SUPPORT

Common Questions and Tips

System Requirements

Which websites do I need to unblock in my proxy, firewall, or security program?
WebGL/Chromebook Performance

How to Play
Progress Reports
Efficacy Research

Unlocking FAQ

iPad Version
Deluxe Addition/Subtraction Release Date
Skip or Rearrange facts
Challenge a level
Slow down Bosses
Giving children limited admin rights
Norton Anti-Virus keeps removing Timez Attack

 

Known Errors:

None. Provided you're using the very latest version and latest graphics driver for your computer.

Robot

 

 

DESKTOP Requirements

MINIMUM

Operating System

Win Vista, XP, 7, 8, 10; OS X 10.4.11+

(OS X 10.6 Intel CPU for new Add/Sub)

Processor
1.0 Ghz
Network
Minimal: 1 Mbps during initial load is ample.
Memory
256 MB
DirectX
Graphics Card

128+ MB with latest driver:

Thin-clients will rarely work.

If you experience random crashing or odd display, the solution is nearly always to update your graphic driver. Here are the links to the main graphic vendors:

Intel

ATI

NVIDIA

 

RECOMMENDED

Operating System
Win 7, 8, 10; OSX 10.6 Intel CPU
Processor
2.0 Ghz
Network

1 Mbps per student during initial load.

Minimal thereafter.

Memory
256 MB
DirectX
Graphics Card

Mid-Range Graphics card with 256MB
with latest driver

 

Intel: HD or better

ATI: Radeon 4300 or better

NVIDIA: 8800 GT or better

 

 

 

iPad Requirements

iPad 2 or Newer

Same as desktop.

 

 

WebGL Requirements
System
Same as Desktop above.
Network

Our core game is roughly 15 MB.

When the game is cached it will not need to download.

 

If not cached . . .

At 1 Mbps, per-student, it will download in 2 minutes.

At 10 Mbps, per-student, it will download in 12 Seconds.

At 100 Mbps, per-student, it will download in 1.2 Seconds.

 

On top of the core game, each level is 10 - 20 MB.

When cached, they will not need to download either.

When not cached, their download time will depend

on the Mbps per student as described previously.

Browser

Firefox is recommended because it can cache the compiled code and therefore load up to six times faster. However, Safari, Chrome, and Edge will still play the game very well. Furthermore, we expect all browsers to rapidly evolve and reach parity.

 

 

Chromebook and Cloudbook Requirements
Network

Same as WebGL above.

Device

Chromebook CPU and RAM make a large difference in performance: load times, frame rate, and memory capacity. The following have been confirmed to run Big Brainz.

Comparable systems should yield equal results.

 

Dell Chromebook 11--Celeron 2955U @ 1.4 GHz, 4GB RAM

Asus Chromebook C201P (Arm), 2GB RAM

Acer Cloudbook--Intel Celeron N3050, 2GB RAM

 

For reference, the Dell listed above runs the game with roughly double the framerate of the Asus and Acer.

Its 4GB of RAM is also very helpful as the 2GB models can easily run out of memory.

 

 

Which websites do I need to unblock in my proxy, firewall, or security program?

*.bigbrainz.com and s3.amazonaws.com

 

 

WebGL/Chromebook Performance

 

Quick Check

To evaluate WebGL performance we strongly recommend a simple "Quick Check." This involves walking into a lab and simply clicking on the link on roughly as many computers as you expect to be loading concurrently and observe whether the game loads well enough. This will give you an excellent, real-world assessment. Alternately, you can consider the following and make an educated guess. Note up front that Firefox will currently reload significantly faster than other browsers.

 

Startup Time
Startup time is dictated by Download Time + Load Time. That is, how long it takes to download the content from the internet PLUS the time it takes the computer to then read all that code, load everything into memory, and start drawing it on the screen. We’re fairly accurate at showing “Download” time on screen. Load time is more complex and can include some things that are hard for us to track, measure, or display such as parsing code, or instantiating objects and such. Download time will depend on per-computer bandwidth. Load time will depend computer speed.

 

Download Time
As mentioned, download time is determined by per-computer bandwidth:

 

At 1 Mbps our game will download in 2 minutes.
At 1 Gbps it will download in 1/10th second.

 

Individual computer bandwidth is determined by the school’s total bandwidth divided by the number of users concurrently downloading content. Note that once we download a game we have almost zero bandwidth impact—until we load the next game.

 

Example #1. If a school has a Gigabit connection and one student, they will download the game in 1/10th of a second. If the same school decides to start 1,000 students simultaneously at 10:00, it will take roughly 1,000 times as long for everyone to download, or two minutes.

 

Example #2. If a school only has a 5Mbps connection and one student, they will download the game in 24 seconds. If the same school decides to start 30 students simultaneously, it will take roughly 30 times longer than that to download.

 

Caching
Ideally the browser will cache the assets when it downloads them so that future downloads will be instant. If downloading is not fast enough the first time, try doing it a second time to see if caching is working. If it is, the download portion of startup should be instantaneous.

 

There are two types of caching. The core game is cached by the browser. We have little control over it. Generally the browser will try to hold on to often-used content so we SHOULD be cached effectively. But there are some practices that can set a browser to automatically clear its cache constantly.

 

Once you load the main game, each individual game is cached in a different location (Unless you’re on an ARM processor). It’s possible that some schools may have configurations that would wipe this out as well.

 

Loading Time
Once a computer has the content cached or downloaded, it needs to parse the code and instantiate all the objects. A blazing fast workstation will load a game instantly. The slowest chromebooks and cloudbooks we’ve tested load in about 30 seconds.

 

Browser Choice
WebGL browser features are evolving very rapidly. As an example, version 29 of Firefox ran our game at 1 frame per second, while version 42 ran it at 40 frames per second. Expect performance to increase significantly throughout 2016 and 2017.

As of today Firefox caches parsed code and therefore can generally load the game up to six times faster than other browsers. This is obviously not an option on Chromebooks, but we strongly recommend using Firefox anywhere else.

 

Performance Tracking
We are developing a tool that should let allow some rudimentary remote troubleshooting. So far it will let us view download and load times.

 

Wireless Networks
Wireless routers and access points are notorious for not delivering the full performance that a school expects them to. If the access point is too far away its connection can degrade or be lost entirely. Also keep in mind that different wireless technologies have different maximum throughput.

802.11b   = 11 Mbps Max (2.4GHz)
802.11g   = 54 Mbps Max (2.4GHz)
802.11n   = 600 Mbps Max (2.4GHz & 5GHz)
801.11ac = 1300 Mbps Max. (5GHz)

 

 

How do I play?

Please watch the Walkthrough video at www.bigbrainz.com/Schools.php.

 

 

Progress Reports

Progress reports are now available inside the game. While playing, simply press Esc--> Progress

 

Challenge Button

 

 

Efficacy Research

Research study from Brigham Young University: link

Massive results research: link

 

Unlocking FAQ

 

What’s is “unlocking” all about?
Our research has shown that unless schools have four simple things in place, they will not get their money’s worth—i.e. 250 pre-tests, but only a handful of post-tests. “Unlocking” is just a simple 4-step checklist that ensures you have the simple things in place that will ensure your students are successful.

 

How do we unlock?

In the new version, just press the big, red "Unlock Deluxe" button. If you have to stay with the old version for some reason, just give us a call and we can walk through the four steps with you--or just email us that you've completed the 4 steps.

 

What are the 4 Steps?

  1. Have you designated someone to have ownership of fluency success?
  2. Has the Principal seen the Principal’s Video?
  3. Is Timez Attack installed and running smoothly?
  4. Have you scheduled Timez Attack?
    (roughly 30 minutes/week . . . until Finished)

 

Can we switch to the new version if we already started our students on the old version?
No problem. The new version will figure out exactly where students should be within the first 5 to 10 minutes.

 

What if it’s not feasible for us to install the new version?
We understand that your technology requirements or limitations may keep you from installing the new version right now. No worries—just give us a call and we can walk through the unlocking process over the phone.

 

 

 

 

Skip or rearrange the facts

Timez Attack is currently geared to determine which facts the player already knows and proceed accordingly. It will then optimize fact order and instruction to maximize retention. Customized skipping or re-ordering is not currently available.

 

Challenge a level without playing all the way through

Because our software carefully tracks a player's preparedness, this isn't generally recommended. However, a player can attempt to pass off a level at any time without playing all the way through. Once in the level, press Esc, click on "Progress", select the fact you're currently playing, then press the Challenge button that appears. A second tip is that you can then turn around to see a portal that will teleport you the rest of the way to the final boss!

Challenge Button

 

 

Slow down the boss?

We discourage slowing down the bosses except in cases of substantial learning disabilities because all of the bosses will automatically adapt to a child's individual learning speed (except the Final Boss). Tinkering with the difficulty will therefore generally only give them a subsidized victory that will handicap them in the future. Having said that, Left-Shift+F12 will let you adjust the core boss speed--assuming you have a fairly current version of the game.. You can actually make it a bit harder as well.

 

 

Giving Children Limited Admin Rights

(For Windows) You want to keep your child's login locked down so they don't mess up the computer. But a high-end game needs read/write access to function properly. What to do?

Simply right-click on the Timez Attack icon; choose "Run as"; then select an admin User and supply their password. This change will give Timez Attack all the rights it needs to save games and modify its files correctly, while leaving the child or student with all their normal restrictions. Normally this must only be done once, but I have heard of some cases where the parent has to keep doing this every time.

An alternate, brute-force solution is to install Timez Attack directly to the child's desktop.

Newton Error Example


 

Norton Anti-Virus keeps removing Timez Attack

Generally it will give you a very curious error that came up when Timez Attack 4.0 was brand new. It says something about "child killed: SIGABRT". This refers to a computer process called a "child process," but the real culprit is Norton. This error should fade away as more users register Timez Attack with Norton.

Norton Timez Attack Error

After you see this error you'll see these errors start coming up in the bottom-right of your screen.
Click on "View Details" when you get the option.

North Error #2

On the page that pops up, click on "Options" and tell it that Timez Attack is ok to run:

Norton Error Screen #3

.

 

Known Errors

None

If you're experiencing any error with Timez Attack, please make sure you're using the latest version from "My Orders" at www.bigbrainz.com and that your graphics driver is updated.