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Introduction:

There are a number of social sites / services out there and each provides a different function. LinkedIn is supposed to provide a means of connecting employers to employees and provide insights to users about social connections. Facebook lets a family share pictures or other content with friends. Other social sites let you share other content. However it is Twitter that is best of all.

The Argument:

In most social sites, the primary function is essentially creating and sharing content to show others aspects about yourself. For example, a LinkedIn account might show skills, previous companies or whatever else. Youtube allows one to make and share videos with others, typically the most costly social site, as generating good video content isn’t cheap. Twitter however is magnificent and by far my favorite. This appreciation for twitter comes from a few sources. The first, now that I’m a father, a PhD student, searching for work and involved in a million and a half other tasks, activities, projects and hobbies I no longer have the time to provide expensive content. My most valuable resource is time, and Youtube or even Facebook have become too costly in order for me to generate content that I would like to share, I do however produce this blog-site and that isn’t cheap either but its become a hobby of mine. Twitter of course avoids this cost by limited the content you can provide, which for busy people is +1 for Twitter.

Next, my experience with Twitter has proved to be significantly more meaningful and helpful to me, than any of the other social sites, and is best illustrated by a short story.

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Introduction:

Sprint two has been a hell of a sprint. We spent some time trying to address some issues that we ran into during Sprint-one, mainly revolving around communication, which still seems to be a bit of an issue. Unfortunately, the team’s schedules do not mingle well, since we’re all still students, and have a number of other obligations we need to manage. The result of which is, it makes it very difficult for us to have team or group meetings, though we have been doing pretty well considering, though we live in the same city, all our communication is over e-mail. It has been a significant lesson in working remotely.

Despite rarely seeing one another, progress continues slowly but surely. Last week was Spring-Break and notably progress nearly all but died, but what can you do, it’s Spring-Break! Afterwards we all came back swinging, opening up with a group meeting, one of the first since we started our sprints. Now we are near the end of the Sprint-2 which means cool pictures, models, textures and content!

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Introduction:

We have concluded Sprint One and gear up for Sprint Two. You can check out some of the product we have made at the Game’s own wordpress site, including the Game Design Document, Technical Design Document, and other content. Also we have the end of Sprint One playable version of the game below.

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OuROBOros

Introduction:

I was a member of a team for Global Game Jam 2012 (GGJ) in Charlotte NC. We put a game together named OuROBOros, which was the theme of GGJ-2012. The game is still in development as we are trying to finalize a couple of aspects.

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Introduction:

Documents in Google docs are a frustrating steam pile, and a nightmare to use as a document solution. Naturally one might argue, well if you don’t like it, just don’t use it, which let me be the first to commend you on your brilliance, really I wish I would have thought of that, you’re a genius. However, actually just stop talking or thinking because that and you are dumb…

as hell.

It should be obvious that I am using the tool because powers beyond me, ie. typically a boss, is requiring the team to use it, so alas although it is an excruciating experience fraught with frustration, disappoint, inconvenience and barely enough functionality to be considered a document solution, it is what must be used.

Despite my initial objections and even a request to use a proper tool like Open Office or MS Office, the leaders in charge insist that we use Google docs, and we should stop thinking about documents as paper products but digital artifacts not bounded by the dimensionality of the real world. So I have done my best to embrace those ideas, and in parallel was sure to document every time, time was wasted, through having to use Google documents.

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Game Studio Development Seven

Introduction:

One week to go to the end of the first sprint. We are getting forming our testing document and managing a couple of things with Mantis. Unfortunately the group’s website does not allow us to upload pictures, so we need to work out some of the logistics with the professor. Nevertheless we are trudging forward and getting ready to finalize this first sprint.

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Studio Game Development Six

Introduction:

This marks the end of the first week of the first sprint. Harry and I have been doing art, and the development team has been working with the Mantis tracking system. There is not a whole lot to discuss right now. The review of the Game Design Document said we needed to add the requirements, as in requirement style, so Dustin and I believe Nate took point on that and we finished up the Game Design Document with the necessary requirements document style.

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Mario AI: An A* Approach

Introduction:

Back in 2009 I enrolled in a course at UNC-Charlotte, Intelligent Systems, taught by Dr. Jing Xiao. In that course it was a requirement to conduct an AI based project which would last the final four weeks of the course. There are two ways to do a class project, one where you get the list of requirements, design a project to fulfill those requirements, do it and turn it in, you probably get an A. Then there is the other way…

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A friend of mine is working with the C language when I walked into the lab today and so I started to mess around with it too. My friends ran into some odd error that did not make any sense for a fairly lengthy amount of time.

The error that Visual Studio reported was: “Sytanx error : missing ‘;’ before ‘type’.”

But we looked at our syntax and we were spot on, after all this was not the first time we had programmed a computer before.

What is really frustrating  is that the actual error is described here, naturally, on Stack Overflow – such a good site. The problem comes down to, what is described here, which is Visual Studio does not support C99 but instead only C89 which requires: you must declare all of your variables at the beginning of a scope block.

Why can’t the error be something even remotely useful, like anything with any of the following words: C89, C99, variable declaration, scope?

Sprite Sheets with Gimp

Introduction:

Today’s challenge was making sprite sheets in an efficient manner, preferably using GIMP because it is a nice free solution for image processing. We have a game in development, a 2D platformer, using XNA and an outstanding artist, Rich Suarez, but it is difficult to keep up with his rate of production, until now.

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