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ContentGenerator.net Management System? As on ICThistory.co.uk

#1

User is offline   Andrew Field Icon

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 11:39 PM

As regular members are fully aware, we now have quite an extensive arrange of games that are now available. We've also either extensive upgraded or are in the process of upgrading each program with the new interface, SCORM and other features. Whilst this is, of course, great it does potentially provide quite a headache for those who have an extensive number of games on their websites.

You can just leave the existing older versions online, or you have to actually regenerate each game manually.

On my SchoolHistory.co.uk and ReviseICT.co.uk sites I have made use of a custom dynamic system that I've developed meaning that there is one central game file that loads the individual topic data. However, it wasn't until I began developing my new site - http://www.icthistory.co.uk website that I've actually come up with what I consider to be the ideal solution.

What I've done is upload a custom version of each game. When the game loads, it looks at the url for two custom features - the type of game required and then the game topic. Thus, to play a Penalty Shootout game about the Amiga I just have to add that after the url:
http://www.icthistory.co.uk/?page_id=2?penalty+amiga_data

What I've done is add some additional javascript code that looks for these two peices of information and then dynamically loads the appropriate game. In practice, this means that once one custom game data file has been generated, all the available game times are instantly available. Thus if we want a Walk the Plank game about Amiga data, the url just needs to be changed to:
walk|amiga_data

Do try going to the custom page and experiment with the extensions. You'll be able to see how it is the same page that dynamically adapts to what you've chosen.

This might sound like quite an unimportant and mundane solution, but I do feel it can have revolutionary effects for those who have a range of games on their site.

If there is any interest I think I could turn this into some form of ContentGenerator Management System. This would include:

1. 'Data generator' program - producing the topic data files and allowing you to create your custom setup.
2. Dynamic versions of the programs to be uploaded to your website.
3. Help & directions how to set everything up

I think it would only be available to those who own at least one full suite - but I've found the solution to be extremely user friendly, so I'd like to gather any opinions. When a new update to a game is released, you'd just update one file and then every version on your site will be automatically updated.
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#2

User is offline   Tanya Icon

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 08:33 PM

Hi Andrew
It sounds very useful. Just what we need to save time generating data for all the different games.
Thanks for your continued hard work.

Tanya
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#3

User is offline   Adrian Murray Icon

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 01:16 PM

Andrew,

This could be a real time saver. Have to admit that trying to keep all versions of each game up-to-date is a bit of a nightmare, and I have tended not to bother if I'm honest! However, with a system like this, it would be very straightforward.

I for one would be very interested in such a management system!

Regards,

Adrian
Adrian
www.businessstudiesonline.co.uk
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#4

User is offline   Andrew Field Icon

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 02:10 PM

Thanks for these responses - to be honest there is no real danger or issue with no updating games - it isn't like operating system updates or anything where there are security issues for your computer. It is really just having the additional features and functionality.

I've got the concept working on the ICTHistory.co.uk site - when I add a game topic there now, it is immediately available for all the games.

I do hasten to add though, even though the end solution is quite neat and tidy, the development is very complex. For that reason this wouldn't be a system that is freely available. Plus this isn't something that will appear in the short term. However, I have got some good ideas about how it could be implemented.
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#5

User is offline   Dave Icon

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 04:11 PM

Great idea. One question, how do you handle the situation where a game requires more questions ? Fling the teacher requires 15 while most of the others now require 10. Are you going to reduce the number of questions for fling the teacher ? In other words, are all the games going to have the same number of required questions ?

Regards,

Dave
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#6

User is offline   Andrew Field Icon

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 04:34 PM

View PostDave, on Jan 24 2009, 04:11 PM, said:

Great idea. One question, how do you handle the situation where a game requires more questions ? Fling the teacher requires 15 while most of the others now require 10. Are you going to reduce the number of questions for fling the teacher ? In other words, are all the games going to have the same number of required questions ?

Regards,

Dave


What I've done on my own sites (where I've had a hybrid version of the concept) is always make sure that I have 15 questions for each game. It means there there is a good variety of questions anyway. Haven't really decided on specifics really though - it would certainly be possible to reduce the number of required questions in Fling.

However, some games, such as En Garde and the upcoming On Target? and Hole in One don't even require 10 questions. The will be a need to harmonise the number of questions to a certain extent.
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#7

User is offline   Andrew Field Icon

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Posted 13 February 2009 - 12:45 AM

Having done a little more experimentation, I've found that using a '|' symbol doesn't work in all browsers, so it looks like a '+' would be better.

I've experimented on my ReviseICT.co.uk site with a section at http://www.reviseict.co.uk/apps/

This, when visited defaults to a menu page. Yet when additional data is added - e.g. 'walk+7.1' it pulls the relevant data and displays the page dynamically. See http://www.reviseict.../?walk+7.1_data or http://www.reviseict...enalty+7.1_data as examples. Obviously still very much in development, but this is how I envisage a system working.
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#8

User is offline   mystre Icon

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 01:07 AM

Just my 2 cents.

One thing that could be helpful would be a Text Generator that just produced text files formatted for the various game generators.

The user would input his data once, select the games he wants, and get ready-to-use text files for the games.

___________________________________________________
EDIT

Well, call me a NEWBIE, it seems that it already works that way. That works a lot better than typing up a completely new set of the same questions. OOOPS!

Have a great day
Dale

This post has been edited by mystre: 05 November 2009 - 11:27 AM

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#9

User is offline   Andrew Field Icon

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 04:35 PM

:P Thanks for posting the follow-up - they do indeed work like this. The generic .txt data file from one game allows you to share the key content with other games too. There are two types of games though - the single word / phrase challenge game (Teacher Invaders, Half-a-Min) and then the Multi-choice ones (Penalty Shootout, Fling the Teacher and so on).

Thus, as you say, each program is effectively a text generator that allows you to have question sets for the different programs.

Where this proposed management system is different is that you generate a custom .swf file that integrates with custom game files allowing you to share the game data across the different games. Thus when an update to a game appears, you'd just need to update one. When an entirely new game appears, you upload that and all your existing topics will be available too.
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#10

User is offline   AlickBrown Icon

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 11:03 PM

Hello Andrew,
I wondered whether you'd got any further with a management system you could publish?
I like to use the same data with various CG games posted on our VLE - and give the choice of game to teacher or student.

Or - looking at the SCORM version, which has a left-hand menu: is it possible to use this menu and upload several game versions of the same data at the same time?

Many thanks,
Alick
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