TaleBlazer Tutorial Two – Game Mechanics

TaleBlazer Tutorial Two – Game Mechanics
Play “Ahoy STEP Lab”
“Ahoy STEP Lab” is a game that shows off TaleBlazer’s game mechanics.
1. Play the game on your phone by entering the game code gvsdjee into the TaleBlazer mobile app.
2. If you are not playing the game on location at MIT, turn on ‘Tap to Bump’ via the Admin tab in the
TaleBlazer mobile app and tap on the agents to visit them.
3. Tap the “Learn More” action buttons to learn more about the game mechanics as you play the game.
Explore “Ahoy STEP Lab”
Open the game in the TaleBlazer Editor to see how it works
4. Login to http://taleblazer.org with your username and password.
5. Browse to http://taleblazer.org/profile/demo and click on the “Ahoy STEP Lab” game. It should open
in the Editor. You can explore the game in the Editor. You can also make changes then save a copy to
your own account by clicking the Save button.
6. While you work on this tutorial, you can refer back to this game.
Open the Editor
7. Create a new game or modify an existing game to experiment with during this tutorial
a. To resume editing the game you created in TaleBlazer Tutorial One, click on My Games on the
TaleBlazer home page, then click on the game you created earlier, then click Continue Editing.
b. To create a new game, click on Create A Game under the Games menu on the TaleBlazer home
page.
How to Implement TaleBlazer Game Mechanics
You can follow each of these sections, or pick and choose which ones to explore.
Password Protected Agent
A password protected agent prompts the player to enter a password at a specific location. The player can see
the name, image, and description for the agent they are trying to unlock.
1. On the Agents tab, pick an agent or add a new agent
2. Check the Password protect actions checkbox and type in a password for the agent
3. Test your game! Remember to Publish the game before you test it.
Clue Code Agent
A clue code agent can be summoned by the player any time any where using the clue code tab. For example,
Clue codes allow your game to mimic the commonly found museum tour guide application in which the user
punches in a code when they find a sign in the real world.
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1. On the Agents tab, pick an agent or add a new agent – don’t forget to place the new agent on the Map!
2. In the Settings box, in the Location area, pick ClueCode from the dropdown, then type in the clue code.
3. On the Game tab, click Configure Tabs then check the Clue Code checkbox to include the Clue Code tab
on the mobile software.
4. Test. On the mobile, tap on the clue code tab, then enter the clue code to see the clue code agent.
If ALL passwords or all clue codes are numeric, you can opt to
show the numeric soft keyboard by default using the Keyboard
section of the Mobile Settings on the Game tab. Note that some
devices do not allow the user to switch to the full keyboard
from the numeric keyboard.
Inventory Object
The player can pick up objects from the map and carry them in their inventory throughout the game.
1. On the Agents tab, click New Agent to make a new agent.
2. Give your agent a name, description, and image.
3. Check the Can be picked up checkbox
. Decide whether you want to allow the user
to drop this object or not and then specify using the Can be dropped checkbox.
4. On the Map tab, place the agent in a pedestrian friendly location.
5. On the Game tab, click Configure Tabs then check the Inventory checkbox to include the Inventory tab
on the mobile software.
6. Test your game.
a. Follow the steps from TaleBlazer Tutorial One if you can’t remember how to publish the game
and play it on your device.
b. When you tap on the new agent, you should see the built-in Pick Up action button.
c. Tap Pick Up. Once you have picked up the agent, the Pick Up action should automatically
disappear. If you specified that the object can be dropped, you should see the Drop action
automatically appear.
d. Close the agent dashboard, then click on the Inventory tab. You should see the new object
there. You can click on it to see its dashboard again.
Notice that an object can be dropped when accessed from the inventory, but it cannot be dropped when
accessed from the history tab. When reviewing the history of the game, the player is not allowed to interact
with agents.
Role Action (for the player)
Role actions can be run by the player any time any where.
1. On the Player tab, give the role a name, description, icon, and image, just like you’ve done for agents.
2. Add a text action by clicking the Add Action button in the Actions box
3. Click on “Action1” in the Name column to change the name of your new action to “Show Quest”
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4. Click on the blue box in the Content column and type in the text for your agent to show when the
player clicks the “Show Quest” button.
5. Include the player tab in the game by clicking on the Configure Tabs button on the Game tab, then
checking the Player checkbox.
6. Test! On the mobile, tap on the player tab, then enter the clue code to see the clue code agent.
Role Playing Game
Make a New Role
To have the player pick a role when they start the game – such as “Scurvy Cat” and “Bilge Rat” in the “Ahoy
STEP Lab” game, make roles.
1. On the Player tab, add one or more new roles by clicking the New Role button
2. Give each role a name, description, icon, and image, just like you’ve done for agents.
Make the game different for each role
Use the If then Else block from the control drawer and the is a (role) block from the Game drawer to change
the game based on role. Pick one or more of the following:

Give the player a different ‘Quest’ based on
which role they picked by adding blocks like
the following to the Game tab:


Have an agent say different things to each
role by adding multiple text actions to an
agent. Then add blocks like the following
TaleBlazer Tutorial Two – Game Mechanics © MIT 2012-2013
Have each role meet different agents by
adding blocks like the following. You can
attach these blocks to any event or action
blocks. If the script uses the show block,
make sure the agents are hidden by default
by unchecking their Visibility checkboxes.
You could use the hide blocks instead, but
make sure the agents are visible by default.
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Action Scripts
To make something happen when the user taps a button, create an action script.
1. On the Agents tab, pick an existing agent or make a new agent
2. Drag an Action block out of the Control drawer
a. Optional - click on the block to edit the name of the block
3. Make a new script action by clicking the Add Action button
in the Actions box, then
pick script from the dropdown in the Type column
a. Click on “Action1” in the Name column and type in the text to appear on the button
4. Attach the new action to the block you just created by picking the new action from the dropdown in
the Content column
5. Add blocks to the action block that will be executed when the player taps on the action button. Here
are some examples:
You can also add action script actions to the Player. Go to the Player tab and follow the same instructions.
Player Score
In TaleBlazer, variables are called traits. For example, you can use a trait to
keep track of a score for the player.
1. On the Player tab, click the Add Trait button
to bring up
the Add Trait dialog
2. In the Add Trait dialog
a. Type “Score” for the Name
b. Type “0” for the Value
c. Click the Add Trait button to add the trait and close the dialog
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d. On the Agents tab, pick an agent then drag a change block from the traits drawer and attach it
under the When player bumps block.
e. Pick player from the of dropdown; then pick
“Score” from the change dropdown. Now the
player will earn points just by bumping into the
agent.
f. Your blocks should look like this:
g. Open the Looks drawer, drag out a say block and attach it under the change block. Type “You
win 10 points!”.
3. To allow the player to see their score, make sure that the player tab is present in the game by clicking
on the Configure Tabs button on the Game tab, then checking the Player checkbox
4. Test your game!
Inventory-based Logic
You can use the player’s inventory to make other agents behave differently:
You can also use the player’s inventory to make their own objects behave differently:
It is important to remember that picking up an object is a CHOICE. Your game should have an interesting
outcome for the player whether they choose to pick up the object or not. If the object is required in order to
succeed, you can set the object to be ‘re-bumped’ so that it will automatically come back up if the player
returns to it. Then later in the game, another agent can tell the player to go back for the required object.
Moving the Game
1. On the Map tab, uncheck the Lock Map checkbox.
2. Type in an address and click the Search Address button. Once you’ve found the right location, click the
Move Game to Here button.
3. Drag inside the map to move it around or drag on the blue squares to re-size the map.
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4. If you have multiple regions, expand the Regions area and follow the same steps for each region in the
game.
Revisitable Agents (Bump Settings)
Bump Settings allow the designer to specify how agents interact with the player. Make an agent revisitable by
checking the ‘Allow re-bump when the player moves outside GPS proximity’ checkbox in the Bump Settings.
You can do many other things such as


Make a game of hide and seek by turning ON auto-bump and turning OFF show agent.
Make a Heads Up game by hiding the map tab and making all the agents visible in the Heads Up tab.
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