Clock game

This game is quite old now. Maybe two or three years since I made it and so it looks a bit dated and not that interesting. The main focus of this game was on the clock that you see on the first screen. The clock has hands that you can move around to change the time and then the time in English appears at the bottom. The idea being that playing round with the hands and seeing the time appear is a good way to learn how to say the time in English.
The rest of the game with the guy falling down was really just an after thought as something that allows you to practice the time telling after playing around with the clock.
Originally the button on the right with the play icon would let you hear the time being spoken in English too but somewhere along the line it stopped working. It worked by using Google translate text to speech so that when you click on the play icon button it would send the English to the Google server and then ask it to translate it to English (not really a translation obviously) and then ask the server to return an audio version of the text.
It worked for a while, with a funny robot style voice, but then at some point the Google servers changed how they do things and or changed their policy.
As the game is quite old and not really used much I’m not going to bother removing the play icon button. I’ll probably just leave it up for a year or so and then remove the game.

About comments

The comments that are posted on this site are usually great and really helpful. I often read the comments and then make changes to the content or consider the feedback when making new content.
The comments can also be a good way for learners to practice English and perhaps even make new friends. A lot of the time though highly offensive comments are submitted and so I have to hold each comment for moderation and then manually approve each one as soon as I can. It’s quite funny that people would submit extremely rude and offensive comments and expect them to be approved.
Also a lot of the comments that are submitted are not in English. Particularly comments in Spanish are posted a lot I guess maybe a lot of visitors from South America visit the site and are more likely to post comments.
However in the past there have been some problems with offensive comments posted in non-English. As I don’t understand Spanish it’s hard to pick up on comments that are offensive in another language. I used to run all non-English comments through google translate and then if they didn’t seem offensive then I’d approve them. But a few times I unintentionally approved comments that were offensive using slang or other phrases that google didn’t recognize and so now any comments that are submitted not in English can’t be approved. Even comments just saying “Hello” or “Hi” in another language can’t be approved.

Downloadable versions

The content for most of the games is the same with the same set of images and audio being used. There is a content selection swf which allows visitors to download a set of content to use in a game. Sometime over the next few months, summer holiday, I’m going to start making mini downloadable versions of these games. Games such as this one fast-hands that you can download except with a smaller range of content. This way the content loader and all the content can be packaged together into one file to be downloaded. Instead of using twenty/thirty sets of content to choose from there will only be about eight sets of ten items. Just basic stuff like colors, clothes and animals.

Problems with this game

Seems this game isn’t easy to understand. A few emails and comments have said that the instructions aren’t clear and it’s not easy to see what to do. When making this game I thought about it for a while and I didn’t think it would be that complicated but it’s hard to see things from the point of view of the site visitor.
When playing this game you have to hold the mouse down and move it over the bubbles to make sentences but this isn’t really an intuitive way to interact. I guess a lot of people have played other games where you just click on the bits and they disappear.
So I think I’ll have to alter this game so that it’s easier. Switching it so that you just click on the bubbles in order and make sentences would be much more straight forward. The difficult thing is then how to switch the position of two bubbles. A lot of the time it’s not possible to make a sentence and so you have to re-arrange the bubbles first. So I’ll need to think of a way to re-arrange the bubbles too.
Also the intro bit at the start where you click and make the sentences will go.