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Messages - TomEllard

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Ask a Question / Loading external images.
« on: January 12, 2012, 01:14:00 am »
Let's say you have some still photographs that you'd like to show in a game or interactive show running in Flash player (not Mobile). You'd like to show them one at a time at a reasonable size. You could make them backgrounds, but that will pump up the size of the swf considerably so that it'll take a while to start up. In Mobile mode I can see Atlases as addressing this kind of problem.

In Flash you could load them as external files. There's a tutorial in AS3 here:

Which makes sense but I can't figure out how that lines up with Stencyl. Is there a way to load backgrounds on the fly?
Anyone have a suggestion here?

Chit-Chat / Re: The Unofficial Stencylworks Textbook
« on: January 11, 2012, 11:50:39 pm »
I'm an educator and I bought your Game Salad book. It was useful when I was sorting out class work (don't worry - no cribbing involved!) but it wasn't quite ready to be a text book. Your style is conversational which is great for encouraging people to give it a go. But the conversational style is a pest when people want to get to the heart of a problem.

In the section about formatting text for example you used a few pages of 'could do this' 'could do that' before getting to the actual best practice for doing the task. That seemed to document your own investigation (which is interesting but not quite what is needed) when my guys just want to reference the procedure and grasp the ideas behind it.

In the class I run we start by building the simplest little thing, and then iterate it slowly up to a decent level which then demonstrates a design principle (e.g. triangulation). The GameMaker text books are pretty good examples.

It's a lot easier to do this face to face so I appreciate your working on the books. Will buy etc.

Ask a Question / Re: Network Installation
« on: January 11, 2012, 11:01:43 pm »
I'm getting ready to try this on a Mac OSX network.
We build a "Standard Operating Environment" on one machine and then the default image gets duplicated to all other SOE machines. The student's home directory is on the network. As they log in, scripts set up links for all evil software to work transparently.

When Stencyl is installed it unpacks into a sub folder of Applications as far as I can tell - which would be imaged before first run. Then the student can use Preferences > Workspace Folder to move their assets to their network home or a portable drive. Is that right? Is Stencyl going to need to write to any other managed parts of the System?

My support guys are excellent at getting horrors to work over a network (Pro Tools!!!) but I want to make their job easier.  :)

Back on topic...

I've tested that way of copying behaviors.

It DOES work for something with a block diagram, but seems not work if the behavior is in code, e.g. the Video Actor behavior. The "Opening..." message does not complete.

What is the best way to transfer in this case? Perhaps as text?


News / Re: Are you an educator?
« on: January 10, 2012, 10:16:08 pm »
I'm teaching game design at a tertiary level as an aside to digital media production. Obviously we've more advanced game design courses in the CompSci and Architecture faculties and so I'm really aiming for people that don't want to script but do want to show off their artwork: photos, sound design, interfaces.

I've spent the last two years suffering the endless updates of GameSalad and wishing we didn't have Mac based computer labs ... I'm praying that Stencyl is going to be a good replacement. Here's the funny thing - people don't want to script but they do want to see script because it makes the tool seem 'adult'. If the lab support people OK Stencyl (it has to pass many checks before being rolled out to labs) I'll start re-designing the coursework.

Building assets is a big part of what I teach. I'll be working on sounds and sprites mainly. Also how to communicate gameplay 'in a glance'.

I have a question - is there a connection between Scratch and Stencyl? I looked at Scratch when trying to locate a tool, there's a similar interface going on here.

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