTP. This is voting at its most simple. Essentially, the voters choose one candidate and the candidate with the most votes wins. It is quick, simple, and easy to organise. However, it allows a minority rule and causes a spoiler effect.
Alternative Voting Abbreviated to AV and also known as instant-runoff voting, this voting method is used to elect one candidate from many.
- Instead of voting in First Past The Post, voters do not just chose one candidate, but rather order them in preference.
- If one candidate has over 50% of votes cast, they win.
- If not, eliminate the candidate with the lowest number of votes.
- Take the votes from this candidate and redistribute them based on the order of preference on each individual vote cast. Repeat steps 2 - 4 until one candidate reaches 50%.
Alternative voting removes the spoiler effect and allows the candidate that the majority agree on to win. However, it is a more complicated process than FPTP.
Single Transferable Vote STV tries to achieve proportional voting and is used to elect multiple officials. Before the voting process, the number of elected officials must be decided to calculate the threshold. To work out the threshold, you can use different formulas:
Droop Quota: votes needed to win = (votes cast / (seats to fill + 1)) + 1
Simple: votes needed to win = (votes cast / seats to fill)
- Voters order candidates in preference.
- If candidates have exceeded the threshold, the surplus votes are redistributed.
- If candidates have reached the threshold, they win.
- Eliminate the candidate with the lowest number of votes and redistribute them.
- Repeat steps 2 - 4 until the correct number of seats have been filled.
Other Types of Collaborations
Not all collaborations are restricted to project creation — some groups decide to collaborate on other things, such as Scratch Modifications. Some collaborations try to give advice with Scratch, such as H4U (Help For You).
Band collaborations are collaborations that make music. Some band collaborations record their music separately before sharing it with the others to improvise and record their parts, and then putting it together into one song, a technique used by bands such as Frozen Coco and Probehæd. One band collaboration called The 10th Dimension uses an online music notation software to put together their songs which means their members do not have to record anything.
One thing a lot of band collaborations do is make colourful covers for their songs. Here are some examples:
Content ranges from articles about parts of Scratch, game reviews, and interviews with Scratchers. Often members of these types of collaborations will either write new articles or edit existing articles. The finished project will usually contain buttons allowing one to skip from one article to the next. Some examples of newspaper collaborations' projects are:
Some Scratchers may collaborate in making a studio that serves a specific purpose to the Scratch Community. Projects relating to the purpose of the studio will be added. Since studio collaborations have very specific intentions, curators of studio collaborations may be picked cautiously and sparsely.
This section lists a few of the most successful collaborations and gives an insight into how collaborations work:
Gray Bear Productions
Gray Bear Productions was founded by the users Forcemaster, Robin7, and Lanie in June 2008. As time went on, many more people joined. Although members were not assigned specific positions, they tended to find a type of task they enjoy most, such as art, music, or storyline, and develop that for each project the collaboration makes.
When deciding what projects to create, members all offered suggestions and then voted on which ones to use. With the new idea that was voted on, members got to work and create a long chain of remixes which built on each other to create a better project each time.
The latest project in its studio was made in October 2010 and the collab has been mysteriously inactive ever since.
Chrono Wars was a collaboration that aimed to make one full real-time strategy game.
The Chrono Wars collaboration was started in August 2010 by ScratchReallyROCKS. Initially, there was absolutely no idea of what the collaboration was going to make, and there was room for thirty participants to work in different groups. After much discussion, the game was decided to be a real-time strategy game with some unique features, and was named TimeCraft (this name was later changed to Chrono Wars). After weeks of small discussion, website problems, ideas and new participants, they finally decided to do the heavy work on the game in mid-2011, when they would all have more time to program.
Frozen Coco was the first Scratch band to successfully release a single, "My Voice to You" in August 2011, as a Scratch project. Its original lineup consisted of users technoguyx (bass, vocals), jslomba (drums), hpotter134 (guitar, vocals) and designer45 (lead vocals), the latter of which left the band shortly before the release of its first EP, with users ContinentalRain and DIY taking her role as vocalist, and the latter assuming as band manager as well.
The songs were usually written in a music notation software, or started out as a mockup recording produced by one of the members, with successive improvements and recordings of the members' parts being shared through the band's forum topic or privately in websites such as SoundCloud. Once the mixing reached its final state, a release date was agreed upon and after being uploaded, the single or album was advertised in the Scratch forums and other social media.
During its lifetime, the band released seven singles, an EP, and a full-length album. The group was working on their second studio album before splitting up in 2013 due to inactivity.
The Scratch Helper Mentoring Committee
The Scratch Helper Mentoring Committee is a collaboration which worked to help New Scratchers gain experience with Scratch. Mentors worked with the New Scratchers for one week to teach them all the aspects of the website and answer any questions they may have had. The program was founded by makethebrainhappy in September 2015 and more than 35 mentors have volunteered at some point, but it has been inactive as of late 2017.
What Other Kind of Collaborations are there?
There are many more, including the kinds of collaborations above. One of the most often collaborations are where two Scratchers agree to make a collaboration together, and make projects on any kind of topic. Another one can be an account where a certain group of curators in a studio agree to make an account, and make projects that have certain activities for that certain studio. There are more examples above.
Collab Camp 2011 and 2012
- Main article: Collab Camp
The Scratch Team released a remix of the Collab Challenge on August 1 of 2011, called the Collab Camp. Users had to work together to create interactive stories. It was successful the first year so they decided to do it again, but this time it was on February 12, 2012. Users had to create a music mashup.
I'd Like to Teach the World to Code
In May of 2015, the Scratch Team hosted a collaboration with anyone that was interested on Scratch. People could remix this project, record themselves singing the "I'd like to teach the world to code" song, written by Scratch Team member Mres, add their own characters, and submit a link to their project here. Many people participated in this collaboration, and it was featured in some news articles. The final project can be found here.