Weekly Roundup

Weekly Roundup – http://goo.gl/acjB08

What have I done this week?

KPI Form

I filled out the KPI form we were given to complete, over two days, with 5 of the 10 being completed each day. In total it took me 10 hours exactly to write about all ten KPIs and the final word count was 5010 words. When I had finally finished, and pressed the ‘Send’ button on the final page, I was greeted with an error message stating that the submission request was too big, meaning that the amount I wrote was too much. I sent an email to Steve asking what was up, and he stated that the responses were meant to be an easy paragraph or so per one, my average was 501 words per KPI…We were told in class that the KPIs should take between two and three hours to complete, so I should have suspected that I was doing it wrong, but oh well, I know for next time. Or maybe I will do the same as next time, the KPI meeting actually went quite well because I was so detailed with my explanation of all KPIs in my form.

KPI Meeting

As I just stated, the KPI meeting went quite well. I wasn’t nervous at all coming into it, and by the end of it, I was stoked as we talked about all the points I wanted to talk about (although they temporarily left me at the beginning when I was first asked what I wanted to talk about).

There were a lot of valid points that were brought up, one to do with my contribution in classes. That was a tough question to answer, as I truly do not know what happens in class that is different to a project group environment, and to day-to-day conversations between me and others. I am usually so very talkative and active in a conversation, but for some reason, as soon as I enter the classroom, it is like a silent switch is activated on a phone (me) and barely deactivates, if deactivates at all, until I step outside the classroom.

I came to learn that my facilitators were very pleased with my task reporting methods, as they showed me how I report tasks throughout the week, and without even noticing it, I complete and report tasks consistently even on days I class as being a “day off”. Out of everybody in the class, my task reporting consistency graph was the only one that was smooth, signifying that I consistently do tasks throughout the week, even if it is only an hour or two on days that I have classed as “being off”. Very well done, Daniel, you are doing better than you thought!

After talking about planning on splitting up scripting tasks between my group members, as I had been the sole scripter for the app throughout the week so far, it was brought up that I thoroughly enjoyed helping people in general, and that I wanted to use my skills to help other people with reinforcing what they learn in Scripting classes, and that I do that occasionally already. I stated that if I teach people how to script ‘better’, maybe the people I am helping can use their strengths and teach me new things in whatever their strong point may be. Hopefully that way, whatever they know will rub off on me, so I can learn some audio or graphical or general game design tips and tricks, to make me a better overall games developer, at the same time as I am teaching them the tips and tricks I know, and the knowledge I have in coding.

I was asked the question of what I want out of this course, and what type of programmer I would want to be when I have completed this degree. I quickly brought up that I had been thinking about what being a Tools programmer would be like, and that I am very interested in Tools Programming  and AI, but not so much AI as Tools. I again brought up the fact that I love helping people and being a Tools programmer would mean that I would create tools that help game developers, develop games more efficiently, and overall better. When asked why I wouldn’t choose AI over Tools, I came up with a terrible answer that I can not even remember, something along the lines of AI programming requires a lot of data crunching and categorising. After my KPI meeting, I had a good think about why I really wouldn’t choose AI over Tools, and the answer I should have come up with, would be that although robots are really cool, and that most are programmed to help humans, and that helping other humans is what I yearn to do help other human being, whatever I do, simply put, a typical AI programmer focusses on aspects like pathfinding, strategy and enemy tactic systems for a game, which I really can not see myself loving if I were to be an AI programmer.

Again, I have to say that the whole KPI experience was definitely worth while, and I shall look forward to my next KPI meeting, whenever it is!

The Group Meeting

On Wednesday, we met at the campus to discuss the direction we wanted the app to go in so that I could really nail down on the way we all would agree the app would look like, so I could actually create the app to satisfy all members. We finalised Emperor cards that were not complete yet and also did another round of card creation which was continued at home. The card creation stage in the meeting was a lot of coming up with names and some descriptions, and at home, it was onto the values and finishing off the descriptions.

The App

Wednesday night was the first time I touched Unity in a loooong time. It felt gooood. I had to wait till then because some miscommunication of ideas for the app stopped me from having the right direction for the app, so the group meeting really helped with that, and I could finally work on the app. First off, I resized/edited/coloured a few images that I was given from the last available round of images Andrew did, in placeholder until he created accurate ones. These images were then placed on the app, after planning where to put everything based on what we discussed in the group meeting.

I quickly came to realise that I didn’t want to spend $99 on an iOS developer account, which changed a few ideas I had for the app. Once the issues surrounding the now disbanded ideas had been solved, it was onto creating scripts, Finally! It didn’t take me long to get into the flow of things once again, as I created a basic button movement once a button had been pressed in a little under an hour. I also added a GameManager script that handles things such as the default element movement speed and additional component movement so that the buttons can be free to move after the extras are off the screen.

Next, the submenu buttons were added to the Setup menu. Timings were created and an order of operation of firing element movement was set. I then looked at my code and realised that there were a lot of if statements, and wanted to come up with a solution so that there were a lot less required. I realised I had forgotten about MoveTowards, eliminating most of the if statements so far as now it didn’t matter what direction buttons and other elements were coming from, they would always move towards their default position or position once a button was clicked no matter what. I also moved a lot of the code from inside the Update() loop to separate functions, I love a tidy Update().

As always, the next step is to eradicate some bugs after finding them once testing the app thoroughly as it stands so far. I ended up doubling the base movement of elements speed and then making the extra menu images move at 75% of the base speed when the buttons are coming back in, just as an extra visual pleasure. A lot of ordering of element movements was done, as well as setting in stone the way the extra images from the menu would disappear and appear again once the menu was active again.

Added interactability to Submenu buttons. Changed the Button script to detect if the Submenu is active, and if so, if they are in their default position before doing any movement or anything else with the Menu buttons. All the bugs from doing that were then eliminated and general formatting of code and extra code was deleted, just basically a cleanup was done and wallah! The app was complete enough to give to Gareth to do his business!
Well, that’s it for this week! This has probably been my favourite week so far this Trimester, the KPI meeting went astronomically better than I expected it would, and the app works great physically, lets hope it also does it’s job when it comes time to give it to people as we stand back and watch playtesters play our game without our interaction, so with me and my group luck!

This is Daniel Jochem, signing out.