I am happy to announce that our mod will now be using actually a real world mathematical model to calculate the glucose level of a character! We have heard back from the team of doctors in France and they have given us their equations and research on calculating glucose levels in the body. This math is extremely complicated and uses a lot of data from the human body, which we do not have for the WoW characters. We have been working with the doctors to use standard values for many of these data points and are very close to having a complete function for use in the add-on. While working on the math, I have been working on adding the blurry and blacking out effects to the add-on. I hope to have these in the mod by the time I (along with half of the team) go off to PAX EAST (this weekend). At PAX EAST I hope to show this add-on off to anyone interested (including press hopefully) and Blizzard. The team’s hope is to show this to Blizzard and get their interest in the add-on and when we are fully finished, sometime this summer, have them showcase the add-on. It’s nice to see the add-on in a working state and play like a game, while still simulating Diabetes.
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 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 am again taking a class at RIT that uses Remy Decausemaker’s great website/online course system. As with the other times I have used it, another tag and RSS Feed was needed for the course, so that I may have a place to write about my experiences in the class. That way the professor will understand that my playing of World of Warcraft in his class will help my course project! (Yes it seriously will, more on that in a little bit further down) It seems the whole First Flight experience, the first assignment for the course where you set up your website’s RSS Feed, get on the IRC channel to talk to all the other students, and learn about Github, have all stayed the same, with the website being steadily improved each time I use it. Hats off to Remy Decausemaker and his coding and web chops!
Now about that whole World of Warcraft(WOW) thing. This class I just completed the First Flight assignment for is Production Studio with Professor Stephen Jacobs(SJ). This is a new course for the program, but it basically gives professors and students class time to push personal projects forward. Some in the class are pitching projects they would like to work on to SJ, while others, such as myself, will work on projects SJ has started with others in the academic, health, and gaming fields. The project I hope to work on, (SJ needs to see what people want to work on, so that the whole class in not working on one thing) is a project to bring diabetes to WOW characters. This will be through a mod that users can freely download to add to their WOW experience. This idea comes from a nurse that worked as Blizzard’s (studio that makes WOW) on-staff nurse a few years ago. She wants to bring public health education to people through games, but thinks that using existing games with large player bases will get more traction than a standalone game. It seems like a interesting project to work on, with lots of creative ways to simulate. Hopefully I will be working on this project! I should know by next Tuesday, so check back then!