- People at RunRev and the LiveCode community at large consist of very, very smart people who are also very helpful, supportive, and kind.
- I know about 1% of LiveCode.
I was able to attend the conference because my proposal to make a presentation at the conference was accepted. This came with a complimentary conference registration, otherwise, I never could have afforded the $1599 registration fee. The title of my presentation was "From Concept to Prototype to the App Store" and it featured the story of my design of my iOS app "Lunar Hotel Shuttle." I've written about this app in previous posts, but in short, the app teaches about Newton’s Laws of Motion in a futuristic, imaginary context. The storyline is that NASA has built a hotel on the moon that is so large that elevators are not possible or practical. Instead, hotel guests are shuttled to their hotel floor by a small shuttle that the player has to learn how to fly.
I explained in my presentation that the main purpose of developing this app was not to create a great game that would make any money, but rather to test the appropriateness and functionality of LiveCode for action games on mobile devices, especially a game where the "feel" is very important. This was important to me in order to know whether LiveCode would be an appropriate tool for projects like this and to understand where LiveCode's limits were to be found for games requiring high responsiveness. I also wanted to test out a wide range of functionality within LiveCode.
I also contrasted LiveCode as a development tool for instructional design with Adobe Captivate and Articulate Storyline, probably the two most popular eLearning development tools currently on the market. I used a taxonomy of learner interactions from the military to based my comparison of LiveCode with these other tools:
Level 1 - Passive
Watching a video, self-running slide show, or animation
Level 2 - Limited Participation
Simple interactions (e.g. M/C) with no branching
Level 3 - Complex Participation
Simple and complex interactions (e.g. drag and drop) that conditionally branch the lesson
Level 4 - Real-Time Participation
Games and simulations
Adapted from “Department of Defense Handbook: Development of Interactive Multimedia Instruction,” 1999, Report No. MIL-HDBK-29612-3
- LiveCode is an important, but not exclusive, tool in the instructional design & development toolbox.
- LiveCode is excellent for creating Level 4 (Creative) Interactions.
- LiveCode is strong for mobile native app development for eLearning, but weak for Web-based eLearning.
- The option to export to HTML5 should make LiveCode a game changer for eLearning development.
My audience was small, but very engaged. I thank all who came to my session. A special thank you to Bernie Dodge, Professor of Learning Design and Technology at San Diego State University, for coming to my session. LiveCode is one of the tools Bernie is recommending to students in his gaming and simulation course this semester. Bernie and I also had some very good conversations at the conference about design and reflections on the recent history (past 30 years or so) of the instructional technology field.
On the plane ride to and from San Diego, I read a good deal from Paul Graham's book Hackers and painters: Big ideas from the computer age, published by O'Reilly Media, Inc. One quote from the book captures well the enthusiasm and commitment of the LiveCode community:
“Ordinary technology changes fast. But programming languages are different: programming languages are not just technology, but what programmers think in. They’re half technology and half religion.” p. 179I am already looking forward to my next RunRevLive conference.