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  Game/eLearning technologies  (Read 3329 times)
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Offline alecswan

Junior Newbie

Java games rock!

« Posted 2003-12-04 14:11:08 »


My company creates educational software for kids for the distribution at public schools. We have a huge product (~70 GB) that we've been working on for the last couple of years. Obviously, the product imposes some serious restrictions on the minimum system requirements, so we would like to redo some of our lessons and pack them in a smaller suite.

We've been using Java for our old product implementation. Most of the art work was done in Maya and after effects. We are considering several options for the new suite: Flash with ActionScript and/or Director with Lingo, OpenGL, or maybe some Java OpenGL extensions, such as Jogl.  

We would like to target home users, so we need to choose technologies that do not impose serious restriction on the user's system. We would also like to be able communicate with the client installation to gather statistics on student performance and such.

I would appreciate any opinions on what technologies would be best for our new product.

Offline Orangy Tang

JGO Kernel

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« Reply #1 - Posted 2003-12-04 14:30:45 »

70Gb? Whoa. What takes up the space? Masses of pre-rendered fmv content?

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Offline alecswan

Junior Newbie

Java games rock!

« Reply #2 - Posted 2003-12-04 14:48:18 »

Well, 80% of the old product is art and video, and 20% is audio and a small fraction of code. Yes we are using a lot of pre-rendered stuff.

So, what would be our best options for the choice of content creating and content management systems? What are the most common choices in the industry?

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Offline Breakfast

Senior Devvie

for great justice!

« Reply #3 - Posted 2003-12-04 20:33:27 »

Are you planning to distribute it online or on CD or other hard media? Of online, will it be web-based or downloadable?

What kind of content? Are we talking about simple text and illustration type stuff or more complicated simulations or creative activities?

I have been part of something quite similar where we used Java and Java3D, but that was for CD distribution so we got to put the JRE and j3d stuff in with the installer.
Offline alecswan

Junior Newbie

Java games rock!

« Reply #4 - Posted 2003-12-04 20:54:49 »

Whether it's going to be web-based or distributed on CDs is still not clear. I guess the upper management wants the technology that delivers the best results to drive the decision.

We want smth that stands out and provides nice graphics and movies. Since the movies are involved, we would probably want to distribute them and other large media on CDs. But then, we could have a hybrid of online instructions that use local system resources. Has anyone heard of any similar practices?

The content that we are trying to distribute is reading and math lessons for kids. It involves a lot of interaction with the user and contains lot's of videos and animation.

To me it seems that Java3D is kind of obsolete and we should go with OpenGL or Macromedia products. Maybe we should even lease a game engine for this.

BTW, does anyone know how much longer does it take to develop in Director than with OpenGL? Would anyone recommend to use Jogl ?

I am sorry that my question is kinda sketchy. I would like to hear your brainstorming about it.

Offline Breakfast

Senior Devvie

for great justice!

« Reply #5 - Posted 2003-12-05 08:19:16 »

I wasn't really suggesting java3D for you- I'm not sure I can really see the applications for 3D technology in what you have described anyways- I was just offering my experience in the field.

I'm not sure why you are even thinking about using OpenGL for this- it is a very low-level API and you are talking about high-level work.

I think if the company I work for was doing the job you describe Director would be pretty much the no brainer choice. It's simple enough designers can use it, it looks good and although you end up in Lingo hell the moment you start doing anything complex with it, you can get good results if you find ways of working around the bizarre quirks Macromedia write into all their scripting environments. It can bring together text, images, video and I think it integrates quite closely with Maya for 3D stuff.  It can be distributed easily either on CD or over the internet and many end-users will already have the player installed. If they don't it is a much smaller download than the JRE.
Offline alecswan

Junior Newbie

Java games rock!

« Reply #6 - Posted 2003-12-05 12:47:43 »

Ok, good, so I got one vote for Director  Smiley

Now, suppose we go with the Director option, how hard would it be to implement client-server interaction in Lingo? The reason is that we want the client application to upload the results to our main server.

I've also heard about SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model). Is this notion still alive and widely used?

Offline Breakfast

Senior Devvie

for great justice!

« Reply #7 - Posted 2003-12-07 20:41:13 »

We've also done that with Director and it's pretty easy-  you can just craft a post request for a page over http  with the information in it and it is more than happy with that.
Offline alecswan

Junior Newbie

Java games rock!

« Reply #8 - Posted 2003-12-08 17:48:47 »

So, what about SCORM. Is it still around and widely used? Any comments on the cons and pros of SCORM?

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