The only thing I can update on this time is on actual mod. Alex and I have been working not getting the mod’s UI to function properly in game. This experience has shown me the power of pair programming. Alex had started working on the UI originally, but had developed it to a point where something was lost in the latest build and the UI would not update in game. Alex and I met a few times, including in class, and walked through a good chunk of her code, seeing where the code links to other code and how functions are called. After doing this a few times, we found a few instances where lines were out of order, in the wrong place, or missing altogether. Once we fixed all these issues, the code was working no problem and Ale and I are no schedule. The only other issue we have been having with the mod is the actual math behind diabetes. our mod has a numerical value and bar to show the player their blood glucose level and if their level is in a safe range. We also have all the food from levels 1-20 researched to have their real world glucose equivalent. But from there we are unsure. We have asked others working on the project, a group of doctors in France about how to equate this numbers together and were meet with “This proprietary”. So we are totally confused about the math behind diabetes and unfortunately this is a major component of our educational mod on diabetes. So the mod is in a working fashion, but the important math behind it is not there and we have no idea where to look for that math. Hopefully we will have this answered by the time we get back from break, which is next week.
This weekend at RIT as the was the Rochester Civic App Challenge Kickoff Hackathon (a mouthful, i know, more details here). At the hackathon I started a new project, one that will work with a new app I have been using onmy iPhone. This app is called Reporter and it tracks user generated questions and randomly asks the throughout the day. I will get a notification saying “Time to Report!”, then go to the app, have it record my location, date, time, (all of which can be turned off) and other questions I have it ask me. This data is then stored on my phone and can be synced with a Dropbox account. ReporterOnline, this project, takes a user’s data from the app that they have uploaded to their Dropbox (with the user logging into their Dropbox) and generates graphs based on the data. These graphs and charts will each have a web link attributed to them, so a user can show their progress in one category, but keep others private. One pie-in-the-sky feature would be crunching the user’s numbers to show them times when they have high & low numbers in their questions to better understand their habits. Here is the Source Code & Demo. The demo right now succesfully logs in a user to Dropbox, grabs multiple JSON files, and scrapes the files for their location and prints it to the user’s web browser console. In other words, it functionally works, but nothing will happen on screen. Yet! Stay tuned for more!
This week, the team finally finalized roles of the WoW Mod. We have split our team of 6 into 2 groups, one to work on the actual add-on, another to develop the website that the add-on, which will communicate with a website to give players achievements, leader boards and other incentives to play with the add-on. I am working on the add-on team. We have been building a basic add-on for the web team to use so they can develop the infrastructure needed to grab the mod’s info for the website. We have just finished this basic add-on and it has been pushed up to the github page found here. In working on this basic add-on we have a better understanding of the base code that was given to us by Zach (a RIT graduate that was working on Stephen Jacob’s starting work on the mod) and now see a new problem ahead to solve. In wanting to have the mod store information on the user’s machine, we will need to have a way to grab that information to send to the website. It seems (from early research so far) that we will need to make a client with an installer for the user to download and install on their machine. The team is going to do more research on what is the best way to grab and send this information. Check back for more developments and how we solve this issue!
I have never played World of Warcraft; lets just get that out of the way. I have played other MMO’s: Guild Wars 2, betas of Elder Scrolls Online, and Star Wars: Old Republic. I enjoyed my time in all these games, Old republic until it became free-to-play, and like the ideas of a connected world with players inhabiting it. So for a class, I will be making a mod for World of Warcraft, so it seems important to have an understanding of the game. I downloaded the game, started a toon, a Tauren, and began my adventure. And boy was it boring! I would spend more time walking to the activities needed for a quest then doing those activities. The story-line and world seem like some super generic fantasy, full of tropes and cliches. All these story-lines also seem super racist! Seen below is my toon in the starting area, which might be a little offensive to Native Americans.
Now granted I have only played 5 hours of it, a game that people have played for years, so maybe I have not gotten to the “interesting” or “fun” parts of the game. I will be playing more of the game but since I am playing a starter edition of the game (the Free version), I can only play a toon till level 20. Check back for my thoughts on the game and see the progress on the WoW Diabetes mod I am working on.
With Thanksgiving break almost upon us, the Sleepy Scientist team has been hard at work. We have been preparing a build of the game, with full instructions and reworked visuals, updated AI and tweaked levels, and a few changes to the timing of selecting and placing inventions in the game. This is all for our next playtest, which could possibly be our largest and most useful of the semester, mainly due to the fact that the team will be taking this build home to family and friends. The team is very excited, I myself can’t wait to get feedback from my family and friends who have not seen me work on a game in quite some time. It should be a great time! After some of the other games I have shown to family and friends I think they will be very surprised to see how complete this game is. Although we are far from done. Thanks to the professor of our Game Design & Development II class, Stephen Jacobs, the team has been given an Android tablet to further develop the game for mobile. Luckily, in working in monogame from the start, it seems to process to do this should not be especially difficult and I have tasked one of our programmers to get a build of the game running on the tablet during break. Hopefully, we will be able to see the game in its originally thought design by the beginning of December and will be able to continue making the game for that platform. It is not that the PC development has not gone well, it is just that the game was originally designed from a controls standpoint to be on a touchscreen device. The mouse clicking interface we have been using has been a good stand-in, but the development is reaching a point where tweaking for feel is taking place, which is very difficult when you are not tweaking on your preferred or originally designed for platform. Some exciting things for Sleepy Scientist with even more to come! A potential playtesting session with our target audience (kids!) is in the works! It may even happen with the tablet! Check back for more!
Sleepy Scientist is a simple 2D puzzle game I am working on in my Game Design & Development 2 course. I am working with 5 other students to make the game, each specializing in a different aspect of the game, like AI programming or Art. I will be working with the team on this game till the end of the year. I am tasked with the role of Scrum Master, which simply means that I am the one to make sure that the game is moving forward and to keep everyone on task. While I am not working to keep the team moving forward on development of the game, I will “pick up the slack” or really just do the rest of the work that needs to get done for the game. You can check out the code here, but know that it is just the code, not a game to download and run. We are still working on it! Be sure to check back weekly for updates on the game’s progress and what I have been working on for it.
After 10 weeks of working on this project, the team is finally proud to say it is finished! Middle School Mayhem is now Sketch Adventures! This project was a great time for all, with our game even getting showcased at the Strong Museum of Play for Up and Coming games! While the game only has one level, many people have found it to be difficult to beat. The team does want to work more on the project, but as we are all students, finding that time will be difficult.
Here is the Game