New features for GameMap!

I typically release updates to the content types I’ve created quietly, sometimes with just a few notes. However, this time, I believe it’s appropriate to issue a dedicated post.

The H5P content type, GameMap, has been available for 10 months. During this period, the H5P Group has pushed it to the H5P Hub, making it easily accessible within your H5P integrations. They have also created some impressive demo contents. As far as I know, they plan to announce the availability of this content type in their next status report. However, I’m uncertain whether this report will include all the details, especially since the content type has already been improved.

New stuff is a scientific research product that has been helping teachers create personalized support programs for over 10 years. It assists children in their educational processes and institutions in achieving higher performance levels and lower support quotas. “Lernlinie” sponsored two new features:

  • As an author you can now also set a maximum time limit for the whole game and a warning time for an audio hint. If the user runs out of time: Game over!
  • As an author, you can now place dedicated “finish stages” onto the map. There’s a new button in the editor for that purpose. These “finish stages” work just like the main finish button in the main toolbar, but they inherit a stage’s features as well: they could be locked or hidden until the user reaches them.

But that’s not everything. There are some more things that I added:

  • Besides the “finish stage” as a special stage type, authors can also place “extra lives” stages and “extra time” stages onto the map. They do what you think they do 🙂 They allow to add some tactical elements to the game. For instance, gaining access to the extra lives could be bound to solving a difficult question that imposes to risk of losing lives … Oh, and you can assign audio events for gaining a life or extra time.
  • The main finish button will now pulse gently when the user has collected enough points so he/she could finish safely. Even without placing “finish” stages it will not be a little more obvious how to finish the game.
  • The stage labels will not have a horizontal offset anymore but be placed centered to the stage. Also, they will now always be on top and not hidden under a stage sometimes.

How to get it?

The GameMap H5P content type is now available on the H5P Hub, correct? You should be able to access it there, yes? That’s true. However, I’m not entirely sure about the timeline for H5P Group’s updates to this content type. It might take some time before they release the latest version. If you’re worried about missing out, you should verify the current version of GameMap installed on your system. If the version number is lower than what I’ve listed in my overview of content types that I created, and the H5P Hub doesn’t show an update pending, you’ll need to manually download the demo content below. After that, you can upload it to your site, which will also install any required libraries if you have adequate admin rights. This situation should change once external contributors can update their content types on the H5P Hub themselves. Until then, this manual process is necessary.

Gimme more, more, more

There are plenty of things that one could add. There’s a thin red line though between adding more beneficial features on the one hand and raising complexity too much on the other hand. And it requires free time or sponsoring. Potential new goodies could be:

  • Adding more optional access restrictions to the stages, e.g. a time window in which a stage can be opened only. Fairly simple.
  • Allowing to have multiple maps and “teleport” stages to jump from one to the other – that’s what the tubes on the map of Super Mario World would be for. Requires some decent amount of work.
  • Add an “invincibility” stage that will allow the user to temporarily not lose lives. Yes, that would be the equivalent of the star in Super Mario World. Simple.
  • Add stars around the border of a stage to visually indicate the score/completion state. Medium I’d say.
  • Allow to add text on top of a map. Should be quite simple.
  • Allow to add images on top of a map. Should also be quite simple.