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  • It is very useful to get a basic understanding of the game structure before you begin
  • Please check out the manual below ...


Create Flux Games

Getting started

So, now you have played some flux games and want to create your own adventure/quiz game. That is a really good idea because it’s quite easy to do and maybe even more rewarding than playing games yourself.

Before you start it is very useful to have some basic background knowledge about the composition of a flux game.

Game Structure

Nodes, Paths and Questions

Every flux game consists of the same general building blocks. On the most basic level a game consists of a number of questions which are connected in a predetermined way.

In order to structure questions in a flexible manner nodes are used to wrap a set of questions together. Each question must be associated with a single node. In a location based game you can use nodes as representation of different geographical locations in the game. Each node may contain one or several questions ordered as a list.

Users will be presented with a single question one at a time in the pre-determined question order. To support multiple (independent) questions to the user multiple question lists are supported under each node. Different question lists are organized in separate paths.

As an example, a simple quiz game may be structured as a single node comprising a single path with a list of questions below it. When the player start the game the first question will be shown. When the first question is completed the next question will be presented and so on.

In a little more advanced quiz game you may want to divide the questions in different categories. The different categories will be represented as a separate node with related questions under a single path. The next category/node is played after after all questions of previous node has been completed.

Now, lets imagine that you want to have two difficulty levels (novice and advanced) in the quiz game. Instead of creating two separate games you want to present both difficult levels simultaneously for user to choose for each category. In this scenario you may separate novice and advanced questions under different paths.

When the player enter the first node, N0, both novice question (Q00 under P0) and advanced questions (Q01 under P1) are presented simultaneously. If the player decide to answer the advanced questions (Q10) next advanced question (Q11) is presented while the first novice question (Q00) is kept. The different paths under a node is independent and the user may choose between advanced and novice questions in any manner until one of the paths are completed.

The players game state is determined by current node and current question in each of the node paths at every given time.

Multiple paths may be used in many other situations when you want different (independent) “game paths” to be available for the player simultaneously.

Also the node configuration may be much more complicated than the presented examples. Games may consist of any number of nodes, structured as a graph. Each node may have any number of target nodes.

So what is the glue that link nodes together?

Answers and State Transitions

As described above, game state change when questions are answered and the next question (in turn) is presented. State was also changed when last question was completed and game state changed to a new node.

The element that is responsible for state changes connected to the answers to the questions. Answers in the game model is used to match an answer provided by the user. Depending of the type of question different types of answers may be entered (e.g. multiple choice, free text, numbers etc.). There are also many answer types that match different types of entered answers. In addition answers represent an action to be performed when answer is matching. The action does in most cases result in a state change which take the player to a new question and possibly node.

A single question may have different answers which shall result in different state changes in the game. For instance the question - “Do you want the redpill or bluepill?” (from Matrix Movie) will result in completely different paths for the player. “redpill” answer leads to one node while “bluepill” leads to another one.

Each question has a list of answers which are evaluated (from first to last) during game play.

See XXX table for a detailed list of question and answer types.

Game Design Sketch

Depending on the complexity of the game you are planning it can be very useful to make a rough sketch of the game structure before you enter the game details in the flux game editor. A game model both have a static view and a dynamic view. The static view describes how nodes, questions and answers are connected in lists and paths. The dynamic view describe the possible state transitions in the static model ruled by the state changes triggered by answers.

Both structure and dynamic behavior may be represented in a common sketch. In the example below the layout is shrunk to make it more compact. Paths is left out because only single paths are used for each node. Questions below the node is laid out inside the node box. Edges represent state transitions between nodes, where the answer triggering the transition is printed on top of the edge.

Design sketches can be presented in a number of different ways depending on the type of game you are creating. Maybe a spreadsheet with details about the game is the best way for your game.

If you are doing very simple and linear games the design sketch may not be necessary, but in many cases it will be very useful support when entering the game details.

Game Editor

The game editor rather closely reflect the game model described above.

Before we go into details of the editing experience we have to login to the service. Login is necessary for game creators to protect the games from unwanted modification. Login is also needed for players to allow game state to be stored for each player. Fortunately you don’t need a new login to use flux game. All major internet services (Facebook, Google, OpenID etc.) where you may already have a login, can be used to authenticate the user. When you login to flux game it is actually the existing service that verifies the user. No user credentials (like password) are known or stored by flux service.

So when you are clicking on the “Create Game” button (above) you will first be directed to a login view to authenticate yourself.

Note that you should use the same service when logging in to flux game. Otherwise it may not be possible to determine that two different logins belong to the same user.

When you have logged in you will be asked to enter game details. You may leave most fields empty/unchanged.

When the game has been created nodes can be added. If you have a good design sketch to lean on it is sometimes easier to add empty nodes first, before adding paths and questions to them.

When the nodes have been created it is time to enter the node contents. You will certainly spend most of your time editing nodes. For this reason much effort has been put to make node editing as smooth and simple as possible. A single view will allow editing of all aspects of the node including editing paths with questions and answers under this node. Even if this view is a little messy (to cover all node data), it will be beneficial, as it will give you a good overview of the node structure.

An “empty” (newly created) node will display as follows when edited.

In this view you can change the node details. Click the “+” icon left of the node section.

As described above, the node consists of one or several paths where each path has a list of questions. Further each question have a list of answers to match answers entered by the player. The edit node view reflect this structure precisely.

Click on “Add path” to add a new path to the node.

The path only have a single name parameter. Path name is only used to enable the game editor to distinguish between different paths. You may keep the proposed path name or choose another one that better describe the path.

Note that the new path will be inserted above the “Add path” section. This to allow more paths to be created if needed. Close the “Add path” section if you don’t want to add more paths.

When a path has been created, questions may be added below it. Click on “Add Question” to add a new question.

The question has a number of elements that will be described further.

  • Summary - defines the question title.
  • Contents - defines the question body text.
  • Type - defines how the user may enter the answer to the question.
    • Textual - will present a text field as input
    • Single Choice - will present a list of alternatives as radio buttons as input. Only a single alternative may be selected.
    • Multiple Choice - will present a list of alternatives as checkboxes as input. Many alternatives may be checked.
    • Location - user will be able to “answer” with his current geographical location
    • OK Button - will only present a single OK button for the user
  • Alternatives - defines the choices for single/multiple choice types

Similarly as for paths, the new question will be inserted above the “Add question” section to allow more questions to be added before the details are entered for each of them.

Finally, when a question has been added, answers may be added associated with each question. Answers are compacted to a single row to allow for a better overview. Answers has the following elements.

  • Answer definition -
  • Type - defines how the “answer definition” is matched towards the user entered answer.
    • Textual exact - answer is matched exactly with definition. E.g. "redpill" will match "redpill"
    • Regexp - answer is matched using definition as a regular expression E.g. "red*" will match “red pill” or "redpill" etc.
    • Range - answer is matched using definition as a numeric range. E.g. "1..2" will match "1" or "2".
    • Location - a location answer is matched if location is within 50m of defined location. Answer definition is entered (latitude, longitude) pair. You may use your current location to quickly set the definition on a GPS enabled device.
    • OK button - match when the user click on the OK button (assuming a question of OK button type)

Note that there is no direct one to one relationship between question type and answer type. Single/multiple choice question will present the answer alternative as if the user would enter it in a textual question. So “Textual exact”, “Regexp” and “Range” may all be used to match textual and single/multiple choice questions. Location and OK button questions should however have a matching location and OK button answer definition.

Markup editor

Most text body fields support text formatting using a markup language called markdown. The markup language support the most common formatting needs as headers, paragraphs, links, emphasis etc. In addition multimedia resources (images, audio and video) may be embedded as part of the text block.

TBD.

Multimedia resources

TBD.

Final thoughts

This is roughly what you need to know to start creating your own first game. Now its only up to your own imagination to create the next top rated flux game.

Reference Material

  • Table of question types and answers.
  • Node types