Monday, April 2, 2012

Elemens | Pure Modness | Football Fan


The Elemens mainframe has been mostly upgraded to v. 1.2 Codename (Light Surge). As detailed in my REU Log, this change includes the following updates:
  • Concrete Graphical Style updated. Inspired by simplistic subtlety, (Windows 8)
  • Inclusion of Four Elemental Types
  • Work on Customize Elemen Portion
  • Converting Elemen class for better customization usage
  • Ability to remove data from Screen
  • Addition of Beam Attack
  • Addition of Mirror Attack

Pure Modness

Pure Modness is the educational video game being developed for the Android Platform which I previously introduced. The idea from Pure Modness stems from my earliest personal experiences attempting to learn the capabilities of the modulo (%) function and mastering it's uses and concepts. This game attempts to encapsulate educational lessons on the mod function in a variety of intriguing and captivating mini games. As of now, I have conceptualized two different games that can be used to both provide an entertaining challenge, and reinforce rules of the modulo function. It will feature a softer, geometrical-based aesthetic that correlates to both the mathematically based concepts that will be taught and the servitude as an educational game. The aesthetic will also be impacted by the Mod subculture that was large in the UK during the 50's and 60's.

Concept One: Basic Operations against Clock

- Race against the clock to solve a series of randomly generated modulus function operations with a specified difficulty setting. Intended to have a low level of complexity to serve as a lesson to players of the ways the modulo function works. Player attempts to gain a high number of solved problems to serve as a high score.

Concept Two: Cog Game

- This concept is not the most concrete, however I feel it is one that could have a substantial influence on the players' mental interpretation of the mod function. The game will feature cogs with differing number of spokes that are intertwined. I intend to feature these cogs to represent the way that the modulus functions work. This site in addition to this site feature an implementation similar to what I intend to include, with the first more accurately representing what it will eventually look like. I will bring more information when concrete designs become available. This game is also to serve as an introduction to the Modulus function.

The modulo function is one which I have reason to believe is not challenging, but a bit more difficult to initially master than other arithmetic operations. My hypothesis is that it is generally taught at an age where other basic arithmetic operations are concretely impounded into our mathematical brains, and as such, any potential addition serves as a threat to the basic functions which we rely on heavily in daily life. As creatures of comfort, we might become used to utilizing functions of addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication too frequently to attempt to use another tool that can serve with an abstract purpose. Thus, in order to protect our understanding of these tools, we don't allow the risk of conversion of these policies in our minds based on the addition of newer concepts. This isn't a formal hypothesis, but perhaps an additional study should be in order. I'll be sending out a survey to determine what the general population feels on this issue by polling NCSU students to see whether Pure Modness could be considered a relevant research game.

Football Fan

Upon Dr. Xie's request, Football Fan will be released to the Android Market for testing of people's perception. Prior to this, there are a few changes that must be implemented to ensure premium product quality.
  • Potential switch to front-end XML-based parsing instead of manual updating
  • Graphical Update
  • Features Update
  • Addition of Email Developer feature
After these things are complete, Football Fan should be ready to release. This will be collaboratively worked on with Jonathan and Khendr'a.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Project Presentation

The Customization Engine Model: Soul Calibur and Elemens: Light Surge version will (finally) be released this week for observation. A little tweaking and they should be all yours for reviewing!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Various Projects

Over the past few weeks, I have been working on the expansion of the series of writings on the Customization Engine Model, and the progression of the XNA Elemens, in addition to a few new projects I have started.

Educational Game App

The first project I have begun development of has been the construction of an educational game application for the Android platform. With this application, I intend to discover, record, and observe patterns within educational video games that prompt interest in users. The application will be intended for younger audiences and will feature a variety of different modes that are extremely similar to the Elemens games I have been developing as well.

The idea was wrought from reviewing a conversation held with Dr. Xie about the effects video games can have upon young children. By replacing video games that lack educational benefits with those that do instill knowledge into children, we can enhance their mental capacities from an earlier age. Opposed to having our video games teach children the best way to kill zombies, teaching them the best methods to perform arithmetic seems as if it could assist in enabling a "smarter" society. The challenge will be to develop a game that will be primarily educational that can compete with the un-educational video games that saturate the markets. While the app is still under heavy conceptualization, I do intend to have several game-play modes, with at least one being similar to the Elemens game I'm developing in XNA. I'm setting a time frame for approximately a month and half worth of development and then hopefully release by no later than mid-April. If successfully released to the Android app market, I plan to obtain results of the study via built in surveys that will report and record information in regards to the most commonly utilized features in the app. This study will help in determining what features make an educational most appealing to players in order to maximize effectiveness when developing educational games.

Customization Engine Model

The Customization Engine Model analysis of the Soul Calibur series is wrapping up. I am doing my best to not only make it informative with a sort of a pseudo-research paper set-up, I am also trying to make it visually appealing and as accurate based on resources as possible. In the mean time, I should release the overview of the Customization Engine Model : Introduction piece shortly. This will be a similar artistic pseudo-research paper that will introduce the criteria on which I am examining in player Customization-based video games. I would like for the documents I provide to be up to a high standard before posting them for review, and based on that I feel they may require a bit more time to become fully developed.

Elemens Update

I have still been working on modifying the Element Relation Chart that was introduced in the last update, and have been continuing to work on v. 1.1.0. I have been working on trying to solidify an art style to use in the game as well. Been looking into methods to port this into a Windows Phone as well.

You Are Smart!

In regards to the application I developed for the I-Cubed Convertigo Mobilizer App Development Challenge, I am said to say that You Are Smart! did not place among the top three apps. However, I ultimately decided I'm going to utilize this resource that I created to form another medium to conduct research with. It's purpose as of this time is unknown.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Wolfpack Football FAN app

  • The newest additions and latest updates to the Wolfpack Football app consist of image insertion for players. As stated once before Graduating players, newcoming players, etc. buttons being changed to tabs above the 2011 roster is still under construction. Working on gathering information for player bio input of the players. Pictures for current prototype for player image view, player bio as well as roster tabs should be uploaded soon.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Elements in Elemens/Customization Engine Model Documents

The latest upgrades to Elemens have provided a few additions to the core setup. I've introduced in this version one of the core elements of game play. Elements will be used to add an additional flair to battles. Each Skill will possess a single Element, which will alter the damage the move does when hitting Elemens, and colliding with other Skills. The differences in damage caused will be based on the element of the Skill or Elemen. There will be a variety of Elements introduced that can be imbued to Skills in addition to the initial four that have been introduced right now. As per the latest v1.1.0 Referring to the following chart will provide a visual sense of how the mechanics will work.

An arrow represents that a Skill containing a particular Element (starting at the top going clockwise: Wind, Earth, Water, and Fire) deals a greater amount of damage to Elemens or Skills when they collide. Whenever for example a Ball, which is a basic projectile Skill that damages an Elemen, collides with another Ball of the same Element, the two should then immediately dissolve upon contact with each other. However, if a Wind Ball collides with an Earth Ball, then the Wind Ball should destroy the Earth Ball and continue on for the remaining duration of time that it had left before disappearing. If an Earth Elemen is hit with a Wind Skill, then the damage done by the Skill will be greater than normal. The exact scale of damage is not known as of yet.

In addition, I have been battling with choosing an exact damage battle system, or a system where the values of damage done are based on a set range of damages calculated by each Elemen's Statistics. By exact damage battle system, I mean that certain Skills such as Ball would always deal a constant amount of damage opposed to altering by a few points. I'm going to have to continue analyzing the benefit of this system opposed to the slight damage alteration system.

In addition, it is my desire to begin releasing the information I've gathered on the video games I have been studying and testing as part of the Customization Engine Model this week. After a few more revisions, I plan to start by releasing information obtained from analyzing the Soul Calibur and RPG Maker video game series.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

You Are Smart!

It's okay to admit, we all feel down in the dumps every now and then. You Are Smart! is a mobile app I've developed just to help alleviate those depressing feelings on our gloomiest of days! You Are Smart! was recently developed for the I-Cubed Convertigo Mobilizer App Development Challenge. I-Cubed, an innovative, Raleigh-based company that specializes in software development launched their challenge with the prospects of drawing programmers to their Convertigo Mobilizer product. The Convertigo Mobilizer is slated to be the future for mobile application development, with the same set of coding being able to be used to deploy applications for a variety of mobile operating systems, including iOS, Android, and BlackBerry OS. Built on Eclipse, the Convertigo Mobilizer IDE takes a programmer's Javascript and HTML codes and utilizes a few libraries constructed by the I-Cubed team to produce applications for different markets. The You Are Smart! app is one of the three applications currently in the running, and will be judged by the professional software engineers at I-Cubed in five days. You Are Smart! features over 50 different compliments and praises to remind you of your value and worth. Sometimes people take for granted the power of simple positive reinforcement, and it is the goal of this app to ensure that no soul is left without the potential to be positively inspired.

Wish me luck on the competition, as details can be found here, more info on I-Cubed can be found here, info on the Convertigo Mobilizer can be found here, and the page for You Are Smart! is right here! Please continue to work hard and have a very successful semester! Remember, you are smart!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Wolfpack Football (Football Fan App)

Wolfpack Football (Football Fan App)

A fan based application used primarily for team promotion giving the user information about the team such as,

  • Roster info
  • Coach info (coming soon..)
  • Team Schedule
  • Statistics
  • Player Bio (coming soon..)
Throughout this applications progress and creation the user should be able to view information as well as images of the team and individual players.