Thursday, June 28, 2018

Wheel of Fortune for PowerPoint Version 4.1

Time for another Wheel of Fortune for PowerPoint release!

Version 4.1 primarily focuses on refinements here and there. It also adds a feature originally planned for the 4.0 release.

What's Changed

  • Puzzle Swapping
    Created a puzzle in slot 1 but want to move it to slot 3 instead? Now you can with the new puzzle swap feature. In the Show All Puzzles slide, use the new arrow buttons to sort your puzzles to your liking.

  • Macro Checking
    Many users have told me that Wheel of Fortune for PowerPoint doesn't work. Almost every time, it's because they unknowingly had macros disabled.

    To save each of us the trouble, Wheel of Fortune for PowerPoint now checks if macros are enabled. If a user clicks on any of the title slide buttons with macros disabled, a alert box will appear with a link to the macro troubleshooting post.

  • Refinements
    • Multiple alignment fixes
    • Grammar fixes for round explanations
    • The trashcan in Set Up Puzzles now animates when clicked
    • Fixes a bug that prevented editing the vowel price or house minimum on the first try

Moving Forward

As I mentioned before, I want to transition this project from PowerPoint to the Web. This means at some point, you will be able to create and play Wheel of Fortune games straight from your Web browser.

As such, Wheel of Fortune for PowerPoint is now in maintenance mode. I will work on bug fixes and refinements if need be, but don't expect any more features until the Web version arrives (which will take a while).

I greatly look forward to the Web release, and I hope you do too. For now, I hope you enjoy this new PowerPoint release.

Monday, June 25, 2018

PowerPoint Game Not Working? How to Enable Macros

If Bingo Master Board PLUS, Flashcards for PowerPoint, or Wheel of Fortune for PowerPoint doesn't work for you, chances are that macros and/or active content are disabled. Macros are the code that let these games keep score, randomize values, and much more.

Fortunately, Microsoft has handy guides to help you enable them.

Macros won't run on PowerPoint Viewer, PowerPoint Online, or PowerPoint Mobile.

With all the security alerts, it's natural to feel cautious about macros. Fortunately, you don't have to trust me because all my VBA (the programming language for macros) is open source.

To view the VBA code:

PowerPoint 2010 or newer (Windows)
  • Click the File tab -> Options
  • In the Customize Ribbon section, check Developer.
  • With the new Developer tab that appears, click Visual Basic.

PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
  • Click the PowerPoint menu -> Preferences
  • In the Ribbon section, check Developer under Customize.
  • With the new Developer tab that appears, click Editor.

PowerPoint 2016 for Mac
  • Click the Tools menu -> Macro -> Visual Basic Editor
If you don't see the Visual Basic Editor, you may need to update Office with Microsoft AutoUpdate.

Feel free to inspect to your heart's content!

If the PowerPoint game still has problems, and you know for sure macros are enabled, please leave a comment on the game's blog post. Make sure to describe what specifically doesn't work and your version of PowerPoint. If possible, video footage will help me troubleshoot more effectively. Thanks!

Monday, May 14, 2018

Bingo Master Board Version 1.7

Version 1.7

johnr from PowerPoint Creative promptly informed me of a mistake in the credits. While Hugh J. Ward launched the modern 75-ball version of Bingo, he did NOT create Bingo altogether.

This meant I had to update Bingo Master Board (PowerPoint) and Bingo Master Board PLUS. As I opened the original Bingo Master Board, something felt special about it. With the text-only Bingo numbers, 4:3 ratio, and the lack of PLUS macros/buttons, the original Bingo Master Board had a nice, simple vibe.

As such, I felt compelled to do more than simply re-credit Hugh J. Ward. Here it is, a Bingo Master Board update after nearly three years!

New to Version 1.7

  • Visual improvements (again)
    While the previous version made a considerable effort with visuals, it was far from perfect. Since all faded numbers used the same color, the numbers on the edge of the slide (where the background is darker) were harder to read than the numbers in the middle.

    That's why starting with this release, faded numbers are semi-transparent. This means all the numbers look legible regardless where they are! Take a look at this side-by-side comparison.

    Version 1.6 | Version 1.7

    I can't believe I'm saying this, but the Rainbow theme actually looks good now.

    Version 1.6 | Version 1.7

    Did you notice any alignment improvements? Have a look at this (click to enlarge).

    Version 1.6 | Version 1.7

  • Adds the ability to hide/show Bingo numbers

    This is a backport from Bingo Master Board PLUS. If you click a Bingo letter, you can toggle the visibility of all of that letter's Bingo numbers. This is useful if you're running, say, a four corners Bingo game.

    Unlike Bingo Master Board PLUS, the original Bingo Master Board implements this feature without macros. It makes use of a PowerPoint shape with background fill. (Thanks johnr for introducing this to me.)

  • Adds Creative Commons License

    The original Bingo Master Board now has a license, and I bet you're gonna like it: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International.

    Creative Commons License

    That's right, I'm using the least restrictive Creative Commons license. You are free to distribute and modify this project for commercial and non-commercial purposes as long as you credit Tim's Slideshow Games for the original work. Have at it!

  • Adds promotional slide for Bingo Master Board for Web
  • Re-credits Hugh J. Ward as the creator of 75-ball Bingo

Question for you guys: Do you prefer the text-only Bingo numbers here or the Bingo balls from Bingo Master Board PLUS/Web? I may consider bringing this style to the Web version if there's enough demand.

Bingo Master Board PLUS will be updated soon to re-credit Hugh J. Ward.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

The first Bingo Master Board for Web preview is here

I am pleased to announce the first preview of Bingo Master Board for Web, the successor to PowerPoint's Bingo Master Board and Bingo Master Board PLUS.

What is Bingo Master Board for Web?
It's a port of Bingo Master Board PLUS that's fully usable on your Web browser. It scales to your browser window, or you can play in fullscreen. No need to download a file. No need to own paid software. No need to worry about macro security. It's a win-win for all!

Since we no longer have to deal with macros, we don't need the PLUS moniker anymore. There will just be one Web version: Bingo Master Board.

How does this Web version differ from PowerPoint?
The Web version is capable of everything Bingo Master Board PLUS has, along with exclusive features that would be convoluted, if not impossible with PowerPoint. Here's a few:
  • Mouseover effects. Buttons can now react when you hover your cursor over them.
  • Keyboard shortcuts. Manage the master board more efficiently.
  • More to come with future updates!
Bingo Master Board for Web is not yet finished. As such, not every feature from Bingo Master Board PLUS is available yet. Check to TODO list at the bottom of the post to see what I still need to work on.

What are you using to make the Web version?
Along with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, Bingo Master Board for Web uses CreateJS, a JavaScript library for managing HTML5 canvases.

Sounds cool? If so, you should give Bingo Master Board for Web a try! While you test, be sure to try out these features:

URL Shortcut: Add ?masterboard to the end of the URL to instantly load the master board.
Keyboard Shortcuts: Press the space bar to draw Bingo balls. Press the r key to reset the board.

I look forward to hearing what you think! If you find any bugs not in Known Issues, let me know what it is and what browser you're using.

Known Issues
  • Exiting fullscreen via the escape key doesn't change the top right arrows
  • Title slide overlay does not always appear
  • Big Bingo ball number animation doesn't always play (not sure if I can fix this yet)
  • Not optimized for tablets yet

  • Winning pattern
  • Hide/show master board
  • Save support
  • How to Use section
  • About/Credits section
  • Clean up messy code

I will likely update the game multiple times during the preview phase. Any noteworthy changes will be posted in a separate dev blog post. Alternatively, you can view the GitHub commits.

Try Bingo Master Board for Web [WIP]

GitHub Repo

Supports the latest versions of Edge, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Operation PowerPoint to Web Continues

Longtime readers may recall my PowerPoint to Web initiative back in 2013. During this period, I managed to port Escape a Tower and I am Thinking of a Number. Thanks to that platform transition, these projects gained features not possible with PowerPoint, including save data and mobile device support.

Today, I am pleased to announce that I am porting my more-advanced PowerPoint projects to the Web.

My other PowerPoint projects are more than text-based. As such, I lacked to knowledge to port them a few years ago. The good news is that after researching more about HTML5 canvas, I believe I have what it takes to complete the transition.

The first project I will port to HTML5 canvas is Bingo Master Board. Here's a sneak peek of my progress:

As you can see, this looks and acts just like the PowerPoint version. The game scales to fit the browser window, and it can expand to full screen. Just like my previous Web efforts, you can expect new features that would have never been possible with PowerPoint. Mouseover effects, anyone?

Note that Bingo Master Board for Web is based on Bingo Master Board PLUS. Since we won't need to worry about macros anymore, we're back to just one version of the game: Bingo Master Board.

I really look forward to present a working demo to you guys. But given the scale of this project and how busy I am elsewhere, don't expect a release anytime soon. Also, I'm not done with PowerPoint just yet; I still have a few updates previously planned before sunsetting the platform for good.

I wanted to let you guys know about this early because I'm really excited about it. I hope you too look forward to the next era of Tim's Slideshow Games.

Friday, April 27, 2018

PowerPoint Arcade Reupload (say WHAT?!)

It has come to my attention that PowerPoint Arcade was password-protected for editing. Since this game is discontinued, I see no reason why you guys shouldn't be allowed to edit the file. Unfortunately, I forgot what the password was.

Luckily, I found the PowerPoint Arcade file I used for development purposes that has no password. Therefore, I reuploaded the game with this file. Keep in mind this is a .pptx file instead of .ppsx, so you will need to start the slide show manually.

Just to be clear, PowerPoint Arcade is still discontinued. I am only removing the password, that is all. If you ever hoped to tinker with this old project after all these years, today is your lucky day.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Flashcards for PowerPoint v1.1 Improves Flashcard Stats

The first update to Flashcards for PowerPoint is here!

Based on user feedback, many of you guys preferred viewing the amount of starred flashcards as a number, rather than a percentage. In other words,

15 total flashcards     4 starred
is preferred to
15 total flashcards     26.7% starred

That's why starting with version 1.1, it is now possible to toggle the starred cards count within Settings. Simply click on the text, and the count will switch between a number and a percentage. The number is shown by default.

I hope this update improves your studying experience.