Just completed my first game in articulate storyline

Apr 08, 2013

Greetings all, 

I just complete my first game (Wacky Math Class) in Articulate Storyline.  Please review and offer feedback.  This is my first game I have created and I spent about 3 weeks working on it.  I am sure I am going to find little glitches here and there because the course is filled with variables.  

If you find anything let me know and I will work on improving it.




23 Replies
Judith Blackbourn

Hi Janell,

Well done. A fun way to practice math! I like how it progresses from easy to harder problems.

This game is terrific output for just 3 weeks work. Wish I could do that!

What type of transitions or animations are you using to refresh the greenboard after each answer displays? The action is kind of jerky -- there may be smoother ways to get there.

Your instruction screen didn't talk about lives -- do I want to get more? What is my prize if I do?

Sorry, I don't have a lot of experience with games.

I noticed that your text is in all capitals on the instruction screen. Generally, it is understood that all caps is harder to read than regular sentence case. Was that because this is intended for small children who may not be familiar with lowercase letters yet?

Janell Deadwyler

Hi Judith,  

Thanks for the feedback.

I could not figure out why the video did not playback as smoothly as it does on my pc until I read that swf files not progressively stream.

That is not a real deal breaker for me, I can simply export my animation to FLV files and swap them out so that it looks the same.

There are about 3 to 4 "idle" loops the character does through out the game.  In addition, there are about 4 wrong answer animation and 5 right animations responses so the end user (children) don't get too bored so quickly.

The instructions does state that if they answer the question incorrectly they will lose 50 points and a lost of life.  But I will revise the writing so that it's clear to everyone.

The ultimate prize is that children learn addition and have fun learning.  However, there is a " winning dance " the professor does if you get a certain amount of points.

I would love to incorporate a high score leader board for my game but have not figured a way to get it working at the moment.

The font I am using is a all cap font called Balloonist SF and it's a font that I use throughout my entire game.  

Alexandros Anoyatis

Hi Janell,

That was nice, I really enjoyed it. Did the swf transparency work out-of-the-box ?

A couple of things I think may make overall play snappier :

1) Try hacking the html output to insert the background audio and make it loopable. That will reduce a lot of slide-to-slide overhead related to audio. Have a look at this thread.
2) Eliminate the submit button - not really needed for this task.

Just my 2c.

Janell Deadwyler


The background audio restarting every slide really annoyed me, but I didn't know there was another option.  The link you provided does not work, can you repost the link?

I am in the process of swapping out the SWF for FLV I might eliminate the submit button.  The main reason why I have the submit button , is because kids hit the wrong button by mistake a lot,  having the submit button ensure they have selected the answer they really want.

Harri S

Hi Janell,

I love the game, especially the maths teacher's lil dances. 

I know you've mentioned that you found the audio restarting on every slide annoying, however I found that it was a good indicator that the question had changed and the timer had restarted, so maybe it could be used to your advantage.

From a learner's perspective I think it may be beneficial to make the selected state a little more obvious- perhaps increase the glow or change the colour?

Also would there be any value to completing the calculation on the board when they submit the correct answer. Just for some extra reinforcement.

Just a couple of thoughts


Janell Deadwyler

Hi Harri,

Thanks for your kind feedback.

I look into Alex bg music idea and hit one major snag.  I have 4 different music playing in my course and I don't see a way to make the music stop once a round is complete and a new round start.  All of the music I have on the slides are currently clipped to 45sec long.  Just enough time for the timer to run and for the character to do his right/wrong animations.

I let my 5 year play the entire game for the first time yesterday, and I discovered the music repeating itself is not that bad when he plays.  Naturally a child who is age appropriate to this game will take a little longer to answer the question, so the music is playing much longer while they are thinking or counting there fingers trying to figure out the answer.

Regarding the Glow, i have it set at the highest setting right now, but I am probably going to make the selected answer change a totally different color since I am in the process of redoing a lot of the slides in a different format.

In regards to posting the value on the chalkboard when the answer is submitted,  That would require more layers and triggers and I have about 20 of them going per slide plus variables.  I am not sure I want to introduce more triggers to the game.  It's a huge headache when I have to troubleshoot.

Janell Deadwyler

Okay so I remove all the swf animation files and replaced them with either AVI videos or GIf files.  I also attempted to add a  pre-loader slide with a 6 sec delay to allow time for the videos in the beginning of the course to load faster.  

I have notice two problems so far.

(1) The beginning of my game still runs a little slow.

(2) The all of the avi videos all look a little fuzzy.

The videos look clear on my pc, but once they are imported into articulate storyline and publish, they look fuzzy.  

Any suggestions?



Craig Bligh

That's some seriously impressive work there! Well done. I love how you've used the concept of 'lives' for when kids get things wrong. That appears to be an increasingly popular and effective pedagogical device within gamification. I also love the timer and speed bonus aspect!

A few ideas for further enhancement:  

  • Some indication of how far through the game I am. How many levels are there? Can I see my progress? How long will I have do do this for (you know what kids can be like!)
  • Cumulative tally and leaderboard - I know, you mentioned the difficulties of incorporating this. But it would be nice for my hard earned points to at least accumulate somehow across levels.
  • A home button, or some other way to stop half way. Outside of an LMS, I know it's hard to save progress. But it would be great if there was a way to not have to complete it all in one sitting. Even something as simple as a menu page that shows all levels - the ones completed and those yet to be completed. For example, once you've completed level 3, levels 1, 2 and 3 become unlocked and you can click on these from the menu page at any time. On such a page, you could also show that levels 4, 5, and 6 are still waiting for you to unlock/complete.
  • When clicking the X to exit and being presented with the Continue button, I can't seem to select No. Nothing happens. Same when I 'lose' the game and click Exit Game.  
  • Perhaps instead of having the more corporate 'Submit', you could change this to 'Check Answer' or something like that. 

Finally, in the instructions, just give it another proof read. 'Each round consist' (consists); 'Answer the question within 5 second' (seconds) to get (a) speed bonus...'; '...and you will lose 50 points and a lose of life' (and lose a life). And in the instructions it talks about getting enough points to progress to the next round, but doesn't say how many you need. 

But hats off - some seriously inspiring work!

- Craig

Janell Deadwyler

Thanksso much for the kind words Craig,


I am really looking for a hard solution for the leader board. I would really love to have that included in the game.

I also inquired about the exit button not working correctly inanother help thread, but it appears to be intermittent,  I have test thisgame in several browsers, and it’s hit or miss if the button works correctly.  The trigger used is one of the defaulttriggers in storyline,  “when click, endcourse” but for some reason it does not always work.


Thanksfor the spell check, I will update the instructions soon.

Idid not specify the amount needed for each level because if I decide toincrease the game later to more levels, I would have to make constant upgrades to the instructions as well, insteadI decided to add a slide to each level showing how many points is need toadvance before each level  begins.


Ilike the idea of a progress bar, and it’s something that can easily be added aswell as the “check answer”.  The hardestthing about creating a game is thinking like a kid.  Which is why I let my 5 yr be the first onewho play with the games, I study his behavior to determine if he understandshow everything works. 


Hehas a LeapPad and all of the games on the LeapPad have a Pause button on thescreen.  The other day he was playing thegame and asked where the pause button was on my game.  This gave me the idea to include it in mynext update.


Ifthere was a way to actually save your progress in a the game,  and be able to return back to a level on adifferent date or time, I would love to update the game to show levelsunlocked, but to be honest this is my second game I created in storyline, and Ihave get the brain juices flowing more to get to that level of creativity.  That sounds like a game that would be bestran on PC and I am still trying to make it Web friendly.  Maybe in the future, I will create 2 versionsof the game or have a free demo of the game online, and charge for people topurchase the actual game.


Itwould make a lot of current issues I am having with game go away, and it wouldprobably allow me to add the additional feature I want to the game.



Janell Deadwyler

Hi Hugo,

Your questions are a little complex to answer.

In regards to the timer,  their are two parrts to it, the visual portion you see, which is a powerpoint timer saved as a movie.

The second part is a regular box. with the trigger set to disable in 30 secs.  The way storyline is built, it can only handle a certain amount of triggers connected to one object before it begins to be a little glitchy.  

I created a variable called "Speed Bonus" and one called "Times Up"

I created a regular rectangle (5 sec timer) and a trigger to change the state of the rectangle to disable in 5 secs using the timeline.

Here are the variables for the Speed Bonus:

Add 1.00 to SpeedBonus

When the user clicks

If Rectangle wrong answer 1 "4" state is equal to selected

or Rectangle wrong answer 2 "8" is not equal to selected

and if Rectangle right answer state is  equal to Normal.

The  Trigger just means the person has to select the right answer within the 5 sec timer in order to get the speedbonus.

There is a separate trigger that says the following:

Add 15 to Score
When the user clicks

If Right answer box "0"  state is equal to Selected

and 5 sec Timer box state is not equal to disabled.

Which means to only give 15 points if the answer is correct and the 5 sec timer has not expired.

This particular game has a lot of complex triggers and it can be very confusing.  I hope my explanation help.   

Shyam (Sam) Cholayil

Great work! I cant give you any technical feedback, but being a teacher myself, this looks like it is targeted at school kids and it would be good to add some kind of a comic character coming in and saying 'hooray' (or clapping or something like that) when a speed bonus is achieved. Kids love comic characters. While the professor is cool, kids may gel better with a comic character. Just a thought based on my interpretation of the psychology of learning. 

The overall experience is brilliant!!

roger vargas

hey wow nice work... just one question: how did you get the teacher character? and if is possible to animate it in some other ways?... these kinds of resources are really helpfully and can be applied in other learning games. I can help create one ...will try myself creating one about correct writing words (in Spanish) thanks and greetings from Colombia.

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