Monday, May 19, 2008

Library Video Game

I spent a large part of the weekend working on my Flash ActionScript programming to make an educational video game for our English composition course (the basic research paper). It's nowhere close to being finished, but you can get through it all the way.
Last week, I looked up Camtasia's ability to create interactive components to tutorials. I was able to get Flash last year and learned the basics back then, though drew the line at programming anything more complicated than a button. I believe I could have done this with much less of a learning curve with Camtasia or the other one they're always talking about on listservs, including multiple choice quizzes at the end. And they probably would have been able to print at the end how many the student got right. The idea of having wasted time learning Flash upset me, though getting the software might have been more difficult than getting Flash (it turned out the college had an extra, unused license at the time).
Anyway, I guess that helped me find a bit more motivation to learn some basic programming to

move beyond what Camtasia could do (it's the stubborn Irish blood coming out in me). You can actually do quite a lot with just Beginning Game Programming for Dummies and some good problem-solving skills. I can now tally up how many right answers a student gets for text-input, multiple-choice, and drag & drop questions. I can make a little guy move and send him to new screens when he runs into a particular area. I can make the buttons move around the page and move to the next screen only when they have clicked on all of the right buttons... okay, so that might not sound like all that much, but you can do a lot with it.
I'm hoping some of my colleagues and fellow librarian friends can help me come up with some other activities to make this more fun and varied. Please send me any ideas you have!

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