Sunday, June 8, 2008

Spring 2008 End of Year, Part 1

This year saw a number of changes from Spring 07. The largest impact came from change in format where the course was split into two half-semester classes. Introduction to Flash began the semester and was followed by Flash for Games. Both attracted a large number of graduate students who were generally looking to either expand their already developed digital graphics skills or were interested in learning how to incorporate interactive components into their primary subject studies.

Introduction to Flash gave first-timers a step-by-step approach to learning the basics of the authoring interface, animation, incorporating media and some basic interactive scripting. Students completed weekly assignments covering in-class demonstrations and readings from the textbook, as well as a final mid-term project.

Flash for Games was a project-based class and was more challenging as students had to perform pre-production tasks as well as learn Action Scripting and how to incorporate game design elements into their projects.

The two part arrangement presented some challenges since the game development curriculum needed to be compressed into half a semester. Students who had a clear project concept early were able to utilize media they developed in Intro. to Flash for the final project of Games for Flash where more scripting and game development was covered.

Pre-production steps such as development of the Design Document were still required, but with less detail. We also had fewer assigned readings and shorter discussion of game design topics. The addition of a Paper Prototype deliverable for Games for Flash this year helped students walk through their game idea with others while the project was in its early stages and helped prevent potential design errors that could have cropped up later.

Both classes more heavily emphasized use of the World Wide Workshop wiki platform I have been developing with the organization over the past year and we saw overall participation increase. The wiki was our primary communication vehicle for the class and was supplemented by this blog and email. Students were required to post all their projects to their wiki profile page and to post comments about their work. Many students kept a diary on their profile pages and some posted comments to other's profile pages as well.

We also introduced a 'Sandbox' page which provided a neutral location for everyone to share Flash tips with others in the class. This seemed to encourage free posting and will continue using it in the future.

Overall final projects demonstrated a strong command of planning, development and completion within a short time frame. The next blog post will discuss individual student projects and present examples of work.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Final Class

Please remember to:

Update the class community wiki with comments about yours and other's work, technical tips, gaming links and anything else you think will be helpful to future classes and site visitors.

Complete the survey for World Wide Workshop. Your input will help future classes at AU and around the world.

Be prepared to present your project and talk about why you made it, what game play designs you incorporated and what your experiences were.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Please join us April 30th at American University for our next Games Gateway meetup on Casual Games.

Please RSVP at so we can plan accordingly.

Here are the details:

Please join us and Brian Judy, Founder of game developer, Red Aphid in a discussion about casual games. Casual games are one the fastest growing areas of computer gaming and players encompass a wide range of age groups. Brian will be looking at both his and other's casual games that seek to move beyond entertainment-only applications and cross-over into areas such as education, politics, social criticism and art.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 at 6:30 PM

American University
Mary Graydon Building Room 200 [Gianni Lounge]
Washington , DC 20016

Monday, April 14, 2008

New Media at Visions 2008

Could you please announce the VISIONS 2008 awards to your Flash and Web
students and encourage them (great extra credit opportunity) to submit. We
have a category for interactive media and also for best web design. I would
really like to get a flood of students to submit this year.


For more information:

????s Email me! Best, Brigid

Final Project Requirements

Here are requirements for in the final project.

If you are having problems with your project now is the time to bring them up to me so we can begin to address them.


Sunday, April 6, 2008

Design Documents

Please find comments on your design document posted on your profile page. Feel free to add comments to other's.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Gamers for Net Neutrality

From the press release...

Games for Change in partnership with The Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA), the non-profit organization which represents video game enthusiasts, announced a new web-based initiative launching in beta form today, Gamers for Net Neutrality ( The joint project of the ECA and its partners in this initiative, and Games for Change, will be a destination for gamers of all sorts to visit and become more engaged in the fight for Net Neutrality. If this principle is not protected, it could potentially alter the way consumers use and view the internet - including slowdowns and site blocks, as well as applying fees and instituting other unnecessary obstructions.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Games Class This Week

Please find the document Dramatic Game Dynamics by Marc LeBlanc in the Course Documents of Blackboard.

We'll be discussing on 4/8.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Games Gateway Meeting April 2

This is a meeting of people creating games for other than strictly entertainment purposes. The next topic is 'Fantasy Politics'. See the link for details.

When: Wednesday, April 2, 2008 at 6:30 PM

Where: Garvey Schubert Barer
1000 Potomac St., N.W. Suite 500
Washington, DC 20007

Artist Modding Game Engines for Topical Subject

"Virtual Jihadi" Spins "Hunt for Bush" with Suicide Bomber Angle

Monday, March 17, 2008

Games Class This Week

Just a reminder to read the article "What Games Are" by Raph Koster, which has been posted in Course Documents on Blackboard.

Also, if you have a proposal please Upload it to the Wiki and provide a link on your profile page. We'll be reviewing them in class.

See the Wiki Tips page on the Wiki.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Serious Games for Engaging Youth in DC

Serious Games for Engaging Youth: Innovative Approaches Reaching Out of the Classroom

RSVP Today!! Email:

The Embassy of Sweden and the Swedish Trade Council invite you to a conference on innovative approaches to engage youth in serious issues moderated by keynote speaker, Ben Sawyer, Co-Founder of the Serious Games Initiative.
Registration is free of charge. For full program details, speaker profiles and practical information visit:

Monday, March 17, 2008
1:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Networking reception to follow

Animator's Roundtable Meeting

Mark your calendars for Thursday, March 13! DC_SIGGRAPH and the Animator's Roundtable are getting together for DEMO REEL/PORTFOLIO NIGHT PART 1 at the Art Insititute of Washington, (at the Rosslyn metro stop).

If you want to see what's happening with animation and 3D graphics in the DC area this is a great meeting.

More info coming...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Brian will be in at 4:30 p today

I'll be in class early in case anyone needs last minute help on today's projects.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Interview with Dr. Idit Caperton about Social Learning

Members of the World Wide Workshop will be visiting the class next week to see how your projects are coming and to hear about your experiences with their platform.

Here's an interview with the Executive Director Idit Caperton about their philosophy.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

See Comments on Proposals

If you posted or got me a project proposal you should have some brief comments on your profile page. Feel free to email me with any questions or thoughts.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Short Animated Films Screening

Preview the OSCAR nominated animated shorts!

Saturday, Feb. 23
3:30 pm
National Archives' William G. McGowan Theater

Scores Posted


You should now have a score for the first 3 projects on Blackboard.

Special Note: If you are using graphics, sounds or code that you didn't create you should be documenting that somewhere. It can be in FLA file as comment in an ActionScript window(let me know if you need more info), or can be directly on your webpage.

Wiki Note: If you want to use a newline on your page after a tag, use the HTML tag <br>.

Also, I have an extra copy of the textbook I can give to the first person who contacts me from this post.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Gaming Panel: Documentary Gaming and more

Check out notes from the Thursday night's panel on games at the AU Social Media blog...

Live from the Gaming Panel: Documentary Gaming and more

Narrative Game Skeleton on the wiki

For a Flash skeleton file of using buttons to jump to a frame of a timeline see the Sandbox on the wiki.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Class 4 on Interaction

The proposal assignment has been updated on the wiki page for this topic.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Games Panel @ Making Your Media Matter 08

For those interested in games,

If you're on campus Thursday, Feb. 7, you may find the games panel interesting. I think you need to register beforehand.


Monday, January 21, 2008


This is the inaugural post for the Spring 08 Introduction to Flash & Introduction to Games classes at American University.

Hi, I'm Brian Judy, instructor.

Check here for announcements about the class.