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.
Digital Animation: Gone Fishing
This animation project was outside anything I had ever done before. Although we’ve been using Flash CC this whole semester, I did not feel experienced with the software in any regard. But as much as this made me nervous to create something brand new, it also excited me that I had complete creative control to make something totally new. I created the graphics by layering multiple creative commons vector graphics and creating my own vector graphics. The story follows an unsuspecting orange fish as it swims through a normal day. Suddenly he is surrounded by fleeing fish and approached by a giant shark. The tables are quickly turned though when the fish is able to hide out and then sneak up behind the shark. It is set to the recognizable sound of “Sing, Sing, Sing” by Benny Goodman that creates a playful and suspenseful atmosphere; it is also very traditional for animations to use classic instrumental songs as a backdrop. This animation utilizes motion and shape tweens as well as multiple scenes, sound effects throughout and a seamless scrolling background.
Hangman mechanic: Welcome to Lot 48!
My second major project for this class was a Parks and Recreation themed hangman game. The goal of this assignment was to utilize the classic hangman death mechanic and implement it in a new environment. I chose to apply it to the world of the popular television show Parks and Recreation. The words and phrases are all related to the show, various characters, or events that are significant to the town of Pawnee, Indiana. This project was a major step in my understanding of ActionScript 3.0. My biggest challenge was by far learning how to count spaces in phrases. As my keyboard does not include a space bar the user would never be able to win as the spaces are counted in the length of the word. After I completed that I focused my time on redefining my visual aspects to create an office like environment. Finally, the sound effects are a huge portion of this game. As the show is one of the most quotable shows it was important to me to include these iconic moments in the experience of playing the game.
Dungeon Redux: The Race for 2016
My final project was a culmination of all that I learned this semester in a dungeon-like game called “The Race for 2016.” In this game the user plays as Hillary Clinton in an epic race through space and time to defeat the other presidential hopefuls. The game has Hillary battle Ted Cruz, Bernie Sanders, Ben Carson, and in the final battle royal Donald Trump. This game was a fun way to bring together my love and interest in UI/UX design and programming to create an enjoyable, user centered game. I felt this project was a wonderful way to test and push myself to continuously create a better game. By walking through not only as a creator but also as I player I was able to create a player centric game that has the most fun and functionality for users. This final project used techniques such as motion and shape tweens to create the parallax scrolling background, sound effects, story techniques, and a timer to keep the game exciting throughout.
Overall this semester gave me insight into the world of Flash animation as well as exposed me to new types of coding and game creation. Viewing the programming process and learning styles from both a computer science background and a communication background have been fascinating and exciting. I look forward to further building my experience in UI/UX design and practicing the skills I have honed over the course of the semester.