A little about Cocoa...
was first developed by Apple Computer, it was described as an
innovative way to build simulation games and embed them into web
pages. Cocoa is the developmental version of Stagecast Creator,
and it is characterized as software that "... lets people
of all ages develop cool games, interactive stories, engaging
lessons and other simulations..." in creative places called
"Worlds". You should make up your own mind about Cocoa.
I encourage you to take the Stagecast Tour to find out more about
this exceptional problem-solving application.
The Cocoa we're
going to use is the evaluation release, that you can download for the Macintosh
for free. In order to buy Stagecast Creator or download a Windows evaluation copy, you
will need to visit the Stagecast website.
The most basic things to
- Open the
Cocoa DR3 folder. You'll notice that the folder contains PDF
tutorials, movies and numerous sample and starter worlds. You
will get to those later. Find the Cocoa DR3 PPC icon and
- In the opening
screen, click on Create a New World.
- Your first
world is a blank screen. You'll need to create "Appearances"
which are the basic objects of Cocoa/Stagecast.
- To create
Appearances in a World, you'll need to see the Controls Palette.
If the Controls Palette can't be seen, go to Window => Show Controls.
- Click on
the tube of paint in the Controls Palette and then click on the
blank screen. A dollop of paint appears. That's an Appearance.
This is too easy!
- To modify
the Appearance, click on the paintbrush and then click on your
- The Appearance
Editor opens. It's essentially a paint program. Modify your Appearance
with the tools provided or create a completely new look by clicking
on "Clear" to get a clean palette.
- Click "Done"
when you're ready to go on.
- Click on
the tube of paint and make a second Appearance.
- Place this
Appearance in the lower left corner of the World.
- Edit this
Appearance and make it a single color.
- Click Done.
- If you click
on your new, single-colored Appearance and press Command D, you
will duplicate the Appearance across the screen.
- This duplicates
the Appearance and simulates the ground. You can drag Appearances
anywhere you like, and you can Option Drag. When you Option Drag
an Appearance, you duplicate it and place it somewhere else in
- Make a World
like the one below using the basics you just learned. There are
only three Appearances below: The dollop of paint, the "grass"
and the "stairway" to nowhere.
- Now you will
need to make some "Rules" for the first Appearance.
- A Rule needs
to be made that makes the dollop move to the right if there is
an empty space there.
- To make Rules,
you click on the Camcorder icon in the Controls Palette. Click
on the Appearance that you want to control with a Rule. In this
case, click on the dollop of paint.
- The Rule
Window opens, and the World changes to a grid. You can make the
Rule in the grid or in the Rule Window.
- Use the Rule
Window for now.
- In the "After"
side of the Rule Window, click and drag the handle on the right
side of the image as you see below.
- Now drag
the Appearance to the right side in the "After" image.
- Click "Done"
and then drag the Dollop Appearance somewhere in the world where
it has room to move. Click "Run" in the Controls Palette.
You can figure out how to stop the Dollop Appearance and how
to make more rules.
created a World with objects in it. You've made an object obey
your rule. Now you're ready to use the "Cocoa Basics Tutorial"
located in the Cocoa folder. It's a PDF document that will take
you well beyond this simple lesson. It will, as well, make you
wonder just how your students and staff can use this fascinating
problem-solving application in a classroom. You should also imagine
how you can integrate this application into the curriculum in
a seamless way. We will discuss more of this in class.