Powerpoint Game Design Hack #1

Updated: Jul 16

For today’s Tay’s Tip, I share how I utilize PowerPoint’s Change Picture command to hack my design process when making a game for my classroom. Feel free to watch the video or read the blog post below.


The Change Picture Command


What it does

This command allows you to replace an image while keeping its current formatting. What’s also cool is that it keeps the previous image’s animations as well, if they have them.


How you do it

There are two ways to do this command. For the first way, select an image on your slide, go to the Picture Format tab, and then select the Change Picture icon. Choose the picture you want to replace it with from your files and click “Insert.” The second way, which is the way I prefer, is to right-click on an image and select “Change Picture…” from the displayed dropdown menu. Pretty easy, right?



How I utilize it

So why is this command useful when making PowerPoint games? For two reasons: One, it saves you a lot of time. Sometimes when making a game, I will use the same animation sequence on multiple slides, but with different images. You can see an example of this in my Disney Fast Pass game. The slides in each themed section are essentially the same. The only things that are different are the music and the images I use.



It would have taken me forever to recreate the same animation sequences on each slide. Instead, I used the Change Picture command to cut my time down exponentially. All I had to do was create the first version of the slides with all the text, images, and animations I wanted. Then, once being happy with them, I used them as a template. I duplicated those three slides nine other times, then replaced the backgrounds, music, and images (using the Change Picture command) on each of those nine iterations.



The second scenario in which this feature is helpful is when you find a cool animation in another game that you want to reproduce in your own game. However, when you look at the animation sequence in the Animation Pane, you can’t for the life of you figure it out at all, or you think it would take forever to recreate. This exact situation happened to me when making the wheel reward slide in my Harry Potter review game. I could not figure out how to make the random spin animation from a Mario Wheel game I found. It was so frustrating! After giving up, I decided to copy and paste the wheel from the Mario game to my game. Then, I replaced the wheel image with the Harry Potter-themed one I created using the Change Picture command, and, like magic, it worked just like the original since all the animations stayed intact. I wished I had thought to do it that way sooner!



Anyway, that’s how I use the Change Picture command to hack my workflow when designing a PowerPoint game. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below! I hope it was helpful, have a great day everyone! :)