Authorware Assassin

by Greg Shorts

Greg Shorts is a training technician and multimedia developer as well as a graduate student in Educational Technology. In his spare time he rides bikes, rollerblades and stares blankly at walls.


Instructional Objective The learners will be able to identify different aspects of the program Authorware Professional by Macromedia. Specifically the learners will be able to identify different basic properties of graphics, movies, animations, and sounds.

Learners/Context The learners are employees at a training company that is using Authorware for its next product and wants the staff to learn as much as they can as the produce lessons. All of these learners are computer literate, but only a few have seen Authorware and none have learned the basic concepts of the program.

The game is designed to be played during the Authorware learning process to boost the learners understanding of the basic parts of the program.

Rationale A game is an appropriate format for this situation because formal training in the program will be unavailable to most of the learners. This game will give the learners additional possibilities to learn.

Rules Two or three people may play at the same time.

The game is played in the following manner:

  1. Dealer shuffles the deck and deals seven cards to the players starting with the player to the left. He then flips the first card of the playing deck over next to the remaining cards.
  2. The player on the dealer's left begins play. They may either pick up the card lying face up or take the top card from the stack. They may choose to keep this card in their hand or return it to the face-up pile on the table. If one of the new cards is taken, one must be discarded in its place. Play continues around the circle.
  3. Players sort their cards according to categories of media type (graphics, video, animation, or sound) or according to informational category (9 categories.)
  4. The winner of the round is the player who is able to discard all of his cards first. Each of the remaining players gets a point added to his score for the cards he has in his hands. Each player is eliminated from play when he exceeds 25 points total. The winner is the last person left after elimination.

Card Design

Each card has the listing of the group type prominently displayed along the top edge and the category type displayed along the bottom. Each group type will have a different color along the top and bottom edge.

The center of each card will vary according to category. Icon cards will have the icon that Authorware uses to control the different media types. The information cards will have explanations about the different groups. Information on these cards will be brief descriptions designed to help the learners with the basic concepts of Authorware.

Deck Design

The deck has a total of 36 cards in 4 groups. The groups are graphics, sounds, animation, and movies. There are 9 categories group icon, import method, file type 1-4, dialog box features 1-2, and support hardware. File type cards are categorized by preferred usage, with lower numbers most preferred. (ex. because of the limitations of Authorware .BMP files are most preferred, so they are file type 1)

Design Process This assignment gave me the opportunity to combine the burning desire to create a card game with the sudden need at work for everyone to learn Authorware. I started by analyzing the program for a possible structure to fit into a card game format. The result of the analysis was to use a rummy structure based around the four primary media types we would be using in Authorware. I also found four categories to break the media types into.

Soon into the development process it became obvious that four categories would not lead to a playable game. I looked further into the program and found two additional possibilities. I then consulted with our graphics department who suggested the addition of ordinal categories of file types based on preferred usage. This lead to 9 categories of cards.

References Authorware 2.0.1 User Guide, Macromedia Inc.

Last updated by Greg Shorts September 27, 1995

Return to the Card Game Table of Contents.

Educational Technology 670, Fall 1995.