Elucidated Binary

Diary of a dev guy

OGAM: January Game Introduction

I’m incredibly excited to be participating in the One Game A Month competition / extended game jam this year. As the title suggests, the goal is to create and publish at least one game per month for the entire of 2013. This post is the first in a series detailing my progress creating One Game A Month throughout the year.

For January I have decided to create a puzzle game. My one-sentance minimum viable product is as follows;

Create a 2 player turn-based remake of the pencil and paper game Dots and Boxes that runs on the iPad 2, and is created with HTML5 and JS technologies.

In addition to the above, I aim to also achieve the following goals;

  • Have sounds and background music present in the game
  • Run on Chrome and Safari desktop browsers
  • Support touch, mouse and keyboard controls
  • Have a simple AI for 1 player play
  • Keep a running developer diary of the progress on the game

This minimum product will require several significant steps, not the least of which will be procuring a testing device.

Provided everything works and I blaze right past my goals with flying colors weeks ahead of schedule, the following stretch goals will be considered;

  • Add tweaks / alternate forms of gameplay
    • Speed mode - only 2 seconds per turn
    • Fractal mode - capturing a box zooms in to a smaller playing field within that box that must first be won
    • Some form of real-time non turn-based mode
  • Add online multiplayer play
  • Launch to the chrome web store
  • Also support and release on the iPad Mini

2012: Looking Forward

Well it’s the 2nd of January 2013 and the world hasn’t ended yet, so I figure it’s about time to set some new years resolutions. I think it’s important to look back when planning on looking forward, so here’s a list of cool things I did in 2012;

  • Started using my GitHub account; built cool stuff
  • Got married to the most incredibly amazing and wonderful woman in the world
  • Got an 3 month internship with Microsoft in Seattle
  • Switched my blog from Wordpress to Octopress
  • Learnt some more of the wonderful language Ruby
  • Quit my day job, with plans to take on full time study again next year
  • Created a Computer-Vision enabled Lego Mindstorms robot of awesomeness and death

Things I would like to do during 2013;

  • Successfully complete One Game A Month
  • Take part in a Startup Weekend
  • Expose myself to more server-side tech by building at least one game with online real time multiplayer gameplay
  • Create and launch three native applications (on any platform)
  • Update each of my existing mobile applications
  • Participate in NaNoWriMo - the National Novel Writing Month
  • Lernen, besser auf Deutsch.

I don’t expect to complete all of these, but why have goals if they don’t stretch you?

Happy New Year and Happy Coding!

Kinect, OpenCV, Lego Powered Robot of Awesomeness

This semester at Uni I took a Computer Vision and Robotics course which had a semester-long team project component. I learnt an enormous ammount about kinematics, actuators, dynamics, control, motion planning, perception and computer vision in general, and had a blast working with a great team to build a complex robot that used computer vision extensively.

Our challenge was broken into 3 smaller assessable milestones, however the end goal was to develop a Lego Mindstorms based robot that used computer vision and an Xbox Kinect sensor to detect the location of Coke Cans and Bottles within various (unkown) scenes. Once detection was complete, the robot then had to place a straw within the mouth of each can / bottle without human interaction.

In addition to the above, the robot had to be robust against differing types and orientations of cans and bottles, lighting and background noise (the scene was intentionally cluttered). Oh yeah, the code had to be written entirely in Matlab :(

A stack overflow post I saw today was asking a very similar / related question and prompted me to write down my experiences for future reference.

Microsoft Internship

So today I am blessed enough to be starting a 3 month internship at Microsoft in Seattle, Redmond. My wife and I arrived here in Seattle last night and I begin work today. I’m going to be working in the Windows Phone Foundations / Models team as an SDET (Software Developer In Test). Our flights and relocation costs were completely paid and I am receiving a (very generous) wage, as well as subsidised car hire and accomodation. Fun times ahead!

Happy Coding!

Hello, Octopress

This is my first post using my shiny new Octopress blog.


iOS Back Button Image

On the same day as the last post, I had need of an iOS-style back button. The following was generated by tweaking Gregor’s results at cssnerd.com.

And once again, xcf file.

Feel free to use these, if you let me know :)

Happy Coding.