Making an App: Final Week

For this final week, my partner explored buildbox and I just did some more things with Unity. We both couldn’t work on it since only one person could use it at a time unless I wanted to buy a separate account. My partner made several strides in making his game. I also watched some tutorials on buildbox which showed that buildbox is much easier to use than Unity. Unity, as I learned this wee, requires you to have extensive knowledge in coding in order to make anything worthwhile yourself. Buildbox doesn’t require any coding, but is limited to the parameters that are set in it. Unity allows you to make a game according to your imagination. You can make a First Person Shooter, 2D platformer, and many other types of games.

For the presentation, my partner and I will both compare Unity and Buildbox. We will talk about it a little in a small introduction, and then do live demonstrations to the best of our abilities. I will use Unity, since I have basically no knowledge in coding, I will only be able to show the most basic components of Unity. My partner using Buildbox will show how to make a game with Buildbox.

via. my computer
via. my computer

 

After the project is over, I’m considering learning coding in c# on Microsoft Visual Studios. I think it will be a good learning experience and help me in university since if I want to go into engineering, I would need to learn it anyway. It will also help me be able to learn how to use Unity and that might give me a good hobby over the summer.

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Making an App: Week 3

This week in it’s entirety went really well. It began as usual, playing around with Unity and looking at tutorials. It started to become apparent that it would become much more difficult to continue using Unity as it would require real, more advanced coding to continue using some of it’s features, such as parallax scrolling. While we were discovering this, my partner decided to check out Buildbox on the side as a back up, and this turned into a huge success.

Buildbox was a bit expensive, $84 per month, however it is really simple to use. My partner, from only watching 4 tutorial videos, made a almost complete game, which was better than anything we could have done in Unity with our current knowledge of coding. Buildbox offered a more simple approach, it allowed you to choose the genre of game you wanted to make, then it made a basic outline of the game and allowed you to put everything you wanted in it. It was one of the simplest pieces of software I had ever seen.

This did however put us in a dilemma, we initially said our project was about exploring Unity, but now we wanted to switch to Buildbox, but didn’t want the last few weeks of work to be wasted. That’s why we decided to make our project about exploring both Unity and Buildbox and comparing the 2 software applications in terms of usability, price, prior knowledge required, etc.

via. Flickr, Bago Games

For the following week, we’re really exited about using Buildbox, not only because of how easy it is to use, but because it is also the software used to create one of the most popular games in the mobile game market; this is Color Switch. Both my partner and I think that if we work hard we could make a proper app, not just for our class project, but to publish and make money off of.

Making an App: Week 2

As you may remember from my blog last week that I was trying my hand at making a very simple app for my final project in my IP 10 class. My partner and I have made many decisions regarding our app and what approach we will take in producing it. Along with that we have also encountered some small problems with using Unity Engine.

via. from my project
via. from my project

This past week my partner and I have explored more into learning how to use Unity and learned how put in different visuals into our game. This was surprisingly easy, thanks to the tutorials we watched. Along with adding visuals, we have also learned how to manipulate them in various ways, such as making a piece of terrain in paint, adding it to our game, and using it as terrain. This could be done with anything in the game, such as character, environment, etc. We also learned how to use colliders, which basically tell the computer that this edge is something which an object will interact with. This is used on the characters and terrain in our game. This is basically all which we learned this past week.

While using Unity, I encountered a very annoying bug. This bug doesn’t allow all the scripts to compile properly, which causes an error in the compiler, which doesn’t allow me to preview my progress. This has made working with Unity a little annoying, and for next week, I will try to find a solution for it.

For the following week, I will continue watching tutorials, mainly on how to manipulate the camera properly. This week has been fun, trying to learn all the in’s and out’s of Unity, and I hope that my partner and I will be able to produce something adequate by the deadline of our project.

Making An App

Picture by Sean MacEntee via. Flickr

For my IP 10 class, all the students got a choice on something they could pursue in the last month of school. My friend and I decided to try our hand at making a very simple gaming app. We decided to make an app because both of us are interested in both programming and gaming, so we decided to make a gaming app and the type of game we decided to make is a text based adventure game. The idea for the game was based on a game we very much were intrigued by, which is Lifeline.

We started our project by first deciding which software we were going to use to make our game. We tried many different ones such as Appery, Game Salad, and some other ones. After a few days of searching, we decided to use Unity Engine. We decided on it because out of all of the other software, it was one of the most simple ones, and was made in order to create games, unlike most of the other ones which were designed for apps in general. There was another software which we were going to use, which is Buildbox, but we couldn’t since the price was too rich for our blood. After we chose Unity, we decided to try to play around with it for a few days to try to figure it out. That became really difficult, we at first thought that creating an app would be easy, but after exploring Unity a little, we realized the truth. Just to show how complicated it is without prior knowledge of anything, it took a few days just to figure out how to put an image in.

For this week we have decided to explore unity even more and try to familiarize ourselves with it through practice and tutorials online. While doing this we might change our objective of making a text based game to a simple 2d scroller. We are considering this because in Unity, in order to make objects in games, you need to download assets, which include things such as characters, objects and other things used to create a game; and in Unity there are plenty of assets about 2d games, but not any about text based games. If it turns out in the future that we can’t make a text game, then we’ll change our idea. Also, we are open to the idea of changing our software if a more simple one is found at a reasonable price.

Do you guys have any suggestions about different software we could use to make our app?

Nikola Tesla

“I don’t know, you’ll have to ask Nikola Tesla.” – Einstein on being asked how it felt to be the smartest man alive

Nikola Tesla (1857-1943) American inventor. Photograph, 1915. — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

Nikola Tesla is said to be a man born before his time. He revolutionized everything electrical, and built the foundations on which almost all modern electrical devices are based upon.

Tesla was born in 1856, in the Austrian Empire (modern day Croatia). Later on in life, he went on to work for Thomas Edison in Paris, and America, there, he worked on improving many pieces of technology with Edison; eventually, he quit over some sort of disagreement, which is not 100% clear. After that, he tried to start his own electrical company, which soon failed, which made him get a job digging ditches for $2 a day. After a while, he managed to get some investors to back his inventions, and then he got hired by George Westinghouse to produce his AC motor. Edison at that time, to put people off from Tesla’s AC electricity, which was more efficient, electrocuted a convicted murderer with electricity saying that Tesla’s AC current is dangerous, while Edison’s own DC current is safe. Eventually, Tesla struck out on his own again, making many pieces of technology, such as X-rays, short range radio communications (which was done 2 years before Guelielmo Marconi), and he piloted a radio controlled boat around Madison Square Garden. He also made the first modern power station. Later in life, Tesla tried to build a communications tower, which he also intended to use in order to transmit electricity. He believed he could make a world with no use of wires, which was sadly an impossible idea. In his last decades, he was broke, since he gave up his patent rights away; his mental health also deteriorated, and he became fixated with the number 3, and claimed he talked to his pigeons.

Throughout his life, he made many contributions to the world, namely,  AC (alternating current) power transmission system, which is still in use to this day. He provided the world with a more efficient way to use AC power, which decreased our reliance on DC (direct current). Apart from that, he also gave the world the Tesla Coil, which then was used in radios and medicine, but the technology was improved upon, and to this day, a version of the Tesla Coil is still used in radios. These technologies led to X-ray machines, induction motors (used in most home appliances),  wireless energy transmission, hydro power, remote control, electric motor, robotics, lasers, and many more inventions.

If Tesla had not been born, most of the technologies he invented would probably still have been invented later on, but they probably would not be as refined or accessible as they are today.  Today we can easily get a basic blender for little amount of money, if Tesla wasn’t born, the technology for it might have been created later and the price for appliances that require this technology would cost a lot of money. We might still be a less efficient method than the Tesla Coil (now vacuum tube oscillators) to transmit radio waves, resulting in fewer radio based technology. These are just some of the technologies that would be affected if Tesla had not existed, there are many other things which have not been taken into account.

You can learn more about Tesla from the video below.

It is clear to see that Nikola Tesla had a profound affect on the Modern World. Who do you think had a greater affect than Tesla? Let me know in the comments.

End of Dark Souls!

Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.                              -Albert Einstein

I am a person who really enjoys playing video games, I have played countless video games, but the game series I enjoy the most is Dark Souls. This series stands apart from almost every mainstream game in circulation. It, in my opinion, affected how new games were made.

Most games that people play today are very simple. The plot is very linear, it doesn’t create an immersive feeling when playing the game. They focus on the killing, and graphical effects of the game rather than making a world that the player would be immersed in. Dark Souls on the other hand creates a world of mystery and exploration that creates an interconnected world, which while playing, dramatically changes the atmosphere of the game. While other games give you the background of the story in a bland fashion by explaining everything to you, Dark Souls basically puts you in the world without any guidance and you have to find out the story by exploring the world.

The thing that Dark Souls is most known for is being an unforgiving game, it advertises itself as a extremely difficult game. The first game was called Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition. This game has made me rage quit countless times. There was even one time when I raged and cheated to get the best equipment in the game, and level up to 9000, and I still had a difficult time completing the game. That just goes to show the incredible mechanics of the game. The game at first may seem unforgiving, but if you take an in depth look at it, it is not unfair at all. Some people may claim that a game should have a story that is easy to know about, but I say that it doesn’t. The game uses a person’s curiosity to make them try and find the story line and understand it. This type of story telling is much more true to real life, since in real life, the world is complicated and to find out about it, you have to find out about it your self.

Apart from the incredible game mechanics, Dark Souls is also very visually appealing game. The graphics greatly influence the atmosphere of the game. It shows a world which has been completely destroyed. All the buildings have been turned to rubble, all the people have become hollowed (zombie), and you have to basically try to save this world, or if you follow a certain story line, you can let the darkness consume the world. The story of dark souls can be explained in this short video.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/139355436@N07/26801938705/in/photostream/
via. Flickr

While Dark Souls is a game that seems completely detached from reality, there are some lessons which can be learned from it.  The biggest one is that life isn’t fair. In the game, you have to go against enemies which don’t fight fairly, you get tricked by the game with signs that tell you to jump into pits of fire. Another lesson is to not trust appearances. In the game, you come across chests which in any other game would indicate treasure, while in dark souls it is sometimes just a mimic. These creatures take the appearance of a chest and kill you when you try to open them. The fighting mechanic in the game also provide a useful lesson, which is that you can try to kill everything in your way recklessly and die, or you can play it smart, which is more rewarding.

Over all, Dark Souls is one of the best games in existence, and has had affected almost all games that came after it. Have you guys played Dark Souls? What do you think of it? Are you gonna play it now? What game do you think is the best?

Unplugging

Photo Credit: David Rogers via. Flickr cc

In this day and age, technology had become a part of all of our lives to some extent, whether it’s to use social media, for work related purposes, or for entertainment. It has gotten to a point where people use technology more than we interact in the real world, and many people say this habit has become a dangerous addiction. A lot of people are now ‘unplugging’ themselves from the internet. I personally do believe that technology is becoming an addiction to humans in general, and needs to be helped, but that doesn’t mean cutting off from technology all together, but rather limit how often we use it.

There is pretty solid proof that being plugged in can have negative effects on people, such as limiting our contact with physical people, and since humans are social creatures, they need those interactions with people. A study by ICMPA, and the University of Maryland, asked 200 students to go without technology, and it highlights 5 main points of this study. The 2 main points I believe were that the description students gave of their experience resembled that of other addicts, also, that students felt that going without was akin to not going without friends or family.

Why We Use It

I think the main reason why people use technology as much as they do now is mainly due to the shift into a more digitalized era, but there are different reasons as to why some people are now addicted to it. According to addiction.com, is because of the environment they are put in, and because of their personality. They say that those who are addicted to the internet are likely suffering from low self-esteem, and anxiety, and use the internet to connect to people in an anonymous fashion. Another reason is that people get stressed from jobs and tend to get addicted to the internet because of it. This addiction is for the most part going unnoticed, mainly due to the culture we have cultivated, which encourages use of technology.

Disadvantages

Addiction to the internet can lead to many serious repercussions in our daily lives, among which are health risks, social isolation, safety concerns, interference with daily life, and other addictions.

Health Risks

When people are addicted to the internet, they spend less time outside, which results in them getting less exercise, and a sedentary lifestyle can lead to heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and other health risks. Other risks may be poor eyesight, and bad posture, as they are constantly staring at a computer screen, and sitting down.

Social Isolation

When people spend all their time connecting with people over the internet, they don’t develop the ability to connect to people, and that ability is crucial in this day and age if you want a job. Social Isolation also causes people to be prone to aggressive or suicidal behavior.

Advantages of Technology

Technology has its downside, but the advantages of it are numerous. It allows for better communication with people, easy access to information, social networking, entertainment, and encourages innovation.

Here are some ways people can unplug.

http://authorunlimited.com/ways-to-unplug-from-technology/

What do you think about unplugging?


References:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/womensmedia/2012/05/24/text-or-talk-is-technology-making-you-lonely/#63e212872a7b

https://ashleypmurray.wordpress.com/2016/06/22/unplugging-what-does-it-mean-to-you/

Screencast

Hey Guys I have recently been making videos about using Microsoft Word. I made 2 videos and used two different applications to record, these applications are Screencast-O-Matic, and Screencastify. Both of these applications were good considering that they were free, but one of them is outright better than the other.

First lets start with how to access these applications. Screencast-O-Matic is downloaded by going to their website, and then downloading the application and it then opens up the application and gives you the option for recording. Screencastify on the other hand is obtained from the Chrome store, and after downloading it, it appears on the top right of your browser. When you click the icon, it gives you the options for recording.

Record the video in both of these applications is pretty different. Screencastify after you click the record option asks you which screen you want to record, and whether you want to have a webcam or not, and then when it launches, it shows a nearly transparent tab on the bottom right which indicates when the recording will start and how long it is. This in my opinion is a shortcoming, since it makes it hard to see how long your video is while your concentrating on your video, and makes it hard to find the stop button. Screencast-O-Matic on the other hand is much more user friendly, when it opens it clearly asks if you want to record the entire screen or just a part of it, it also gives the option of having a webcam. While recording, the tab is much easier to see, making it easier to see the time and be able to stop the recording.

After recording, both of these applications save the video. Screencastify saves the video to your google drive, if you’re signed in. Then you can use the video and upload it to YouTube manually if you want, which what I did. Screencast-O-Matic directly gives you the option to upload the video to YouTube, as long as you’re logged in.

Screenshot From my Computer

Overall, I would say that Screencast-O-Matic is much better, since it doesn’t really require you to have the browser open and is much more user friendly while recording. It also is much more convenient since you could record your video even if you don’t have internet, while Screencastify would require you to have the browser open.  Screencast-O-Matic also has the option to choose which part of your screen you want to use, which makes it much more convenient.

 

 

Have any of you made a video using a similar application? If so, which one do you like best?

Here are my videos:

AMD Ryzen

https://www.flickr.com/photos/lemsipmatt/2894816411/in/photolist-5pNG4M-7yNxut-754sSu-57Yy3Q-7TTQBj-KwXgy-95VBHu-bf2wBz-7TQBPi-7CLz5A-hBk68-bf2wtK-5p8Bpo-8ynFxx-dyxFqA-57HtyP-d9Gp1B-4XTajg-6LXYrK-6LXWtM-aUytH6-8WknKA-6M2VKf-7ABNLH-6BNVnT-5QZB7Y-4ywg59-kGBV3-qcSm1G-49VaS6-kFAnv-9Rw3VB-5b51hg-Giu1K-kXzgq-4ywgjW-4Tn6Qp-5Y7rEq-8WknmN-8WkkhS-5Y7saG-fu16p5-b47nd6-6vR7bf-4yrZcR-aDLxUo-5BBezT-aUmAa-4jyJWN-aondN8
Via. Flickr

If you have a computer, chances are it contains an Intel processor, which has become the staple of the community. Almost every computer being made today have only Intel inside. This monopoly that Intel has on the community has been going on for the last 6 years. This is because AMD, their main rival have not put much effort into making new processors, as a result Intel has been allowed to jack up the prices of their processors, with come costing as much as a thousand dollars. This is all about to change, AMD has now unveiled their new line of processors, the Ryzen series.

The new Ryzen processors are matching the specs that their rival have on their processors, and even beating them in other aspects. While the power of these new processors is not something that will beat Intel, the price is the strong point. The most expensive of these processors costs around $500, while the Intel equivalent is more than twice that.

The processors are available for pre-order now, and will be available for purchase starting March 2nd. There are three categories of this line of processors, the R7, R5, and R3. The R7 are the high end option, consisting of 3 processors all with 8 cores, and 16 threads, and 16 Mb of L3 cache. The base clock varies, with the 1800x being clocked at 3.6 Ghz, and boostclock to 4.0 Ghz. The 1700x is clocked at 3.4 Ghz, and a boostclock of 3.8. The final one is the 1700, with a base clock of 3.0 Ghz, and a boost clock of 3.7 Ghz. The R5 processors show similar specs for the most part, while the R3’s are solely meant for budget computers (You can find the rest of the specs here).

I am really exited for these new processors, since I really think that Intel needs some competition, so they could make better processors, and stop their monopoly on the CPU market. If this monopoly were to end, we could be seeing much cheaper computers because right now almost all new computers use and Intel processor, and if AMD is offering a cheaper CPU at a lower price, manufacturers would be tempted to use AMD. I really believe that 2017 will be a really good year for AMD, not only for their processors, but also with their upcoming Vega GPU architecture, which might stop Nvidia’s monopoly of the GPU market.

What do you guys think about the new Ryzen CPU? Do you think it will be a success or a flop?

Avatar

2cbe551a896170b6fdb4d57b3f28530d

I made my avatar to represent myself. I used a tired expression, since I am usually tired from either boredom, or lack of sleep. The accessories I chose were a headset, and a laptop, to show that I spend a lot of time online and with a headset. A night time background was chosen to show that I am a night owl. This avatar was made on Doppelme, a free website used to create online avatars for those who don’t want to show their face in public. Considering that the website is free, it is pretty good, however, the choices were very limited. Overall though, it was easy to use and the result was decent.