Day 3 has proven to be a bit more fruitful, especially considering yesterday’s performance.
One of today’s accomplishments (while not thoroughly exciting) was exploring utilizing “live collaboration” with documents in Blackboard. If you are not familiar with live collaboration, in essence it is the ability to edit a document (typically in cloud storage) by multiple users in real-time. Typical examples include users at different locations creating & editing a report or research paper, working with a committee on policies & procedures, or brainstorming ideas for the next office party. While there are a number of applications capable of performing live collaboration, in the case we will using Google Drive and its word processing application Docs.
Blackboard, which is our learning management system, has the ability to embed media with courses for instructors to share with their students. While I have created examples of many different types of media within Blackboard, this was the first time I had ever been asked about embedding a live collaboration document within a course shell. I of course was optimistic about the outcome but was not assured of its success. Long story short, I found I could embed a document with their embed coding but could not collaborate with other users. It was essentially a static document which as the author I could update (but required refreshing the browser and a bit of time for changes to become visible in the course shell). So we tried another method of sharing the document to multiple users and creating an external link in the course shell. After we figured out what access permissions were needed by the instructor for their students, the end solution appeared to work ok (even though we were still unable to embed the document from within a content item in Blackboard).
Today’s other contributions came during this evening’s Intro to Video Game Design class. It’s still early in the semester so we are still learning the basics and getting things prepared for the planning process when it comes to our final Video Game Design Project Challenge (which I will talk about more later). One of the first hurdles from the design team I am on (which includes my wife) was the creation of our team name. We managed to put together a myriad of potential names for our team (or game company depending on how you look at it). Went back and forth on a few. Almost went with the name Snicklefritz (which I’m sure would give my mother a chuckle if she manages to read this) but ultimately decided to go with our last suggestion. SO, ladies and gentleman, I bring you: Eclipse Studios. During the end of the day before class, I managed to throw together a logo. Not quite sure it’s ready for prime-time yet or ready to let the cat out of the bag so-to-speak just yet. Nevertheless, I think turned out pretty well considering how much time I put into it.
Tonight, we got to spend some more time working on our GameSalad game in class. It’s a simple shooter game but it’s been a good experience learning the UI (user interface) and getting a refresher on designing games from scratch. Our first class, we got to create a scrolling starfield and moving asteroids. Tonight, we got to work with the player icon (i.e. fighter). We coded how to move left/right, how to spawn missiles from the fighter, worked with collision detection and removing sprites during gameplay, and creating / manipulating a health bar for the player. Quite fun.