Tag Archives: programming

“Bunduru” Chess AI

For Marist Artificial Intelligence, my buddy Phil and I had to make a Chess AI. The professor hosted a server that would manage teams and a 2D display of games. AIs had to manage gamestates and submit moves to the server, as well as receive new moves when it wasn’t the AI’s turn. The server managed whether moves were valid or not and would update the 2D display when the AIs submitted their turn. After several weeks of development, all the teams competed their AIs against each other.

And we won!

Read on to learn about our AI.

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Operating System

ctOS – 6502 TypeScript Operating System

For my Operating Systems class, I was tasked with making an Operating System simulation using basic OS architecture and 6502 operations.

Using TypeScript, I implemented a CPU, CPU scheduler with 3 scheduling methods, memory manager for RAM, kernel interrupt and ready/resident queue, hard drive and hard drive driver with swap virtual memory. I also added neat features like achievements, boot video, step mode, and tons of little special commands.

It was one of my favorite projects of all time in my education. It was a lot of fun to implement new achievements into something like an Operating System and the design for ready queues/CPU scheduling was really interesting. I also found a new language to love. TypeScript is a JavaScript transpiler that gives type checking and more to JS, made by none other than Microsoft. I’m a strict type kind of guy, and it has been my biggest pet peeve of JS for a long time. TypeScript was a god send, and will be what I use whenever I have to write JS now. Combined with native debugging in Visual Studio, it can be extremely powerful and helpful. It makes Object Orientated programming in JS to be a breeze.

There are a bunch of built in programs to ctOS you can find in the sidebar, but feel free to make your own. There was discussion on how it would easily be possible to read/write executable programs to the hard drive, and with a few more op codes, you could have the simplified 6502 CPU do some pretty legit algorithms like merge sort and stuff. Its a fun Operating System.

Feel free to check it out here:
http://anthonyb28.github.io/ctOS/

Source & Readme:
http://github.com/anthonyb28/ctOS/

Rubiks Cube AI Part 1 – Parity

Rubiks Cubes! I cant solve them to completetion for the life of me. But now I can just solve them using an AI.

But before jumping into heuristics, A* algorithms, and all kinds of solving. First, let us consider a random Rubiks Cube itself. Is the cube actually solveable in the first place? Can we go from the random state pictured above to a solved cube?

The answer is no. The Rubiks Cube parity has been altered!

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Recommended Viewing: Ubisoft CppCon 2014

Checkout these two great talks from Ubisoft @ CppCon 2014 featuring multicore C++11 development and how C++ is used to develop AAA games at Ubisoft. I briefly met Nicolas Fleury and learned many tips from blurbs he’s written about good C++ practices and such. He’s very talented.

 

 

Programming a Boggle Algorithm

Recently had to figure out how to program a Boggle algorithm. Boggle is a simple board game I never had the pleasure of playing by itself, but have played plenty of related variations of. These kinds of algorithms are pretty interesting and I had a lot of fun programming different solutions. I’ll share 2 solutions.

Boggle is relatively simple. I never had the pleasure of playing by itself, but have played plenty of related variations of.

You have a square game board with dice of various letters that is n x n. The board gets shaken/randomized and a timer starts. The player scores points by finding valid words on the board that are longer than 3 characters, with longer words scoring more points. The rules are that letters have to be adjacent or diagonal to the last letter in the word to continue. And you can never repeat a letter you’ve already used, so while you can have multiple of the same letter, its the die itself you can’t return to.

I decided to tackle it in C++.

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Book Review: Learning Unity 2D Game Development By Example

Learning Unity 2D Game Development by Example written by Venita Pereira published by Packt Publishing is quite a wonderful introduction to not only Unity itself but the new 2D game development suite it recently added. I had been meaning to checkout the 2D Unity mode myself for quite some time, and this book gave me a proper introduction.

After being a major supporter of Construct 2, mainly due to how easy it is to approach for new comers and the fully featured sprite editors, I can now easily recommend Unity as well.

Read on to find out why.

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Ubisoft Internship Post Mortem

For years I’ve been adamant about getting a job in the gaming industry for many reasons that can take up a whole essay on it’s own about why I find it so fascinating and important in media today. As a student, I became very acquainted with the recruitment process of being met with blank stares and non-responses when applying for internships at gaming companies or inquiring about them. Many for some reason are totally opposed to the idea, but others have intern systems even if they say they don’t.

From my high school senior year onward, I was on the hunt for an internship in games. As I approached my senior year of college, I felt my rope was getting really short because an internship would have been incredibly vital to my career decision in games. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be a designer, programmer, IT technician or something else entirely. I wanted to use the internship opportunity to experience it first hand and base my decision off that. When all my efforts failed, I decided to go all-in on programming. It was a risk, believe it or not, for a Computer Science major like me because I still wasn’t decidedly convinced I wanted to be in this field.

After Ubisoft reached out to me, I finally got to experience some professional hands on programming with languages I truly enjoy and learn about the industry first hand. I’m not only sold on programming now, but more than ever before, games as a career too.

Prepare for a long blog. There’s over 8 months of experiences summed up.

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Today I Learned: Range Insertions Are Better

Happy fourth-of-July, my American brethren. Sorry Canada, I went home for the weekend!

During my flight home, I started musing some of my unread C++ ebook collection and decided to start with Effective STL by Scott Meyers, the same author as the awesome Effective C++ book I reviewed. One of the first Items covered is how range member functions are better than single elements! I find this extremely intriguing. I never heard of this and I sure wasn’t taught this amazingly simple and clearly superior concept in school.

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Recommended Reading: RunTime C++ Scripting

Interesting bit came up at work with our bi-weekly “brown bag” lunches with our programming team – Scripting vs Native C++ code. A lot of game developers, and even in many other realms, some of the code base may be split into Lua or Python for easy, quick iteration. I know many studios, such as many of the Call of Duty studios, use primarily Lua for their gameplay scripts.

The argument is that is easy to write, iterate fast, and provide to employees who don’t have deep programming knowledge (like some gameplay designers and such). It’s perfectly legitimate too, there isn’t anything inherently wrong with the scripting languages augmenting a huge C++ code-base engine. However, there are caveats such as managing two different languages and creating wrappers for stuff. Also, Lua doesn’t have proper debugging tools many C++ programmers are used to, and when tied into that code-base, it can become a nightmare to debug.

Enter C++ code thats runtime-compiled and used as a scripting language.

Fantastic read, pretty classy too. Each script is a single cpp file that gets compiled into a dynamic library which recompiles everytime the file changes, even during gameplay. The scripts even get a nice little compression size reduction too. Good read.