Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Multi-media Design I

The return of this course is welcome to the Digital Information Design program. It has been two years since we have run this class and should see a new approach to the design and development of sequential media for the web. This marks the first entry to the blog for the class.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Games in flash

This worked better than expected and my hat goes off to my students and their willingness to stick to the objectives set in the class. After the Symphony project we embarked on simple games in flash. I had delivered a very basic shooter game to demonstrate hitTestObject and hitTestPoint in flash as well as the Point class to distinguish multiple points on an object to detect collision. With this as a starting point for the development of the code and the keyboard input they had learned from the symphony project they had the basis for any number of games. The project called for extensive descriptions of the story, motivation of the 'player' and the environments, and characters in the game. This also followed some discussion of the nature of 'Flow' (Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi) and how games can induce this state of mind. The results for a majority of the class were significant. They will be on display in April in the Lewindowsky Gallery at Winthrop University.

As a final note concerning the class I have come to the conclusion that the demonstration model that I have been following works well if only the principles are explained and the start of the code format has been established. If students are forced to finish and offer suggestion about how to complete the exercise they seem to pick up the general concepts of coding if not the syntax. This is critical in that the concern for typing it in correctly falls away. I ask for the general concept of completing the code, what the benefits for doing it that way are, or how can it be more efficient, or if that falls into best practices. This all hinges on the fact that I know more than one way to skin that cat and can guide them to a successful solution. I typically have my method and a predetermined solution but often that is not how students think about the order of coding and yet still offer innovative ways of getting at the same thing done. This is an enlightening way to teach because (as many of us have experienced) I have learned a great deal from my students.