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Author Topic: NANY 2011 Release: "VeggieSquares" - Children's Game  (Read 22784 times)
CodeTRUCKER
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« on: September 02, 2010, 04:46:04 PM »

    NANY 2011 Entry Information

    Application Name"VeggieSquares"
    Version Pre-Release 0.9.3.5
    Short Description A "game" that will train children(?) about the simplicity of planning a small vegetable garden.
    Development IDE LiveCode
    Supported OSes Vista(32) and Windows 7(64) at present
    Download Link  >>----> VeggieSquaresPreRelease.zip  <----<<  Download here!
    System Requirements
    • A PC running Windows Vista(32) or Win7(64) for now.
    • Monitor capable of 1024 x 768.
    • A Mouse, TrackPad or TrackBall
    Version History
    Author"CodeTRUCKER,"
    Important Contributors


    Description
    First off, "VeggieWorld" will always be a freebie!  The reason is one of the most fundamental needs of human existence is to eat and to eat the food the food has to come from the local grocery store, right?  Well, not really.  

    In light of the above I intend to create a interactive drag-and-drop game (tool?) for children of all ages to passively learn about the interrelationships that exist between vegetables and their organic environment.  As the child "pairs" the different vegetables and other aspects of the flora the program's response will passively instruct and reinforce knowledge of some do's and don'ts in gardening.  

    It is my hope that children will be encouraged to experiment with "growing things" by eliminating one of the major contributors to garden failure... planting the wrong plants together.



    Features
    • The child(?) will click on sprites of all applicable vegetables the sidebar on to a background garden plot.
    • The "Veggies" are dragged as desired.
    • Perhaps, if time allows, the child would be able to print out either/both a report or picture of the screen scene, hopefully to assist the child in garden planning.
    • Again, if time allows, the triggering of appropriate sounds and sound effects.

    Planned Features
    My NANY app will be a simplistic and fun interface for the underlying logic and database.  As my understanding and programming skills develop I intend to continue development by adding features to this app without any end in sight.  I am very excited to be able to influence the lives of children in a positive and helpful way.  This app will probably be my favorite all-time project!  

    Aside from the above, it would be my plan to further develop the coding base and other companion apps to market to the more serious-minded gardening enthusiast.

    Usage
    Installation
    None.  Simply extract and execute the single program file.

    Using the Application

    The user must be able to follow simple instructions, open the app and drag-and-drop.  Basic Windows functional abilities.

    Uninstallation
    Delete the executable.

    Known Issues
    Completion of the splash screen, print capability and hep files needs completion, but it is presently usable and stable.


    If this is something you would like to help with, please send them to me in a Personal Message (Click the icon on the left under my avatar.)   I thought it would better than littering this thread them, but maybe it might provoke others to come up with some really good ones?

    Thanks for your help!

     FYI - "VeggieSquares" will always be a freebie!  Gardening is one of the most enjoyable and long-term fulfilling activities I have known.  I started in 1984 with a tomato plant in one five-gallon plastic bucket and a bell pepper plant in another.  I did such a good job growing them that they were both stolen off our porch.   smiley  I took it as a compliment and hoped they enjoyed the harvest!

    Attention: If anyone who is fluent in foreign language would be interested in making a non-English version, I would be happy to discuss it.  Children everywhere should know how to grow things!
    [/list]

    * VeggieSquarePreRelaease_0935.zip (1272.62 KB - downloaded 1017 times.)
    « Last Edit: February 16, 2011, 08:22:00 PM by CodeTRUCKER » Logged

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    mouser
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    « Reply #1 on: September 02, 2010, 11:50:28 PM »

    sounds fun.
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    Perry Mowbray
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    « Reply #2 on: September 18, 2010, 02:42:29 AM »

    An interesting spin-off from this would be a garden designer... I often forget what was where in our slightly haphazard rotation scheme  Wink

    My wife is good with kids... I'll see if I can get her into the NANY spirit  smiley
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    CodeTRUCKER
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    « Reply #3 on: September 18, 2010, 02:49:13 AM »

    An interesting spin-off from this would be a garden designer... I often forget what was where in our slightly haphazard rotation scheme  Wink
    That is my vision for the "professional" non-animated version, but depending on how the architecture of the VeggieWorld(?) goes, it would be a logical next step.

    Quote
    My wife is good with kids... I'll see if I can get her into the NANY spirit  smiley
    Yippee! 
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    I am persuaded the only reason bad men have succeeded is not because good men have done nothing, but that good men did not do enough.

    An Open Letter to My Friends


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    « Reply #4 on: September 18, 2010, 03:08:05 AM »

    An interesting spin-off from this would be a garden designer... I often forget what was where in our slightly haphazard rotation scheme  Wink
    That is my vision for the "professional" non-animated version, but depending on how the architecture of the VeggieWorld(?) goes, it would be a logical next step.

    I'd definitely be interested in that!  Thmbsup
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    Briansdad
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    « Reply #5 on: September 20, 2010, 12:03:40 PM »

    Could you be more specific on what you mean by "I need hundreds of short phrases I can populate the "balloon" responses from the vegetables." Maybe some examples?
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    CodeTRUCKER
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    « Reply #6 on: September 20, 2010, 12:48:50 PM »

    Could you be more specific on what you mean by "I need hundreds of short phrases I can populate the "balloon" responses from the vegetables." Maybe some examples?
    Thanks for your interest.  I made some changes to the "Help!" above, but here is what I added...

    There are three types of phrases...
    • (Veggie A likes Veggie B) "Ah! It's nice to be near you!" or "I like being close to you!"
    • (Veggie A is indifferent (neutral) to Veggie B)  "<Yawn> Oh, it's you." or "You planning on hanging around a while?"
    • (Veggie A dislikes Veggie B)  "Would you mind moving somewhere else, please?" or "I don't think I like being around you." or "Being near you makes me uncomfortable."

    As you can tell, I'm not real creative (nor fun) with these.  That's why I need the help.  embarassed

    Since not all vegetables benefit from companion planting I am trying to convey relationships (beneficial, neutral or antagonistic) in human terms, the benefit/detriment between one vegetable being planted in proximity to another.   I need a lot of phrases to express the feelings one "person" (Veggie) might have for the other if he/she was happy to be near the other, doesn't really care or was unhappy to be near the other.   If I have a lot of phrases, graphics and sounds, the child shouldn't get bored too easily and might learn some important gardening wisdom by osmosis.

    Hope that helps?
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    I am persuaded the only reason bad men have succeeded is not because good men have done nothing, but that good men did not do enough.

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    « Reply #7 on: September 20, 2010, 04:09:05 PM »

    This could be fun. I'll see what I can come up with and ask a few friends too.

    Bill
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    CodeTRUCKER
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    « Reply #8 on: September 20, 2010, 04:27:51 PM »

    This could be fun. I'll see what I can come up with and ask a few friends too.

    Bill
    Thanks a bunch!  I intend to get 100 of each.  This will let me use the hundredths of a second for randomization.  No sense making it more difficult than necessary. 

    FYI - the target age is +/- 8 years old. 
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    I am persuaded the only reason bad men have succeeded is not because good men have done nothing, but that good men did not do enough.

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    tomos
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    « Reply #9 on: September 20, 2010, 04:28:36 PM »

    What's the target age group? "FYI - the target age is +/- 8 years old"


    Smell could be important - I dont know can plants smell (?)
    but how about:

    Ooooohh! you smell nice :-)
    or
    YEEEeeeuuuaaaahhh  SMELLLLL BAAAADDDD  :-D

    It's tempting to give them adult characteristics (I dont mean anything risque) but dont know would this be interesting for kids (depending on the age group).

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    « Reply #10 on: September 20, 2010, 04:38:56 PM »

    Do you really need hundreds of these?

    I'm just concerned that these 8 year olds will start spouting veggie epithets at the dinner table and committing veggie hate crimes.

    - Signed
    - A concerned Daddy

    EDIT: Also, the kids games I've seen just use a handful of stock phrases. I tend to think repetition is part of what makes it fun for them, and I'm not sure they would appreciate all the effort going into avoiding it, as an adult would.

    By the way, this would be educational for some adults as well, those of us without "green thumbs".
    « Last Edit: September 20, 2010, 04:43:05 PM by daddydave » Logged
    CodeTRUCKER
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    « Reply #11 on: September 20, 2010, 04:50:34 PM »

    What's the target age group? "FYI - the target age is +/- 8 years old"


    Smell could be important - I dont know can plants smell (?)
    but how about:

    Ooooohh! you smell nice :-)
    or
    YEEEeeeuuuaaaahhh  SMELLLLL BAAAADDDD  :-D

    It's tempting to give them adult characteristics (I dont mean anything risque) but dont know would this be interesting for kids (depending on the age group).


    I think "smell" could be explored.  There is nothing wrong with "You smell nice,"but "You stink!"  Well, you get the picture. 

    Children are very impressionable and if a few thought some uncomplimentary comment was "cool" it might not be the best.  This is why I have sought help.  It is a delicate (but not un-doable) subject.  Thanks for your sensitivity.
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    I applaud those that refuse to commit "intellectual suicide."

    Truth, unlike opinion, tradition, etc. will always be able to stand on its own.  Truth is not a static, but a living entity and will perpetually impart life; therefore, any "truth" that does not or can not impart life can not be Truth.

    I am persuaded the only reason bad men have succeeded is not because good men have done nothing, but that good men did not do enough.

    An Open Letter to My Friends


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    « Reply #12 on: September 20, 2010, 04:53:54 PM »

    It is a delicate (but not un-doable) subject

    Exactly what I was trying to say. You don't want the kids at the dinner table looking at their plate of broccoli and saying "Youuuu stinkkk!" to the chagrin of their parents.

    This is hard, I'm not very creative at this kind of thing either.
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    daddydave
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    « Reply #13 on: September 20, 2010, 04:56:05 PM »

    What about veggies running (or slinking) away from each other, or giving each other hugs and high fives? You might can come up with a few cool animations.
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    CodeTRUCKER
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    « Reply #14 on: September 20, 2010, 05:04:00 PM »

    Do you really need hundreds of these?
    I have eight children and the thing that bored them the most growing up was figuring out what happened next.  Maybe 100 might be too much, but I would rather pare down in the final stages rather than ramp up.

    Quote
    I'm just concerned that these 8 year olds will start spouting veggie epithets at the dinner table and committing veggie hate crimes.

    - Signed
    - A concerned Daddy
    With eight of my own, I understand; in fact, I will use them heavily coming up with phrases too!  Dave, your concern is exactly what has been my guiding directive.  Knowing this, I hope to provide beneficial "epithets."

    Quote
    EDIT: Also, the kids games I've seen just use a handful of stock phrases. I tend to think repetition is part of what makes it fun for them, and I'm not sure they would appreciate all the effort going into avoiding it, as an adult would.
    Funny you should bring this up.  I was recently in the store looking for a gift for my children and noticed all the board games I played (and got bored with) growing up.  It dawned on me that game manufacturers really don't want children to be satisfied with one or two games.  The marketing folks want the children to get bored so they will bug their parents to buy another.  Kind of like, built-in obsolescence.  What do you think?

    Quote
    By the way, this would be educational for some adults as well, those of us without "green thumbs".
    Wink
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    I applaud those that refuse to commit "intellectual suicide."

    Truth, unlike opinion, tradition, etc. will always be able to stand on its own.  Truth is not a static, but a living entity and will perpetually impart life; therefore, any "truth" that does not or can not impart life can not be Truth.

    I am persuaded the only reason bad men have succeeded is not because good men have done nothing, but that good men did not do enough.

    An Open Letter to My Friends


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    « Reply #15 on: September 20, 2010, 05:09:29 PM »

    What about veggies running (or slinking) away from each other, or giving each other hugs and high fives? You might can come up with a few cool animations.
    Sounds fun!  Unfortunately, this is beyond my coding abilities, at present.  I never had a need to learn the graphics part.  I have a vision for the facial expressions, but that will be swapping one bitmap for another.  Maybe in a year or two.
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    I applaud those that refuse to commit "intellectual suicide."

    Truth, unlike opinion, tradition, etc. will always be able to stand on its own.  Truth is not a static, but a living entity and will perpetually impart life; therefore, any "truth" that does not or can not impart life can not be Truth.

    I am persuaded the only reason bad men have succeeded is not because good men have done nothing, but that good men did not do enough.

    An Open Letter to My Friends


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    CodeTRUCKER
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    « Reply #16 on: September 23, 2010, 02:44:15 PM »

    ...
    Exactly what I was trying to say. You don't want the kids at the dinner table looking at their plate of broccoli and saying "Youuuu stinkkk!" to the chagrin of their parents.

    This is hard, I'm not very creative at this kind of thing either.

    I have been giving some thought to this and I really do not think it will be possible to avoid it with even the most gentle "I don't like being next to you" type verbiage.  I have an idea.

    Dave (and others), how would you feel about your child using VeggieWorld if the antagonistic response was silent?  Making Veggie "A" move to somewhere else, if Veggie "B" was an incompatible?  A simple explanation in the "Instructions" would read something like, "... If you drag VeggiePea next to VeggieOnion on the screen (which is not compatible) VeggiPea will move away from VeggieOnion...." 
    How would that work?

    This would negate adding negative diction, but still get the point across that it is not a good idea to plant peas and onions together.  It would reduce the phrase workload by a third.  We would only have to target neutral and complimentary diction.

    Opinions?
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    Truth, unlike opinion, tradition, etc. will always be able to stand on its own.  Truth is not a static, but a living entity and will perpetually impart life; therefore, any "truth" that does not or can not impart life can not be Truth.

    I am persuaded the only reason bad men have succeeded is not because good men have done nothing, but that good men did not do enough.

    An Open Letter to My Friends


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    Stoic Joker
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    « Reply #17 on: September 23, 2010, 03:10:54 PM »

    Makes for a bit of a stilted reality I think. There are polite ways of saying no, and one must remember to view the comments in a childs context...not an adults (keeps stuff way simpler). Remember Bugs Bunny as a child? ...Notice what Ya missed when watching it years later? Hm... Was anybody shocked/offended/damaged for life? ...Nope.

    How about keeping the negative & positive on topic/related to the nature/why the incompatibility. One needs more water and the other says "Eek! I'll drown..." ...And if both need much water "Yeah! Lets go swimming!" Now the "epithets" become part of the training.
    « Last Edit: September 23, 2010, 03:14:00 PM by Stoic Joker » Logged
    CodeTRUCKER
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    « Reply #18 on: September 27, 2010, 03:21:02 PM »

    Hiya SJ!, glad you could drop by...  smiley

    Makes for a bit of a stilted reality
    ...

    "Stilted reality?"  Nah, I don't think so and here is why (maybe this is just semantics?).  I see reality in life as someone is living.  They eat, drink, sleep, etc.  Given this, is "murder" a reality?  Not in my book.  I see "murder" as an aberration of the reality of living.  They no longer , eat, drink, sleep, etc.  I hold that reality is the authentic; therefore, any aberration of the authentic is not reality.  It is a counterfeit.  Consider these scenarios...

    • The FBI Counterfeit Division trains their agents differently than what most people would expect.  During the entire duration of training they are never shown any counterfeit notes, only the real legal tender.  Why?  If one becomes very intimate with a reality, the aberration jumps out like a sore thumb.  The agents do not recognize a counterfeit "Benjamin" because they have studied all the bogus bills.  They recognize them because the counterfeit notes display an aberration from the true reality of what the bill is supposed to look like.
    • Music is another example.  If a 300-piece symphony orchestra plays a piece, each correct note is the reality, but every sour note is an aberration to that reality, and one does not require a Masters in Music to identify the mistake.  The"clinkers" are noticed, not because we have been trained to recognize all the possible mistakes (even if that were possible), but because it is an aberration of our authentic expectation.
    • Lastly, I have raised my children by focusing on what is good, for instance, relationships.  I taught my daughters the positive characteristics of what a beau should possess (the reality).  Disagreeable traits (the counterfeit) are then automatically recognized as being aberrant to the standard.  Like I said, it may be just semantics, but has worked in my world. 

    It is only in a world laden with greedy litigates which has caused (trained) our society to enumerate the negative.

    So, how does this relate to "VeggieWorld?"  The reality of VeggieWorld is to train children(?) to recognize beneficial or at least, neutral relationships between vegetables.  It is not my place to teach them good or bad habits of living.  That is the parent's responsibility.  I need to make sure I do not teach any aberrations.  There is no need to teach children aberrations in the botanical reality of "VeggieWorld" since it will be automatic.  The message of "I don't like you" will come across, especially if (1) the directions specify no response indicates antagonism or (2) the Onion moves away from the Pea when the pea is dropped beside the onion.  I see no need to express the negative except in passivity and within the parameters you expressed below. 

    Quote
    ...and one must remember to view the comments in a childs context...not an adults (keeps stuff way simpler).

    Good advice.  I am glad I have some small children to help me out with this.

    Quote
    Remember Bugs Bunny as a child? ...Notice what Ya missed when watching it years later? Hm... Was anybody shocked/offended/damaged for life? ...Nope.

    <off topic>
    Sorry, I can't just give you that, not because you are "wrong," but because we don't really know.  No empirical data exists to substantiate your claim.  SJ, I'd love to pursue this offline!  Contact me.  This relates to the "fence." [private joke]
    </off topic>

    Quote
    How about keeping the negative & positive on topic/related to the nature/why the incompatibility. One needs more water and the other says "Eek! I'll drown..." ...And if both need much water "Yeah! Lets go swimming!" Now the "epithets" become part of the training.

    This is worth the price of admission alone!  Excellent observation. Thmbsup 
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    I applaud those that refuse to commit "intellectual suicide."

    Truth, unlike opinion, tradition, etc. will always be able to stand on its own.  Truth is not a static, but a living entity and will perpetually impart life; therefore, any "truth" that does not or can not impart life can not be Truth.

    I am persuaded the only reason bad men have succeeded is not because good men have done nothing, but that good men did not do enough.

    An Open Letter to My Friends


    Notice: - Unless stated otherwise, I receive no compensation for anything I post here.
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    « Reply #19 on: November 24, 2010, 04:23:26 PM »

    Here's some fun...

    I have been  wallbash trying to get this infernal contraption (my app) to work!  I feel like I'm starting at "square 1."  In a conversation with one of my children asking "How ya doin', Dad?"  I replied my frustrations with this program are provoking me.  He responded back with, Well, I hope you can get your dendrons and "morons," or what ever they're called, all in line."

    Ha! maybe that's what my hurdle is, in a diabolical plot my axons have been replaced by "morons!  tease
     
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    Truth, unlike opinion, tradition, etc. will always be able to stand on its own.  Truth is not a static, but a living entity and will perpetually impart life; therefore, any "truth" that does not or can not impart life can not be Truth.

    I am persuaded the only reason bad men have succeeded is not because good men have done nothing, but that good men did not do enough.

    An Open Letter to My Friends


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    « Reply #20 on: December 12, 2010, 02:03:41 AM »


    Hello smiley

    Not sure if this helps but, if people are worried that children might form negative views of vegetables based on any negative reactions in the game (by which I mean the "I'm not happy you're here" responses), would it not be possible to turn it round a bit?

    So that, rather than being annoyed &/or not very friendly because they don't get on, the vegetable (or whatever they are put next to) could react because they are concerned for the newcomer's well being and suggest they move for their sake?

    Not sure that's very clear but I was thinking something like:  "large roots run in my family I'm afraid and I wouldn't want to squash you" or "It's ok here for a carrot* like me but wouldn't you be happier in the sun?" (for example)

    Ok, sounds a bit daft now I've written it down - and it's probably way too wordy - but hopefully you get the general idea smiley

    Anyway, I also wanted to say that I love the idea, and I love that you want to include as many different phrases as possible - believe me, if my daughter is anything to go by, children do not appreciate hearing the same response over and over again when playing a game. In fact, there's nothing more annoying.

    I mean, when the response indicates they need to rethink something, it becomes aggravating and patronising and, when they get something right and they just hear the same thing time and again it isn't a very satisfying reward!

    Lastly then, I think allowing them to use their own backgrounds is an excellent idea - as is the ability to print something - anything - to show for their efforts. Children (and grown ups) love anything they can customise and make their own somehow - and the printing would add a bigger sense of achievement and something to aim for which would keep them interested on a level where it doesn't just feel like learning.

    (if that makes any sense smiley)

    All just my opinions of course but hth anyway cheesy

    Take care

    g.x


    *please note that I am not exactly great at gardening so I may have chosen completely the wrong type of vegetable for this example - see, I need to play the game myself smiley


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    vlastimil
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    « Reply #21 on: December 14, 2010, 05:40:09 AM »

    I really like this NANY project.  Kiss I have been thinking about doing something like this (a game that is not waste of time) myself, but never got the right idea. I hope you manage to finish it and your game spreads like fire!
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    CodeTRUCKER
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    « Reply #22 on: December 23, 2010, 10:18:29 AM »


    Hello smiley

    Not sure if this helps but, if people are worried that children might form negative views of vegetables based on any negative reactions in the game (by which I mean the "I'm not happy you're here" responses), would it not be possible to turn it round a bit?

    So that, rather than being annoyed &/or not very friendly because they don't get on, the vegetable (or whatever they are put next to) could react because they are concerned for the newcomer's well being and suggest they move for their sake?

    Not sure that's very clear but I was thinking something like:  "large roots run in my family I'm afraid and I wouldn't want to squash you" or "It's ok here for a carrot* like me but wouldn't you be happier in the sun?" (for example)

    Ok, sounds a bit daft now I've written it down - and it's probably way too wordy - but hopefully you get the general idea smiley

    Hi insomnianiac ... actually, this doesn't sound daft to me at all; on the contrary, your comment has caused me to change my tack altogether.  I especially like the instructive nature of "suggesting" a Veggie would be "more comfortable" elsewhere.

    Quote
    Anyway, I also wanted to say that I love the idea, and I love that you want to include as many different phrases as possible - believe me, if my daughter is anything to go by, children do not appreciate hearing the same response over and over again when playing a game. In fact, there's nothing more annoying.

    I mean, when the response indicates they need to rethink something, it becomes aggravating and patronizing and, when they get something right and they just hear the same thing time and again it isn't a very satisfying reward!

    This has also been my experience.  Fortunately, I have a pretty good resource in my own children to populate this database, but feel free to add to it here.  It might provoke other responses too.


    Quote
    Lastly then, I think allowing them to use their own backgrounds is an excellent idea - as is the ability to print something - anything - to show for their efforts. Children (and grown ups) love anything they can customize and make their own somehow - and the printing would add a bigger sense of achievement and something to aim for which would keep them interested on a level where it doesn't just feel like learning.

    (if that makes any sense smiley)

    All just my opinions of course but hth anyway cheesy

    Take care

    g.x


    *please note that I am not exactly great at gardening so I may have chosen completely the wrong type of vegetable for this example - see, I need to play the game myself smiley



    I'm not at that stage yet, but it appears the ability to print the window should be included.  We'll see.

    Thanks for your input!

    ~ CT
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    CodeTRUCKER
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    « Reply #23 on: December 23, 2010, 10:21:42 AM »

    I really like this NANY project.  Kiss I have been thinking about doing something like this (a game that is not waste of time) myself, but never got the right idea. I hope you manage to finish it and your game spreads like fire!

    Thanks for the vote of confidence!  I'm not that great of a coder, but I am a pretty good "idea man."  After the NANY is done, I'll be happy to discuss your ideas for some games via PM, if you would like?
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    I applaud those that refuse to commit "intellectual suicide."

    Truth, unlike opinion, tradition, etc. will always be able to stand on its own.  Truth is not a static, but a living entity and will perpetually impart life; therefore, any "truth" that does not or can not impart life can not be Truth.

    I am persuaded the only reason bad men have succeeded is not because good men have done nothing, but that good men did not do enough.

    An Open Letter to My Friends


    Notice: - Unless stated otherwise, I receive no compensation for anything I post here.
    CodeTRUCKER
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    « Reply #24 on: December 23, 2010, 04:33:25 PM »

    Here is a peek.  More to come.

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    I applaud those that refuse to commit "intellectual suicide."

    Truth, unlike opinion, tradition, etc. will always be able to stand on its own.  Truth is not a static, but a living entity and will perpetually impart life; therefore, any "truth" that does not or can not impart life can not be Truth.

    I am persuaded the only reason bad men have succeeded is not because good men have done nothing, but that good men did not do enough.

    An Open Letter to My Friends


    Notice: - Unless stated otherwise, I receive no compensation for anything I post here.
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