Sentence Game Maker
Other game makers...
What is a sentence game?
A Languages Online Sentence Game begins with a sentence that has one or more words missing, and number of possible 'answer' words. The player must select the correct answer words to complete the sentence. This game focuses on sentence structure and word order, and depending on the answer options that appear in the game, it can be used to for practising agreements, adjectival endings, articles or many other grammatical points.
The diagram below shows the information you can enter into the Game Maker and how it appears in a finished game.
|A Game name and your name will appear here||To begin you type in a complete sentence. You then highlight the words you want to become gaps. Those words then become the 'correct gap words' and are replaced in the sentence with the underscores.|
|These are the Correct gap words. They are the words you highlighted as 'gap words' in the sentence you first typed.||You can also add some Trick gap words. These appear alongside the correct gap words that the player must choose from.||You can provide a Clue to help the player complete the sentence. The clue can be text, a picture, a voice recording or a video clip. Clues are optional.|
Here are some some examples of how the Sentence Game can be used:
|Sentence or phrase/clue||Correct gap word(s)||Possible 'trick' gap word(s)|
|I have a pet ___. (with a picture of a cat)||cat||dog, bird etc|
|Lei ha gli _____ _______.||occhi, piccoli||pancia, occhio, piccolo|
|___ Milch||die||das, der|
|Le crayon est ____. (with a picture of a green pencil)||vert||verte, vertes, verts|
Two games in one!
The Sentence Game Maker also offers two ways the player can complete the sentence. In both games the task is exactly the same, the player must select the correct word(s) for the gap(s). The only difference is the way the player selects the words.
Drag and drop the words
The player completes the phrase by dragging and dropping the correct article into place.
'Shoot' the words in the correct order
The player must complete the phrase by 'shooting' the correct word.
When making your game you can select from these two options, or you can nominate to let the player chose the type of game.
You can make games in any language. Any script (for example Arabic or Japanese) that can be typed on your computer can be used.
When your students make their own multimedia language games, they are practising important skills:
- they can revise a wide variety of linguistic and cultural concepts
- they are actively using the languages in a fun way
- thinking about the purpose and audience of their game, and making decisions about the content
- ICT skills: file management and creation, making voice recordings, sourcing and saving images, understanding different file types
When complete, the game is saved on your computer in the location you specify. From here you can copy the game to a disc, memory stick or onto another computer or network to share with others.
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Saving and playing your game
All finished games are saved as a web page with a 'data' folder containing all the resources included in your game. If you like, the Game Maker can package the game folder into a 'zip' file. The two options are described below:
|Option 1||Option 2|
As a web page
This is the default setting. If unsure, use this option. This saves your game and all resources in a new folder with the name and in the location you specify.
When copying this game make sure you copy the whole game folder.
To play game: Open the game folder and click on the web icon.
As a zip file
This option packages all the games resources into a standard zipped folder.
To play game:The files must be 'extracted' first. Operation is then the same as option one.
* Learning Management Systems vary in their operation; in many games can be added by uploading the zipped game folder as a 'resource', and then specifying the webpage inside the zipped folder as the file to open. For example, if including the above zipped game in a Learning Management system the file name for students to view would be 'My Game.html'.
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Correcting a mistake in a game
The Game Maker allows you to open and make changes to the content of a Sentence Game. When you load a game into the Sentence Maker, you can make the following changes:
- Change the game's name or your name
- Change the sentence text that appears in a task
- Add, delete or change any of the 'correct' or 'trick' gap words in a task
- Change a clue that appears in a tasks
NOTE: When you load a game back into the Game Maker, you cannot change the type of task. For example if your game uses a pictures, you cannot change it to a game that uses recordings. To do that you need to make a new game.
Translating a game into another language
Games in one language can easily be translated into another language using the Game Maker.
For example, to translate a French game with pictures into Italian, load the French game into the Game Maker, change the text to Italian and then save the changes as a new game.
Teachers: Checking the content of students' games
You can play the game to check the text, pictures or recordings of a student's game.
A quicker way of checking the contents of a student's game is by loading it into the Sentence Game Maker. To do this, select the 'Change existing game' option and navigate to the game you want to check. Once opened, you can view the information that the student entered simply by clicking through each step of the Game Maker.
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Installation and operationIntallation
The Memory Game Maker requires the following:
- Windows 2000, XP or Vista (all require '.net framework 2.0'. This is standard on 'Vista', and common on the other operating systems. If it is not installed on the computer, a prompt will appear allowing the download and installation of the file. It is free.)
- a sound card
- screen resolution of at least 800 x 600
- 256 colours or greater
Installation of software in school systems is often restricted. This may mean that only your IT technician is able to install software. Check with your IT support if you are unsure.
Game Makers must be installed on individual computers. They cannot be run over a network.
When making a game you can include the following files:
- Images: BMPs, GIFs, JPEGs, WMFs and PNGs. All images are converted to JPEGs in finished games. Images bigger than the spave provided are automatically resized to fit.
- Sounds: WAVs or MP3s. Sounds are all converted to MP3s in the finished game. (Note: The Game Maker includes a built in sound recorder that allows you to record and save your own voice recordings).
Finsihed games need and web browser and Flash Player 8 or better to run.
When completed the following files are packaged together:
- A html file
- An swf file (the game template)
- MP3 files (all sounds are converted to MP3)
- an XML file (containing all the data entered by the user)
- JPEGs files (all pictures are converted to JPEGs)
Some schools' IT systems prevent students from saving these files. If you have problems it's worth Check with your IT support that students are permited to save these files in their folders on the server. If not, it may be possible to create a new folder without these restrictions where students can save their games.
The default save path for completed games is the users 'My Document' folder. Voice recordings are temporarily saved in the users 'temp' folder. To change these default paths see the Technical Notes page
Version historyVersion 1.6 (released 2nd April 2012)
- bug that prevented sound recording on XP fixed
- Windows 7 version
- Game can no longer be saved as EXE files
- XML files now saved as UTF-8 making games compatible with more web server
- bug that stopped games being saved as exe files on some systems fixed
- Improved save process allows easier navigation to common locations
- No file name required when saving new sound recording
- Panel with accented characters added
- Games can now be saved as a HTML file, exe file (Self executing zip) or standard zip file
- Shortcut to audio control panels now works in Vista
- 'Shooting' version of the game fixed so that when a player uses all their bullets they can restart the game.
- Bug in maker fixed so that all games can be loaded back into the maker.
- Changes made to allow game to work when uploaded to live webservers. (XML files renamed to 'sentence.xml' - rather than 'Sentence.xml' - to accommodate case sensitive web servers)
- Path notation in XML corrected enabling completed games to be played on Macs
Further Information and help
Each step of the Game Maker has a detailed 'Help' page. Click on the '?' icon in the top right hand corner to view the page.
For futher assistance contact the Languages Online Team (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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