As a third-year student at Trinity University (class of 2017), I enrolled in COMM 3344: Mobile Gaming. Instructed by Dr. Delwiche, Mobile Gaming has introduced me to the world of coding and opened my eyes to the intricacies and modes of digital creation. Through the Flash ActionScript 3.0 platform, I have created and published three major accomplishments during the fall semester: an original animation, a modified “hangman” style game and a “dungeon redux.” Descriptions of each of the projects can be found below:
Digital Animation: “The Lonely Boat”
Opening scene of original animation, “The Lonely Boat,” inside the working Flash document.
Based on personal adoration for Disney’s classic “Steamboat Willie” cartoons, the tale of “The Lonely Boat” is set within a maritime setting. The plot tells the story of one rowboat, who is separated from his friend during a storm, but eventually finds his way back home to happiness. “The Lonely Boat” showcases a variety of Flash techniques, such as: creating objects (i.e. the waves), scrolling backgrounds, nested timeline manipulation, motion tweens, self-writing script and sound effects. As my first project created with Flash, this animation took me roughly 10 hours to complete (though I did not keep a log of time spent working). The final product can be viewed here.
Modified Hangman: “The Sun & The Storm”
Continuing with an outdoors-themed semester, my next significant project was a Hangman-style game. The goal of the game was to keep the original logic and rules of “Hangman” but include a different type of punishment mechanism. Each time a player guesses the wrong letter within my game, the cloud grows; after 5 wrong guesses, a lightning bolt strikes the tree
Hangman-style game “The Sun & The Storm” victory page inside of Flash ActionScript 3.0.
and a giant cloud covers the sun. “The Sun & The Storm” is thus titled appropriately for practical purposes, but also follows a philosophical train of thought: I believe that behind every storm lies a sun, but the sun cannot shine all the time, without a few storms along the way. “The Sun & The Storm” is the result of my introduction to coding via ActionScript 3.0. After creating Flash animation elements (what is seen on the screen), I worked with the code and employed concepts — such as text manipulation, arrays, conditional logic, while loops, pattern matching, invisibility and visibility of game elements on screen, and sound effects — to make the game playable. After a week of in- and out-of-class work, I was able to complete “The Sun & The Storm,” although the online server has not yet let me upload the latest version of the game (with hints). The current version can be played online here.
Dungeon Redux: “Storm At Sea”
In combining creative elements from my animation and hangman game, my final project is titled, “Storm At Sea.” In this Dungeon Redux, a player becomes a small sailboat and must navigate through three levels to find the treasure chest. Encountering sharks that decrease health and blocks of seaweed that hide the key to the chest, a player can pick up her trident weapon in order to remove the sharks and sail safely through the stormy sea and collect her pirate’s loot.In approximately 12 hours (over the course of a week and a half), I created the creative elements — the waves, the health bar, sizing the sailboat and sharks, placing the clouds — and immersed myself in ActionScript 3.0 code. Techniques used include: conditional logic, while loops, swap levels, editing particular classes of symbols within the game function as a whole, arrays, creating player boundaries, keyboard events, collision block functions, and, of course, sound effects. Because the server presented significant difficulty in uploading the final product, it is not available online at this time.
Start page of original computer game, the “Storm at Sea,” in which players navigate through sharks and the water as a sailboat.
Learning and producing projects via Flash ActionScript 3.0 required high levels of hard work — I learned to create games through a language in which I had no previous experience. Throughout Fall 2015, I could feel myself absorbing the different elements as my comprehension of the material steadily increased. At the beginning of the semester, I had no idea I would eventually possess the ability to create such substantial works, and I am grateful for the opportunity to gain understanding in computer programming.