WIP/Demo Game - Arcade style platform e-learning game

Sep 17, 2015

Hi all,

Part of my challenge with Storyline is to try and stretch it as far as I can to try and make examples of really interesting ways of delivering e-learning content.

My latest idea was to try an recreate the old style platform game made famous by characters like Mario/Sonic etc in the days of 8 bit Sega and Nintendo arcade games.

In this latest demo I have used elements from the old Sega game Sonic the Hedgehog, purely down to the fact the elements are available online through searching on Google and as I am not a designer/animator they were ready made and required no artworking , so ideal for this demo (just don't tell anyone at Sega!!)

The premise of the game is very simple, Sonic runs along and tries to 'catch' a question. If he catches one and answers it correctly he wins a ring. Get a question wrong and you lose a ring.

The player simply has to hit the J key within the time period the question is 'active' in order to 'catch' it and have the opportunity to answer. Jump too early or too late and you miss the chance.

This demo is just a short version with only 5 questions but was a test for functionality and usability. I have ideas for enhancing the game by adding in questions at different heights and the user having to press one of 3 keys to jump at the correct height; randomly appearing questions; speed increase/decrease of questions & multiple levels of the game are just some.

The game only runs on SWF output, HTML5 doesnt appear to like animated GIFs, and this version only works with keyboard controls, although I envisage mouse clicks could also work.

Would be great to have feedback from the community as to how this could be improved/enhanced and also what do you feel the current playability is like? Currently there is about a 1 second window where you have to press the J key otherwise you miss the question. 

There is no JS involved in this demo, everything is controlled by triggers.

Would be interested to hear any feedback/ideas on how this runs, how you think it could be improved and what features you would like to see in something like this.


39 Replies
Darren Heath

After showing the demo to a 9 year old and a 10 year old they absolutely loved it, and despite it only having 5 questions played it for nearly an hour. They both have asked if I can 'make it longer' so they can play it more often.

I also showed the demo at the Omniplex E-learning event last week in London and it seemed to get positive feedback there by those that saw it.

My mission now is to make it into a fully-working, multi-level game. My plan is to:

  1. Make the entire game last about 10-15 minutes in length
  2. Have multiple levels
  3. Swap motion timelines for questions appearing on screen and use sliders instead
  4. Randomize these question elements
  5. Have a 'multiplier' for the score so the more you get right in succession the higher your score gets
  6. Randomized quiz questions, difficulty, and points scored
  7. High score table
  8. And maybe a few more features, depends what I can think of and what I can achieve in Storyline.

As soon as I have an improvement on this demo I shall post it on here. Not putting a deadline on when as I will be doing this in my spare time.

Darren Heath

Glad you got it to work Mike.

In my first attempt at using Storyline to create a 'game' I re-created the snakes and ladders board game. There are no actually 'e-learning' elements in it, but there is no reason why you couldn't take the principles of the board game and make a game-based e-learning module.

It is on the e-learning examples section and there is a link to a post I made explaining how I made it and also a PDF to assist this post. The game is far from polished graphically but you could take the principles of the game and create something meaningful.

Mike B.

Thanks Darren, I'll check that one out too.

I had envisioned making a first person shooter style game when I first started learning SL. I'll get back to that idea as soon as I get some free time.

Ashley, I was looking more for some instructions on which features would work best in SL to animate various aspects of the screen, detect contact between elements, etc. I'll play around to see what I can discover.

Darren Heath

That would be certainly be one helluva project to do in Storyline. Would love to see what you can achieve for that genre of gaming!

Ive started work on taking this demo and making it a fully working game, and for my attempts at collision detection Im using 2 variables and if those two values are equal to specified values then that counts as a 'hit'

JD Maddox

Hello all,

This game is awesome! I am a big fan of taking things from my childhood and adapting it to e-learning.

Darren - I really enjoyed the scrolling idea here...like a lot. :)

Mike - I am not sure if it would help a whole lot, but the idea of shooting something and it changing is something I did in this module. I have also uploaded the story file so you can see what I used. Let me know if that helps at all

Darren Heath

Thanks for your comments JD, Ive just downloaded your .story file and will take a look at your game. Your game looks great, a shoot 'em up game is something that I am thinking of after Ive completed the platform-based game.

After some amazing feedback at the Omniplex demo-fest event a couple of weeks ago, and pestering from a couple of 9 and 10 year olds I have decided to make a fully working game based on the demo here.

So far I have just the first 2 levels in World 1, which is a simple introductory section getting the player used to jumping. Each Level/World will have 3 sub-levels and if all goes to plan it will end up being a 21 level game, which means a heck of a lot of work for me!!!

Future levels will have e-learning quiz questions, aimed at younger kinds. Im planning on having question banks and divided up each level into a different subject/category.

So far, I have an intro screen which loads with a random background each time, and the first 2 levels in the Beginners Quest level. Im looking at replacing the 8-bit font with another arcade/computer game font that is a little more readable.

Here's the link to the latest beta, it is a bit slow to load off my public dropbox account though


Would love to have your feedback

Darren Heath

I've toyed with the idea of a timer Phil. Initially I was going to have a 60 second 'level' timer then realised that wouldn't work with how I was producing the levels. I've thought about a question timer where the player would have a set amount of time to answer (like in the pub quiz machines) but as I'm initially developing this for a couple of young kids to help with their school work I have decided for this version at least to leave it as is.

Ive also toyed with the idea of having 'lives' miss a certain amount of jumps and that's game over. Again, something for v2 or v3 should the time come.

Phil Mayor

I must say I admire your tenacity and commitment, I find with projects like these I am happy at POC phase and rarely build it out beyond that. 

I meant more for the jump animation, when I press jump it stays up in the air, if you had a 1second timer on a layer this would drop it back to the ground and be more like the game.

I hope you keep posting updated versions.

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