Standard Specs
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EdUGames Standard Electronic Data Specifications



Copyright © 2005 by Pete Antoniak
1 Jun 05

1. This Standard Specifications for Electronic Data is included and made part of a Research Specification by reference. Where this specifications conflict with the referencing specification, the referencing specification applies.

2. Inclusions
The following Sample Files which can be downloaded from the EdUGames FTP Site are made part of in this Specification:
2.1.1. ExcelDataTable.CSV
2.1.2. QuestionList.txt
2.1.3. Map.MJJ
2.1.4. Drawing.Pic
2.1.5. Picture.Pic
2.1.6. Sound.AIF

2.2. To get access to the files, Log on as Anonymous.

4. Material Provided by EdUGames

No material, equipment or software is provided by EdUGames unless stated in the referencing specification. If EdUGames does provide tangible material such as a reference book, said material is to be returned within 14 days after the final submittal of the referencing contract. EdUGames may hold up final payment pending receipt of said material. Researcher agrees not to distribute, or make copies for others, any software received from EdUGames unless specifically authorized in writing to do so. This may include special software tools for formating the electronic data as required by the specification.

5. Delivery of Completed Work

5.1 Unless stated otherwise, completed work will be delivered electronically in the format stated in the Research Specification to

5. File Types

5.1 The following file type formats are to be used:
5.1.1 Data Tables and lists in Excel 5, Lotus 123 release 2, or CSV format
5.1.2 Question Lists in ASCII Text format
5.1.3 Images files in Mac Pict format with Max Colors = 256
5.1.4 Sound files in AIFF format
5.1.5 Video files in QuickTime 3.0 or later format

6. DataTables

6.1 Data Tables (DTs) are spreadsheets of information. An example might be a list of US Presidents as row headers and various facts about them, such as year they took office, home state or where buried as column headers.

6.2 Data Table are used by EdUGames to create DataLines (DLs). An example of a DL that EdUGames might create from the President's table would be to match Presidents with the place they were buried using Game Screen A:Pairs.

6.3 The desired file format for Data Tables is Microsoft Excel release 5 or later, but CSV format is also allowed. CSV stands for Comma Separated Values. A CSV file, if opened in a word processor would look like a lot of lines of items in which the items are separated by commas.

6.4 EdUGames will often provide a skeleton Excel spreadsheet as part of the specification in which the column and row headers are completed and the body of the spreadsheet is left blank. In some cases, EdUGames will copy part of a Master spreadsheet to a separate spreadsheet and include it in the Specification. When EdUGames receives it back it will copy it back into the original spreadsheet. It is therefore IMPORTANT that the order of the rows not be changed.

6. 5 The Researcher will not use of commas, quotation marks, semicolons and colons in the cells of the spreadsheet. If a comma would normally be used in good English, Researcher should use a dash "-".

7. Question Lists

7.1 Question Lists are lists of Questions and Answers. Question List source material is usually targeted for inclusion into Game F, however some of it may also be used in Games L, P, Q, R and W.

7.2 A specification will usually require that all the answers to the questions must be from a list provided in the specification. An example of this is questions about states. The list might contain the names of 20th century presidents, the planets, or characters in a play, book or TV show. It is important that the spelling and spacing of the answers be exactly as specified. The researcher may use codes in typing out the material and then use a word processor substitution routine when he/she is completed. This insures that all the answers are identical.

7.3 In some specifications, the Researcher is at liberty to come up with answers. In this case, the answers should be as short as possible, usually one or two words. The answers should fall into general categories such as colors, names of well know geographic locations, people, numbers or groupings.

For example, if the subject where the actor Paul Newman. A question might look like this:
What are the color of Paul Newman's eyes?, ,Blue.

If he was born in a large city like New York, another question might look like:
In what city was Paul Newman born?,,New York

However, if Paul Newman was born in Podunk, a better question might be:
What blue eyed actor was born in Podunk USA on 17 January 1937?,,Paul Newman.

7.3.1 IMPORTANT: Answers should be unambiguous. Note that in the Paul Newman question above, the date was also included to make it totally unambiguous. Unless there is no possible way that another actor might also have been born in Podunk, it is best to also include some exclusionary information in the question to make the answer totally unique. Unacceptable questions would be: What actor was born in New York?,,Paul Newman; or What President fought with congress over the budget?,,Bill Clinton.

7.3.2 The researcher should really think about what he or she is asking. Ask how would I feel about being asked to answer this question. Is it relevant to anything I should know? Does it challenge me? If I'm not sure, is my first guess right? How about my second? Is the question phrased in such a way that there are clues in the question? Can I figure it out? Do I get a good feeling when I figure it out? Do I say, dumb question when I see the answer?

7.4 A Question shall be a line of information with a paragraph delimiter at the end. A comma should separate the four parts (Explanation below). No commas can appear anywhere in the parts. A dash should be substituted in places where a comma would be needed. Each unit of material shall end in a paragraph return character.

7.5. The four parts to a Question are:
7.5.1. An approximate school grade level for which a person should know the answer
7.5.2. A question
7.5.3. A reference
7.5.4. One or more answers separated by commas.

7.6. The school grade level: A number indicating the school grade in which 50% of the population would know the answer. This is a judgment call on the part of the researcher. In the case of general trivia information, it will be explained in detail in the referencing specification. It is more important that the numbering be consistent than exact. In the above Paul Newman example, more people would know the color of his eyes than where he was born so it would get a lower grade level. In the case of school subject matter, the California Model Curriculum Guide will be used unless superseded by a National Standard.

7.7 The question: A question should use as few words as possible so that it will fit into a text box on the screen. Also avoid long words which often don't fit well in the text box if you can. It should be unambiguous in the context of the list of answers. Who was from Abilene Kansas? would not be a good question unless is was being used against a list of 20th century presidents in Game F. --What 20th century US President was from Abilene Kansas?-- would be a good open ended question. Multiple question answers are welcome with each answer separated by a comma. Avoid question exceeding 5 answers.

· Example: --8,What two planets are closer to the sun than earth?,,Mercury,Venus--

7.8 The Reference: The reference may be a reference, additional information or both. Not all questions require a reference or additional information. If it is easy to provide, helps in the understanding of the question, or the nature of the question is such that it might be challenged; use a reference. If the question is such that a reference is a waste of time; don't use it. That the Earth is the third planet from the Sun is well known and would not require a reference. EdUGames may return questions for lack of a reference if it deems that they should have one. The researcher should keep all source material in such a manner as to be able to easily go back and add references if necessary. If in doubt, a researcher should ask.

7.8.1 The references should be from an easy-to-obtain and well known source like an almanac, encyclopedia, text book or government document if at all possible. The Researcher may be required to submit a list of references for approval prior to Notice to Proceed or the Specification may require the use of specific references. If the same reference it used may times, it should be coded, and the coding also agreed upon before hand. An example of coding is the use of the initials DCL1 for the Dictionary of Cultural Literacy.

· Example:--4,Who discovered America in 1492?,,Columbus-- No Reference

· Example: --5,What is the third planet from the Sun?,The first two are Mercury and Venus.,Earth--. --Additional Information.

· Example: --12,Who is Colin Powell's favorite General?,S.F. Chronicle;12 Sep 95- Page E8,U.S. Grant-- Reference is given. Note the semi colon as a separator instead of a comma in the reference.

· Example: --12,What planet was discovered on 13 March 1930?,EAFD9 0475,Pluto--Coded reference

7.8.2 In the last example, the EAFD9 stands for The Encyclopedia of American Facts and Dates, Ninth Edition. The number 0475 stands for page 475. The full spelling of the reference would appear in the Edition Index File when the question is incorporated into a Question File. If this type of reference is to be used, it will be detailed in the specification. If a Researcher wants to use codes, they must be approved by EdUGames beforehand. Note that the date is such as to allow for educated guesses. There are only nine planets and all but the hardest to see were discovered a long time ago. This leaves Pluto.

7.9 The Answers: The answers should conform to the requirements as detailed in the contract specification. Any difficulties in spellings or style should be brought to the immediate attention of EdUGames for a decision. The Researcher is responsible for correcting any inconsistencies in the format of material submitted.

Example: after 200 questions have been submitted on US Presidents, the Researcher realizes that there are two US Presidents with a last name of Adams. She brings this to the attention of EdUGames and the decision is made by EdUGames to have two answers: --Adams- J-- and --Adams- JQ--. The contractor is responsible for checking all the Adams questions and changing them accordingly with no additional fee paid. It is important therefore that this type of thing be address early in the process.

7.10 Calculation of Line Count in a Question List: In order to provide a fair way of rewarding complete question, reference, and multi answer combinations, the following means of quantifying a line in a Question List is made standard for both Researchers and Authors.

A standard Question Line in a Question List shall have four parts and be assigned four payment units as follows: a grade; a question; a reference; and an answer. Each additional answer increase the payment unit count by one. If a reference is not used, the count decreases by one. If a grade is missing, the count decreases by one. The total line count for a Question List for payment purposes is the number of payment units divided by four.

8. Image Files

8.1 Image files are maps, drawings, diagrams, pictures or any other bit map graphics to be provided by a Researcher or Author.

8.2 All image files will be in 256 color Mac "PICT" format.

8.3 The images in the file shall be centered and the width shall be one of the following pixel sizes:
A-32, B-64, C-96, D-128, E-160,F-192, G-224, H-256, I-288, J-320, K-352, L-384, M-416, N-448, O-512, P-544, Q-576, R-608, S-640.
The height shall be one of the following pixel sizes:
A-32, B-64, C-96, D-128, E-160,F-192, G-224, H-256, I-288, J-320, K-352,

8.4 Drawings, diagrams and maps shall be line art, created on the computer, not scanned. All lines will, as much as possible, follow a clear even pixel progression. Map boundaries will be single pixel wide and continuos so that they may be filled in by a paint bucket. In order to minimize memory requirements, pallets are to be as small as possible to accomplish the desired result. Fill colors should be solid.

8.5 Pictures of famous people, places, events and things shall be as clear and recognizable as possible and not include things that detract from the purpose of the picture, which is to have a player recognize what it is.

8.6 Diagrams should be drawn in such a way as to allow the parts to be pointed out without confusion in a simple and clear way.

8.7 Maps shall have a 3 pixel wide Red-Pink border. See Sample Map file.

8.8 Authors may place, in a location not to interfere with the purpose of the image, his/her name and copyright information in the form "Copyright © date by Name". Example: "Copyright © 1996 by Pete Antoniak". No other information, such as address or phone number is allowed.

8.9 Researcher shall place the following, in a location not to interfere with the purpose of the image: "Copyright © the year by EdUGames"

8.10 File naming convention for Image Files: Unless otherwise specified, the creator of a file is free to create appropriate name for files as follows:

8.10.1 All file name shall conform to the standard DOS (8 characters, a period and a there character extension) format. The first 8 characters are addressed below.

8.10.2 The three character extension format :
The first character will be an indication of the picture type as follows:
Letter Picture Subject Matter
D Diagrams, usually used for Game N and Z
E Pictures of Famous Events like the Titanic sinking
L Recognizable locations like Time Square, or the Washington Mall
M Maps
P People
R Rulers Used for Game C and G
S Structures like the Eiffel tower, The Statue of liberty
T Thing like a famous painting or object
X Composites, usually used in Game F, Example = A table of elements.

8.10.3 The second and third letter character (A,B,C) will indicate the width and height in pixels respectively as listed in paragraph 8.3.

Example: ".MNJ" would indicate a Map which is 448 pixels wide (letter N) by 320 pixels high (letter J).

8.10.4 The first 8 characters of the file name will describe the file as follows: For the name of the person in the picture: The first 6 characters of the last name, the first character of the first name (Capitalized), a number from 1 to 9. If the first name does not have more than 6 characters then place underlines "_".

Example: ClintoW1.PIJ, RoosevF3.PEF, Jones_J1.PHH, TrumanH1.PGF. The first file in the example is for William Clinton and it has a size of 288 (The letter I=288) pixels wide by 320 (The Letter J=320) pixels high. For the name of Maps: The first 2 characters will be the continent, the next one, the part of the continent if appropriate (C for central, S for South etc. An underline if it is the whole continent). The next two characters (char 4 and 5) are the two letter country postal code (US for the United States, GB for Great Britain, FR for France etc.) or geographic area (NE for New England, SW for South West etc.), the next two (6 and 7) is the state or province code, and the last character (8) is a sequential number from 0 to 9, or a letter indicating the type of map (G for geologic, P for political etc.). Use underlines for items that are not applicable. For example, the continent of South America might be SA____P1.MHJ.

· Example: NACUSCA1.MJJ = North America-Central, United States, California one.

· Example: NASCR___0.MGJ = North America-South, Costa Rica, zero

8.10.5 All other image files: Ask EdUGames for a name determination.

9. Sound Files

9.1 All Sound Files shall be in AIFF format.

10. Video Files

10.1 All Video Files shall be in Quick Time Flattened Format