TVNZ children’s site team up with Gamefroot

Gamefroot is very pleased to announce our successful application for NZ On Air funding to integrate game making capabilities into the upcoming TVNZ children’s site.

The TVNZ children’s site will become home to awesome kiwi made content including animated web series, games, competitions and, thanks to Gamefroot, a brand new space for kids to make their own video-games.

Kids will be able to watch their favorite content online and then through integration with Gamefroot, make their own video-games based on that content.

It’s no secret that today’s kids love playing video-games. This development will help support kiwi kids transition from game consumers to game makers where they will get to hone their skills in game design, coding and storytelling.

We are excited to be part of the TVNZ family and can’t wait to get started on the development! I’ll keep you posted.

– Dan

Gamefroot Update on Saving

Gamefroot now saves a backup of your game to your local computer. So if your internet connection goes down, your game stays up and you don’t lose any of your precious work.

In previous versions of Gamefroot it was possible to lose changes if you saved your game when there was no internet connection – or even an internet glitch. This was a rare problem but rare isn’t impossible. Therefore it has been very important for us to fix this issue. We don’t want people to lose their work. Ever!  

Now if something happens to your game you should always be able to access a copy on your computer. You can access these files by clicking on File > Open Game > Save History, like so:

As time permits we will continue to make this process even more streamlined. The ultimate solution is the one that runs automatically and never fails. While we’re working on making this happen these improvements will ensure that you’re in safe hands.

Enjoy Gamefroot!

Mihi Maker – when Code meets Culture

Gamefroot has made learning your pepeha even more awesome! Based on your feedback, you now get to edit the underlying code for each section of pepeha.

These changes reveal the underlying code and thus the magic of gamefroot, giving you a more authentic digital technologies experience.

We are happy to announce the following improvements available right now!

  • Code View! Edit the blocks and gently familiarise yourself with visual coding – no prior coding knowledge is necessary, we promise!
  • Optional coding challenge – if you’re feeling confident we’ve added a section on coding your own collision detection algorithm (step 10).
  • A default “game thumbnail” has been added for published games.

So please give it a whirl and let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

» http://make.gamefroot.com/activities/mihi-maker

Gamefroot 3.0 “Lori”

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After many months of work Gamefroot 3.0, named “Lori” in honor of legendary Sierra game designer and writer of the Quest for Glory Series of games Lori Cole, is now ready for you to use.

To sum things up, in this release we’ve focused on improvements for making Gamefroot faster and more reliable. Here are the main benefits for you:

Level Editor
We’ve rebuilt the game editor from the ground up. It is bucket loads faster and more robust. We’ve implemented an infinite canvas meaning you can create games any size without it affecting the speed and performance of Gamefroot.

New Layers Panel
We’ve made the layers panel into a floating box so that you can move it around the stage and see more of your game during your game building process.

You can see inside layers to select, rearrange, and rename individual objects in your game. When you have an individual object selected you can use the snap to button to take you to that object in your game world – this is particularly handy for navigating around big games.

When you toggle the visibility of an object they are now completely invisible. In previous versions of Gamefroot hidden objects were 50% transparent which could look confusing.

Powered up and simplified Tools
Tools now operate on any layer.

Selection tool
The selection tool has been refined. The top handle rotates objects and has some nifty precision features build in:

Hold SHIFT to rotate by 45 degrees
Hold ALT or OPTION to rotate by 22.5 degrees
Hold both SHIFT and ALT/OPTION to rotate by 1 degree

Side and corner handles scale objects:
Hold ALT or OPTION to limit scale to whole numbers
Hold SHIT to scale proportionally

Nudge objects up, down, left, right with arrow keys.
Hold SHIFT to move faster.
Hold both SHIFT and ALT/OPTION to move even faster!

Rotate objects with arrow keys. Hold ALT/OPTION and press LEFT or RIGHT.

Brush tool
Painting and drawing on the canvas is largely the same. In future versions of Gamefroot we’ll be adding more brushes and

Erasing Objects
The eraser tool is locked to the current layer. You can delete objects by pressing DELETE or BACKSPACE while they are selected, or use the right-click context menu.

Pan tool
Pan is easier than ever. Hold MIDDLE MOUSE and move around or hold SPACEBAR down and click and drag.

Keyboard shortcuts for tools are
M – for selection / move
B – for brush
E – for eraser
HOLD SPACE – for pan

New Mini Map with zoom
As part of the rebuild we made the minimap better and moved it to the bottom left corner.

You can now zoom in and out with the + and – buttons on the minimap to see your game in super detail. Click the zoom number (between the + and – buttons) to reset your screen to the default 100% scale.

Game Preview redesign
The game preview screen has been redesigned. When you hit PLAY, your game will open in a floating window. Just click CLOSE when you’re done previewing your game.

Enhanced Tutorials area (formerly Resources)

This is where we put out Hour of Code-style resources. We’re a big fan of that style of learning.

We’ve also redesigned the sidebar for easier navigation. We want your feedback on this. We see tutorials as a major part of the site, and we want them to get bigger and better every day.

General improvements and fixes
We’ve improved the way Gamefroot saves games, added internet connection checks to our API to reduce those pesky “Aw, snap” messages, and we’ve started working on better touch / mobile device support.

In conclusion

Thanks for choosing Gamefroot – we hope you enjoy!

Stay tuned for our next major release. We’ve got Undo/Redo, and Guest Login on the cards. If there is something else you really want to see added to Gamefroot just let us know in the comments below.

» So you want to make a game? Let’s go!!!

Testing 1, 2, 3.0

We are days away from launching a new, more robust and feature rich version of Gamefroot.

Before we release Gamefroot 3.0 into the wilderness we want to give you, our beloved users, an opportunity to take a look and report any issues.

We’ve worked hard on this release and, while we are 99% confident there are no issues that could affect your game, we want your feedback first!

This is your chance to let us know what you think before we push the button.

Testers beyond this point

To begin testing the new Gamefroot:

Continue reading

Makey Makey: The Tutorial

We’ve had great fun playing with the Makey Makey game controller, so now we’ve written a tutorial so that you can do the same.

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Go to http://make.gamefroot.com, create a new game, and click on Resources in the menu bar. Scroll down to the Makey Makey tutorial and follow the steps.

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Let us know what you can create!

Using Makey Makey® with Gamefroot

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Makey Makey® is a circuit board that allows you to turn anything into a keyboard. It plugs into your computer and can be safely hooked up to all kinds of things to create interesting and creative ways to interact with your computer. Perfect for making your own game controllers!

Using some aluminium foil and a paper template I printed out, I was able to make a basic game controller!

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I really liked the simplicity behind this scratch game, so I tried to make something similar with Gamefroot. Here’s what I came up with: (Click the image to play)

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You can use the left, down, and right arrow keys to control where to whack.

 

Originally I had it so you would use the foil-wrapped stick to hit the foil squares that would activate the keys…

 

… but then I realized I could hold the foil stick and directly tap the foil tabs with my hand to complete the circuit! Tap-a-duck!

 

 

Here’s the A4 template you can print out.

template

Play Whack-A-Duck now! And don’t forget to remix the game to find out how it was built.

 

Hey Frooters, let’s jump right in.

Mahuki, the innovation hub powered by Te Papa, has been our home for the last two months and we are loving it!

Don’t know what Mahuki is? In short, it’s a four to six month, in-residence accelerator programme situated in back of house, Te Papa.

In long, it is a space in which entrepreneurs are connected with members of the cultural, or GLAM sector (galleries, libraries, archives, and museums), in order to provide solutions to challenges faced by the industry globally. There are ten teams included in the programme who all offer differing digital, technological, and innovative projects of which are all focused towards the future experiences and transformations needed by the cultural sector.

This is where we come in.

Our project and team were selected to participate in this content-rich programme in which we have been absorbing knowledge, networks, and experience, all in the aims of Gamefroot becoming a more viable, valuable, contributor of the cultural space.

We’re two months into the programme, and want to share the rest of this journey with you. Keep up with our blog, make games, and follow us on Facebook.

New Resource: Making Cents

Hi Gamefrooters! We’ve just released more Educational Resources, and today we’ll highlight this tutorial: Making Cents. In this resource you will learn how to build a clicker game that earns money and converts smaller units of currency into larger ones. The tutorial covers variables, sending and receiving message events, some basic maths, and more. You can even upload your own images of money to personalize your game.

 

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To check it out, go to make.gamefroot.com and open the Resources sidebar. Then scroll down to find the ‘Making Cents’ resource and click on it to open it.

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Have fun! Stay tuned for more educational resources.

-The Gamefroot Team