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How To Make A Game (ActivStudio 3)

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by MARK WEST 1/4/10

Mac Tip

"Right Clicking"

Sometimes you need to right click. On most computers it's easy, as they come with a two-button mouse. On Mac OS, you typically find a single-button mouse.

You can plug a two-button mouse in to a Mac and it will work. The reason is because two-button mice work on Unix and Mac OS is a Unix variant that uses parts from FreeBSD's and NetBSD's implementation of Unix.

You can also "right click" on a Mac with a single button mouse. To do so, you can do either of the following:

  1. Press and hold the Control button (it's sometimes labeled as CTRL) while clicking.
  2. (This one only works if you have a Mac with a touchpad - usually a laptop) place two fingers on the touchpad while clicking.

Creating A Game Template

Note: These instructions are for Activstudio 3 Professional.


Step One: Prepare ActivStudio

Please note that you really don't have to add these icons to your toolbox if you don't want to. I recommend adding them so that it's easier for you.

  1. Add new icons from your Tool Store to your Toolbox (if you don't already have them). From the Customize menu, choose "Tool Store..." and
    1. From the Edit Tools, choose the Properties icon (a notepad with a black checkmark inside of a blue circle).
    2. From the Presentation Tools, choose the Enable Actions icon (a triangle inside a round blue button).
  2. Show the page selector.
    1. From the View menu, choose "Show Page Selector"

Step Two: Create Your Initial Pages

Tip: making each of these with a different background will make them stand out better when you have to quickly look for a page. The page backgrounds below I made with the GNU Image Manipulation Program.

  1. The first flipchart page should be your game board page. This will ultimately be your game's main page.
    1. To make a picture background, click on the Insert menu, choose "Insert Background" and then choose "from File". For the game board page, I will use a blue background called Gameboard.png.
      1. From your toolbox, click on that Properties icon you added, under Appearance change the tile fit to "Stretch Fit".

      Title Your Game

    2. Since this example is tic-tac-toe, create text that says tic-tac-toe.
      1. I'll use Verdana, 48 point, bold and move the text to the upper left hand corner.

      Create the Game Board

    3. Create a square for the Tic Tac Toe board. Make 8 copies of it and arrange it 3 x 3
      1. From the Tools menu, click on "Other Pens" and then choose Square. Draw a square. Make copies by using the select tool (the arrow) Right Clicking it and choosing Edit and then Duplicate. Align the copies to be three squares wide by three tall. You may fill the square with a solid color if you like.
      2. Once you have all 9, if they are not where you want. Use the select tool to highlight all 9 and move the group to where you want it. I'm moving the board to the right, away from the title.
      3. Once you have all 9 in place (on the page where you want them), lock them.
        1. Using the select tool drag across all boxes to select them all
        2. Click on the properties box on your Tool Box. Choose Position and the place a check in the box next to locked.

      Create A Place For Question Links

    4. Create text that says Questions
      1. I'll use Verdana, 30 point, bold and move the text under the title of the game.
      2. Once you have the text in place (on the page where you want it), lock it.
        1. Using the select tool, click it to select it.
        2. Click on the properties box on your Tool Box. Choose Position and the place a check in the box next to locked.
    5. We can't make links to the other pages until we make the other pages, so we'll make them next.
  2. The second flipchart page (Insert -> Page -> New After Current) will be your first question page.
    1. To make a picture background, click on the Insert menu, choose "Insert Background" and then choose "from File". I will use a silvery background called overlay.jpg for questions.
      1. From your toolbox, click on that Properties icon you added, under Appearance change the tile fit to "Stretch Fit".

      Title Your Page

    2. Since this is Question 1, create text that says "Question 1"
      1. I'll use Verdana, 48 point, bold and move the text to the upper left hand corner.

      Type A Question

    3. Type in a question of your choice.
      1. type in something, such as "Thermidor and Newberg are recipes for which type of marine animal?"
      2. I'll use Verdana, 48 point (not bold).
    4. We'll place a link after we make our answer page.
  3. The third flipchart page (Insert -> Page -> New After Current) will be your first answer page.
    1. To make a picture background, click on the Insert menu, choose "Insert Background" and then choose "from File". I will use a golden background called overlay2.jpg for answers.
      1. From your toolbox, click on that Properties icon you added, under Appearance change the tile fit to "Stretch Fit".

      Title Your Page

    2. Since this is Answer 1, create text that says "Answer 1"
      1. I'll use Verdana, 48 point, bold and move the text to the upper left hand corner.

      Type An Answer

    3. Type in an answer of your choice.
      1. type in something, such as "Lobster. Lobster Thermidor and Lobster Newberg are popular recipes."
      2. I'll use Verdana, 48 point (not bold).

    Create A Question Link

  4. Using the page selector, go to the game board page (page 1). Create text that says "1"
    1. I'll use Verdana, 30 point, bold, underlined and blue (like a webpage hyperlink) and move the text under the word Questions.
      1. Using the select tool, click it to select it. Click on the properties box on your Tool Box.
      2. Choose "Actions" and then select "Page Actions". Change the drop down that says "Do Nothing" to "Go To Page". Click the "Set" button and choose page 2.
    2. Click the link and move forward to page 2 (your question). If it didn't work properly, recheck these steps.

    Create A Link From The Question Page to the Answer Page

  5. You should be on your question page. Create text that says "Go To Answer"
    1. I'll use Verdana, 36 point, bold, underlined and blue (like a webpage hyperlink) and move the text to the bottom of the flipchart page.
    2. Once you have the text in place (on the page where you want it), make it a link and then lock it.
      1. Using the select tool, click it to select it. Click on the properties box on your Tool Box.
      2. Choose "Actions" and then select "Page Actions". Change the drop down that says "Do Nothing" to "Go To Next Page".
      3. Choose Position and the place a check in the box next to locked.
    3. You should be able to click the link and move forward to page 3 (your answer).

    Create A Link From The Answer Page to the Game Board Page

  6. You should be on your answer page. Create text that says "Go Back To Game"
    1. I'll use Verdana, 36 point, bold, underlined and blue (like a webpage hyperlink) and move the text to the bottom of the flipchart page.
    2. Once you have the text in place (on the page where you want it), make it a link and then lock it.
      1. Using the select tool, click it to select it. Click on the properties box on your Tool Box.
      2. Choose "Actions" and then select "Page Actions". Change the drop down that says "Do Nothing" to "Go To First Page".
      3. Choose Position and the place a check in the box next to locked.
    3. You should be able to click the link and move to page 1 (your game board).

Step Three: Add More Pages Of Questions And Answers

    Adding A New Question

  1. Use the page selector to find a question page such as page 2. From the Edit menu, choose duplicate (or press command-D).
  2. Choose the new page in the page selector
  3. Update the question number (such as "Question 2").
  4. Change the question to something else, such as "How much?".
  5. Adding A New Answer

  6. Use the page selector to find an answer page such as page 3. From the Edit menu, choose duplicate (or press command-D).
  7. Choose the new page in the page selector
  8. Update the answer number (such as "Answer 2").
  9. Change the answer to something else, such as "A Lot.".
  10. Link To The Question From The Game Board Page (Page 1)

  11. Use the page selector to go to page 1.
  12. Click the enable actions button on your toolbox. This will disable the hyperlinks from working.
  13. Find a link to a question page (such as the "1" you made earlier). Click it and duplicate it
    1. From the Edit menu, choose duplicate (or press command-D).
  14. Move the link to where you want it.
  15. Change the link text (such as from "1" to "2").
  16. Change the link.
    1. Using the select tool, click it to select it. Click on the properties box on your Tool Box.
    2. Choose "Actions" and then select "Page Actions". Click the "Set" button and choose the correct page (multiply the question number by 2, so question 2 is on page 4).
  17. Click the enable actions button on your toolbox. This will enable the hyperlinks.
  18. Click the link and make sure it links to the question page. The question page should automatically have a link that will send you to the answer page when clicked. The answer page's link should send you back to the game board page.
  19. Repeat the process listed under the headings "Adding A New Question", "Adding A New Answer" and "Link To The Question From The Game Board Page (Page 1)" until you have all the questions you need.


  20. When you have added all the links to the questions, I suggest you lock them into place.
    1. Using the select tool, drag it over the group of question links (1 to whatever). Click on the properties box on your Tool Box.
    2. Choose Position and the place a check in the box next to locked.

Here is an example which you may download by clicking on the link.

References

Burleson, W., & Picard, R. (2004). Affective agents: Sustaining motivation to learn through failure and a state of “Stuck.” Proceedings of Workshop of Social and Emotional Intelligence in Learning Environments, in conjunction with the 7th International Conference on Intelligent Tutoring Systems Maceio, Alagoas, Brazil.

Chang, Y.K., Plass, J.L., & Homer, B.D. (2008). Development and validation of a behavioral measure of metacognitive processes (BMMP). Featured Research presentation at the annual convention of the Association for Educational Communication and Technology (AECT) in October, 2008 in Orlando, FL.

Domagk, S., Schwartz, R., & Plass, J.L. (in press). Defining interactivity in multimedia learning. Computers in Human Behavior.

Leutner, D., & Plass, J.L. (1998). Measuring learning styles with questionnaires versus direct observation of preferential choice behavior in authentic learning situations: The Visualizer/ Verbalizer Behavior Observation Scale (VV–BOS). Computers in Human Behavior, 14, 543–557.

Mandryk, R.L. (2008). Physiological measures for game evaluation. In K. Isbister & N. Shaffer (Eds.) Game usability: Advice from the experts for advancing the player experience. San Fransico: Morgan Kaufmann.

Plass, J.L., Perlin, K., & Nordlinger, J. (2010). The Games for Learning Institute: Research on design patterns for effective educational games. Paper accepted for presentation at the Game Developers Conference, San Francisco, March 9-13, 2010.


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