I agree wholeheartedly with Adam, though I don’t think I’d really seen any small issues except perhaps for an odd CSS issue in formatting an <h2> tag somewhere. (Note: This comment applies to v1.2.3 of Academica as on 4/2/15, the theme publisher made a DRASTIC change to the theme, so take caution in upgrading!!)
I have created a child-theme with one or two small customizations (slightly larger headings in side widgets and some color/text size changes), but otherwise have v1.2.3 working as perfectly as it was intended to. This includes the slideshow functionality on the homepage. See BoffoSocko as an example.
For those, perhaps including Adam, wanting to get the slider to work properly:
- Go to your WP Dashboard hover on the menu tab “appearance” and click on “customize”
- On the “Featured Content” tab, enter a tag you want to use to feature content on the homepage of your site. (In my case, I chose “featured” and also clicked “Hide tag from displaying in post meta and tag clouds”.)
- Go to one or more posts (I think it works on up to 10 featurable posts) and tag them with the word you just used in the featured content setting (in my case “featured”
- Next be sure to actually set a “Featured photo” for the post–930×300 pixels is the optimal photo size if I recall.
- Now when you visit your home page, the slider should work properly and include arrows to scroll through them (these aren’t as obvious on featured photos with white backgrounds).
- Note that on individual pages, you’ll still have static header image(s) which are also customizable in the “customize” section of the WP dashboard, which was mentioned in step 1.
I hope this helps.