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Monday, August 27, 2012

Adventure Pack--Swamp Adventure

This is part two of our series in which we are highlighting our speech game software, Adventure PackToday we want to introduce you to the SWAMP ADVENTURE.  This game is the easiest one to play and is appropriate for ages 3 and up.  Preschoolers love this game, but then I have had 2nd graders who are not computer savvy that love it too!  As I write these entries about these  games I will interject the "frequently asked questions" we get.  Please feel free to call with any questions you may have about the games when you are stumped playing them or trying to set them up. (606-483-1338)  People call feeling frustrated that the game "won't work" or "something is wrong with the CD" when it is simple human error. We are more than happy to help you out! I will talk to you just like I'm sitting there with you :)

This is the opening screen shot.  From here you can click on the PLAY button which will begin the game.  The computer will automatically load the target stimuli that you selected for the child to practice.  The BACK button will take you back to the teacher interface page where you customize the target stimulus for the child.  SIDE NOTE: See blog post 8-20-12 for more information on customization to today's topic--On the bottom of the screen you see a "High Scores!" ranking. This is  where the child gets to enter their initials if their score is higher than the other players. There is a minimum score they must obtain to qualify for being listed in the Top 10.

Before we begin with game play let me explain a few important details.  Look at the top right corner of the screen and you will see two things:
  1. At the very top corner you'll see a "0." This is your points meter.  You want to gain lots of points during game play because a high score of a 1000 or better will allow you to enter your initials in the TOP 10.   I find the kids like to beat not only their friends scores but their own personal best as well.
  2. A smaller icon of the swamp man and 3 colored squares (green and yellow. This is your "Life" meter.  You are only allowed to be bitten by the alligators 3 times and then game over. YOU are CHOMPED!

Finally, if you will look closely you will see some alligators are awake and some are asleep.  This is important to game play.  If you step on an alligator head when he is awake you will be bitten.  You must be patient and only move when he is asleep.

....and so your Swamp Adventure begins.  The objective is to get across the swamp by stepping on the alligators heads.  You will move your Swamp man by using the RIGHT ARROW KEY ON YOUR KEY PAD.  All the games play with the arrow keys on the key pad, not by clicking the mouse!  You wouldn't believe how many calls we get saying they can't get the Swamp man to move and it is because they are trying to use the mouse and not the right arrow key!  This is the EASIEST of the four games and only requires the right arrow key to play the game.

In this screen shot you will see the Swamp man is now standing on the second alligator head. This alligator is asleep, so he can stand there safely, but not too long because the alligator might wake up. (How long the alligator is awake or asleep is randomized by the computer.) If you look in the top right corner you will see this player has 169 points and only has 2 lives left.

Now for the speech component of the game. In this screen shot you are looking at one of the stimulus pictures.  Each time you step on an alligator's head a speech stimulus will appear with audio. In this example the target is final S. If you selected word level the audio prompt will be "guess"; if you selected phrase the audio stimulus would be "guess what"; if you selected sentence the audio prompt would be "Guess what I found."  The child would then repeat the audio prompt. As the SLP you have the freedom to determine how many times you wish them to say it. The game is automatically on pause at this point and will only resume when you hit the space bar on the keyboard, so you can keep the stimulus up there as long as you need.  For example if they need cues/reminders from you to say it correctly, the visual prompt is still there for you to discuss/correct.  However, the audio stimulus is only presented once. So to continue in the game hit the space bar which will remove the stimulus and continue the game!

We get calls frequently asking what that "bandaid looking thing" is there beside the stimulus picture.  This is only relevant when you are using headsets with microphones with the games. (You do not need headsets to play these games.) That is a sound meter bar.  It visually shows when sound is detected. A thick green line appears within the bar when sound is detected. You will notice there is a red line midway up the bar.  When the sound raises the green bar past that horizontal red line it makes the stimulus picture automatically go away.  You will not need to hit the space bar.  However, you can also touch the space bar on the key board to remove the stimulus, even when using a headset, if speech is not being detected.   I personally never use headsets.  It is a matter of preference.

 In all, there are 8 alligators to step on to reach the other side (or 8 targets to say). Reaching the other side completes this game.  In a 30 minute session most of my little ones could play 3 games.  The stimuli is different for the first 24 pictures and thereafter it will become a random sequence of those 24 pictures.  Only one stimulus is presented at a time. At your disposal are 24 initial and 24 final word pictures;  24 initial and 24 final word phrases; 24 initial and 24 final word sentences or 144 audio stimuli for each individual sound.  You choose from the teacher interface page as I discussed in the previous post.  Again I will remind you that we offer stimuli for practice of f-v-k-g-r-s-l-sh-ch-and th.  Altogether there are 1440 audio stimuli along with the pictures for the child to practice.  Some therapists who like to get X number of responses per session have been confused about how this can be done.  Let me give you an example: You want the child to drill on K final words and hope to obtain 100 responses per session, so when the stimulus pops up have them say the word 5 times.  If you do that for each of the 8 alligators you will have 40 responses from one game.  So if they play 3 games per session you can obtain 120 responses.  

PLEASE NOTE: These games do not have voice recognition in them.  YOU the SLP must monitor their speech productions!!  We believe the therapist should stay actively involved with their clients during a therapy session.  If the child could do this on their own they wouldn't need us.

This leads me to interject here that the game also does not keep the data for you either.  You must tally for yourself.  You choose how many times you want them to say it and keep your tallies as you usually would.

Here is a screen shot of what it looks like when you get bite by the alligator.  We are proud to say that in our games we do not use bloody, gory images nor do we refer to our characters dying.  Since all the life lines have been used (note the green and yellow boxes are gone from the top right corner) the next picture will simply say "you have been CHOMPED".

Let me share a delightful "cheat" for this game.  If you want to increase your score do this: before you hit the space bar to remove the stimulus picture look at the next alligator you will be stepping on. Is he awake? If so then keep the stimulus picture up until he goes to sleep, then close it out and jump over onto his head. This way you won't get chomped or lose points because the points are on pause while the picture is open, even though the alligators continue to sleep and wake during the speech phase!

This concludes our  How To Play the Swamp Adventure game.  You may purchase it here:

Have a great week!
Leah and Dean

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