Creating a course: Family names

Written by rex on 20/06/2013 11:55:38

Those who are following my twitter account know that I have been working on a simple vocabulary course game for family names. In this blogpost I will tell you what I did to get to this course setup. The course is made in around five hours and that includes the graphics I custom made. I decided to make new ones rather than using the existing sets.


In the extent of the previous vocabulary courses I made there was one important category missing, the family names. The thing with family names is that they are related, the important part in it is showing the relations between them. That immediately pointed towards a tree, a simple family tree almost everyone in the western world will understand.

I sketched a simple setup, starting with a few names and extending it to a larger tree. First showing the closest family and building it up like that. While I sketched that on paper I noticed that the part of the player his children got cramped up and I decided to keep them apart.


Once finished with my course sketch I started off building the smallest part of the course. And from there I could copy most logic, rename it a bit and extend it with more names or different names. I ended up with this setup:

Step 1: The game logic

Since the logic was done I was able to test with a fairly simple setup. After fixing most issues I was ready to add the graphics in the course.


Because it is a family tree it needed faces of the family members. I used Inkscape to draw vector based parts of the face and saved them in an InCourse contentbundle. That allowed me to change colour of the parts and resize where need without losing quality. To make it easily manageable over the existing “simple” box graphics I placed the faces in a separate layer below the boxes. The boxes received a transparent colour. The image below illustrates how I made up the faces in the InCourse editor:

Step 1: The game logic

By tweaking the assembled part I added some extra detail as shadow above their eyes to give a more female look. I made every head like this, changing colour, size and position to create different looking faces. That resulted in this: 

Step 1: The game logic

After adding all the faces I gave the background a tree image to increase the feeling of a family tree:

Step 1: The game logic

That’s how I made the game. Try the course in InCourse or visit my twitter account to see the tweets regarding the creation.

But I would also like to hear from you what kind of game you would build? And did my blog help you to get an idea how you can create a game for yourself?