Archive for Kylie Gammans

Further ideas for development

There would be more levels; each dropping down different categories of healthy food in order to educate the child into what is needed for a healthy balanced diet. I only completed the first level a day before it was due, therefore I did not have enough time to create more. Levels would be harder than the previous one as foods would drop at quicker speeds and the score needed would increase to move up a level.  

Lives and a health bar could be added to the levels. Every time the lunchbox was to catch an unhealthy food, the health bar would decrease, when this has disappeared they would loose a life and the level would start again. To further this, a countdown could be added to complete this game in a specific time. If all the lives were lost or the countdown was to run out, it would take them to a game over screen. These aspects would make the game more fun and challenging for the child. 

If there were more levels, I would make the well done screen at the end of the game more educational by showing them what healthy foods they collected; it would also inform them what is needed in a packed lunch for a healthy balanced diet.  

Interactivity could be furthered by adding sound and including a volume controller. As well as this, a high score board could be added for the competitive side of this game.

The prototype as it stands has both the play again and exit buttons going to frame 2. If I was to have a game over screen this is where the exit button would take the user. As well as this, the game is simple with one level so no real need for a play and pause button, if more levels were added these would be needed.  

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Experiences and skills that make me employable

I set myself a challenge which I knew would test my abilities in Flash in order to make me more employable. The game I produced has done just this as I have improved on previous skills and also gained more, I have also enhanced on my creativity skills.  

I have taken a lot of consideration into the design of this game to make it look professional and appealing to children. I produced all of my images in Photoshop and then imported them into Flash, some are royalty free clip art images from the internet and some designed from scratch. I have added specific designs which show my flair and that my creativeness has improved such as lunchboxes, a border, rainbow and an interesting style in text. See the link below for an example of the design: 

http://i228.photobucket.com/albums/ee91/kylie_g27/mainscreencopy.jpg  

I have achieved to improve on the main technical objectives I proposed to do. In this game I have successfully been able to understand how to assign random x and y co-ordinates to movie clips, to further this I have understood how to do this in one function which relates to all the separate movie clips when they are each called upon. A function saves me writing up the same code for each separate movie clip. As well as this I have applied a number of hit tests to the game and a scoring system. The above elements took me a long time to grasp hold of but I feel I have had a great experience through understanding more into ActionScript. I have logged the processes that I went through to complete this game; this is only available in a word format.

I aimed to add many more elements to this game in the time given but as time went on I realised this was not possible. These aims can be seen in this Gantt chart: 

http://i228.photobucket.com/albums/ee91/kylie_g27/GanttChart.jpg  

I then set myself objectives that could be achieved. I have learnt from this mistake that I need to plan correctly, set reasonable aims and manage my time appropriately.

Testing, Usability and Accessiblity

It is now only a few days away from the deadline and I am still overcoming problems in producing my game, therefore I do not yet have a full working prototype. For that reason I have been unable to test this game to the target audience as it would be inappropriate to do so.

If I was to have a full working prototype, I would test the game to 10 children and ask them a series of questions. As I could not do this, I asked these to myself and looked at the game from a child’s perspective as I have been throughout. The questions would be as follows:

·        Did you find it easy to understand what you were meant to do in this game and was it easy play?

The game is informative through its instructions and easy to play as I have made it clear what the child should press on by making rollovers by either enlarging something or changing the colour. I only included key press options to start with but after thinking about this I thought it would be useful for me to add buttons, I did this to provide more options for the child.

·        Were you happy with the selection of lunchboxes you could choose from?

Out of the three lunchboxes I designed, I think at least one would appeal to a child as I created one stereotypically for girls, one for boys and one that I felt could appeal to both.

 ·        Was this game fun to play and did you like the design?

There are elements I would have liked to add if I had the time which I will explain later.

·        Did you understand what this game was trying to educate to you?

I think this is quite clear, however if I had more time I would have improved on this which I will again explain later.

I included aspects to make this game available to those children who have a disability, they are:

·        Keyboard access

·        Adding accessibility tags to the images and movie clips.

·        Designing the game carefully by being colour wise and including the text Maiandra GD which is not difficult to read.

More detail of what i need to complete for my project

I aim to stick to my Gannt chart in order to complete my project within the givin time. However i am going to list below in more deatail what needs to be done to my project:

  • Design more images of healthy and unhealthy foods so that i can start to make more of them fall randomly from the top of the screen along the x axis, then drop them down along the y axis.
  • Work out how to make the food disappear when it hits the bottom of the screen or lunchbox by using collision detecting.
  • Once i have figured the above section out i can add a scoring system so that everytime the healthy foods falls into the lunchbox, it will incease the users score by 5 and everytime the unhealthy foods falls into the lunchbox their score will detuct by 5, however the score will go no lower than 0.
  • I will neeed to make an introduction screen and also a final screen. I am however leaving these till the end as the above points are more important for me to complete at the moment. They will allow me to understand how i put one level of the game together which will then help me when making more levels.
  • As well as this, through the project i wish to try and make my design of the game look more professional.
  • If i have enough time nearer to the end of the project i aim to put a better background on each of the levels, and also maybe include some sound and a volume controller; which would hopefully have a slider so the user can decide how loud they want the sound to be.

Standing on the shoulders of Giants and Plagiarism

The link below is a tutorial on how to create falling snow in Flash by using ActionScript (there is no need for tweening each snowflake) Each flake will be scaled to its speed. They have also added randomization so flakes don’t fall in same direction. I could use this tutorial and interpret the ideas and principles behind it to incorporate it into my own game, for instance when the healthy and unhealthy foods will drop from the top of the screen. 

http://www.tutorialized.com/view/tutorial/Let-Is-Snow-in-Flash-MX/10617 

There is information on this tutorial on how to create the snowflake, however I am going to look at the code and interpret the way they have used this. The code is shown below: 

width = 550;
height = 400;
total = 200;
for (var t = 0; t != total; t++) {
   var mc = _root.attachMovie(“snowflake”, “snowflake”+t, _root.getNextHighestDepth());
   mc._x = (Math.random()*(width+20))-10;
   mc._y = (Math.random()*(height+20))-10;
   mc.yspeed = (Math.random()*1.75)+0.25;
   mc.speed = (Math.random()*3)+2;
   mc._xscale = mc._yscale=(mc.speed+mc.yspeed)*10;
   mc.onEnterFrame = function() {
      var angle = Math.atan2(_root._xmouse-(width/2), _root._ymouse)+1.5707963267949;
      this._y += Math.sin(angle)*this.speed+this.yspeed;
      this._x += Math.cos(angle)*this.speed;
      if (this._x>width+10) {
         this._x = -10;
      } else if (this._x<0-10) {
         this._x = width+10;
      }
      if (this._y>height+10) {
         this._y = -10;
      } else if (this._y<0-10) {
         this._y = height+10;
      }
   };
}
 

When using this code I would have to remember to change the height, width and variables accordingly to my game.  The total part means the total number of snowflakes that will appear.

Attach movie is adding in the movie of what you will create before the code and then it is putting in the depth of the code.

The random code is where the randomization of where the snowflake appears, here you will place the movie clip onto a random point on the stage and the code will pick any number between 0 and 1. The X (vertical) and Y (horizontal) speed variables control the speed which the movie clip travels.

The onEnterFrame code moves the snowflake. This calculates the angle of the mouse.  The movie clip moves along the y axis and along the x axis through multiplying angle of mouse and speed together.  There are a number of different tutorials I will look at which teach how to learn how to create falling snow in Flash. These tutorials are shown on the links below: 

http://www.kirupa.com/developer/mx/snow.htm 

http://www.sitepoint.com/article/script-falling-snow-effect 

I will look at these to understand how they use code in their tutorials. 

When using information that others have used to aid me towards my project I need to be careful with the plagiarism issue. I will have to deconstruct the code so that I understand what it does and incorporate it into the principles I use to make my game. I cannot just pass somebody’s work as my own and I will have to correctly reference all work that I have used when I hand in my assignment.

Project Management

By completing a number of project management tasks I am able to see that the game in Flash that I am hoping to complete as a prototype is able to be a successful project.  

Below are my SMART objectives: 

Specific  

My game is aimed at a particular target audience which is children. Therefore I aim to make my game entertaining and fun to play which would keep children focused and at the same time it will also educate them. I will also make the game easy to understand and have a rather simplistic yet colourful design to not confuse the children. 

 I have a specific order that I want my game to be played, so I will follow my guidelines for this when creating it. This can be seen in the blog named Developed proposal for my project; under the section aim of the game.  

I have a specific number of skills that I want to improve on in Flash which can be found in the same blog I mentioned above but under the Technical objectives section. Therefore I will be trying to show that my skills have improved through my prototype. 

Measurable

I have produced a Gantt chart which can be found on the link below: http://i228.photobucket.com/albums/ee91/kylie_g27/GanttChart.jpg  This shows that my project is measurable, however I might not be able to complete all the activities shown due to the short amount of time I have, however I will be trying my best to stick to this time table. If I complete these activities in a quicker amount of time I aim to add two more levels. 

Achievable

As I already have produced two games in Flash prior to this project, I know that I can physically complete this project. However as I am trying to improve on my skills I will need to use some guidance as to how certain elements will be completed, for this I can use a number of Flash Tutorials which can be found on the internet.

Realistic  

My project is realistic as I feel that if I created this game to be an activity that children could take part with in schools, then they would be educated about healthy eating in packed lunches through an interactive and fun game. 

Time

See above the Gantt chart I have produced to show that I have produced myself a time table to try and stick to in order to create a successful prototype. If I manage my time successfully I feel that I could hopefully do this.  

Developed proposal for my project

Introduction

      I propose to design and produce a game in Flash which promotes healthy eating and balance diets to younger children as obesity in young children is a worrying subject in society and I want to highlight this issue. Jamie Oliver is a professional chef who campaigns against junk food in schools; his campaign is called School Dinners and has been very successful, making them healthier across the UK. Click on the link below for more information into this subject:

        www.jamieoliver.com/schooldinners                                                          

      Whilst researching on the internet for ideas to make a game based on healthy eating, I came across an interesting article about how packed lunches are falling behind on school dinners as the nutritional gap widens; this aided me to focus on making my game based on healthy packed lunches. Visit the link below to view this article:

        www.schoolfoodtrust.org.uk/news_item.asp?newsCatId=2&NewsId=92

Target audience

This game is aimed at young children. I believe young children will be more engaging into this subject via a game as it will be fun, interactive and challenging and will keep hold of their attention, encouraging them to eat healthy. I also aim to make my game available to those children who have a disability; by making objects accessible, including keyboard access and by being colour wise when designing the game

The aim of the Game

Users will have a variety of lunchboxes to choose from; this option makes the game more interactive. The selected lunchbox will then appear at the bottom of the screen where they will have to move the lunchbox side to side. A mixture of healthy and unhealthy foods will drop from the top of the screen; the user will have to catch the healthy foods into their lunchbox which will increase their score and avoid the unhealthy foods as this will decrease their score. There will be different levels to this game; users will only be able to move up a level if a certain score is made. Every time users move up a level, the amount of points they need to get will increase, as well as this the speed that the food drops will also increase. Therefore this game is as a challenge for the child so their attention will hopefully stay more focused when taking part.

Each level will drop down different categories of healthy food to educate the child so that when the child has completed the game, they will see what healthy foods they have collected and what needs to be included in order for them to have a balanced healthy diet. To understand fully into how many different screens I want this game to include and what order the game will be played in refer to the written document of this proposal to see appendix one for a storyboard. As well as this, to see what one of the main screens of the game will roughly look like you will also have to refer to the written document to see appendix two for a mock up.

A suitable market

I believe this game could be used at schools as they could get the children to learn about healthy eating and as an added activity they could try to complete this game. If this game was to be used in schools, I feel that it would start to solve the problem of unhealthy packed lunches.

Existing games

‘Snack Dash’ makes users guide a character through a school to collect healthy foods and avoid the junk food. This game is about speed as users try to get through to the leader board. This game is similar to mine as it is a challenge for the child to complete the game; however mine also educates the child about healthy eating in packed lunches. To view this game click on the link below: 

www.schoolfoodtrust.org.uk/game.asp

        

‘A healthy lunchbox’ makes users drag food that they think is healthy onto a chopping board and at the end they see how successful they are. Although this game is promoting healthy packed lunches, my game aims to be more fun in order to entertain and educate the children. To view this game, click on the link below:

www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/flash/a_healthy_lunchbox_intro.swf 

Technical Objectives

I aim to show improvement in Flash by looking into different ways that the foods can drop from the top of the screen by researching into different types of movement such as random movement. I will also be understanding collision detecting as I will be using this for when the food will drop into the lunchbox or when it hits the bottom of the screen so it can disappear. As well as this I want to add a complex scoring system which is based on variables and I also want to include different levels. I aim to enhance on both my audio skills as I will try to add a volume controller and my animations as I hope to make them smoother. These different elements will hopefully improve my understanding into action script and make me more confident in Flash. Furthermore I aim to improve on my design skills to make this game look more professional.

Conclusion

I feel that if I manage my time successfully and research fully into trying to improve my Flash skills into the different areas I have mentioned above, I should produce a very successful project based on my aims. By making this game interactive, fun and challenging, children would be more likely to engage in this educational subject. Therefore I feel that if this game was to be used in schools it would be very successful in promoting healthy packed lunches.   

Proposal for my project

I propose to design and produce a game in Flash which promotes healthy eating to younger children, I have decided to create a game around this subject as there have been a number of issues in society that have arisen lately around obesity in young children, and eating healthy nutritional foods is key to a healthy balanced lifestyle. I came across an interesting article online about how packed lunches are falling behind on school dinners as the nutritional gap widens, this aided me to focus on making my game based on healthy packed lunches. This article can be found on the link below: www.schoolfoodtrust.org.uk/news_item.asp?newsCatId=2&NewsId=92 

  • The aim of the Game-Users will have a variety of lunchboxes to choose from, the lunchbox will then appear at the bottom of the screen where they will have to move the lunchbox side to side. A mixture of healthy and unhealthy foods and drinks will drop from the top of the screen; the user will have to catch the healthy foods which will increase their score and they also need to avoid the unhealthy foods going into their lunchbox as this will decrease their score. There will be different levels to this game (each getting harder) and each level will have different types of healthy foods so that at the end of the game a screen can show you that you have a balanced healthy diet in your lunchbox.

  • Target audience-This game is aimed at young children. I think that a game will hopefully raise awareness to children and encourage them to eat healthy. I feel that young children will be more engaging into this subject via a game as it will be fun and interactive and will keep hold of their attention.

  • Who it could be made for-I think that this game could be used at schools as they could get the children to learn about healthy eating and as an added activity they could try to complete this game. 

  • Technical Objectives-I aim to show improvement in Flash by improving in animations by making them smoother; this will make the game feel more natural. I will also be looking into different ways that the foods can drop from the top of the screen by researching into different types of movement such as random movement. I aim to enhance on my audio skills as I will try to add a volume controller. As well as this I want to add a scoring system and different levels which I have not done in Flash before. All of these elements will hopefully improve my understanding in actionscript. I hope to make this game very interactive and engaging. Furthermore I aim to improve on my design skills to make this game look more professional.

A tutorial in changing rotation due to where the mouse is

Firstly open up a flash document and make a barrel-Draw a big circle and a smaller circle within this and then a Diagonal line coming out from this smaller circle. Select this whole drawing and convert it into a movie clip and give it an instance name.

Now make a tank that this barrel will go on top of-Simply draw a rectangle and convert it into a graphic and give it an instance name. If this rectangle hides the barrel, click modify and send to back.

Now go back to the movie clip and in the actions panel enter this code:

onclipEvent (enterFrame)  {                                                                                                radians = Math.atan2(_root._ymouse-this._y, _root._xmouse-this._x);                degrees = (radians/Math.PI)*180;                                                                      this.rotation = degrees;                                                                  }                                                         

This code will make the diagonal line follow the mouse. I will now discuss what parts of the code do:

  • radians = Math.atan2(_root._ymouse-this._y, _root._xmouse-this._x);   

The above code equates the angle between the mouse and the barrel measured in radians. We subtract the y and x co-ordinate of the mouse from the y and x co-ordinate of the barrel. The atan2 part requires differences between two co-ordinates to evaluate the angle in radians. To view a picture on how this works and to understand more into radians and degrees, visit the link below:

             http://www.tutorialized.com/view/tutorial/Rotation-using-atan2/24772

  • degrees = (radians/Math.PI)*180;  

The above code converts radians into degrees. It easily evaluates the angle measured in degrees.

  • this.rotation = degrees;

Finally this part of the code sets the rotation of the barrel. It does this by assigning rotation property of the barrel to the variable of degrees.

If you now want to learn how to shoot out of the barrel by clicking the mouse as well as rotating it, visit the link below:

http://www.tutorialized.com/tutorial/The-Tank-Part-2-Rotating-and-Shooting-the-Cannon/11467

An Introduction into advanced Flash in games

  

  • 3D in flash-This can make objects and movements look and seem more real, which will make a flash project looked more advanced. This concept could be used throughout creating a game in flash. A website which includes tutorials that are useful to look at in understanding this concept more are:

www.kirupa.com/developer/actionscript/3dindex.htmwww.sebleedelisle.com

  • Rotation in Flash-This can make projects look more complex, it can be used in objects, movements and texts. It is useful in game development. For example on the website below, it shows rotation around a common centre where the aim of the game could be to get out of the centre:

http://www.kirupa.com/developer/actionscript/rotation_center.htm An example of 3D and rotation incorporated together is shown below:http://www.petitpub.com/labs/media/flash/3dcube /

  • Collision detecting and hit testing-This is useful in creating games as you can make a barrier (for example a participant in a game has to answer a question correctly before they are allowed through a barrier), or if one can go into a certain area there can still be collision detecting as something could change colour, for example see the website:

http://www.spoono.com/flash/tutorials/tutorial.php?id=18

  • Shooting objects-This is useful in games if you need to get past obstacles that are in your way, an example of this is:

http://www.flashperfection.com/tutorials/Shooting-Objects-in-Flash-Games-65361.html  

  • Scoring-Keeping track of scores is useful in games to show a user how they are doing, an example of how to do this is shown on the link below:

http://www.flashperfection.com/tutorials/Games-Keeping-Score-Flash-MX–07269.html

  • Random Movement-This can be useful in making games, as random movement may be used to appear on screens to be a distraction in completing a game. An example of how to do random movement is on:

http://www.kirupa.com/developer/actionscript/random_motion.htm

  • 360 views-This is a very complex way of using movement in a game to see the view points you can move around in. An example in how to make a 360 view is shown in the tutorial below:

http://www.tu-world.com/flash/flash_tutorial_06.php

As well as the tutorials above, there are a number of various other websites which provide useful tutorials and forums into making certain elements in flash games, they are: 

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