19 October 2019

Guild Wars 2: Annual Halloween Without Procrastination

I've made sure to check my blog, and I came to a conclusion... I didn't make a procrastination post about Halloween in Guild Wars 2. I guess I didn't do it last year because I already completed most achievements. I don't like the incompleteness of the procrastination posts. Hence why I'm doing this one.

The Same Procedure As Every Time

Screenshot of the Mad King's Labyrinth Lobby
of Guild Wars 2 (Halloween 2019)
The festival itself doesn't matter for the procedure. We need to answer two questions: How long does the event go? Which achievements do we need to do, and what does it require us to do? To answer the first question, we can look up the blog post from ArenaNet. According to it, the event goes from the 15th of October to the 5th of November.[1] That's about 22 days. By now, it's already the 19th of October, though. So, from today on, it is 18 days instead. With the frame of time being clarified, let's look at the task. There are ten annual achievements from which nine need to be done. These are:
  • Arguably Foodlike - eat 300 candy corn
  • Ascent to Madness - defeat the mad king
  • Ancient Grudge - kill 100 minions of Joko
  • Courtly Service - spend 5 gold at the Labyrinth NPC
  • Pumpkin Carving - carve 100 pumpkins
  • Mad King's Clock Tower - jump through 3 times
  • Lunatic Racer - complete the labyrinth race 3 times
  • A Royal Tradition - Play the Mad King Says 3 times
  • Raceway Regular - complete 15 race track rounds
  • Masters of the Labyrinth - kill all 3 labyrinth bosses

Calculate the Daily ToDo

If this isn't the first procrastination post you've read, you should be able to do it yourself, haha. Basically, we divide the amount we need to do through the number of days we have. This will give us a daily amount, which may need to be rounded correctly. Following this using the Arguably Foodlike achievement, we will calculate 300 / 18 = 16.66... Of course, we can't eat less than one, so we round up to 17 (even if it would've been less than 0.5).  Here are the results for all of the annual achievements:

Achievement Total amount Daily amount
Arguably Foodlike 300 300 / 18 = 16.67
Ascent to Madness 1 1 / 18 = 0.06
Ancient Grudge 100 100 / 18 = 5.56
Courtly Service 5 5 / 18 = 0.28
Pumpkin Carving 100 100 / 18 = 5.56
Mad King's Clock Tower 3 3 / 18 = 0.17
Lunatic Racer 3 3 / 18 = 0.17
A Royal tradition 3 3 / 18 = 0.17
Raceway Regular 15 15 / 18 = 0.83
Masters of the Labyrinth 3 3 / 18 = 0.17

Interpreting the Data

Now we have numbers that need to be interpreted, as given by the example before. This means, every day we would have to eat about 17 candy corn. We need to do the Ascent to Madness at least once (the calculation of this was unnecessary here). About 6 of Joko's subordinates need to be killed each day. We also would spend 28 silver each day, which is not possible as the lowest amount of money that can be spent is 1 gold. If we multiply the amount per day by four, we get 4 * 0.28 = 1.12 gold. This means we should spend 1 gold every 4 days. The pumpkins that need to be carved is equal to the Joko's minions we need to kill, which is ~6. The tower, labyrinth race, and "Mad King Says" need to be done 0.17 times per day, which is about once every 6 days (6 * 0.17 = 1.02). The raceway tracks in the special area require you to do 0.83 rounds every day. It makes much more sense to do three rounds, though. As such, we will do 15 / 3 = 5 runs instead. So, redoing the calculation we get 5 / 18 = 0.28 instead. So, we will be doing this too a little less than every 4th day (4 * 0.28 = 1.12).

Small Tips For Rounding When You Do It Yourself

If you calculate this yourself, make sure to round correctly in your interpretation. The amount you do daily should be rounded up. This is to make sure you get the total before time runs out. You will be done earlier, though, which is fine. However, when you round the frequency, you want to make sure the number decreases. If you do something every two days, you do it more frequently than if you do something every three days. This is important to make sure you will reach the total.

Your Mad King Says...Enjoy the Halloween event!
[1] https://www.guildwars2.com/en-gb/news/halloween-2019-is-getting-closer/

01 October 2019

Guild Wars 2: Strike Missions Introduce Players To Raids

Guild Wars 2 has released the first Strike Mission a few weeks ago. It belongs to a collection of instances, which are supposed to introduce players who have never done them before into raids.
Having seen this first instance, I'm a bit skeptical.

What Does The Strike Mission Provide?

Screenshot of Guild Wars 2
Preparing for the Icebrood Construct Boss
The strike mission features the area that was played during the story. Lore wise it happens after the story without spoiling more than why you're in the area again in the presence. After the NPCs talking a cave entrance opens that lets you go through a tunnel. This tunnel features icy ground that lets you slide and a snowball rolling down as an obstacle. Past this tunnel, there is a jumping puzzle with a few chests. The ice physics from before are reused here. (and they do interact weirdly with gliding.)
Past the JP lies the boss.

The boss is also quite simple. It requires no tank and technically no healer. His attacks happen random and consist of impacts and ice waves that can be dodged or jumped. Additionally, he has an attack that fills 180 degrees of the arena with a swipe and a ground effect that deals damage over time. Another attack of his is the ice mines. Once he spawns them, they rotate around him. He often casts a wind that moves players along with it. Due to the opposite direction of the player and bomb rotation dodging them is usually required. Something easy to miss is an icicle attack he sometimes casts at a player position.

At 50% of health, the boss will go into phase two. In this phase, he uses two new abilities. Now he creates two to three (later on probably four) ice patches. These shoot out small bubbles that deal damage on hit. The way they spawn and move is very familiar for bullet hell games. After the projectiles stop spawning, tiny arrows highlight the ice to tell the player to get on. The boss will hit the one in front of him, producing a big wave that cannot be jumped over and is hard to dodge. The players need to stay on the higher patches and jump over it. The fight continues until the boss dies.

Reviewing The First Instance

Looking at the first strike missions already gives me a glimpse of where ArenaNet wants to start. The boss can be done with only damage dealers and features aside from dodging damage just one specific mechanic. This means it's planned for people who have at most killed a world boss or done a dungeon. If it were planned for people who run high tier Fractals of the Mists, it would have required a healer.

One of the biggest worries I have with this guy is, that people have so much damage in the group that mechanics are skipped. If the boss reappears later and the mechanic kills people instead of downing them if at all they will leave the mission with a bad taste. Overall, there is no incentive to learn all of the mechanics, which are thrown at the player.

The Complex Nature Of Raids

Raids are complex. Aside from requiring the player to figure out how to defeat the boss, there are mechanics layered upon mechanics. Each of these needs the raiders to react to and act on certain triggers. These can be...
  • visual: a telegraph, an animation, effect
  • auditory: a sound
  • or combined (using visual and auditory)
Additionally, raids are a multiplayer experience. This means players need to decide on how they will handle communication. (This does not require speech, though it simplifies communication by removing the requirement of typing.)

And then there are roles. Since bosses deal a lot of damage, some players need to switch to healers and tanks. More of them need to be given, depending on the mechanics and advantages of some classes (for example, supporters).

Raids are often seen as end-game content as they provide the player with challenges, where they can use everything they have learned during their MMORPG experience.

What Makes We Worry About Strike Missions

In game-design, you usually give the player one mechanic or system after the other. These are separated before being found layered. This is the best way to have the player learn these systems. This is actually done by ArenaNet at one or the other encounter. (for example, the guardians before vale guardian or the earth mini-boss before Adina) All of this is irrelevant if the players ignore mechanics. This means we need to teach figuring out the mechanics without frustrating or demotivating the player too much.

Giving invulnerability to the boss while the mechanic plays would be a good idea. However, this means the player stops what they're doing: Playing their class. Instead, it would make more sense to decrease the incoming damage the boss gets if a mechanic fails. (Keep in mind we don't wanna kill the player instantly for fails as this discourages too much). Now we just need to make sure, the boss performs the mechanic before dying.

Wrapping Things Up

I feel like this post has reached a decent size. I'm gonna write another one once the next Strike mission comes out until then I hope they will read this post or know what they're doing. Players need to learn that...
  • How do I heal?
  • What is tanking?
  • What is kiting?
  • What kind of things can I expect in raids?
And most importantly. Raids aren't hard, and they aren't just for hardcore players. With a decent difficulty curve, (nearly) anyone can learn to raid.

With that good night!


25 September 2019

Cube World Beta - The Biggest Issue Right Now

I've played the Cube World Alpha for multiple hours and had a lot of fun. With the beta release, I've already spent 30-ish hours. As such, I feel entitled to give my opinion and criticism on the game. Even though I already have like three topics/posts I could write about.

What Is Cube World Gonna Be All About

Screenshot of the Cube World
Pre-Beta Title Screen
You can't give good criticism if you don't know how to play the game. This means we need to figure out, get hinted at, or be told how to play the game. If you look at the game mechanics, there's a lot of items and unlocks that only count towards one region. Additionally, there are a few items that count more globally. These can be found in areas that can be considered as end-game within their region.

With this and the information gained from the game developers, it is clear. This is the goal: Climb up the gear ladder inside of a region and unlock all the unlockables. With the top gear, you collect the artifacts. Afterward, you move on to the next area and start anew. Rinse and repeat.

That's a Terrible System Who Would Come Up Wi-

This is in and of itself is not a terrible system. Look at roguelikes or idle games. These games have been using similar mechanics for nearly forever. If we take the Binding of Isaac as an example. If you die, you lose everything and have to start over. However, you will retain any unlocks you've made or coins you put into the bank. This gives the game a sense of progress and changes the experience each time you achieve something. 

Another example would be the famous Cookie Clicker. Here too you are encouraged to start the game over. But, compared to your first run, you will have it much easier and faster this time around. This allows you to get much further than before.

Now, when we get back to Cube World and look at the artifacts. They do two things. Firstly, they increase your level, which does nothing mechanically. It's basically the count of how many of them you have. Secondly, they'll give you a small stat bonus. This bonus is limited to traveling abilities.

The Vicious Cycle Of Demotivation

That's all nice and everything. To make the game fun, we need player motivation. Motivation in video games is too big of a topic. So, I won't go into detail on that. 

In the current state, I would say, players who seek exploration are satisfied. It's an endless world, and it's unlikely to find areas that are too similar.

People who want to play with friends or want a community should also be satisfied.  My experience in online mode is quite decent and fun. The only thing I could complain about is getting no loot if you died and couldn't get another hit on the enemy. Though the steam servers can't deal with too many people. Thus it would be nice to have the ability to host an own server that can deal with large scale multiplayer.

The third group of players is the issue here. There's a progression inside of a region but moving away from it resets the progress. Even worse, the artifacts only give a bonus to traveling abilities. You don't need a bonus to these if you stay in the area you have been in the whole time. This means there's no reason to get the artifacts. Everything falls apart, and this is the problem why a portion of people complain about the state of the game. This is also the reason those people prefer the alpha release.

The Solution

As big of an issue this seems to be. It's rather easy to be solved. All the game needs is a long-term progression. It's not even hard to implement this. Artifacts provide a bonus to traveling stats. If there would be additional artifacts, which provide a more meaningful approach to long-term progression (such as minor stat increases). It would give the third group of players the incentive to travel and gather the artifacts.

More Issues Targeting This Audience

A few more minor issues, which also target this third group, can be easily fixed as well. For example, completing a region gives no reward, and you don't know when you are finished with it. There's also no big reward for getting the lore to 100%. Also, since it's unknown how many key items the region contains, this can result in the player searching for hours until the motivation dies out.

This can be solved by giving a completion percentage of the region. Providing the player with a special message for completing it and potentially a worthy item. For example, one guaranteed equipment piece for their class, which works in other areas around the completed one.

The unlocks should always be visible but blacked out, so that you know which can be found in the area. This gives away a little bit about the region, but it helps those who are searching aimlessly for something, which doesn't exist. If the quest doesn't exist, it will be blamed on tough luck.

Alright, This Is Long Enough

Now, I have addressed the biggest problem. I still have two blog posts planned about Game Development Lifecycles and the special relationship between players and developers. The blog post turned out to be less of a criticism/review than I had planned. Well, I can analyze problems and try to solve them by giving suggestions using my experience. I'm not good at reviewing, lol.






02 September 2019

My Stance On The Current Guild Wars 2 Drama

As Guild Wars 2 takes off most of my blog posts and I currently have time on my hands and can't record anything, because it's 2am... I want to take my stance on the whole Guild Wars 2 Announcement Drama that has been going on.

The Issue People Have

Reading a lot of comments on the big announcement, there's one theme that shows throughout all of the complaints. There was too much hype, and x or y did not get announced. I can understand that people who play a specific game mode, such as PvP or WvW haven't seen much content in the last months to years. Overall it would seem that Living World is the focus of updates while add-ons provided real content. It's now been 7 years of Guild Wars 2 with two add-ons and four living world seasons. Asking around my friends, I also found out that any content which is not released by an expansion pack is not considered as such. Well then, what did the announcement do wrong?

What Was ArenaNets Big Announcement?

People joke about the announcement not being a big thing. It covered a lot of topics, so that is a step up from Blizzard about the Diablo franchise. Though having new tournament seasons and mentioning that they're working on the WvW update - first of all - may not necessarily be news and secondly may not feature something new. Build templates show the same issue. This has already been announced, the only difference is that it will come soon instead of the future. The rest of the announcement - aside from merchandise, which I'm not gonna talk about - focused on the upcoming Living Story Season 5. The main event of the event so to say. The story will continue with the Far Shiverpeaks, another area that has been in Guild Wars 1 and as such is appreciated. There will be new masteries, that are gonna work differently, all the previous masteries will make a return and raid-like content as a bridge. The idea behind naming it Saga is a new policy to the updates or a new monetization concept. There's also more detail that is not relevant to the Drama. Such as Charr's background, Norn background, focus on respective characters, Jormag of course, and Scar makes an appearance.

Get To The Point

I think that's enough information for me to take my stance. Actually, there's not that much to say. If you look at the PR stunt of calling the season a Saga and them giving it such a big name, while at the same time not announcing an add-on would make it seem that the Saga is the add-on. The reason the name change was done is either a) due to a new monetization system or b) because they're gonna split the expansion into smaller updates such as the Living Story season updates. Of course, this is positive thinking. As such, the only thing that can be done is to wait for the first updates to see what ArenaNet means when they talk Saga. Maybe it's not as bad as you think. Anyways overall the announcement covered all or most topics of interest but was too ambiguous.

Additionally, ArenaNet mentioned this in 2015, and I agree with it even in 2019. A game dies with its community. Guild Wars 2 has a community, thereby it's not dead. Q.E.D.

Well, afterall, this is just my opinion. I'm not a fortune teller. Oh, wait, technically... Let's see if I guessed right.

Overhyping is an issue, I've seen multiple times. Since it makes me worry about certain games (e.g., Hytale), I should do a post about it.

27 August 2019

Guild Wars 2: Unlocking Ascended Cooking - Shopping List

In 41 minutes I'll be cook 500. So, in the meantime, I can write a post on what you need to unlock it yourself. I'm not gonna go into the details on how to level up to 500 the fastest or the cheapest, but this should help you get started and get an overview of what you need.

Divide And Conquer The Quest

Reaching a cooking level of 500 requires you to first reach level 425. After this Seimur - the cook who loves to add bloodstone dust to literally anything - will want to try your cooking at your home instance. This requires you to craft a specific item for him. This item will probably get you to level 435 or so. Next up, we have five quest lines for each race: Human, Norn, Charr, Asura, and Sylvari. For each of these, you need to craft three typical foods from each of those. After doing that you need to do stuff to improve your cooking. The human questline will have you improve your oven. This requires 3x Heat Stones and 5x Bloodstone Bricks. The Norn quest requires you to create cook utensils, which costs 5x Deldrimor Steel Ingots, 5x Dragonite Ingots and 1x Spiritwood Plank. The Charr one will unlock new meat drops to improve the quality of your meat by learning a new technique. This requires an event to be done and killing the corresponding enemies. For the Asura's, you will need to buy items that in total cost 15 gold. You will need to have done the Charr's before or buy the respective meat in the trading post. Lastly, through the Sylvari's, you will unlock the seed drops that are required to craft the ascended herbs. All you have to do here is gathering herbs until you get the varietal herb seeds, then craft a portable composter using 4x Spiritwood Plank and 1x Elonian Leather Square. Completing all these quest lines adds another 50 levels (10 levels for each) to your cook. With cooking 485 the last recipes, specifically the Bottle of Simple Syrup (1x Bag of Sugar and 1x Jug of Water), gives about one level per craft.

Summing The Materials Up

Here's the sum of what you will need:
  • Craft at maximum 25 dishes which reward experience and you have the most materials off.
  • Craft a Chef's Tasting Platter
  • Craft a Bowl of Snow Truffle Soup
  • Craft a Sesame-Roasted Dinner
  • Craft a Sage-Stuffed Poultry
  • Craft a Filet of Rosemary-Roasted Meat
  • Craft a Bowl of Artichoke Soup
  • Craft a Bowl of Poultry Tarragon Pasta
  • Craft a Bowl of Spicy Meat Chili
  • Craft a Plate of Lemongrass Poultry
  • Craft a Plate of Fire Flank Steak
  • Craft a Bowl of Roasted Lotus Root
  • Craft a Flatbread
  • Craft a Chocolate Omnomberry Cake
  • Craft a Bowl of Tropical Mousse
  • Craft a Bowl of Truffle Sautee
  • Craft an Omnomberry Ghost
  • 5x Deldrimor Steel Ingots
  • 5x Dragonite Ingot
  • 5x Spiritwood Plank
  • 1x Elonian Leather Square
  • 15 Gold
  • Items that are worth 15 more levels


Splitting each dish down into its ingredients we get this list:

  • 1x Artichoke
  • 1x Asparagus Spear
  • 8x Bags of Flour
  • 1x Bag of Starch
  • 6x Bags of Sugar
  • 4x Bay Leaves
  • 1x Bell Pepper
  • 5x Black Peppercorns
  • 1x Bottle of Rice Wine
  • 3x Bottles of Soy Sauce
  • 1x Bowl of Sour Cream
  • 1x Butternut Squash
  • 12x Carrots
  • 10x Cassava Roots
  • 2x Cayenne Peppers
  • 2x Celery Stalks
  • 1x Cheese Wedge
  • 3x Chili Peppers
  • 2x Chocolate Bars
  • 1x Coconut
  • 1x Cumin
  • 4x Eggs


  • 1x Eggplant
  • 2x Ghost Peppers
  • 3x Ginger Root
  • 6x Glasses of Buttermilk
  • 9x Heads of Garlic
  • 3x Jars of Vegetable Oil
  • 11x Jugs of Water
  • 2x Lemongrass
  • 1x Lime
  • 1x Lotus Root
  • 1x Mango
  • 1x Milling Basin
  • 5x Milling Stones
  • 1x Mushroom
  • 5x Omnomberries
  • 18x Onions
  • 1x Orange
  • 2x Orrian Truffles
  • 2x Packets of Baking Powder
  • 11x Packets of Salt
  • 2x Packets of Yeast

  • 1x Passion Fruit
  • 5x Pieces of Candy Corn
  • 1x Portobello Mushroom
  • 1x Potato
  • 1x Rice Ball
  • 4x Rosemary Sprigs
  • 4x Sage Leaves
  • 1x Sesame Seed
  • 2x Shallots
  • 8x Slabs of Poultry Meat
  • 5x Slabs of Red Meat
  • 4x Snow Truffles
  • 10x Sticks of Butter
  • 1x Tarragon Leaf
  • 5x Thyme Leaves
  • 4x Vanilla Bean
  • 1x Yam
  • 5x Deldrimor Steel Ingots
  • 5x Dragonite Ingot
  • 5x Spiritwood Plank
  • 1x Elonian Leather Square
  • 15 Gold
That concludes unlocking ascended cooking as well as reaching cooking 500.

Ascended Seeds

While I did mention that Bottle of Simple Syrup is a cheap way to get the last 15 levels. I would advise you to actually salvage foods you have crafted as well as lower-level food to get the Extracts of Nourishment. Use these to craft the Exquisite Extract of Nourishment. This can be used to craft the seeds for your home instance, which will also increase your crafting potentially.

26 August 2019

Diablo III vs PoE: Why I prefer Diablo

Playing an MMORPG like Guild Wars 2 and playing a hack 'n' slay like Diablo III or Path of Exile does work out actually. Though it does take time off of the achievement hunting. I don't play Path of Exile, and this post will list my reasons for this choice.

About Path of Exile

Path of Exile is a big game with a lot of content. It takes quite a little while to get into something that could be considered end-game. More specifically, someone who doesn't play it multiple times a week will not be able to reach the maximum level. (Sidenote: maximum level is not required to do the end game content) Builds are created using the skill tree, the gear as well as the gems that are socketed into it. These gems provide passive and active abilities and can be leveled. Path of Exile has seasons that add new or a mix of old content temporarily. This gives the players always a new thing to do each season. The main end-game consists of collecting maps or levels. With these, you can visit the respective area, where higher tiers can drop. Gotta catch them all, right? Oh, and the last five maps each contain a really challenging boss.

About Diablo III

Diablo III is a relatively small game content-wise. It takes about a day or a weekend to reach the end-game. Compared to Path of Exile, the paragon levels don't seem to have an end. Even though the on-going upgrades are limited to the class main-stat and vitality. Builds are created by choosing skills, modifying these with runes as well as the gear and gems socketed in them. These only provide stat bonuses and passives instead of active abilities. The passive ones can be leveled as well. Diablo III has had seasons too. However, they started to have an impact on gameplay only recently. The main end-game consists of farming for better gear and reaching a decent placement on the leaderboard.

Comparison

If you compare both games, you will see, the content-wise Path of Exile is far superior. Then, why do I prefer Diablo III? Accessibility of content. Diablo III doesn't have the content. I only play it a few days to a week or so, but I can always check-in and do some brainless slaughtering of demons. Path of Exile doesn't provide me this. The feeling of not having finished or reached the end, not having a complete build. Another reason is the changing of gameplay. In Path of Exile, you need to farm currency to change your build later on. The more you want or need to change it, the more expensive it is. This is not the case in Diablo III.

The Perfect Hack 'n' Slay For Me

A mix of Path of Exile and Diablo III would be the perfect Hack 'n' Slay for me. 
  • End-game that can be reached fast.
  • Ability to play with friends even if they started later on or are multiple levels above you.
  • Free changing of your build.
  • Content that is as large as Path of Exile's
  • Seasons that make a difference
  • A balance between depth and complexity


Stuff

I'm really interested in where the Diablo III season "buffs" are gonna go. They started off with minor things such as more loot creatures, moving on to passives being active for the whole season. Now they added a new mechanic just for the season. This might go into the direction of something I want.
We'll see.

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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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.