Create Your Own Custom Skins: The EASY Way

15 02 2009

For those who like to dabble with digital images, Stu’s Quiz Boxes offers the exciting feature of having a total makeover done by you, the user. And it’s ridiculously simple to do now – just follow this step-by-step guide.

So, what do you need to make a Stu’s Quiz Boxes Skin? Basically, it’s just a folder that contains just three JPEG images named a specific way and formatted to specific sizes. If you can do that, you’ve made yourself a new skin. You can use any photo editing tool to produce the necessary image files – from top-of-the-line Adobe Photoshop to any number of free tools like PhotoFiltre or The GIMP.

Quiz Boxes skins you create should preferably follow some kind of theme. Sure, you can have a whole bunch of random images that make up your Jeopardy game, but what’s the point?  So, let’s go through the images that you’ll need to create to make your own skins –

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Fireworks Template for Creating Your Own Skins

25 01 2009

Recently I received an email from Ann Hodgson from Marrickville High School:

“Hi Stu,

I tried the Total Image Slicer program but found it added unwanted borders to my images (I’m using Vista – maybe that was the problem).  Anyway, as a result I made up two Fireworks templates which cut out much of the drudgery of slicing the image and then adding the text. The text, in particular, remains constant.

The user only needs to add a new image. The slices are already in place and have been correctly named. Feel free to put them on your site if you think they will be useful. I haven’t included detailed instructions – the user would need to be familiar with the Fireworks program and using slices.”

Hey, thanks for that Ann.  Anything that gives users an option is great, and Fireworks (Adobe, formerly Macromedia) is a brilliant image editing tool. Many schools have Adobe Creative Suite, so they’d actually have Fireworks.

You can download Ann’s Jeopardy Skin Templates for Fireworks from this direct link at MediaFire.  NOTE: If MediaFire is blocked at your school, you’ll have to download it from home.





Jeopardy Goes Portable!

27 12 2008

I just released v3.3.0.0 of Stu’s Double Jeopardy!  From now on, you will not need to be an administrator to install Jeopardy unless you want to install it into a restricted folder like C:\Program Files.  As long as your logon has access to write into the desired destination path, you can install and run Jeopardy!

What’s more, you can even tell the JeopardySetup.exe program to install to a USB memory stick and from that point on, your custom Jeopardy games can follow you wherever you go.  You’ll never have to install Stu’s Double Jeopardy onto another computer again.  Just plug in your USB stick, open the Jeopardy folder and run Jeopardy.exe – it couldn’t be simpler.

One of the biggest problems teachers have is the ability to install software in various computers around the school. Now they don’t have to!  You just need your trusty USB stick (but always remember, keep backups!  You don’t want to lose your stick or have it become corrupted).  Furthermore there’s a neat little application called SetupShortcut.exe in the Jeopardy folder that will drop a shortcut onto the Desktop of the PC you are using.

Try it out. There’s more information on the Downloads page.  And let me know what you think in the comments below.

NOTE: If you use the link from Download.com, just be sure it says v3.3, not v3.2. They usually take a few weeks to catch up.  The second download link will always get you the latest version.





An Excel Template for Creating Quizzes

15 12 2008

I was recently contacted by Craig Lessard, a parent from Panther Run Elementary School in Florida who has not only contributed four new quizzes aimed at the 5th Grade, but in producing those quizzes, he also constructed something I never really thought of.

Jeopardy Quiz Template

Microsoft Excel is a great tool that can be used for all kinds of things. Craig realised it could be a great way of compiling Quiz Boxes quizzes. This neat single page printout can either be used as a paper template, or you can type straight into it in Excel.  Then it’s a pretty easy job to Copy/Paste into the Quiz Boxes Question Editor.

And of course, like everything else at this site, it’s free and customizable!  Thanks Craig!

Download the Excel Template for Jeopardy  (requires MS Excel 2000 or later).





Jeopardy v3.2 – Name Your Teams!

7 12 2008

Stu’s Double Jeopardy! is the only free game maker program that has a built-in scorebooard that allows for up to six teams or players to play. But until now, those teams were called Team 1, Team 2 Team 3 and so on.  With Stu’s Double Jeopardy v3.2, you get the ability to add names to your teams/players and those names will be displayed throughout the game.

Right after you tell the program how many players/teams will be playing, you’ll see a window allowing you to enter the names you’d like to have for your players.

teamnames

Then whenever you see the scoreboard, those names will be displayed and whenever Stu’s Double Jeopardy refers to a specific Team/Player, it will refer to them by their name.

boardwithnames1

So what are you waiting for? Go get the upgrade from the Downloads page!





Creating Quiz Boxes Quizzes through Critical Thinking

16 11 2008

High quality Quiz Boxes quizzes aren’t necessarily easy to produce. If they were, I’m sure I’d have a lot more quizzes available at this site for download. But the activity of creating quizzes is a lesson in critical thinking in itself. Highly educational and promoting teamwork.  And as a classroom activity, creating a Quiz Boxes quiz can be almost as enjoyable as playing Quiz Boxes!

questionchart

For a start, if you want a full game, you have to come up with 30 questions (and answers) and one Quiz Boxes Breaker question.  Furthermore, the questions need to range in difficulty within each category, from easier to harder as the dollar amounts increase. This is where the challenge for question makers comes in.

But to make it easier, Jenny Cottle (one of the quiz contributors to this site) has shared a “Question-Starter Chart” that she found at Education Oasis – a simple single page that you (and your class) can use to get your Quiz Boxes quizzes going.  And remember, when you’ve made your great Quiz Boxes quiz, Share it with the World!





Print this Jeopardy Flyer and Hand it Around!

26 10 2008

I talk to teachers pretty regularly and one thing they often ask me is “do you have something we can print out to show the others at school about Jeopardy?” – well, previously you had to print off separate articles from this site, but to make it a lot easier and a lot more professional, I’ve put together this great new two page flyer!

To carry on my “Parallel Divergence” theme, I decided to make the image on the left somewhat clever, and tested my photo editing skills using the GIMP at the same time.  I’m very pleased with the outcome.  Let me know what you think.

Download the complete 2-page flyer in PDF format by clicking here.

Please give the flyer some justice and print it on a color printer for full effect!








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