Creating a simple Halloween game in Powerpoint
(In order to better understand the narrative below, it may be helpful to view the attachment first, the show will run itself and give audio directions when necessary, any student should be able to use this independently)
I have used Powerpoint successfully for a couple of years now as a platform to create simple Halloween games. Firstly, students write their own stories, either independently of collaboratively with other students, on a Halloween theme (some of the themes may have to be toned down, it is quite astounding the gruesomeness that students can invent). We then break the story down in scenes with a one or two sentence narration, each scene representing a Powerpoint (PPT) slide. Students then search for pictures corresponding with the particular slide (i.e. a pumpking headed man, etc.), The team approach works best for this, comprised of 2-3 students with a combination of sighted and blind students so that pictures can be described to the blind students and they can give their opinions. However, I did have one blind student that created her own project as described here, the only help she needed was to resize and position the pictures (she located them herself).
It is required for the story to have a dilemma that the users must extricate themselves from by solving a math problem, with multiple choice options, one being the correct answer. Wrong answers lead to some bad consequence (falling in a pit, etc.) while the right answer leads to a good, desirable consequence, a simple logical branch. This is accomplished by creating text boxes with different answers and creating a hyperlink from the text box to the corresponding slide in the presentation. I have attached a short example to this post to better clarify what I am talking about here.
Once the pictures and the corresponding narrative are placed, corresponding public domain sounds can be located at www.soundbible.com. These sound files are then inserted into the appropriate slides. We then record the students reading the narrative (using Audacity) with one small .mp3 file per slide and accompanying part of the story. Students then use Audacity to modify their small narrative clips (pitch, reverb, etc.) to make them “spooky”. Students record the answers on the textboxes and then use the mouseover dialog to associate a mouseover with the audible answer. Using the mouse does present a problem for blind students but we originally created very large boxes so movement of the mouse would not be so exacting. It was fun for blind students to use a mouse effectively; several blind students were using a mouse effectively for the first time. Since the original inception of this project, I have discovered that configuring a computer to use the arrow keys for mouse emulation will also evoke the sounds.
I do realize this post may be somewhat, if not entirely, confusing but this process took several months to perfect. Viewing the attached Creepers Powerpoint will be very helpful in understanding how to create simple audio games with visuals in Powerpoint. I can attest from experience that students will become very engrossed in creating these projects and will enjoy the process which can take several weeks.
A tutorial on general navigation using keys and for creating audio for navigation in a PowerPoint presentation will be presented in an accompanying post. (See Navigating PowerPoint with keys post here.)
George S. Thompson