This fall semester I was enrolled in the class COMM 3344: Interactive Multimedia, Mobile Gaming at Trinity University. This course teaches a basic understanding of computational thinking, logic, and programming through the use of Adobe Flash and Adobe ActionScript 3.0. Over the semester I have produced a digital animation called “Gone Fishing,” a hangman game called “Welcome to Lot 48,” and a final dungeon style adventure game called “The Race for 2016.” Continue reading for more information about each project. Continue reading
Throughout the semester I made 3 products using Adobe Flash; a Flash Animation called Freddy the Fish, a hangman action script project inspired by Superman, and a trivia game testing your knowledge of the show Arrested Development.
Arrested Development: Trivia
The final game I made was the Arrested Development trivia game through action script. The game is based off of the TV show Arrested Development and has 10 questions testing the player’s knowledge. Each question has a famous and humorous quote from the show and and image of many of the characters. Four of the characters are circled and one of them is the person who says the quote. If you guess incorrectly you go to a failure screen where a humorous quote will be played and the player can restart the game. The same happens if nobody answers in 30 seconds. If you guess correctly that quote will play and if you guess all ten correctly you go to the victory page.
The [hang]Man of Steel: Hang Man
During the year I made a hangman project through Adobe Flash. As a personal fan of Superman and all things DC played mine off of the man of steel. The possible words that one could guess were all based off the character and the related themes around him (including characters). For example; Superman, Braniac, Krypto, Kryptonite, etc. Getting 4 wrong will turn the game into a failure (each wrong letter guess adds kryptonite until you loose)
Freddy the Fish goes Fishing: Flash Animation
The first project I made through flash animation follows a character of my own creation, Freddy the Fish. The flash animation follows Freddy the fish, traveling in a boat until he finds the right area. The thematic music of Popeye the Sailor Man plays in the background. Once the boat stops, Freddy pulls out a fishing rod and waits as he tries to hook something. Sammy Scuba then sees the hook and cautiously swims to it. He then grabs it, causing the line to tense up and alert Freddy. They battle for a good deal until Freddy finally wins.
From manipulating shapes, layers, and vector graphics, to coding keyboard controls and enemy AI, I feel that I have learned quite a lot about the intricacies of animation and videogame design in games class this semester. I also have a great deal more empathy for companies and designers whose games are plagued by bugs and errors, and feel slightly worse for complaining about these so much over the years. Here I want to briefly discuss each of my projects and provide links to the finished products.
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This is my animation, and thus every asset was created in flash. All of the animations are thought motion tweens, and the timelines stretch for quite the distance. The majority of the animation was constructed to match the musical choice, which is Leaving Earth from the Mass Effect 3 soundtrack. The story of the animation is a little vague, and is mostly controlled by the title. Ships warping in and firing massive lasers at unknown targets, a shuttle launching toward that direction, and a final reveal of a massive battle that is taking its toll of a planet. I will admit its short, and some parts are less detailed then others, but it was a good start for my first major animation.
This hangman game looks simple and bare, but as you miss letters things heat up, responses get intense and soon the screen gets red, and if you miss the final letter the screen locks down and the response box just screams at you, and then more screams come in from outside the window. Also a small bit of silver lining to this in the amount of responses that are given, namely the game is fairly forgiving. You have a lot of chances to guess letters, but inversely the words are hard to pronounce, or anger related. When you reset the game resets, but appears to remember you messed up, saying “don’t mess up… again”. Winning is its own reward, but due to requirements, and poor coding experience, a small title card will tell you “This was a Triumph”.
This game was a pain to create, and told me that code doesn’t care for your imagination, and code won’t care for your grande vision. To set the stage I was wishing to create a Space Invaders clone with differing enemies and boss targets that would destroy the whole formation when destroyed. But due to a lack of information on how to code this, and misguiding instructions, I was forced to adapt by game into an Air Raid style shooter. The enemies at least shoot back over the normal Air Raid, and shields are present to protect the player as on the higher difficulty settings the enemies get pretty thick. The player only has 3 hits in them till they lose; and as a small bit of narrative, if you die the boss I wanted to add comes down to gloat over your smoking hulk, as if all the enemies were clearing the way. You win by killing a preset amount of ships, which changes with difficulty, and winning signifies you lasted through the night’s attack, so the victory screen is a smoky day time scene. It should be noted that I create every asset by hand in Flash, and it suffers and benefits from this, but all in all looks okay for a bit of over imagination.
In the fall of my Junior year at Trinity University, 2015, I took a class titled ‘Mobile Gaming’, which I enrolled in because of my love for video games. At the beginning of the class I had very little experience with computer coding, and no experience at all with animation or Adobe’s Flash program. Throughout the semester we had three major projects involving animation and computer programming, with increasing difficulty. The first project was a short animation that we were to create using Flash. The second was to create an original ‘hangman’ game with a surprising twist on the normal death by hanging, and the third was an original video game of our own choosing, highlighting the coding and animation that we had learned throughout the semester.
Digital Animation: The Happy Apple
My animation project was inspired by my love for horses. It tells the story of an apple and worm who fall out of a tree and roll down a hill, only to be eaten by a horse. To create this animation, I used Flash, and techniques we have learned in class such as shape and motion tweening, rotation, and sound effects.
My animation can be found at: http://transmedia.trinity.edu/~swise/samantha-wise-animation.html
Hangman: The Final Frontier
I chose to base my hangman project off of Star Trek, with the theme stretching across the graphics, sounds, and words used in the game. The purpose of this project was to come up with a new punishment mechanic that was different from being hanged. I decided to have a Klingon ship chasing after the Enterprise, with the punishment being getting shot every time a wrong guess was made, and eventually exploding after too many wrong guesses. In order to create a working hangman game, there were some graphic design elements and small amounts of animation and sound effects, but the bulk of the project relied on computer programming consisting of conditional logic, while loops, and text manipulation.
My game can be found at: http://transmedia.trinity.edu/~swise/hangmanProject.html
Final Game: Rainbow Attack
For the final game, I decided to try something that we had not learned in class, but was able to teach myself with some help both in and out of class, which was shooting bullets out of the playable character. I based the game playing aspect of the game on an older game titled Robotron, which I had played as a child. In this game, the player controls the character, and has to clear the screen by shooting and avoiding the moving enemies on the screen. I tried to base my graphic design on the 1980s, using very bright neon colors and shapes. The character that serves as the player is Rainbow Bright, who is a very colorful cartoon character from the 1980s as well. The coding for this game consisted of conditional logic, collision detection, firing projectiles, and switching screens between levels using an array.
Overall, I am very happy with what I was able to accomplish throughout the semester, and proud of my final game, which we had been working towards since the first day of class. I had no idea how much I was capable of learning about computer coding, and would not have believed someone if they told me what I would be capable of by the end of the semester, at the very beginning.
My game can be found at: http://transmedia.trinity.edu/~swise/rainbow-attack/FinalGame.html
Digital Animation: “From Face to Flower”
My animation follows the story of a seed and his journey through adolescence. When water hits the seed he is suddenly aware of the change in his body as his eyes get wide and then turn rainbow. Shortly after, the seed is ripped apart from the inside out and a vine like plant starts to crawl its way to the surface of the soil. From the tragic death of a seed spawns the new life of a beautiful rainbow flower. This animated short demonstrates a range of Flash techniques including: multi-point shape tweens, motion tweens, scrolling backgrounds, and sound effects.
My animation, titled “From Face to Flower” can be found at the following link: http://transmedia.trinity.edu/~ahuffman/al-huffman-animation.html
Modified Hangman: “More Weight”
The goal for this project was to take the classic hangman game and implement a new punishment mechanic. Titled “More Weight” my game punishes a young girl accused of witchcraft by slowly pressing her to death with boulders. This game was inspired by real events that occurred during the Salem witch trials, when Giles Corey was accused of witchcraft and refused to plead guilty or not guilty. As was law at the time, Mr. Corey was subjected to being pressed by rocks and boulders placed on a board. After two days of being pressed, his final words and only response to those who asked him to plea were… “More weight.” I suppose this is not much more humane than the original game, however that was not the goal. Creating this game was my first time coding in ActionScript 3.0. Along with Flash animation I used many ActionScript techniques such as: conditional logic, event listeners, buttons, text manipulation, toggling visibility, and many while loops to loop through the numerous arrays used in this project.
My game, titled “More Weight” can be found at the following link: http://transmedia.trinity.edu/~ahuffman/pressmanGame.swf
Dungeon Redux: Kanye West
This game is a dungeon adventure game staring Kanye West and his family. You play as Kanye West carrying an 8- bit North West, his daughter through a dungeon with golden brick walls and black glitter floors. Lurking throughout the dungeon are various Kim Kardashian infused Boos from Mario. Kanye’s health bar is a cigarette which can be refilled if you collide with a cigarette pack. Also if you pick up the microphone(by stealing it from Taylor Swift), you enter less of a combat mode and more of an invincible mode as Kanye becomes insusceptible to the wiles of the Kardashian Boos. This game further extends the use of conditional logic, event listeners, buttons, text manipulation, toggling visibility, while loops and implements new techniques such as level swaps, keyboard events, collision block functions, sound effects, and continuous music.
As a student enrolled in COMM 3344: Mobile Gaming at Trinity University, taught by Dr. Aaron Delwiche, a range of gaming techniques and computer code was explored using the Flash ActionScript 3.0 platform. Throughout the semester, I have learned how to create a basic Flash animation, a modified hangman-inspired game and a “dungeon redux” game. Links to the animations and descriptions are further discussed in this post. Read on!