29 December 2018

Avoiding Plagiarism and "Copy-strikes" by Copying!?

Plagiarism and copying in itself is a complicated topic. While you want to protect your own creations you also want to allow other people to get inspired, experiment with your ideas and make something even greater and better that hopefully does not steal your money - you know, ain't no rest for the wicked.

Inspiration For This Post

The reason I write this post is to share this blasphemous topic with people who read my blog or come across it. I first found this in a Youtube video, which I would've loved to link to or something, unfortunately, this video is one of two that I can't seem to find. (The other one is about pro-gaming/e-sport and improving your own skill most efficiently). How much you can trust this is your own choice (as always actually) but the points mentioned made sense to me.

Plagiarism and Copying

Plagiarism is the worst thing you can do, but what is it? Plagiarism is using the work of someone else intentionally or unintentionally and claiming it's your own or not giving correct credit to the source of information. It's literally copying someone else's work without mentioning that you took it from someone. Now you would think, I just have to avoid copying someone else and everything's fine. But...

Being Human == Copying

Every idea you ever had every thought you ever had, heck even your own opinions and characteristics are inspired by things someone else has done. PUBG would not exist if there weren't Hunger Games, most of the Metroidvania's wouldn't exist if Metroid and Castlevania wouldn't have been created. Remixes wouldn't exist either. We're taking things that exist to mix everything we experienced together in our little brains and come up with new ideas. But everything we experienced can be part of the process of shaping these ideas. This also means that everything we experienced can have a different weight to the idea. So copying or plagiarism is actually realizing an idea that has extreme weights to certain inspirational resources. If you have the idea of making a Flappy Bird RPG the weight is pretty much 80% Flappy Bird 20% RPG or so, as an example. Okay, so we can avoid plagiarism and copying by avoiding to lean too strongly on a few single concrete inspirational sources. We pretty much save if we have the one unique idea no one came up with yet, right?

Well, it's not that easy, because... your brain likes to store things and contrary to believe we don't "forget" things in the sense of having those memories erased. We forget how to access memory but the memory is not gone.[2] Also misremembering something has nothing to do with forgetting either, it has to do with us trying to access the memory again by taking what we remember and trying to reconstruct the rest. Hence why false memories may be implemented easily. You should watch the Youtube Premium show of Vsauce: Mind Field on that topic. They had an episode on this called "Do You Know Yourself". Okay, but what's the problem here?

The Problem This Causes...

The problem is that you might not remember an inspirational source and yet your brain can still use it to create ideas. You think you created an idea out of the blue and you don't remember any connection of this to any source. You are realizing your idea and once it's out on the market... it's too late. People are calling your work plagiarism and you have no idea why. This is because you might've taken too much inspiration from a source you don't remember that still exists and your work is too similar to it. Ridiculous, isn't it?

If you can't even avoid plagiarism due to your unconsciousness, you have only two choices left, really.

1. ) Intensive Research

You have always the option to search hours upon days upon weeks upon months to really make sure no one else of the 7.7 billion people on earth[1] came up with it first. It sounds like fun, doesn't it? It does make sense to check the first few pages but completely avoiding plagiarism is may not always be possible. Luckily there is software out there to take care of this, but it's either not accessible to everyone or costs money. Beautiful, isn't it?

2.) Copy Intentionally

At first, this sounds ridiculous. It does make sense and there are actually a lot of people who may be doing this already. The idea is to copy some or multiple works intentionally throw it together and then change it so much that it no longer can be considered copying. The copying turns into inspiration. Your work will be considered unique, even by software. This is pretty much the premise of the Youtube video I mentioned earlier. This way you're safer than to assume you have a unique idea because you know you couldn't have copied the work you just copied after the changes.

Funny side-note: This is pretty much what transformative work is considered, which is actually allowed by law. You can read more on it in the law under fair use.[3]

The only last issue that stays... what if someone copies the same source and does the same changes to it? Will we ever be able to fully avoid plagiarism? Or do we at some point give up on this as long we agree to credit people where possible and assume anyone's work not completely as their own but more as spilling of their collected information helping together to build upon our current knowledge to further our progress even more? 

Well, I guess not as long as there's money in the game... *le sigh*

[1] https://www.google.com/search?q=world%20population
[2] https://www.verywellmind.com/forgetting-about-psychology-2795034
[3] https://www.lib.umn.edu/copyright/fairuse

26 December 2018

If Everyone Could Do Everything...

Whether you misunderstand or take "Do What Thou Wilt" out of context or if you just would love to do everything and anything, wouldn't that be awesome? Let's think it through and see under which definition something would be allowed.

Thinking It Through

We start off thinking through some cases and create some rules or laws according to those cases. We'll also try to stay as general as possible. Then we check later on if our deductions match with existing rules or if not. If they don't or if we find mistakes or other issues we can further think through it and try to find solutions for them to fix them and get a better ruleset.

Rule I: Self-Affecting, Same Task

If we do something that has no effect on another person like, doing playing video games we run into no issues. Another person like a neighbor, for example, can play the copies of the same video games as we do on their own console.

So, "if we do A, another person can do A" if both actions are not related.

Rule II: Self-Affecting, Different Task

Let's say we keep on playing video games and our neighbor goes to buy groceries. Again both tasks are not related but different. This is again no issue since us playing video games only affects us and the neighbor buying groceries only affects the neighbor.

Thusly, "If we do A, another person can do B" if both actions are not related.

Rule III: Alia-Affecting, Same Task

(Alia meaning second or third person)[1]
If we lock our neighbor into his house with no escape possibilities - for whatever reason you would do such a weird thing. We affect the neighbor in the things he can do. Unfortunately, by doing this, your neighbor can't get out of the house, so he can't lock you into your house without any escape possibilities anymore. Even if you don't care about this, if you turn the situation around and he would lock you into your house without any escape, you can't lock him in anymore, since you're stuck in your own house.

We reached a problem there. This means for us to be able to do something we wanted we need to find a solution that allows both of us and the neighbor to do the same thing before, meanwhile and after. The only solution here is a compromise. A compromise also means we can't do everything we want anymore. We can still do everything without those exceptions though.

Which means "If we do A to someone, they can still do A to us". Keep in mind we're talking about being able to do before, meanwhile or after.

Rule IV: Alia-Affecting, Different Task

Alright, getting a little brutal now. If you would kill your neighbor, your neighbor can't longer go buy groceries. Because dead people don't buy groceries - prove me wrong! Same thing the other way around, if your neighbor kills you, you can no longer play video games - you've met a terrible fate, haven't you?

So there's another problem here. Pretty similar to the previous one though.

Basically "If we do A to someone, they can still do B".

Summarizing The Rules

Okay, so under our... let's call it law.. we are allowed to do everything that fulfills the following sentences or rules:
  1. "If we do A, another person can do A." ("If another person does A, we can do A")
  2. "If we do A, another person can do B." ("If another person does A, we can do B")
  3. "If we do A to someone, they can still do A to us" ("If someone else does A to us, we can do A to them")
  4. "If we do A to someone, they can still do B" ("If someone else does A, we can do B")

Matching With The 10 Christian Commandments[2]

  1. “You shall have no other gods before me."
  2. "You shall not make for yourself an idol and worship it."
  3. “You shall not make wrongful use of the name of your God."
  4. Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy."
  5. Honor your Father and Mother."
  6. “You shall not murder."
  7. “You shall not commit adultery."
  8. “You shall not steal."
  9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor."
  10. "You shall not covet your neighbor's house or wife."

1. “You shall have no other gods before me."
In our case, this one is uninteresting. Having another god before does not affect other people and if we don't have one anyone else can have one or can't have one. Thus regardless of if you do or don't, it's not a rule we must abide by our law. It doesn't mean you don't have to it's your choice in this case.

2. "You shall not make for yourself an idol and worship it."
This is the same as the first one. It does not affect another person in the sense of limiting them in what they can do. At the same time whether you do or don't is your own choice and is not forbidden by the law we just created.

3. “You shall not make wrongful use of the name of your God."
I could say the same for this one like for #2 and #1, however, if we assume God to be another being that counts into our law, using his name wrongfully can result in his reputation being ruined and as such affects the possibilities god has. As such this could - depending on interpretation and believes - count as forbidden by our law.
  4. Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy."
This one is the same as #3. If we assume we have a person who keeps the Sabbath holy and another person who prevents them from holding the Sabbath holy by for example letting them work they are limited in what they're able to do. As such this commandment matches our law in certain circumstances. However, this is only the case if there's no alternative for Sabbath to still be held holy before or after. (assuming the whole day is meant here and not holding the day holy at some point some time.)

5. “Honor your Father and Mother."
According to our rules, this is not a must. We should think about expanding our rules to include this one. Though it also depends on how we interpret this. If your mother or father wants to do something and you do not support them, you basically prevent them from being able to do what they want to do. An argument against that is that you need to do something you don't want to do. It looks like we found a grey zone, worth discussing further.

6. “You shall not murder."
Well... I already used this in the example above, so you can probably guess the result. This is enforced by our law, since killing someone prevents them from being able to do what they wanna do and vice versa.

7. “You shall not commit adultery."
According to our current rules, this is fine two. It feels wrong though since there's probably a better solution to avoid this issue to prevent hard feelings. Let's keep this in mind as well.

8. “You shall not steal."
Stealing something from another person prevents them from using that object, hence limiting them in what they can do, thus it is not allowed by our law.

9. “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor."
Bearing false witness, or generally lying results in restrictions of what another person can do if we take the result of the false witness or lie into consideration. Generally lying to another person that does not affect their limitations in any kind of way is not disallowed and if it allows new options or swaps old option for new ones it's another grey zone.

10. "You shall not covet your neighbor's house or wife."
The yearning itself is not disallowed according to our rules. So no problem here if no further steps are taken.

In The End

Our rules are definitely not perfect. There are a lot of grey zones and things we haven't considered yet, but we've got the basics down and talked through examples that our rules apply or may not apply to yet.
Next time we should expand more on those. Finding a solution for every person on the world is something many people broke their heads over.

I tried to explain it for people who care more about themselves but also for people that - like me - prefer the rule of "don't do something to someone else that you don't want them to do to you" (oh, and "if someone does something to you, they don't mind you to do the same thing to them." ;P). In any case, making everyone requires a compromise. You can't do everything and expect everyone else to be able to do everything, it just doesn't work logically.


19 December 2018

Guild Wars 2: How Many Days of Beetle Racing Does It Take?

I wanted to post this yesterday but... whelp. When writing an introduction talking about the difficulty of each race and their rank in difficulty I noticed it getting big real-time. Thus I decided to split it into two posts with the first one - the introduction - talking about the difficulty and their ranks and this one to actually be about how long it takes now.

Why Going Through The Racing?

Is it to win the car? To win some hardware from ArenaNet? No. Not at all. We're doing it for the completionist in us. We're getting all the novelties and skins! Okay, now, what do we need to do?
The races reward us with a new currency called Racing Medallions. This is only the case for the six new races to my knowledge. With these Racing Medallions, you can buy stuff from a prize NPC that's standing next to the time challenges or race start points. This means we need to get those medallions.
This raises the question.

How Do We Get Racing Medallions?

After actually looking at how many I get for once I noticed the following pattern. Doing the daily achievements rewards you five for every single daily and ten for the meta-achievement. So that's 
3 * 5 + 10 = 25 already. Each racing event gives you three. This means doing the daily rewards you with at least an additional nine. Additionally, there's the time trial or racing adventures. These have a bronze, silver and gold chest that each reward a different amount of Racing Medallions. Also, there's a different type of chest with the same name awarded at the practice run in Kessex Hills. Here's the result from them:
  • Gold Chest (without Kessex Hills) - 5
  • Silver Chest (without Kessex Hills) - 3
  • Bronze Chest (without Kessex Hills) - 2
  • Any Kessex Hills chest - 1
Summing it all up we have (5 * 5) + (5 * 3) + (5 * 2) + (3 * 1) =  53 in total. Why? We've got five races that award a gold chest that contains five, a silver chest that contains three and a bronze chest that contains two. Additionally, we have the Kessex Hills racing chests that award one for gold, silver, and bronze. Now if we take the difficulty into account and you only go for one try daily then anything at the level of Mount Maelstrom and higher is out of the question for the gold chest. Now we're going with (2 * 5) + (5 * 3) + (5 * 2) + (3 * 1) =  38. Cool and all, but...

How Many Do We Need?

There are multiple items that we can buy...

Item name Cost Skin Item name Cost
Mini Roller Beetle 150 Endless Mystery Fanciful-Cat Tonic 250
Racing Goggles (Heavy) 150 Racing Goggles Endless Mystery House-Cat Tonic 250
Racing Goggles (Light) 150 Racing Goggles Endless Mystery Dog Tonic 275
Racing Goggles (Medium) 150 Racing Goggles Endless Mystery Choya Tonic 300
Racing Helmet (Heavy) 150 Racing Helmet Endless Mystery Bear Tonic 325
Racing Helmet (Light) 150 Racing Helmet Endless Mystery Fowl Tonic 350
Racing Helmet (Medium) 150 Racing Helmet
To sum it up we need to be careful with the helmet and goggles as those share the same skin. That means we only need to buy one of those. With that in mind, we get a total cost of:

150 + 150 + 150 + 250 + 250 + 275 + 300 + 325 + 350 = 2200

With that, we have everything we need to answer the question.

How Many Days Does It Take?

If we do all dailies and each race on gold once a day we get 53 + 9 + 25 = 87 Racing Medallions each day. This means getting our 2200 Medallions takes 2200 / 87 = 25.29 or rather 26 days.

Now if we do our daily but only the daily races and time trials of those we miss out on two gold chests, two silver, chests, two bronze chest, and the Kessex Hills chests. This means we miss out on 
(2 * 5) + (2 * 3) + (2 * 2) + 3 = 23 medallions. In this case, we only get 87 - 23 = 64. Hence it will take 2200 / 64 = 34.375 or 35 days.

Assuming we don't want to wait for the races and just do the daily time trials we need 
2200 / 53 = 41.51 or 42 days.

Well, let's say we can't do gold on Mount Maelstrom, Brisban Wildlands, and Snowden Rifts...

Doing all dailies and each race once a day we get 38 + 9 + 25 = 72 Racing Medallions. With this, it will take us 2200 / 72 = 30.56 or 31 days.

Only doing the daily and the time trial of the respective races will let us miss out on two gold chests. But there's only a 1/5 and a 1/5 chance for that to happen. So we have a 1/5 * 1/5 = 1/25 chance to miss two gold chests and a 1/5 chance to miss one. With each gold chest being 5 medallions. On average we will lose 1/5 * (1 * 5) + 1/25 * (2 * 5) + (2 * 3) + (2 * 2) + 3 = 14.4 medallions. That means on average we will get 87 - 14.4 = 72.6 Racing Medallions. With this amount it will take 2200 / 72.6 = 30.30 or 31 days.

Okay, almost done... if we only do the time trials we need 2200 / 38 = 57.89 or rather 58 days.

Last but not least.. if we only do the daily events without the time trials (not recommended). It will take a whopping 2200 / 36 = 61.11 or more like 62 days.

Efficiency Is The Best!

And to make it even easier for you here's a trick. If a race event is starting, say you participate in it and wait for it to begin, or talk to the NPC to participate if it already has started and then start the time trial. This way you will do both the event and time trial at the same time, reaping the rewards of the time trial after the first round and the event rewards at the end. This way you don't need to do the race twice. This does not work perfectly on each map though, however, there's no special reward for being first in the goal in the race event, nor for second or third place. Thus, who cares about the place as long as you finish the event with gold.

A Little Addition

Assuming you only do the same race event over and over it will require you to do 2200 / 3 = 733.33 or 734 times the same race event. With the events taking place about every 15 minutes and a start timer of about 5 minutes it takes 20 * 733 = 14660 minutes without taking the actual race into consideration. That's 14660 / 60 = 244.33 hours which is 244.33 / 24 = 10.18 days or 11 days.
If you do this please blog or vlog the whole ordeal.

18 December 2018

Guild Wars 2: About the Beetle Races and Their Difficulty

I had the calculation already prepared for about a week, but I couldn't find the time to write this blog post due to, math homework (discrete structures), pgdp (abr.: Praktikum: Grundlagen der Programmierung, engl.: apprenticeship: basics of programming) and the winter update for Against the World, but now that I'm almost in the Christmas break... Time! Yes!

What's Beetle Racing?

Beetle Racing has been added to Guild Wars 2 on the patch of the 26th of November.[1] Beetle races are race tracks with checkpoints that have a three-lap racing event to go with them gratulating the first three winners as well as time trial adventures that save yours overall best and daily time for one round or lap. Additionally, there are bronze, silver and gold rewards for these time trials that are achieved by being below a certain time. These racing tracks are designed for the beetle mount that can grow in speed when continuously rolling, especially downhill while having a super-speed ability that is bound to the endurance bar. This endurance bar fills over time, when colliding with objects, drifting or doing tricks in the air (if skilled). ArenaNet added a total of six races, which means there are now eight beetle races in-game.
  • Domain of Kourna
  • Mad Kings Raceway[2]
  • Kessex Hills
  • Gendarran Fields
  • Diessa Plateau
  • Mount Maelstrom
  • Brisban Wildlands
  • Snowden Rifts

About the Race Tracks

Domain of Kourna

This is the first track added to the game, it's an adventure for people to experience the beetle racing for the first time and required you to have quite a good grip with the beetle to achieve gold. Not hard yet.

Mad Kings Raceway

Following the previous one, this is the second race track that was designed for the beetle and added to the game. Before the patch, this needed very good usage of the beetle. There were a lot of places that actually required you to boost and drift well enough. Especially since there were objects that unmount you on collision. It is a fairly short track though. Since the nerf you can do the track with other mounts just as well making it one of the easier ones. It's only available during the Mad King's Eve if at every.

Kessex Hills

Kessex Hills is the first of the six new ones I'm gonna talk about. Kessex Hills actually is less of a race and more a practice run. It is extremely short and asks you to do drift and learn about the speed increase when rolling downhill (if ever slightly) and the loss of speed when rolling uphill as shown to the end. Getting the drift to work and maybe using one boost is enough to get gold. It is, therefore, the one I deem the easiest.

Gendarran Fields

With Gendarran Fields the second of the six new ones were implemented. This one now features a much bigger track there are about three jumps where you can do tricks to gain endurance and multiple chances to use a boost. It's also the first map to introduce you to the water mechanic. The beetle can go over water if fast enough, it does lose speed though. According to an NPC, you can keep more momentum if you jump onto water instead of rolling into it. There is at least one spot where you most likely need to drift, which is shortly before the bridge. I recommend keeping a boost after the first water passage. Aside from that use the boosts where you're sure you can use them well. I'd deem this one the second easiest one of the new ones.

Diessa Plateau

The third one I'm gonna list goes through terrain with obstacles such as trees, bushes, walls and more in the way. There are a lot more places where you actually need to drift to get around well. You get some help thanks to some of the checkpoints working as a "start-to-drift-here"-marker. Aside from that, there isn't much more to say to this one. I deem it harder than the Gendarran Fields one though.

Mount Maelstrom

Now we're starting to get into the tough territory. Oh, and you might notice that I sorted them by the release as well as difficulty. This track starts with a lot of uphills that requires you to place your boosts at the right point. Follows up by mountainous terrain some tight corners and then even more mountainous terrain. There are a lot of spots you can easily get stuck with, you need drifting and if you don't drift correctly you're hardly better than not drifting at all. You really need to make sure you use your boosts at the right places, especially as you get hardly anything out of a boost if you can't get a grip on the ground. The boost in the air does not give you as much push as you get on the ground, quite realistically. Though even with a few mistakes here and there you can possibly get gold as the time is set gratefully.

Brisban Wildlands

Well so much about grateful time. We're starting to get a smaller window for gold now depending on how many mistakes you make. This one is considered the hardest one by people and track-wise, that's correct. However, due to the time window for gold, I do not consider this one the hardest but instead, the most time consuming one. This is the biggest and longest of the races and has many places that are mean, especially the corner at the Thaumacore Inquiry Center [&BFoAAAA=][3]. The end of the track through the Lionshead Outcrops is also tough. Another down, but there are a lot of points you can get stuck on, such as bushes and whatnot. There are some tricks though where you can use jumps to gain endurance through tricks to get faster endurance that way.

Snowden Drifts

Last but not least the one I consider the hardest. This is an extremely short race track but the timing is extremely tight. If it doesn't go nearly perfect you can easily pass on the gold time. Note that you do need to use two boosts at the start to negate the speed loss of uphill rolling, you need to get enough endurance to boost before the endurance refresher later on the track and you need to boost after the drift after the second bridge you cross. Additionally, depending on where you drift, there you might lift off the ground failing to get the angle to stay on track and losing control of the drift and beetle. Also, don't miss the last bridge.. that hurts. Some trees hate you, haha. So, many obstacles, endurance control, tight time, small passages, and drifts on tricky terrain. Yes, I consider this one the hardest.

Overall Difficulty Ranking

Well, to recap I would say:
  1. Snowden Drifts
  2. Brisban Wildlands
  3. Mount Maelstrom
  4. Domain of Kourna
  5. Diessa Plateau
  6. Gendarran Fields
  7. Mad Kings Raceway (assuming you chill through it with another mount)
  8. Kessex Hills
There is to say that this is my own opinion trying to weight the features and challenges each track brings with it. So there may be differences in the ranking.

Next Post Already Planned

So, I wanted this post to be about how many races you need to do or how many days it takes you only doing it daily but this post has gotten too big already. This means I'm going to split it into two posts instead. I hope you enjoy this one nonetheless. I'm probably going to write the next post tomorrow.

[1] https://en-forum.guildwars2.com/discussion/61676/game-update-notes-november-26-2018
[2] https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Mad_King's_Raceway
[3] https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Thaumacore_Inquiry_Center

12 December 2018

The Split Between Traditional and Modern Pixel Art

This is a post I wanted to write back when I made my first post about pixel art, sharing what I thought was a good post on making pixel art bigger without it looking too "blocky". Anyways after that post, I had a discussion with some people and it's really interesting.

Where Did Pixel Art Come From?

Back in the old days, when games for consoles like the Nintendo Entertainment System were available. Hardware and software were limited. Due to only saving 8-bit per each pixel of an image only a limited amount of colors could be displayed.[1] Combining this with the limited resolution Pixel Art was the best option back in the old days.[2] Thankfully the detail in each sprite or Pixel Art, as well as the number of colors kept increasing. Continuing through to 16-bit per pixel with the Super Nintendo Entertainment System up to our 24-bit true color system that is widely spread.

Then Why Is There Still Pixel Art?

Even though we don't have the restrictions we had back in the old days, it has evolved into a style for multiple purposes. It may remind us of the old days, it's much simpler to create than drawing a full detailed picture, you have more power over each and every pixel and all the details of the picture since every pixel matters and you can decide over every of their positions, and many more I haven't captured here.

The Split Between Traditional and Modern

Now, with our much better hard- and software we are no longer restricted to the limits we had back in the old days. This resulted in a split between traditional and modern Pixel Art. So what's the difference? What makes Pixel Art traditional and what makes it modern? Where are the bounds of each?

Traditional Pixel Art

Traditional Pixel Art is very strict about its rules. Thus you are not allowed to use more than 16-bit per pixel, which can be enforced by color palettes. Additionally, you are limited in the amount of detail you can add. Plus each pixel needs to be clearly visible so that the control over each pixel is not lost. Though the exact rules may vary from person to person and additional may be added or ones may be removed. Which cuts the bounds of modern Pixel Art.

Modern Pixel Art

Breaking the limits of traditional Pixel Art, this may not be considered to be much anymore. It can be argued whether there are any rules to this but some things can be said at least. First of all, there is no limitation in colors anymore. All the colors of true color can be used for these, which means no palettes or limited color choice per pixel. Pixel Art is all about the pixels. Without any rules, isn't any computer-created art Pixel Art? This is where we can take one of the rules of traditional Pixel Art to help us. Each pixel needs to matter and a change in pixels should be visible. I think this is probably the best way to draw a line. The more detail you add the more blurry each pixel becomes and the more blurry the line between what can be considered Pixel Art and what cannot becomes as well.


Now, this is just my thought on this topic so I don't know how far I'm off or if I hit the bulls-eye. However, even if I'm off I consider this to be a good way to differentiate between Traditional, Modern Pixel Art and the other types of computer-aided graphics that have been made and I don't think you can do any wrong by holding onto these guidelines or rules mentioned here.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/8-bit_color
[2] https://www.theseus.fi/bitstream/handle/10024/133067/Keo_Mary.pdf

08 December 2018

Guild Wars 2: Heavy Loot Bag Drop Drop Rate

What a confusing title. I don't know how to differ this post from the drop research done on the wiki. Well let's clarify this now: I'm talking about the drop rate of the Heavy Loot Bags and not the drop rate of stuff coming out of the Heavy Loot Bags, kthx.

Actual Intent

I actually didn't do this research on purpose or anything but I stumbled upon it by chance. What I actually wanted to do is to check out how many kills I make during my time in World vs World. After doing this multiple times I realized that there are an obvious correlation and pattern between the kills and Heavy Loot Bag drops. Well, it makes sense, but it surprised me anyway.


So, to count the number of kills I was kinda lucky that I hadn't completed the avenger title in Guild Wars 2: World vs World. If you don't know what it is, it requires you to kill 250,000 players in World vs World. That's a lot and yeah, I have managed 67k or so over the four to six years, I've been playing currently (I play other modes besides WvW too, by the way). Anyways before starting my World vs World session, I noted down the number represented in the achievement. I did this via my lovely Python console creating a new variable "kills" by setting this variable to the number of kills shown in the achievement. Next, I subtracted kills from the current amount. The result is the delta kills or the kills I've made up to the point I did the subtraction. As simple as that.


At some point, I noticed that I have almost always four times as many bags as player kills. This means that apparently about every 4th player that has been killed drops a Heavy Loot Bag. Now, these 25% is only an approximate that works at ~1800 player kills. To nail the number down to it's exact, you would have to actually collect and keep all that data. Still, this seems solid enough to approximate the number of players you've tagged, which also died, by multiplying your amount of Heavy Loot Bags by four.

06 December 2018

3D Game Development.. Beware the Rotation!

Less serious post this time around, I just want to share the fun I had during the Game Engineering lecture.

A Little To Read Before...

So to get you on the same terms. I'm currently studying Games Engineering at the Technical University Munich and we have a Unity 3D platformer project as one of the practice tutorial things. We did an STG or Shoot 'Em up before the platformer that you might see in the future that's another story though. Anyways according to the tutorial we're supposed to make different kinds of platforms and we want but there's a list of possible options. There could be falling platforms, spinning platforms, etc.. I liked the idea of a spinning platform as it reminded me of Super Mario 64. Thus I tried to implement the spinning platform and that's where the fun came out of.

A Spinning Platform, Not So Hard, Right?

Oh, boy. I created the mesh in Blender since I wanted an octagon and it was a perfect opportunity to get into Blender. Created, imported, materialized, added the script to make it spin, tested, worked.

See, it is easy. After a week or two, we were supposed to make a box that can be pushed by the player. Simple. Our player has a Rigidbody, adds another to the box. Done. Added fancy normal map and height map to the box to make it look even better and programmed it to be able to swim in the water in which the player drowns. All nice a perfect.

I went to test it and pushed the box off into the water while testing the swimming as well. Seems good, but then something happened. The boxes changed their scaling. 
"Why the hell did they do that?", I was thinking to myself. After trial and error, I started to kinda realize what it has to do with.

The Culprit Was Found

Every time a box came near the spinning platform it's scaling was changed. There was no doubt about it, it was the spinning platform. After testing some more I finally also figured out the problem, sorta. So the issue was that the spinning platform works like so: if something collides with the platform it is considered a child of the platform and spins like the platform spins. Makes sense right? Unfortunately, if some Rigidbody actually rolls or rotates the two rotates interact with each other resulting in the scaling of the object to change. The result got me my own game idea and a lot of fun even though I just wanted to do a tiny little bit of debugging during the lecture.

What's So Funny About That?

Well.. imagine the player being pushed kilometers into the air, being shot out of the map outside of the death zone, like a homerun ending up soft locked, boxes resizing into all kinds of shapes and with a short amount of code change the player changing to weird kind of shapes, scales and sizes as well. Yeah, I had my fun with this.

Let's Get Serious Again

But, let's be serious. I haven't figured out how to solve this issue. As a reminder: we have a spinning platform and different game objects with Rigidbodies that are supposed to move with the spinning platform. How do I stop them from changing their scaling? I'm currently thinking about calculating the movement and then adding velocity to the Rigidbody without rotation... I don't know.

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I'm a B.Sc. Games Engineer and I created this blog to share my ideas, theorycrafting, thoughts and whatever I'm working on or doing.