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AI-Driven Dynamic Dialogue, the Valve Way

Yet another trouvaille thanks to Robert Yang:

Valve’s Elan Ruskin’s GDC talk about AI-driven dynamic dialogue, used, for example, in Left4Dead.

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Imaginary Interactivity

It took five years. Only five years, that is, for people to change their expectations of how displays are supposed to work.

Case in point: at the Scientifica, our booth had several slideshows running on iMacs – obviously without any keyboards or mice around to interact with. So far, so normal. But then, something funny happened.

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Digging Holes into Unity3D Terrains

That’s gonna be a short post, because all you need to know is over on Robert’s1 blog:

Say you’re making a Unity game that takes place in a large landscape dotted with windmills, and some of these windmills have tunnels that lead underground. But in Unity, the terrain collider is generated from heightmap data: it’s essentially one giant bumpy plane. You can’t punch holes in it.

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Disney's Appmate

Actually, this is quite old and Janina told me about it a long time ago, but it remained in my little box of ideas that still need to be processed.

So, Disney actually produced an iPad game for their Cars franchise – using actual toy cars, that can be dragged over the iPad screen, controlling the game.

Probably best to have a look at it:

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Blogs for Game Design Students

And as long as we’re at the lists for game design students, this one might come in handy as well: A list of 20 game design blogs that students will love:

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What's Up: A Look at Nothing's Gamefied Time Tracker

Living by the numbers – why yes, that’s something I do and find quite fascinating. I love RescueTime and Google Analytics.

So it’s no wonder I find Nothing’s Time Tracker and Office Dashboard such an awesome idea.

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Fun with Statistics: Predicting the Next iPhone Arrival

This made me LOL:

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The Aurors

Okay … normally, April Fool’s jokes are somewhat lame, and I have a tendency not to repost them. But this one … this one is pretty cool.

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XML in Unity 3D: Tracker and Translator available on GitHub

Since I happen to be ranked somewhat high when it comes to mentioning Unity 3D and XML, and some of the posts1 happen to be outdated by now since I learned stuff2. But most of all, I intend to learn even more.

That’s why I choose to release those two projects into the wild and publish them on github.

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How to Wrestle Down GUIs in Unity 3D

GUIs are not exactly easy to program in Unity 3D, since there is only one method available (OnGUI()) that obviously has to take up everything.

This becomes a problem as soon you try to create different menu screens that have to be switched out. One way to do it would probably be to use different scenes (which would be cumbersome); another way to use a switch, which would be just as cumbersome.

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Clean-Up Day: New Tricks with C#

Since I’m currently cleaning up my code to hand it in with my project, I figured I could write some of the stuff down I learned during my work on our game.

All of it applies, of course, to C#, and was used in Unity 3D.

Checking for a type

Using the is keyword, you can easily check whether a certain object is of a desired type. Also, you should be aware of the as keyword, that allows you to cast an object as something else (given that this is possible).

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New Issue of Eludamos, the Journal for Computer Game Culture

I should not put everything in the title, it leaves me nothing to post in here.

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More Design Patterns

Writing Serialised Data to a String Instead of a File in C#

Instead of writing the serialised data to a file, which can be done using using (Stream s = File.Create("foo.xml")), you might want to have just the string – maybe because you want to send it to a server? You can use the StringWriter class to do so:

string data; using (StringWriter stream = new StringWriter()) { xs.Serialize (stream, foo); data = stream.ToString(); }

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Collected Wisdom of my latest Coding Sessions: Various Design Patterns

Iterating over a Dictionary in C#

Iterating over a dictionary in order to change its values will not work; the program will throw an exception because the dictionary has been modified while iterating over it (which was, frankly, the purpose, but I digress). I can see that this could be problematic. Workaround: copy the dictionary into another temporary one, iterate over that to change the original dictionary. Or create a new dictionary using the iteration.

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Hometown GP

While getting some answers on UnityAnwser, that were kindly answered by someone going by the handle of Duck, I stumbled over his website.

And look what I have found:

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