Sunday, November 17, 2013

Second Life Orientation

Welp!
     I figured out how to eliminate 30% of the frustration I was experiencing with Second Life. I decided to go through the tutorial on a computer that isn't my laptop. I tried to complete the orientation in several locations, and even hooked directly up to an Ethernet cable with only minimal improvement. I've just decided to do all of my Second Life-ing on one of the desktops in SEC 405. As soon as I logged into the SL Viewer, I noticed the difference. My avatar was able to move about freely and with out all of the jerkiness I was experiencing earlier. I figured out how to make my avatar do gestures like laugh, clap, and nod. I think I'll try to use those in class. I went through the tutorials and manage to sit IN a wall instead of on a bench, LOL.

Going through Lionheart Orientation Island's Tutorials
 I started the tutorial out as a robot avatar, but I finished as a pirate! Arggh!

Once I finished, I was actually brave enough to venture out to explore the rest of the island. 
Here I am at PixelBits



I'm enjoying a cranberry ginger ale at the Rock Bar.


All of the images in this post are screenshots taken by me (TechnoEduc8Tau) while in Second Life.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Introduction to Second Life


Well, I'm not sure how I feel about this whole Second Life virtual world deal. Right now, I don't think I'm too amped about using it. I used to play around in virtual worlds when I was younger. I played around in the Coke Rewards virtual world for a while and I also was a fan of The SIMS. I've kind of grown out of that phase.
    So I've logged in to Second Life and tried to operate... and I just can't. Maybe I need to use a desktop computer, but I can't seem to get my character to navigate from one place to another. -__- This special 3D virtual world viewer that I had to download is very "laggy." I've reached that moment where I'm about ready to give up if it doesn't get any better. Hopefully, my outlook will improve.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Cooperation Will Save the Kingdom!... or Maybe Not.






    In my last post I talked about how we had the mission of playing Kingdom Rush on our own as a class assignment. This week, we had to play the game more, but this time with a partner to see how some collaboration would affect the experience. David and I were partners for this activity. Initially, David had made more progress than I had, so I played a lot to catch up 
with him... and ended up passing him. We were both feeling stuck, so we decided to play my game since it would be a challenge for both of us.We began playing level 12 together.



      Playing with a partner had several advantages. First, four eyes are better than two! Well, technically, eight eyes are better than four, if we include lenses and such. We were able to watch multiple parts of the battle at once. We could see when reinforcements were available again, how many coins we had to upgrade towers, and what areas were successful or unsuccessful. Sometimes that seemed like a bit much to watch on our own, making it easier for the enemy to sneak in under our individual radars. With collaborative play, both of us suggested ways to upgrade towers and when. That made it easier to identify which weak spots needed more reinforcement.




 We gave it our best shot from the beginning and did what we thought was best.  Things started looking good at first, but went downhill quickly. We only made it to wave 5 out of 15. It was obvious our two minds still needed a little help, so we went looking. YouTube gave us some answers.Level 12 Walk through  

Let the record show that David is laughing at our first loss.




Our next attempt got us much further. We looked at the walk through to see where we might have been setting up our defenses wrong and how we could improve them. While some may consider it cheating, I’d like to say it was more like pulling in a third partner. We realized what mistakes we were making, and also understood WHY they were mistakes. It wasn’t that we were just copying without thought. we discussed how the improvements in strategy differed from our own and may be more effective. Using walk through guides and playing with a partner made it easier to strategize and design a battle plan.

Try as we might, we did not succeed… :(  
 
 


     
     This made it a little easier to accept defeat. We tried as a team and we were crushed as a team. Even though we lost the level, there was less frustration. We were eager to go try again. It was safe to say that playing collaboratively added a new element of FUN! One of my friends Rashad overheard us collaborating and expressed interest in playing the game for himself. We were able to identify ways that we could improve our game-play for the next round. For example, it may make more sense to upgrade our barracks sooner so that soldiers could battle against ground and air assaults.
Wouldn’t it be great if collaborative game-play included collaborative coins and stars? I think the good folks at Ironhide Game Studios should consider that little suggestion.



 


Leave a comment about a game that you've played with a partner or in a team. Tell me how much more/less involved you were when you played with others as opposed to playing individually.

While you're at it, check out David's post about our cooperative game-play here: http://marshalltowndigitalconversion.blogspot.com/
          

Monday, November 4, 2013

Caught up in the Flow: A Queen Mastering Kingdom Rush

     Ok. So for the past two weeks in my Emerging Instructional Technologies course, Dr. Z (you may know him from his blog http://drzreflects.blogspot.com/) has had us focusing on gaming, the process of playing, and how it can be used in education. He assigned Ironhide Game Studio's Kingdom Rush as a learning activity. A game... for class...as an assignment? Yep. Just in case you didn't catch that, my professor told us to play a game for a class assignment. How often does that happen?! I downloaded the game to my Google Chrome window and accepted the challenge. I figured I could play the game while I was getting my hair braided.

http://kingdomrush.com/

    Before I started, I had my mind set on disliking the game. I saw myself building little towers and just sitting and watching monsters move slowly across the screen. After some time playing, I have to admit, the game is kind of cute; especially the little reinforcements that get sent out to battle the goblins. They even have little pitchforks and swords. As the levels progressed, kingdom invaders moved faster, towers were leveled up, abilities were added, stars were earned, and soldiers got stronger. Before I knew it, I had gotten lost in the flow.... and 2 hours of my life were GONE. I like challenges and puzzles; and this became a serious challenge. There was NO WAY I was going to let those ugly Yetis beat ME! Nope. No way, no HOW!


http://www.reactiongifs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/No-Way-Jose-Gif-On-Full-House.gif

  I almost reached my TRUE frustration level several times. I was using the trial-and-error method of battle: I tried something and if it didn't work, I learned from my errors and modified my strategy. I don't use profanity sentence enhancers very often, but I found myself tossing quite a few around like artillery. I had a couple of Rage Quits because making it through 14 out of 15 waves only to experience defeat near the end of wave 15 had me UP...SET!
If I had been sitting at a table, it would have been flipped.

    Once I had a little "me time"and got my mind right, I came back to try again. I knew I needed and wanted some guidance, so I went to find the strategy guides on YouTube. They were very helpful. When I just couldn't figure out how to complete a level, I followed the guide to get myself started and heading in the right direction... then I continued on my own. Since I know that I can get horribly lost in the flow of gaming, I've decided that I can't play "The Rush" unless I've finished pressing coursework that is usually due by 10:00 pm on Sundays or 11:59pm on Mondays. Otherwise, I'll end up telling people, "Yeahhh, I only earned 8 out of 20 points on my journal reflection, but I beat level 17 on Kingdom Rush, though!"

And that is just not cute at all.

When was the last time a game had you ready to flip tables?
Leave a comment below and let me know!
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Gifs from

http://www.reactiongifs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/No-Way-Jose-Gif-On-Full-House.gif 
http://iambrony.com/gif/31263