We made a little film recently. I had seen this fantastic red giraffe soft toy in TK Maxx and was quite taken by its spotty resemblance to the Guitar Hero controller. I decided this would make a great film, and as TeachMeet08 was coming up, it was a good deadline for making it.
First of all we discussed how to animate the computer game part of the movie. I wanted to show the dots floating down like they do in Guitar Hero. Two options that came to mind were stop motion animation with a very large sheet of paper and some cardboard cutout dots, or using a graphics package like Paint.Net to produce a series of images to then put into an animation program.
I have been using Scratch, a simple games programming / multimedia program developed by MIT with my second years. They have just finished working through the task cards that are provided on the website and now we're all starting to make Pacman games.
Sean pointed out that Scratch might be a good way to animate the Giraffe Hero game. I then got very enthusiastic and spent a day creating the sprites and the board and trying to code it all (Sean and Louis had a lovely day out and about enjoying the real world away from computers :-)
The big issue was timing. I wanted to create a game that worked, so that the individual sound clip for a chord played as the dot got to the bottom of the screen. This worked first time round, but as it looped it became more and more out of sync. Ideally I wanted to be able to adapt the game later so that it could be played. You would press buttons 1-5 at the right times to get the chord to play and win a point.
Here's the first game attempt. I did have the dots getting brighter and bigger as they got to the bases but I took that out thinking it might speed it up. (Click on the image to play)
After this version I realised this wasn't helping me get on and make the movie. I took out the sound clips, but that didn't help with the timing so I then copied the looping dots and made three sets instead that just wait until they're needed before floating down. You can see that version here on Scratch.
Maybe some day I'll get round to making Giraffe Hero the game, but as you can see my target audience hasn't gor the hang of holding the wireless soft chewable red giraffe controller yet, let alone pressing the buttons on time!
Here's the finished movie: