20 August 2019

Brain Interface & Brain Chip - No Thx

I don't know exactly what to write about, but new ideas will come for sure. For now, enjoy this post about my stand on the Neuralinks brain interface or brain chip.

Neuralink and the Brain Interface

Neuralink, the company Elon Musk co-founded, is working on a technology with which it will be possible to read the signals from the brain and probably send as well. This is a huge thing, positively and negatively. The procedure seems simple. Through the creation of four small holes, wires will connect a chip with the brain. This chip can be accessed with a phone app or potentially any other device.[1]

Solution To a Problem

While we don't need to play our games literally using our brain. This would be the logical next step to virtual reality or full dive. Two important factors need to be considered. First of all, we need to considered reading brain input. Other ways exist, but they don't come as natural. With an output from the brain, we can simulate movement in a restricted area or even move objects, such as body parts, that only exist in a virtual plain. The second factor is writing to the brain. Being able to "write to the brain" allows us to simulate game-related emotions such as pain when taking damage. Additionally, it enables us to play the game in our brain instead of using a device to output it to, such as a television or VR headset.

The Fact-Based Problems

An intrusive operation near the brain definitely doesn't come without risk. There are cases where it makes sense. Mind Field, the YouTube Red series by Micheal Stevens, shows us such an example. In the episode "The Electric Brain" (Season 2 Episode 8) shows a person with a paralyzed hand. The brain interface detects the thoughts of moving the hand. These are then read by software, which sends electrical currents to the arm to stimulate the nerves resulting in hand movement.[2] Another big issue of the chip is that it is wireless. This means that potentially other people can hack into it. Depending on what the chip actually can do to the brain, this can be even worse than we could imagine. Additionally, it's not like something you can remove like a headset or something. It's built into your body.

Conclusion

Taking all this into consideration, I am against a brain interface or brain chip. I think to find a non-intrusive solution would be a better choice for now. Even if we need the ability to write (as in send signals) to the brain, it should definitely be done in a local and safe environment. If there's a hack, we're not talking about losing your accounts or passwords. God knows how some crazy people could abusing that interface.

[1] https://www.thedailybeast.com/elon-musk-unveils-neuralink-brain-computer-interface-wants-to-have-human-trials-in-2020?ref=scroll
[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXNGvDdkXZE&vl=en

29 July 2019

I've Designed And Developed A 1D Game

I wanted to spend my time learning for the exam after being fit again. Turns out I'm still ill, and this crazy idea got stuck in my head. And guess what? I did it!

What Is 1D?

Cover art used for itch.io
You probably know the difference If we go down to 2D, we toss aside either the height or the width and keep the other one. This will result in a horizontal or vertical line, depending on which dimension we removed. And that is considered 1D.
between 2D and 3D games. When we switch from a 3D game to a 2D game, we give up on the depth and keep width and height.

You can view it mathematically as well. If 3D is a room and you take away the depth you're left with a plane. Removing another dimension leaves you with a line. Technically, stepping down another dimension will result in a point (0D).

Graphical Dimension Versus Gameplay Dimension

As you might have heard of 2.5D, we have to differentiate in the represented dimension and the one the player moves in. However, it's not standard for the player to move in a higher dimension than the graphics communicate. More about that on another blog post. There is a game made by Tim Ruswick, which shows the player moving linearly, but the game objects are placed in a plane. Just like Flappy Bird, an obvious contender for the 1D gameplay and 2D graphics.
Regardless, my goal was to make a game with 1D gameplay and 1D visuals.

Game Development

I wanted to make this game in Unity since I had the most experience there so far. After setting the release and in-editor resolution to 1x800, the rest of the development of the game is pretty simple. Unfortunately, this is not the case for the UI. We can't represent text or numbers in this format. Even if you would let them scroll they're not distinguishable. Something we can do, however, is to color-code them. If we, for example, say that the digits of a number can be colored the following way:
  • red - zero
  • orange - one
  • black - two
  • white - three
  • blue - four
  • yellow - five
  • green - six
  • brown - seven
  • purple - eight
  • gray - nine
While this is confusing to the player at first, there's no better option I can think of. Additionally, the player will learn the coding over time.
Next up, we need a game idea that works. I wanted to think simple since I only want to prove that a 1D game is possible. I had a few different ideas, but Guitar Hero seemed to be a good choice. A rhythm game itself would take quite a while, so let's paddle down. How about... having targets fall down, and you have to hit a key on the right timing? It's more or less the same, just no music or specific patterns.


The Release

Now that things are done, the game is ready for release. Something I've noticed is that it doesn't run well on a dark background, and it is hard to see. I don't think to resize it is a viable option, though. Anyways, after this blog post, I'll be writing the short page and add a link to the itch.io page. So, you can check it out yourself.

Check It Out >>

Next up... a 0D game! Wooo!


27 July 2019

My Experience With Grammarly

This is not sponsored!
I can't even explain how it came to be, lol. I was trying to find a context-sensitive Japanese translator, and that was when someone suggested Grammarly. Spoiler alert: It doesn't support Japanese.


Usage So Far

So far, I've been using Grammarly to work over all my old posts. This is the first post that actively uses it. This means that all correctness issues and clarity issues, which can be found by Grammarly, have been fixed in the older posts, while with the up-coming and future ones I'll be trying to avoid the premium alerts.


The Result

Honestly, I have no idea how much of a difference Grammarly makes. So, I'll leave this to you to find out on yourself. I'll list the top five pages from an overall score, from the Flesch-reading score and the respective five worst pages from each of those categories. You can also compare this post to those.

Highest Overall Score


Blog PostOverall
Score
Flesch
Score
CharactersWordsSentencesReading
time
Speaking
time
Word
length
Sentence
length
Guild Wars 2: Legendary Armor - How Long? (Part 2 - PvP)9782790614781355.9011.373.410.9
Guild Wars 2: Tyria's Gravity977854061054584.208.102.718.2
Picross - How Many Possibilities?96924928915863.657.032.310.6
Guild Wars 2: Precursor Collection Workload966967301095814.378.424.113.5
Update: Guild Wars 2: Fractal Grind - How Much More?9583785214232895.6810.933.24.9

Highest Flesch Score


Blog PostOverall
Score
Flesch
Score
CharactersWordsSentencesReading
time
Speaking
time
Word
length
Sentence
length
Guild Wars 2: Danger Level at Desmina's Platform - Part 27996642111313144.528.703.33.6
WildStar: Expedition Prime Scaling Data809454089222743.687.083.13.4
Picross - How Many Possibilities?96924928915863.657.032.310.6
WildStar: Proc Chance of Prime Drops Result Update7792584111391004.558.753.611.4
Guild Wars 2: Magic-Warped Packet - Worth It?89911054319572827.8215.0536.9

Lowest Overall Score


Blog PostOverall
Score
Flesch
Score
CharactersWordsSentencesReading
time
Speaking
time
Word
length
Sentence
length
Game Design: Horizontal Progression in MMORPGs79595322887593.536.824.915
The Magical Meaning of Colors77585251827763.306.354.910.9
Accessibility of Difficult Content745883691429815.7010.984.717.6
Weekdays and Associated Gods74585059793763.176.105.110.4
Can Power Levels in Anime and Games Be Applied to Real Life?765757471035574.137.954.418.2

Lowest Overall Score


Blog PostOverall
Score
Flesch
Score
CharactersWordsSentencesReading
time
Speaking
time
Word
length
Sentence
length
Boku No Hero Akademia: Midoriya's Gran Torino Training736472701318765.2710.134.417.3
WildStar: Physics - Velocity of Movement727951479031233.606.934.17.3
WildStar: The Value of Pure Soulfrost638640887261612.905.583.94.5
Representing the Leveling of Language Comprehension537957181049954.188.074.211
36711717278501.102.134.65.6

Working With Grammarly

It's nice to see more machine learning solutions. However, these solutions require a lot of time to learn. There's a ton of variety in language depending on which writing-style you want to use (for Example: informal, formal, analytical, etc.). I've noticed a few issues, and these include:

- Errors caused by missing terms in the dictionary.    
(for example, specific technical terms)
- Correctly marked errors, but wrong suggestions.
- Errors I don't understand.    
(for example, wanting a maybe when it clearly should have been a may be.)

Luckily, the more you use Grammarly, the more you will learn about working with it. Trying around a little bit, allows you to analyze and solve even the premium issues. (This is also something I'm experimenting with within this post.)


Conclusion

Since Grammarly is available for free, I can only advise people to check it out. Regardless of whether or not you're writing, blog posts, scripts, documents, or something else. I will continue to use it myself. And if I figure something out about the premium stuff, I'll make another post about that.





Blog PostOverall
Score
Flesch
Score
CharactersWordsSentencesReading
time
Speaking
time
Word
length
Sentence
length
My Experience With Grammarly998641657223012.885.553.62.4
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About Me

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I'm a junior game developer and software developer and I created this blog to share my ideas, thoughts and whatever I'm working on or doing.