Monday, February 26, 2007

Quinn's Thesis, Tom Kooij and LaTeX

Update: Quinn has provided her Perl Code.

Tom Kooij just sent me a message about his continuing project on using UT. He has developed some code using LaTeX to simplify the creation of the 256x256 pixel bitmaps required by the EduFrag template.

This reminded me that I still had not uploaded Quinn Thomas' senior design thesis on comparing the use of the Educational version of UT vs. a standard web interface to deliver quizzes to high school students. She showed that there was not much of an advantage but her conditions did not allow for actual game play, such as the race format that we typically use.

The reason Tom's message reminded me of Quinn's work was that she used LaTeX as well to generate her physics bitmaps.

Friday, December 01, 2006

December 1 2006 Race

Here is the 20 room maze for CHEM 241 covering Fisher projections, chirality, Newman projections and Lewis structures and E-1, E-2, SN1, SN2 mechanisms.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Friday Nov 3 2006 Race

Here is today's race in CHEM 241.

Topics covered: Lewis structures, curly arrows, Newman and Fisher projections.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Friday Oct 13 2006 Race

Here is this morning's race in CHEM241. The material covered is mainly Lewis structures with some Newman projections. There are also many doors on curly arrows interconverting resonance hybrids.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

LVAIC EduFrag Screencast

This is the screencast from the gaming presentation I gave at the Lehigh Valley Association of Independent College's Summer Teaching with Technology Symposium.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Gaming in English

I am giving a talk on Wednesday, August 3rd, at the Lehigh Valley Association of Independent College's Summer Teaching with Technology Symposium. I will be talking about the EduFrag project and how it can be adapted to any academic discipline.

Here is the PPT I will be using. I will post up the screencast after the conference.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Running UT2004 as server

We have been having trouble hosting UT2004 for playing our maps online. It looks like this is a Windows Firewall issue and Mike suggests the following to get this working:

1. Click the start button
2. GOTO Control Panel and then "Windows Firewall"
3. Notice three tabs at the top of the firewall settings window. SELECT the "Exceptions" tab.
4. Click "ADD PROGRAM" (lower left of screen)
5. Browse/Scroll to find Unreal Tournament or UT2004
6. Click OK and make sure the new program is CHECKED.
7. Lastly, click OK to exit the firewall window
8. Start the unreal tournament listen server in death match mode.

Friday, May 26, 2006

May 26 2006 Race

Here is the 20 room maze for CHEM 241 covering Fisher projections, chirality, Newman projections and Lewis structures and E-1, E-2, SN1, SN2 mechanisms.

Friday, May 19, 2006

May 19 2006 Race

Here is the 20 room maze for CHEM 241 covering Fisher projections, chirality, Newman projections and Lewis structure.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Edufrag...with weapons!

We have created a map template that is playable in the commercial version of Unreal Tournament 2004...this means players will compete with weapons as they answer questions. Players will compete in a deathmatch style of gameplay...but in order to get more kills, you have to pickup more powerful weapons by answering questions correctly.

Download the 20 question map here: [DM-Edufrag010Aquino.ut2]

Associated texture files:

[Organic Chemistry] or [Comma Game]

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Iliafar maze

Here is Sara Iliafar's 10 room maze on all kinds of material related to Newman projections, Lewis structures, polarity, nomenclature, cis/trans and more. With that she completed both extra credit options with full marks.

I will include some of these doors in Friday's race in CHEM241 so feel free to use them to practice.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

April 14 2006 meeting

Beth Ritter-Guth, Mike Aquino and Jay Bhatt were present as our last EduFrag meeting. Beth has just completed a maze testing grammar and I thought it would be good for her to talk with Jay again because the text-based nature of her true/false doors is similar to Jay's on teaching information retrieval for the library.

Mike has been working on modding an existing popular map in the commercial verion of Unreal Tournament 2004 with our EduFrag true/false door system. We have a very simple design for this and Mike estimates being done in about a week. I know that, out of the 13 students who ran the organic chem race earlier that morning, several were eager to play around with the full weapons-enabled version online. I look forward to playing as well.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Orgo Maze April 14 2006

Here is the race for Organic Chemistry (CHEM241).

Topic: Lewis Structures and Newman Projections.

Out of 13 players, Adam won in 4 minutes. He drew the chemistry book prize.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Comma Game

Teaching comma usage is a daunting task for most developmental English professors. This game is used to teach the four primary comma rules (FANBOYS, introductory clauses, non-essential clauses, and items in a series). Please feel free to share and suggest improvements.

Please upload the game here:


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Independent/Dependent Clause Game

Below is a link to a grammar race created for developmental/ESL English students at LCCC. The game was created in response to the increasing need to teach the concepts of independent and dependent clauses. Presently, I play grammar frisbee to do this, but we can only play when the weather is nice. This game allows for us to work on these tasks at any time. Thanks, Jean-Claude, for your help in creating it :-) You are simply amazing.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Chemistry FPS game?

There is a report in Nature about a chemistry-based first person shooter game (Critical Mass) being built at Purdue. It is unclear from the video of the demo exactly where the chemistry fits in. We'll have to wait and see when it is released.

Thanks to Sundar for the link.

Friday, March 17, 2006

March 17 2006 Race

Here is the 20 room maze.

The topic includes mainly NMR, IR, MS, cycloadditions and aromaticity CHEM241 and CHEM 242.

Friday, March 10, 2006

March 10 2006 Race

Here is the 20 room maze.

The topic includes mainly NMR and IR with some basic organic chemistry concepts from CHEM241 and CHEM 242.

Monday, March 06, 2006

March 6 2006 Race

Here is the 20 room maze.

The topic includes mainly NMR with some basic organic chemistry concepts from CHEM241 and CHEM 242.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Drexel Student Web Space

Here is a tip for any student who would like to publish web pages...students can host their web pages on the Drexel server. In addition, files can be uploaded to the server so that they may be downloaded by anyone on the web.

Directions from Drexel IRT:

Publishing a Personal Webpage

The variety of web services at Drexel can be overwhelming when all you want to do is create and publish a personal web page. All students and employees are granted up to 100 MB of space on our Academic Unix server, DUNX1. It's the oldest host in continuous operation in IRT!

To get an account on DUNX1, which is the first requirement for publishing your web page, visit the Computer Accounts Management Service site at See for help.

Once you have your Academic Unix account, you can follow our online tutorial beginning at, to learn how to publish your site.

For more information on creating your webpage, see

Both the SSH Transfer client and Microsoft FrontPage (one of the HTML-authoring tools), are available for download to all students, faculty and staff from the IRT software site,

Questions? Email or call 215-895-2698.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Feb 17 2006 race

Here is the 20 room maze.
The topic includes any material from CHEM241 and up to test 1 of CHEM 242.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Feb 13 2006 Race

Here is the 20 room maze.
The topic includes any material from CHEM241 and up to test 1 of CHEM 242.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Chem242: 5 Question Quiz (Alkynes & Alcohols)

A 5 question quiz covering material from chapters 9, 10, & 11 of the Chem242 course at Drexel.
Study material is available online at the Chem242 Wiki. Also, this quiz features a new style of question the map to see!

Friday, January 06, 2006

New EduFrag Race (3 of 3)

Questions found in this map were submitted by Heather. The 5 questions pertain to material in Dr. Bradley's Chem241 course.

Download the new map files here. Unzip and follow the instructions found in the "readme" file.

New EduFrag Race (2 of 3)

Questions found in this map were submitted by Tyler. The 5 questions pertain to material in Dr. Bradley's Chem241 course.

Download the new map files here. Unzip and follow the instructions found in the "readme" file.

New EduFrag Race (1 of 3)

Questions found in this map were submitted by Alison Toback. The 5 questions pertain to material in Dr. Bradley's Chem241 course.

Download the new map files here. Unzip and follow the instructions found in the "readme" file.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

UT Race Demo Video

The following screencast is a demo of what an EduFrag race looks like. I have recorded myself playing the November 19 Race Map in the UT Educational Runtime. Check out how easy it is to play...there are 4 answer choices in each room and you simply must walk through the correct choice. This race includes questions on organic chemistry from Dr. Bradley's Chem 241 class.

Watch the Race Demo Screencast.

Sunday, December 11, 2005


I modified Yana's map by removing the playerstarts that were under the floor causing immediate player death and added 2-3 in each of the first 6 rooms. For the full version deathmatch, I think it makes a lot more sense to be able to respawn anywhere. This is actually playable with about 10 bots.

This map needs more weapons, ammo, health and playerstarts in the rest of the rooms.
Also, the teleporter under the BF3 does not work. And speaking of teleporters, they are all in the ceiling! I don't know why they still work but apparently they do.

Always add teleporters and playerstarts by right clicking on the floor in the 3D view and never move them manually.

Here is the map

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

EduFrag-SOTT content sharing

The educational FPS game Silence of the Terminals will now include Edufrag true/false doors. We are set for a trans-hemispheric battle.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Silence of the Terminals

An Australian group is currently developing an educational game based on the Torque engine. It is a First Person Shooter in Capture the Flag mode. At key points, multiple choice questions pop up and force the player to answer correctly to move on without penalty.

I evaluated it without an opponent so I can't comment on the competitive play experience but the weapons and navigation are decent.

The current questions are on HTML coding but it could be adapted easily to other areas.

Download the game here.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Nov 19 Race is on

Here is the 20 room maze. I am looking for the person who emails me first at that they completed the maze. I'll give you instructions on how to send me the screencast proof that you started in the study room and ended up in the cat room.

More details here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Short Chirality Quiz

Please download the following zip file to play a 5 question UT quiz on chirality. The quiz features new room styles...try to guess who the scientist is at the end!

<Download ZIP File Here>

Monday, November 14, 2005

Virtual Orgo Race Nov 19

There will be a virtual Unreal Tournament (Educational Version) Race on Sat Nov 19, 2005 at noon EST (posted at that time here and on the EduFrag wiki). Anyone in the world can compete. Anyone can also submit true and false doors till the day before the race and I'll include the contributions if they are usable. Email me at when you complete the race. The winner will have to provide a screencast for proof. The free CamStudio or Camtasia can be used for this.

The topics include Lewis structures, Newman projections, Fisher projections, free radical halogenation, chirality, SN1, SN2, E1 and E2 mechanisms. The study material is covered in the organic chemistry screencasts for CHEM 241 at Drexel.

Practice on examples here.

The prize should be appreciated by any serious organic chemistry student.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Organic Chemistry class FAQ

Tiffanie and I put together this 5 room quiz on the FAQ for my classes.

Download Here

Instructions are the same as usual.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

UT Excel Tool

I cooked up a little Excel tool using VBA to randomize the doors for the last Newman/Lewis educational UT quiz. Point the directory to the bitmap folder, setup the files to be randomized on the left column and click the three buttons on the right sequentially. This will randomize the filenames. You then just need to import the bitmaps into the "quiz" texture package using UT editor.

This is a very rough hack to speed up the process of making new quizzes but is not meant to be user-friendly (yet). Use at your own risk. Make sure your files are backed up before using.

EduFrag meet on Monday

The next EduFrag Meeting will be on Monday Oct 24 at 11:00 in 4020 MacAllister.
Any students interesting in developing UT maps or doors are welcome to attend. Just email me first so I know how many people are coming.

Thursday, October 20, 2005


Here is the Educational Unreal Tournament quiz to be used for the race in CHEM 241 workshop on Friday Oct 21. It is a 20 room map redesigned with larger rooms so that it is much harder to accidentally walk into a door. It is basically the randomized combined Newman projection and Lewis structure quizzes.

Instructions are the same as usual.

Technical notes:
I have also cleaned up some stuff that only map developers would notice. Since teleporters always link to PlayerStarts between maps in the educational version of UT, I simplified the teleporter pointers to just "study#" or "room01#", instead of specifying a teleporter.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Karyn has updated the text on the doors of her Newman projection map. Currently the study room is still about Lewis structures though. Students can use to practice for a test and for a race on Friday.

Download the map here. Instructions are in the readme file and here.

Put your comments on this post.

Monday, October 17, 2005

OrgoFrag002 Student Map

Karyn has created a set of doors to practice Newman projections and nomenclature for her extra credit assignment. Currently the study room is still about Lewis structures though. Students can use to practice for a test and for a race on Friday.

Download the map here. Instructions are in the readme file and here.

Put your comments on this post.

OrgoFrag winner

Since nobody won the Unreal Tournament on Lewis structure on Wednesday we tried again on the Friday class. Mike Aquino completed the quiz within 2 minutes and another student shortly after. That tells me that there was probably some practicing going on, which is the point of these exercises, after all. Many of the other students continued playing after the race was over and I think that is a positive indicator. Every time you go through the map you should be able more and more to recognize correct and incorrect Lewis structures instinctively.

The game design here has no weapons and uses the light (15 Meg) educational version of Unreal Tournament. It played well on all laptops.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

OrgoFrag Race

Here are the maps and textures for the OrgoFrag Race this morning.

The instructions are the same as before.

Four students played but after 15 minutes the class time was up and nobody won. We'll resume the race on Friday. The molecular model set is still available as the prize.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Randomization in Educational UT

Organic chemistry and library quizzes set up as maps in the Educational version of Unreal Tournament have been available for a few weeks now. The students running the library quizzes found that the correct answer was always in the same place relative to the spawning location and direction. This has now been fixed and the corrected maps have been uploaded to the wiki.

For the map developers:
This seems to be an issue with the educational version of UT. In the commercial version, when you teleport to a new map you can specify the teleporter where you want to materialize. In the educational version, it looks like it ignores all teleporters in the next map and you end up at the PlayerStart position. In addition, if there are multiple PlayerStarts, you end up in the most recently added one every time so this can't be used to randomize either. The solution I used was to put a single PlayerStart at random locations and pointing in different directions in each map.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


Nexiuz is an open source Multi-user First Person Shooter, based on the Quake 1 engine.  It has potential for educational gaming applications but after spending a bit of time in the forums it seems that a good simple editor is still not available.  When or if this changes, I’ll be sure to update here.

I am still looking for free FPS alternatives to the full commercial version of Unreal Tournament for weapons-based play.  However for non-competitive applications, the educational version of UT has turned out to be really convenient.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Library UT Quiz

A new Unreal Tournament Quiz on using library resources is now available on the EduFrag wiki.  The bitmaps were provided by the library team (Josh Roberts, Jay Bhatt and Tim Siftar).  It took about 10 minutes to repackage using the template files into a downloadable zip.  

We would like to have students use this resource shortly.  Please provide any feedback you have on the map structure or the true/false doors.  Keep in mind that the questions will be scrambled so any true or false door should be unambiguous in any context.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Free Unreal Tournament Quizzes

Thanks to the MakeGames class, also on Wikispaces, I finally found the Free Educational Version of Unreal Tournament. It has the full UT2 Engine but without weapons. The editor is basically the same as the commercial version but the maps can't be copied back and forth.

This gave me the opportunity to redesign the Edufrag project into a much more modular format. Content creators and map developers can now operate independently without having to learn anything about what the other does. Also maps can be extended easily to accomodate virtually any number of quiz questions.

Following this design I have put together an organic chemistry quiz on Lewis structures that anyone with a PC can download and play freely. The content can also easily be adapted to the commercial versions of UT for competitive play.

Instructions to try out the quiz and more details on the specs are on the wiki.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

FPS creator

There is a new First Person Shooter game design program coming out September 22.
From the video preview on the website it looks like it creates a decent play experience.
It supports online multi-player mode.
It is about the same price as UT2004 but the games/maps you create can be distributed without additional cost. This makes it very attractive for our educational gaming applications. I bought a copy to investigate. We'll have to see how easy it is to import textures.

Anyone else interested?

Thanks to Cory for the link.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

August 29 workshop

Yana and Quinn were present. We went through the process of taking the DVD-ROM from the reference desk at the library and going to room L-16 following the instructions on the case. Here is what we found:
1) a shortcut to start UT needs to be added to the desktop
2) the firewall needs to be modified to permit online play
3) setting need to be changed to allow file saving. There is no way to create or download maps at that computer now.

These issues should be addressed shortly.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Avik's comments

Here are Avik Basu's comments on DrexelCoAS004 map:
(1) Instead of having one portal where we take the quiz, why not have a
portal at the Hagerty Library and create a little map of the library to
take some of the other quizzes. That way there can be other areas of
combat as well and create more scenarios.

(2) With the single player, there should be more characters to kill and
if it is possible, why not have some of the characters to be actual
professors at Drexel. Creating a virtual you or some other classmates
as being characters to chose from.

(3) I also didn't see any power-ups or any shields, that would be nice
to add and to provide more protection against all the enemies.

(4) I see that the quizzes were put up, why not have it placed so that
the weapon chosen can shoot at the multiple choice answers and the
right one chosen can have the player to move on or even if the answer
is wrong, create a trap where more competitors will come into the stage
and have another death-match. I think that will be kinda neat.

(5) I would like to see more quiz maps as well as some reaction
mechanisms where the weapon has to shoot a screen to get a particular
reaction created. I think that would be neat. Also having molecules
to shoot at in the screen would be a neat thing as well.

Overall, I think this would be a neat reason for students to learn here
at Drexel. I like the idea overall, more modifications would create a
greater output of students wanting to take Organic Chemistry at Drexel.

Shaun's comments

We have started to get detailed feedback from players of the EduFrag-DrexelCoAS004 map (alkyne quiz). I'll be posting comments and responding in the post. If these comments give you ideas use the wiki to put your suggestions.

Here are Shaun McLaughlin's thoughts:

I tested the unreal organic chemistry maps on Thursday over at the library. My name wasn’t on the list for testing but they let me check out the game since Jay was there. I thought that it was pretty sweet with a few minor exceptions. Things you can’t really control are the computer speed down there is horrible and the fps rate makes the game extremely laggy.

Things to think about:

1.) Spawn the characters (enemies) at different parts of the map

a. When your doing a death match they all spawn in the same room and seldom follow you when you continue taking the quiz, makes it kind of boring not having to fight people except in the main room

2.) Not sure if it’s possible but you could eliminate the actual door that you go through once you walk through it. I’m not sure how the maps actually work but if it is a hidden entrance maybe the computer characters can’t pass through that easily due to their programming. If the door falls off or opens once you pass through it the computer chars may be able to follow you easier.

3.) Kind of sketchy, but if you strafe near the door you can tell which answer is right before you click it. Not sure how you would fix that but you could maybe make some kind of warp that will pull you through when you get close to the door. Or have a black hallway past each door so even if your glitching through everything will look the same till you actually pass through it

4.) Not sure but if you enter the wrong room, somehow make it possible to show the right answer after a certain amount of wrong ones. Like I doubt you could program what the pit looks like but you could flash the right answer one the screen when you die or at the end of the death match. Some times the death match will finish before you finish the quiz.

5.) Also sometimes the computer characters will disappear (walk in and out) of a door. You obviously know that is the right answer if they don’t die when the walk though it or they probably are programmed not to walk into doors that lead to pits.

My comments:

1) If you did not play online I don't know why the computer was lagging - I tested it myself last week. Maybe the bots made the difference.
2) The game was not designed to play with bots - they were supposed to have been removed by default - this is now fixed in the library.
3) The problem with being able to peer into the correct answer has been fixed with your suggestion of having a short dark hall in the correct answer. It still needs to be updated on the master map.
4) Your idea of showing the right answer is sort of implemented in the idea of everyone respawning in or near a "study room". Right now there is only one picture in the alkyne study room but we will put more class notes there. We could also put hints on the walls of the pit and put a light in the pit to see as you fall.
5) For your last point of the bots walking into the correct answers, the game was not designed to play with bots. I would be interested in how you found the experience of playing by yourself without bots. In that case it would a strict alternative to taking the quiz in WebCT.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Quake III source code free

The source code for Quake III has just been released. It would be interesting to see how feasible the conversion of our Unreal Tournament 2004 educational maps would be. Any takers?

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

August 15 workshop

At this week’s workshop we headed over to the library to set up the computer reserved for educational gaming using UT.  We went through the steps of adding the library resources questions to the 10 question quiz map template.  Jay, Josh, Yana and Quinn were present.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

No strong link seen between violent video games and aggression

Here is a recent study that you can use when debating the use of First Person Shooter games in education.
Here is the original article.

Monday, August 08, 2005

August 8 meeting

Yana and Allison were present at this morning's meeting. We basically went over what is left to do in the wiki. The next maps and tutorials to be made are listed there. Feel free to add your suggestions there and upload your work as you get it done.

library computer with UT2004

A computer has been set up in the Hagerty library with UT 2004 installed. Students who do not have Unreal Tournament and wish to play or develop maps as part of the EduFrag project should contact me or Jay for access.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Library Map 002 Edit

This map was modified from DM-edufraglibrary001

The new map DM-edufraglibrary002 has two rooms with general library questions.



Monday, August 01, 2005

This morning's workshop

Allison, Yana and Jay were at the workshop this morning. We went over how to update the edufrag wiki then showed Jay how to modify the template map with one RefWorks quiz statement.

Library Map 001

We added one correct door for Refworks database of electronic books.


Friday, July 29, 2005

Edufrag wiki

Since it looks like the information structure of this blog is getting too complex, I created an EduFrag wiki. I am using Wikispaces because it is free and the look and feel is very clean, similar to Blogger. The RSS feed is also pretty sweet.

I have started to populate the wiki with Tutorials and references to related work. Feel free to contribute.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

ChemSketch Demo

Yana has made a very nice Camtasia demo of how to use ChemSketch for the organic chemistry related maps. She shows how to create a reaction then save it in a format suitable for upload in Blogger and as a bitmap for later import as an Unreal Tournament texture. I learned several nifty tricks from this brief demo.

Monday, July 18, 2005

EduFrag is live on the internet

It looks like the server is running in dedicated mode right now and is openly available on the internet with up to 10 players. The download of the textures via the game is very slow (maybe 20 mins) so I would recommend that anyone who want to play online download them from the blog first. Those of you creating the texture files, please delete any extra pics to keep the file size as small as possible. 14 megs for the EW file seems way too big for the number of pics in there.

The server should be running pretty much all the time. If you don't find it listed please let me know.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Orgo Frag map 004

We are currently in the process of converting our Unreal Tournament GOTY (Game of the Year Edition) organic chemistry map to UT2004.

The current OrgoFrag map version DM-orgofragb004 is available for download here (textures). Built by Allison.

This is a simple map with 3 rooms and enol chemistry taken from CHEM 243. As usual, there are chemical reactions on the walls. Walking through a correct reaction leads to other parts of the map. Walking through an incorrect reaction will lead to death by falling in a pit.

We played this one in DeathMatch format on the Drexel LAN. By request, we'll schedule some sessions here (OrgoFrag server). Otherwise download the map to give it a spin.

All ideas and feedback by chemistry students or anyone else with interest are welcome. Just put your feedback as a comment on the post in this blog with the relevant map version.

If you with to contribute to the development of maps let me know so I can add you as a contributor to this blog.