We have spent the past couple of days working out the bugs in our beginning sketches. Our overall goal is to have the backbone of the program done in the next week and a half (by the 9th of April). But since people have been coming and going with spring Break, it's been hard to make major design decisions. So we've been debugging what we did before break.
This has actually been *really* exciting because now the player can (successfully) enter in all of her information, except for choosing her picture. She can also use the instructions screens. Once she completes the interview, the newspaper pops up, complete with her entered info. We actually have the first two newspapers done - the one that announces the candidates intentions to run, and the one that announces the results of fundraising.
From a non-programming point of view, we have spent quite a bit of time with the activity pages as well. We have been refining the questions and creating the answers. This is going to take a lot of work, as it is about 5 screens for each question. We are trying to figure out how we can double up on some of the coding responses.
As I said, tha plan for the next week is full steam ahead with the programming. Right now, Kim is doing the newspaper work, Naomi the Polly Sci pages, Jeff the design/background refining, and Terry has been doing most of the debugging. We plan to continue in this way, with each team member editing everyone else's work. Obviously, the questions are the next project - once we get everyone in the same room again.
Our goal for the end of this week, the 20th of March, is to have the graphics planned and the text done. We are currently searching the WEB for pictures, backgrounds, etc. to spice up our program; we feel this is an important step to do now because if we can't find something we really need, it will take a lot of time to draw it/ scan it/ whatever the back-up plan is. For the text, we have the splash/ instructions screen done, several of the Polly Sigh pages done, and several of the newspaper text fields done. We have emailed our teacher with examples of each, to be sure we are writing for the appropriate grade level.
We have also been learning hyperlogo, and have made model cards for some of the basic functions (activities, etc.) With the prototypes of each card type, the programming should be made easier. Once we are done with the test and graphics this week, we can just start plugging things in.
Current questions we have: Are we all going to have to be working on the same stack? This will make things difficult.
The other thing I wanted to add, which I don't think I added in the last update, is that we are having a debate as our last stage (fund-raising, campaigning, debate) This makes for a total of 25 questions per game.
We have been having several discussions over the course of the past week concerning the scope of our project. Are we trying to do too much? Is it important? Will the kids come away with anything useful? These discussions, combined with some points raised during our presentation, have led us to the following conclusions:
1) Yes, we think we might be doing too much. Not necessarily from a programming stand-point, but from an educational one. We really want the kids to bring away a working knowledge of the presidential election process. Given its sophisticated nuances, and the fact that this game will be the students' only exposure to the process, we want to simplify it as much as possible... without leaving out important facts. Therefore, we are planning to *cut out the primary stages of the game*. This way, we can add a level about speech-giving or canvassing, to make the elections not only about money.
2) The two educational goals (elections and history) are somewhat unrelated, and make for a disjuncted game. (Is that a word?) We'd like to try to bring them together more by *focusing on activity content related to the first four presidents, rather than anything which came before or even after them*. We will still be dealing with events that happened during their tenure, that may or may not directly have to do with the Presidents, but we'd like to keep the content as "presidential" as possible.
Our revised program outline looks something like this:
Back to the Vartan Gregorian Elementary Project Page