Sunday, May 25, 2008

Custom Split Flap Flash Code for Websites!

Click here to make your own split flap message!

My own personal Flash Vision Quest continues. I have been playing with the Flashvars parameter to embed variables in the html code that you use to embed Flash on a webpage. In the past, I had used separate files to hold all of my variables, which Flash would then import values from. Now I figured out how to use php to make a page that would write the code for me complete with variables!

My first experiment was with the split-flap message you see above. If you like it, you can make one of your own. You will be given html code that you can embed on any web page, including Myspace, blogs, etc.

Stay tuned...more to come!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Make a Custom Font....

Are you tired of using pens and pencils all the time to write letters and little notes to people? Why not make a font that looks like your own handwriting and liberate yourself from pesky ink and graphite based writing utensils? I stumbled across a site called "Fontifier" that will let you do just that.

The process is simple.

  1. Visit
  2. Print a full page copy of their font template (shown at right).
  3. You complete the template by writing in all 26 letters in uppercase and lowercase, numbers 0-9, and all punctuation.
  4. Scan the template.
  5. Upload the completed template.
  6. If you want to keep your font, it will cost you $9. You can pay via Paypal and you get to keep the font forever. I felt it was $9 well spent.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Flash Jeopardy Game Update....

I've been getting some nice feedback from all over on the Flash Jeopardy game I posted a few days back. I've added a few features based on your feedback.

--You can now set the values for each question, instead of the automatic 100,200,300,400, and 500 point defaults.

--I created a Mac version of the game. The Mac version is able to use the same text files for games that makes the PC version work. Pretty nice.

If you haven't had a chance to play around with the game yet, you can use the sample below to give it a test run.

The game name file is: sample

Everything you need to start running your own game of Classroom Jeopardy for the PC or the Mac is available here.

Please keep the feedback coming!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Make Your Own Screen Saver...

Bored with your screen saver?

If you are an Adobe (or Macromedia) Flash aficionado, can help you go beyond that boring starfield or those endless winding 3d pipes. With nothing but a Flash file, you can now quickly and easily make your own screensavers that can be installed on any Windows machine.

Simply visit the Creamshavers site, upload your Flash (.swf) file, and the site does the rest. Within seconds, you are given a download link for the .exe file to install on your computer. Once installed, it will show up in your control panel with the rest of your screen savers. I have made several screen savers in this way and can attest to the fact that they contain no watermarks, ads, popups, or spyware like many other so-called "free screensavers."

Of course I created a sample screensaver. And it should come as little to no shock to anyone who knows me that my sample screensaver is Lost inspired. I took the Lost Countdown Clock from Season 2 and used a little basic Actionscript to create a Lost Clock screensaver. Feel free to download it and install it on every computer in your office for that authentic "Lost" feel.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Flash Jeopardy Game...

If you use an LCD Projector in the classroom, or better yet a SmartBoard, I have just finished work on a review game that makes setting up and using Jeopardy reviews simple and fun. I have used the blank Jeopardy Powerpoint template in the past and always found it to be a bit dull. I have felt for the past couple years that there had to be a better way to do this in Flash and make it more customizable and easy to create new games to use, rather than changing 50-60 slides in the Powerpoint version. I finally sat down this past week and was able to make a fully customizable Flash Jeopardy game. What you are seeing is a realization of one man's dream to change the "Jeopardy Review Game" game.

The Jeopardy Review game has 2 parts. The first part is a Flash form (shown to the right with the gray background) that allows you to create 5 categories of questions. Each category can have up to 5 questions each. The nice thing about it is that you do not need to fill in every field, the ones you leave blank will not be programmed into the actual review game.

Once you enter all of the questions, you click "Create Game" and the web page will create a simple text file that can be saved into a folder on your computer. This text file contains the variables that will tell the Flash Jeopardy file your category names, questions, and answers. You can create multiple text files for multiple reviews. They can all be saved into the same folder with separate filenames.

After you have created a game file, you can run the Flash Jeopardy file. The file will ask you to type the name of the game text file (for example: worldwarone) so it can load your game info into the Jeopardy game. From there you are ready to play!

The game itself is pretty self-explanatory. All of your questions are loaded into the template. When a user clicks on a square, they are taken to the page for that question. The game also automatically keeps track of the score for up to 5 teams.

If you want to try this for yourself with your own questions, a more complete set of instructions can be found here. This page will guide you through the easy steps of creating and playing a new game.

If you want to try this online, click this link. Enter the word "sample" as the filename when the page asks.

I created this program in the hopes that others would find it to be a quick and easy way to create review games with no programming knowledge required. If you use this and you have feedback or suggestions for improvement, please leave comments. I welcome any constructive criticism.

P.S. If you create games that others might like to use, please send me the text files for them. Maybe I can create a game library of all different subjects.

I have created a Mac version of the jeopardy game. It works exactly the same as the PC version. You can still use the game file creation tool using the link above. Let me know how it works out for the Mac users!