torsdag 20 september 2018

An intro to FazGame

With the TeacherGaming desk there comes a great bundle of games, and as I took the big package I have a lot of games to explore. During work hours = me like! One of the more interesting ones is the sandbox FazGame, where you create your own game. 

However, it demands the teacher to step out of his/her comfort zone and flip the learning. And also flip the mindset how you present the tasks to the students. There is also a lot of unintentionally learning going on - mainly 21st Century themes and math. But that's also skills that you need in the future work life even if you will work in health care. With this said, we're already on cross curriculum so maybe you can involve a colleague?

From the student's view
they login to the TeacherGaming webapp (or directly to FazGame).

This is the dashboard and there is mainly two buttons we're using as newbies. "My creations" and "Create your game!".

Upload own pictures
When pressing "My creations" I can manage my games but also add own images. So let us start there, as the background images in FazGame is a bit boring.

Please note that your image must be exactly 960x600 pixels. If you're a Windows user, you can easily change the resolution of a picture in Paint. Press "Resize", choose "pixels", take away the mark in "Maintain aspect ratio" and write your numbers, Horizontal 960 and Vertical 600.

Find your picture on your computer, write a description and upload the image with the button "Create Asset".

Once it's uploaded you also have to press the button "Create Scenario" in order to access your background in the game editor.

Here is actually where the teacher have to start explain the lesson and task, and it's also this part which is the flipped learning. In order to create a game, you need a game scenario. And if you want your game to be fun to play, you also need a story. What is happening in your game? When you put a question you have to have at least two different options to answer. You maybe need to do research first just to have your game story ready?

Create a game!


First you need to set the basic information. Don't worry, you can later change and edit this part.


This is a bit illogical, in order to save you have to close the window with the 'x'.

Now, welcome to your dashboard!

If you now want to edit your game information, you can press the gearwheel. For example you can change the opening screen - but note - you don't change the background from this window. You can also change your main character. Just press that little blue button.

To change the actual background you have to do it elsewhere. Press the 'x' in the upper right corner to save and you'll get back to the dashboard. Now instead, press the image button.

Next step is to add another character, a person I call a quest giver. A person your hero will interact with. Therefore we now press the button with a portrait.

When I have inserted another character (or object) I can flip it around when pressing the blue button in the upper right corner. I can also move my characters and object with "drag and drop" - simply hold your mouse over the character, press and hold down left mouse button, and drag it where you want it to be.

 And if I want to add an object I press the button with a box.

Code phase!
This is where you have to start create your "code", bring your game into actions. I call it "code" (or programming) as this phase has similarities to code thinking. This new dashboard is also empty, and if you choose a new scenario, that dashboard will also be empty.

First we have to add the interactions that will happens in the game. You have to start with a message dialog (else the game won't start).

Now you see that you have an icon on your dashboard. If you take your mouse over it, you'll see you light it up and also shows hidden features. 

Now "drag and drop" that message icon till the left side of your dashboard. Your workflow will go from left to right.

Now continue and add a conversation with Dialog message and Dialog question. The message is information about the quest and the question gives you two options (and you can add more if you want).

When you're ready arrange your icons like this

First we take care of the FALSE statement. If the player give a wrong answer, they first get feedback and after that, return to the question once again. So we add a Dialog message.

This new icon have to be connected with the others. simple click on the box with a "1" so you get the green button, drag that line to your new message icon. Take away the blue buckets in the lines (click at them) as this is not the right answer.

And now to the correct answer. A new Dialog message box is needed.

But in this case we keep the blue buck in the connection line.

After the player has given a correct answer we want him to earn an item. (If you want the player have a reward, it's the same thing but instead they got points). Click on "Earn item", choose an item (press on the blue button to change) and press OK.

My code!
And I have now connected all the icons with each other. My code looks like this, I have added descriptions so you can follow the flowchart.

First test + debug!
Now we'll run our game for the first time in order to see it's working as we want. There is to ways to start a game, both has the icon of a PLAY button (even though the names are different).

Quickly I see I have forgotten to change the quest giver's character. As it is now, my hero ask herself the question...

Fix the code!
So I have to change the quest giver to the right one. We stop the game by pressing the STOP button and head into "Actions edition".

Mouse over the first box that needs to be edited, then press the blue button next to the character, then pick another one and finally press OK. Repeat with the other boxes/icons.

New game test!
And now we see the character put the questions is the same as in the game.

To continue...
Well, now when you have ONE scenario ready you might want to continue with your game? From the game dashboard, press the "add scene" button!

And by default you get one of FazGame's own backgrounds and your main character centered in the scenario. If you want to change background you have to press the "Change Scenario" button, and once you change the scene name, you also change it in the bottom icons. Please also note your action dashboard is now empty as it's a new scenario where you still havn't added something to.

And in order to come to this new scenario in the first case, you have to choose the previous one, return to the action editing workplace and press the button "change scene". You have to choose what scene (or room) you're heading to next. 

And you're almost done! Now you have to connect the "reward" with the "change scene" icon.

And here's your final code!