Jerz: New Media Projects (EL405)

Inform 7

Inform 7 is a free software suite (available for Mac or Windows) for the creation of interactive fiction games. The software comes with an integrated manual, and I have created some instructional tools that should help us get started quickly.

Permalink | 29 Aug 2006 | Comments (0)

The Games Factory 2

The Games Factory 2 is an inexpensive commercial product for developing arcade-style games. SHU has purchased a site license for this software. A demo also comes with the somewhat optimistically named book Make Amazing Games in Minutes (which is on the reading list).

Permalink | 29 Aug 2006 | Comments (0)


Flash, formerly known as Macromedia Flash but recently purchased and rebranded by Adobe, is a powerful multimedia tool that mostly gets a bad name because it is used for annoying advertisements and unnecessary bells and whistles. As Peter Parker says, "With great power comes great responsibility." We'll learn a little about both. Flash is covered in the book Flash Journalism. If you already have Flash or you prefer to use the Mac version, you are welcome to do your work in an alternate environment.

Permalink | 29 Aug 2006 | Comments (0)

Blender 3D

Blender is a free, open-source, and mind-blowingly powerful 3D graphics tool. Some of the best Blender documentation is in the form of a community-authored wiki, though most of that is written for people who already know their way around a computer. My own initial experiences with Blender were halting and frustrating, until I found James Chronsiter's excellent Blender Basics, 2nd Ed. Some of the exercises in that book won't be very relevant to what I'm hoping to teach in this course, but it's still the best, most careful introduction I've seen. Blender is updated on a regular basis, so already some of the screen captures don't match up with what you'll see in the program, but we'll make do.

Blender is free, and available for a wide variety of computer systems.

There are plenty of Blender tutorials out there, if your'e looking for more intense instruction in a specific area.

Permalink | 29 Aug 2006 | Comments (0)

Half-Life 2 Mod

Half-Life 2 is a first person-shooter game that is popular within the modding community. A "mod" is a "modification" to a commercial game, typically involving the creation of new levels of game play. Half-Life 2 comes with a free, and very powerful 3D world creation toolset. I'm eager to see just what a class of very bright English majors can do with these powerful multimedia tools.

Permalink | 29 Aug 2006 | Comments (0)

Troubleshoot Inform 7

Let's get everyone set up so that we can spend all day Thursday working in Inform 7.

If things go smoothly, we can get started today.

Permalink | 5 Sep 2006 | Comments (0)

Inform 7 Workshop

In pairs, work on developing a simple interactive fiction game. You are welcome to build on any of the examples from the book.

Permalink | 7 Sep 2006 | Comments (0)

Inform 7 Publication Workshop

Inform 7 has features that will help you to create a website to house your game. I will also show you how to make your game playable in a web browser.

Permalink | 21 Sep 2006 | Comments (0)

The Games Factory 2 Troubleshooting

Let's get everyone set up.

If things go smoothly, you'll have more time to work on your Inform 7 game.

Permalink | 21 Sep 2006 | Comments (0)

Bat and Ball Game

We will spend class time going through the tutorial in Chapter 12. Finish this tutorial outside of class.

Permalink | 28 Sep 2006 | Comments (0)

Side-Scrolling Shooter

We will work on the tutorial in Chapter 13. Finish the tutorial outside of class.

Permalink | 3 Oct 2006 | Comments (0)

Concept Peer Review

The class will offer feedback on the game concepts. Are they realistic? Will they be worth playing?

Permalink | 5 Oct 2006 | Comments (0)

Troubleshoot Flash

Let's get everyone set up to work in Flash.

Permalink | 5 Oct 2006 | Comments (0)

Choose Flash Case Studies

Part III of McAdams has detailed case studies of good Flash journalism. There are six case studies; I'd like to make sure that someone plans to read (and blog about) each case study, and that no more than 2 people share the same case study.

If you have a preference, state it by posting a comment on this page, or I'll assign them at random.

  • Case Study 2: Stormy Knight, Leslie Rodriguez
  • Case Study 4: Stephan Puff
  • Case Study 5: Amanda Cochran, Mike Rubino
  • Case Study 6: Karissa Kilgore; Chris Ulicne
Permalink | 5 Oct 2006 | Comments (8)

Ex 3 Playtesting

Offer constructive feedback to your peers; listen to the suggestions your peers offer.

Permalink | 12 Oct 2006 | Comments (0)

Flash Lessons 3 & 4

My Flash file was too big for to upload, so I had to use SHU's personal web space istructions for how to do that follow.

1. Fill out the simple online form to get SHU web space.

2. Use Internet Explorer to go to "". Note the beginning of the URL is "ftp" not the usual "html". You will have to log in with the information you just provided. (Do not add your login ID to the URL at this stage.)

3. Drag and drop the files you want to upload. Drag the icons from wherever you have been working on them, onto the blank screen that displays in Internet Explorer after you log on to your "ftp" web address. You should see the mouse icon change to a plus sign, indicating the computer knows it's supposed to add a copy of this file to the server. (If you change your local copy, you'll have to follow this procedure again in order to update the copy that's on the server.)


In the window that opens when you log in successfully to, you will see a file named "index.htm". It's just a simple text file that announces your site is ready. Delete that file.
After you have uploaded all the files (including images and the stylesheet) that you created for this assignment, go to "[your id]/[name of your Flash html file]" in order to make sure that they're there. When you publish your Flash site, you will end up with an HTML file and a SWF file. Upload them both into the same folder. Check the URL to make sure your flash works.

5. Create a blog entry that points to the URL that will play your flash folder. I used an HTML IFRAME tag to include the html file in an entry on my blog. You should be able to do the same, if you wish. You can also take a screenshot of your Flash movie, scale it down to a thumbnail, and use it as the link on your blog.

Permalink | 12 Oct 2006 | Comments (0)

Flash Lessons 5-7

We may not get through these during class time. Complete them outside of class.

Permalink | 19 Oct 2006 | Comments (0)

Flash Lessons 8 & 9

These are complex lessons. If you don't get through them today, complete them as homework.

Permalink | 24 Oct 2006 | Comments (0)

Peer Review

Permalink | 31 Oct 2006 | Comments (0)

Creating a room in HL2

We're still working on getting the HL2 IDE to work on the lab computers, so we'll hold off on this.

Permalink | 9 Nov 2006 | Comments (0)