Game counter flickers

Hi! I have created a game where a counter moves around a board and the user answers questions as they go. The game is a series of slides, some question slides and some animations showing the dice rolling and the counter moving. At the start of the game the user picks their counter from 4 options, which sets a text variable with their choice. On each following slide, a trigger attached to the image of the counter changes the state of the counter to match the users selection when the timeline starts. It works really well, but whenever a question slide is displayed, the counter 'flickers' before changing to the correct state, which is distracting. It doesn't do it on the non-question slides. 

Any ideas why? 

18 Replies
Christine Hendrickson

Hi there Rebecca,

First, sounds like a pretty cool course! :) I like the idea.

How are you viewing the project when the slides flicker? Does this happen when you're previewing, or after you've published? 

If this is happening when you preview the course, are you able to share the .STORY file?

Thanks!

Becky Evens

Hi! Sorry its taken so long to get back to you! here is a cut down version of the course. I've got around the problem by setting the normal state of the counters to be a pale grey circle, so that when it flickers it looks like its the shadow of the counter being placed on the board.  

However, I'd like to get to the bottom of the flickering because it's happening in other projects too. It seems to happen whenever a variable is set on a previous slide, which dictates the state of an object on the current slide - the normal state is shown briefly before it updates. It does it with numbers too - I've got a test where the questions are drawn randomly from a bank, and the page numbering is updated page by page with a numeric variable, and this flickers too.  

Leslie McKerchie

Hi Rebecca! Christine has actually taken another position here at Articulate and does not get back to the forums very often.  

I took a look at your file though, and published the story and I am just not seeing the behavior that you are reporting.  I'm seeing the number spiral in, pause, and spiral back out. Very nicely actually.

Becky Evens

Hi Leslie, the problem is on the counters. If you preview the whole project, there is a slide early on where the user chooses between a tanker, ship, hard hat or oil rig, and then the counter on the game board changes state on each slide depending on what they chose. Each time the counter moves, it appears briefly on each square on the board to simulate someone counting out their move. When I first put it in, the counter appeared as a hard hat (the normal state) for a fraction of a second, before changing to the state picked by the user. This looked pretty awful, so I changed the normal state to a small grey ellipse shape, so now it looks like a shadow falling on the board as the user places their counter. If you just preview the scene with the board in it, you will only see the grey ellipse instead of the counter, because you will not have set the variable to change the state of the counter.

It seems to work ok with the ellipse as the normal state, but I'd love to get to the bottom of why it happens, beacuse I can see it being a problem for me in future projects.

Ashley Terwilliger

Hi Rebecca,

I just previewed your file, and first off love the game board concept. Definitely makes the course a bit more fun! I'm not sure I understand what you're seeing - but everything appears as I expect it to when I view it. I see the hard hat game counter, and it moves normally and stays visible as it "hops" from square to square. I notice that it has a little "shadow" under it while it's moving and that shadow is no longer visible once it lands on the intended location. Are you seeing something different? If so, can you share with us how you're viewing the published output? You'll want to test it within the intended environment to ensure there aren't any local security restrictions causing problems for you.

Becky Evens

Hi Ashley, thanks for your comments! The 'shadow' is the 'normal' state of the counter. The trigger is set to change the state of the counter depending on a variable. So basically, the object shows as its normal state briefly before changing to the state it should be. This was pretty noticable when the normal state was a different counter. To get around it I have changed the normal state to the shadow effect, which masks the problem, but does not fix it for other projects. It would be great to work out why it does it, because this is something I would like to use in other projects.

Gayla Keesee

I'm wondering if there's a javascript conflict. I recently learned that if you are using javascript, it works best in Safari and Internet Explorer. When I previewed your file using Firefox, I got several javascript error messages when I moved from one screen to the next. 

I actually found this thread because I was wanting to create a board game as part of a math course I am developing. Instead of the traditional Monopoly-type square, I wanted them to go on a journey with a meandering board sort of like Candyland. Same concept though. I was trying to see if anyone had developed a game template they would be interested in sharing so I could see how the variables and conditions worked. I was thinking of using a random number generator instead of the dice. I like the idea that the player collects a score as well as the cards. I am incorporating a badge system in my game, so having a minimum score would be helpful in order to earn the badge. Can the players go around more than once?

Becky Evens

Hi Gayla, thanks for your suggestion, I shall try it without the javascript and see what happens!

At the moment, the gane is a prototype, and the user only goes aroung the board once. We are going to set it to twice to cover all our HSSE questions. Rather than being an authentic game though, we are developing 4 versions of the game with different dice rolls and questions, and then one game will be randomly selected at the start. If the user takes the course repeatedly, they will notice that there are 4 versions, rather than a truly randomised game, but we thought this way was a good way to make sure that all our key questions are covered whilst still making the user feel as if they are playing a game.  I'm sure its possible to link the screens up so that the user is really playing a game, but it seemed like a lot of effort for a short HSSE refresher couse!

We have also set it so that each question is related to one of 4 topic areas. After the game is finished, the user will see a personalised menu page for the actual training content - if they got all the questions right about one topic, they will not have to take any training on that topic. If they got everythign right in the game, they wont need to do any training and can leave the course.

Its all an elaborate pre-test really!

I think I took it out of the cut down version I put up on here, but at the end, the user can also print out all the cards they collect throughout the game. Over the 4 games, each square will be covered, so in theory they could collect every card.

Enzo Silva

What a great game design!

Quick question, what sets the card to "collected" once the player submits the right answer? That is, what makes the card STAY on the board, which variable?

also, how do I edit THAT card?

I am trying to adapt this concept to a project here. And I gotta say, quite successfully because it is fairly clear what you've done with simple programming.

Also, the flickering issue does NOT appear for me... maybe because I am running the latest version of Storyline? A few months after your post?

Becky Evens

Hi everyone,

Very glad you like the game! In answer to Enzo's question - the variable for displaying each earned card is updated on the 'correct' layer of the question slide that allows you to earn the card. Each card has its own variable. The triggers for displaying the cards are on the master slide for the game that you are in (there are 4 games, and the user is directed to one of them randomly at the start without knowing, so it gives the illusion of a random game each time, so there are 4 master slides - one for each game).

The master side has a a layer for each card, and triggers for each card which turns the layer to visible if the variable for the card is true. So there is one trigger to display each card, but they are activated every time you open a new page.

To edit the cards - go to the slide master for the game that the card appears in, click on the layer that contains the card, and replace the image with a new one. I made the cards in photoshop so they are just png files.

You will also need to replace the card in any other of the 4 games it appears in (some come up twice), and also in the master slide for the results page for that game.

That sounds more complicated that I had intended to make it! It sort of grew....

I shall give it another go in the latest version and see if the flickering goes!

Randy Susevich

Hi Rebecca, I really love your game layout. I've been searching for a template that I could use (also for developing an annual safety refresher course).

This will be my first Storyline project that I will see to completion (hopefully by the end of the month!). May I use the file you shared as a template to develop my own game version?

thank you,

Randy