Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Master Mind: Lets Play

For my Finite Math class I was to play a game called Master Mind and evaluate the logic of the game.

As soon as I read the instructions I recognized the game. I didn’t know it by the name Master Mind but I had played it before. I immediately knew my starting move would be all on e color. That way if the color exists anywhere on the board I will be told so.

First I guessed all blue and nothing happened. For a moment I was confused by this games feedback, I didn’t see any but I realized they were all wrong. Then I did all green and all were wrong again. All brown, I messed up and didn’t notice one was right. All purple, all wrong. At this point I noticed a brown was right and so I choose one brown to test if it was the first position that was right, the rest red to see if there were any red.

I got lucky and that was the solution one brown, three red. So it took me 5 moves on my first game and I won. I have to say six colors seamed like a lot to me, I think I was expecting four.

As for calculating the number of possibilities, four sets each have six possibilities. I almost thought 4 x 6 but no, I think it’s 6 x 6 x 6 x 6, so 1,296.  After arriving at this number I checked online and it seams to be accurate.

The way I used feedback in the game was that when I got one right I planned to mix my code and see where I got it right then to leave the right one there and work on finding others. When all brown came back with one right, I knew there was one brown somewhere. If it had said two right then I would have known there were two brown somewhere.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Review of Project D. An 11 year old plays retro games.

This post is another one I wrote for my school.

Do you think Dylan’s dislike for Contra was because of it being a challenging game or flawed design?

Was the difference in technical attributes (i.e. graphics, sound, controller) a significant detractor from Dylan’s fun experience with the games?

Dylan clearly showed through out the series that he could have fun despite older graphics and sounds. He not only enjoyed some of the games but showed an interest in playing them more and nearly beat at least one of them. He also plays games like halo either alone or with a friend but not online, so it is likely he would feel fine playing on an older system that doesn't not have the ability to go online or play DVDs.

However he did not like Contra at all and felt no desire to get better at the game. This shows a flaw in design, a lack of reward for effort. I had a similar experience playing the same game and grew up in the era that game came out.

In the article “6 Steps to Play with the Players Mind.” It speaks about not only giving player feed back and rewards but also lots of rewards. “You don’t punish faults, but reward every little effort with small rewards, but instant ones” (Attianesi, 2011).

In Contra there seams to instead be almost no reward at all. Killing enemies gets you nothing except the ability to go further. You are not even rewarded with additional story line only more levels to go through. The only feedback is when you die from getting hit once, thus the only way to know you are doing well is by not dying. Contra has a following of fans but it is not a game that encourages new players to care anything about it.


Attianesi, T. (2011, December 17). 6 steps to play with player's mind. Retrieved from http://www.scirra.com/tutorials/188/6-steps-to-play-with-players-mind/page-1

Gender by Cherisse Scott

Equalize Equality:

"Both males and females as groups are comprised of individuals with unique personalities, skills and talents 
and each person deserves to be recognized and praised for those talents and abilities regardless of gender. 

Yes, generally speaking men -tend- to be better at certain things and women -tend- to be better at others, but there are many exceptions to the rule and we deserve to be treated not as a man or a woman but as an individual.

Familial roles should be determined by both partners, *and only the partners,* and they should have equal
voices and the right to choose for themselves.

Female focused religions, I've come to find, are just as biased (if in the opposite direction) as male focused religions, and it's important to realize that the -person- standing beside you is your equal regardless of their genetic bits. This is the same for matriarchal or patriarchal societies. You should never be afraid of giving your partner or otherly gendered persons the same rights and powers you have... you are strong enough to see that giving them the power they deserve by right of birth does nothing to inhibit your own personal power.

Nextly, nothing about blood makes anyone "unclean" at any point in the natural phases of our lives or every single one of us, filled with this liquid essence, would forever be unclean.

Gender-based scholarships are bogus. Entrance into schools should be based purely on academic 
achievement and integrity, and gender-based scholarships are sexist regardless of the gender they support.
Fathers love their children as much as mothers and should be granted the same rights IN ALL CASES (if either parent is unfit regardless of gender, of course that should alter custody arrangements.)

Females who commit pedophilia, rape, murder or abuse are just as guilty as males who commit the same and should be subjected to the same legal and social consequences. Men can be victimized by women as easily as women can be by men and it's time to drop the sheet so -NO ONE- is made to be afraid of being ostracized for telling the truth about their abusers.

Finally, an insult, any insult, is just as bad for one gender as it is for the other. Calling a male a female based insult or a female a male based insult is neither better nor worse than calling a male a male based insult or a female a female based insult. Period.

People (not women or men) go through a million different experiences in our life times and have a million different view points. We all have something to learn from each other regardless of what gender we are or aren't."

~Credit for this post goes to Cherisse Scott

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Original Engineers and Innovators of Video Games

This is another post that was originally a school assignment.

Nolan Bushnell

The video game industry was made possible by engineers and innovators but was also brought about by skilled businessmen and a combination of marketing and peoples natural desire for entertainment. Ralph Baer the creator of the first computer games was one of these engineers. He led a team of five hundred people at Sanders Associates, a defense contractor. Nolan Bushnell was obsessed with innovation and making his business succeed. Each of them were pioneers in video game design despite their differences.

Nolan Bushnell learned the importance of innovation and capturing peoples attention early on. He always had a need for fun growing up. After losing tuition money in a poker game he worked at an amusement park called Lagoon and the key to his job was getting people to play. Although some of his first games were borrowed ideas he quickly decided that the only way to stay ahead of the curve was constant innovation. He was the co-founder of Atari and the first designer of the Arcade Game.

Ralph Baer was different then Nolan in that he was a no nonsense kind of guy. Strict and interested in engineering he needed others to help make his creations have entertainment value. While at Sanders he put two people on a project making games for use on a television. One of them was Bill Rusch who helped with the entertainment aspect of the project.

Although there were other pioneers in the game design field such as William A. Higinbotham who designed “designed Tennis for Two as entertainment for visitors' days at the Brookhaven National Laboratory power plant” (Time Trip) It was Baer who was successful in creating electronic games before any others and it was Nolan who turned them into a billion dollar industry.

TIME TRIP. (2009). Current Events, 109(4), 5.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Logic and Sets in video games.

     I wrote this for an assignment and decided I would post this on my blog. I might start doing it more frequently. It was a discussion post where I need to write about the following;

  • Choose a particular computer program (a mobline app works as well) or game which math plays an important role and provide an analysis. Give a description of which type of mathematics is used, and why it is important component of the software or game. 
  • Identify and explain the use of either Logic or Sets applied in your area of interest (games or mobile apps). Some examples are provided below if you are unable to think of any examples. (Make sure you review this week's lesson before attemting this part of the discussion) 

     In The Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past if you die but have caught a fairy in a bottle and had it on you at the time of death, then the fairy will resurrect you. So it is likely the logic works something like this; If your health equals zero and you have a fairy in a bottle then you stay alive but heal up, or else you die.

     A way I might write that in a scripting language is { if (health < 1 & fairy > 0) then health += 50; (if health < 1 & fairy <1) then end game; }. In Finite Math the logic would look something like this; ¬h ^ f meaning if health is not true and fairy is true. To test if both are false I think this could work ¬(h ^ f).

     As for sets it is likely that Equipment is a set of which Weapons is a subset and Swords is a subset of 
Weapons. So if I wanted to make a database and then look for all Weapons that are NOT swords, such as 
bows and boomerangs then in Finite Math it would look like this; 1x = W - S meaning list every step of x 
where x is the W set minus anything in the S set. I’m not quite sure if in this context Equipment would count 
as a universal set. I think everything from Equipment to Monsters would be different sets in the Universal 
game set.

     The reason these are important aspects of the game is because without this logic programmed into the game simply wouldn't function. I think every interactive game there is requires variables and if statements. It is possible to program a game without database logic or sets but really that is bad programming and limits the functionality of the game. Also people will naturally sort things into sets in their head so any tools that help you play the game will organize things into sets. People use this logic just as much as machines do but on a more intuitive level.

     Many games also use databases or sets to allow the addition of new items or enemies and such into the game. This helps the programming team as well as modders. For example a weapon might use an array defining it’s graphic, power, cost, size ect. as well as be contained within a Class or Type called Weapon which really is just a set.

     A note on grammar, I intentional capitalized any word I was speaking of as a set such as Equipment. Although a piece of equipment is not a title I treated the word Equipment as a title of a set if I capitalized it. It was not a typo.
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