too easy this time, unforetunately. The large shapes made is very easy to see the basic pattern at first glance.
Yeah I thought this was a fairly straightforward puzzle, although some folks are still getting hung up on it. it’s an interesting data point for trying to craft puzzles that are intentionally easy or hard.
Back to triangles with this puzzle - I tried a slightly different method of constructing the puzzle, not sure if it got better results or not.
But both this puzzle and the previous one were an attempt to keep the total number of pieces to 4 or less. I’m trying to determine if the number of the pieces in a puzzle changes difficulty more than the size/complexity of the shape. (e.g. is a puzzle with 5 pieces that have 15 triangles each easier or harder than a puzzle with 15 pieces that have 5 triangles each?) I figure the best thing to do is try to make a baseline of fairly simple puzzles and then scale out from there.
Please, no spoilers in the comments.
New to dissection puzzles? Click here for a description and an example.
Divide the shape below along the indicated lines to end up with 4 identical pieces. All pieces may be rotated and flipped, as necessary. No remaining pieces may be left.
I’ve gotten interested in puzzle design lately, and it’s a far cry from the more action/arcade stuff I’m used to making. So to try and learn more about it, I’ll be making puzzles occasionally and posting them here for people to try.
So, enjoy! If you have any feedback (too easy, too hard, unclear, evil, boring, etc) I’d love to hear it. You can talk to me on twitter or just leave a comment on the puzzle. But no spoilers, please!
The solution is posted as a link below the puzzle.
New to dissection puzzles? Click here for a description and an example.
Divide the shape below along the indicated lines to end up with 5 identical pieces. All pieces may be rotated and flipped, as necessary. No remaining pieces may be left.
Today unity’s Master Server has been down for me and so I decided to finally get my own version of it up and running. But it doesn’t compile out of the box, so here were the changes I needed to make to get things up and running on linux (Ubuntu 14):
On ubuntu install all the tools you’ll need for compilation (sudo apt-get install build-essentials)
Download the master server and facilitator source from here.
Unzip Master Server into a new directory.
In the Makefile, replace all instances of “-lpthread” with “-pthread”
At the bottom of the Makefile , find the cpp.o target and add “-fpermissive” to the command (e.g.: $(CC) -c -Wall -fpermissive -I$(INCLUDE)…)
Unzip Facilitator to another directory and do steps 4-6 again.
At this point you should have both a MasterServer and Facilitator binary for your server. Setting them up to run automatically and tuning their settings is really an individual thing, but I set mine up to automatically start with the server by using an init.d script. I also set up a separate user to run them.
So now you need to tell your client to use your up and running master server. This is pretty easy, just four lines of code that you set before you make any other networking calls:
That was my initial reaction, but after sleeping on it I’m more interested in trying to understand what it actually means for the Rift and VR over the long term. I think we can look at it from a few different perspectives, so I’ll try to address them individually.
For those of you who don’t want to read my rambling: The tl;dr is that in the short term I think this is a win for both the hardware and the low level software, but I have concerns about long term direction, research, and dealing with Facebook as a 3rd party developer.
The Hardware (Short-Term)
The FB acquisition gives Oculus a ton of purchasing power and leverage when trying to get components to build the consumer kit. It’s hard to see how this is anything but a major win for consumers - the hardware will get better and do so more quickly than it ever could have with Oculus as an independent company.
People discussing this aspect seem to be overhyping what can happen for CV1 though. The Facebook acquisition doesn’t mean we’ll magically get a 4k screen in the initial consumer version. Even if that were a viable part, how many people actually have a computer that can drive 4k at 75Hz or 90Hz?
The Hardware (Long-Term)
The big risk for the gaming community here is if/when the R&D needed for Facebook’s social VR experiences diverges from what is good for games. I don’t think they’ll ever completely diverge, over the last few years we’ve seen game designers use almost every device for games in a unique way. But I do think that tracking and input for games could end up being different than tracking and input for a social experience, and it’ll be sad if Oculus focuses on the social side because of the acquisition.
I could also see a future where Facebook wants Oculus to focus on capture devices for Virtual Reality content and providing that to consumers. As a medium Facebook needs content to share, and right now there is no good way for consumers to author VR content. Again, people will find ways to make a game out of it, but that’s different than focusing on devices that are for games.
The Software (Low Level/Drivers/API)
Like the hardware, I think everyone gets better low level software thanks to the acquisition. They’ll have a bigger team to work on the drivers and libraries, and it should make for a better experience.
The Software (High Level/Platform/Marketplace)
I know Palmer has said that you’ll never be required to have a Facebook login to use the Rift, and I think in the low-level ‘make a game that runs on the rift’, he’s probably correct. I hope so. At the high level, I would be shocked if distributing content through the official Oculus channels will be done without a Facebook account. I’d also be surprised if any apps or games from Oculus didn’t leverage the Facebook platform as well. Zuckerberg said that they’re a software platform company, and I expect if you’re using their platform you’re going to have to be part of their ecosystem.
Facebook has a huge audience that they could promote the Rift to, but I’m not sure there’s messaging that could convince the vast majority that buy run of the mill desktop machines to buy a new machine and a VR headset to experience … whatever it is that Facebook wants them to experience.
The early adopters are currently riled up, and I don’t know if any significant number will actually cancel their preorder. But at the very least it’s created a short-term antagonistic relationship with people who I think Oculus still needs to promote VR. Because VR isn’t something you can sell to someone with words or a video, it has to be experienced. So that’s not great.
Facebook as the Steward of Virtual Reality
This is really where a lot of the lashback has come from. Facebook has a negative perception in the community for their behavior towards privacy, antagonistic relationships with 3rd party developers on their platform, and poor support for their libraries and SDKs.
In terms of privacy, there’s no reason to think that Facebook will be well-behaved. If there are metrics or information that are beneficial to their core business (advertising) they will track them. As VR incorporates more sensors, I assume those will also be included if they make sense. Does this mean that the tracking camera that ships with DK2 is going to start sending pictures back to Facebook? There’s no real value there for Facebook, so I’m guessing the answer is no. If the Oculus ever gets eye tracking would they track what you look at in their content? That seems way more valuable and far more likely. Our best hope here is that the tracking and metrics are part of the higher level software, and I think they’d need to be to have any contextual information. If that’s the case, then developers who target the Rift as a low level VR device should still be able to skip out on it. When Facebook has a VR experience though, assume that data is being tracked.
Anyone worrying about Facebook somehow injecting ads into 3rd party content not running on their platform is being silly, there’s no realistic way that’s going to happen. Could they require ads in stuff that ships on their platform? Sure. We’ll see if that happens in the long run, but in the short term I wouldn’t expect them to dictate that stuff except in their own first party experiences.
For being a 3rd party developer, I don’t know many folks who have had positive experiences with Facebook. But then, Oculus hasn’t exactly been stellar with 3rd party developers either. As a small team they’ve focused on working with a few key partners, and the rest of us have been left to sort things out on our own. I’d like to think that the additional resources provided by Facebook will let Oculus improve their developer outreach, but until that actually happens I’m in ‘wait and see’ mode.
So… What Does All That Mean?
As I said at the top, I think this is a win for the technology in the short term. I have no doubt CV1 will be a better device because of the acquisition, and the software will likely ship in a better state than it would have otherwise.
But for VR to succeed as a platform, the technology isn’t sufficient. It needs early adopters, advocates, and developers pushing the state of the art forward. And that’s the weak spot of this acquisition, may developers and early adopters are turned off by the thought of working with Facebook either due to ethical concerns or past experience as a third party developer.
Free Rider - A Card Game Using the Standard 52 Card Deck
Objective - Finish all the tasks, and do the least amount of work! Number of Players - 4
Before initial shuffle and deal, have each player draw a card. The highest draw will be the first player, and the game flows clockwise.
Each player is dealt 10 cards. These are your work cards, and represent work you can do to get an assignment done. Of course, you won’t want to use these if you don’t have to. The numerical value on the card represents the amount of work a card is worth. Aces are worth 1 unit, face cards are ‘excuse’ cards, and are explained below.
One of the remaining deck cards is flipped over, this card is the Team Assignment. To finish an assignment, the team must play enough work cards such that the work is equal to or greater than the numerical value of the team assignment. Face card assignments are all a value of 10.
The player who’s turn it is has several options available. You may:
1. Play a work card. This will reduce the remaining points necessary to finish an assignment. If the assignment is not completed, then the game continues to the next player. If the work card completes an assignment the player gets stuck with the assignment and takes the trick. A new assignment is then started with the next player’s turn.
2. Play an excuse card. This adds zero to the value of the assignment, and passes it on to the next player.
Play continues until all players are out of work cards, or until all assignments are completed.
If a player runs out of work and excuse cards before the game is over, the professor has caught them free riding and they have lost.
Amongst all players who are left at the end of a game, whoever has taken the least number of assignments is the winner. If there is a draw, then whoever has more cards left is the winner. If the number of cards remaining is also equal, then it is a true draw.
Alternatively, if a player takes all of the assignments then they win by ratting out their team to the professor. Their extensive body of work and all of the evidence is enough for the professor to be convinced the rest of the team was free riding.
Last night I went through all the forum posts I could find and all the twitter and youtube comments that I got about the initial build, and tried to collate all of the individual items of feedback into a list I can work from. Some of the items were mentioned far more often than others (e.g. - improving ship handling was probably most common). I broke the list into 3 sections: Stuff that’s being actively worked on, stuff that’s on the TODO list but isn’t actively being worked on, and stuff that wasn’t even on our radar.
I was happy to see that a lot of the feedback overlapped with stuff I wanted to work on next, it makes me thing that I’m working with roughly the right priorities. But it’s a lot of work to do, so it will be a busy month!
Stuff already being worked on:
Controls: Better ship handling/physics
Controls: Recenter button for yaw drift
Gameplay: Enemy turning speed
Graphics: Pilot’s Body
Graphics: More active screens in cockpit (objective screen, missile/ai command screens, etc)
In the early 1980’s a mall near where I lived had an old arcade called Gold Mine. I wasn’t usually allowed in there but I remember sneaking in a few times to look at all the arcade games. They kept the lights in the arcade pretty much off, so everything was lit by the neon glow of arcade machines.
It was a magical place.
With my February #1gam, I wanted to make an arcade game that wasn’t a slavish replica of games from that era, but rather how I remember them thinking back to walking through Gold Mine. Loud, bright, glowing, fast, and challenging.
The best way to play this is hooked up to the biggest screen you can find and the lights low, trading off between friends to see who can get the farthest.
Absolutely blown away both by the coverage and the positive response by the people who took the time to comment. Thank you, everyone!
As of this post, Cod of Duty has had 16,579 unique visitors from 116 different countries. Here’s a map of the distribution (darker green = more players from that country):
Preferred Play Method
Web Player: 5786 downloads
Windows Binary: 4525 downloads
Mac Binary: 745 downloads
Linux Binary: 362 downloads
Source Code Views: 175 clicks
I’m really glad that developing in Unity gives me a wide variety of options for deployment, since it seems like there’s no clear favorite for players. I’ll definitely spin a full set of builds like this for future games!
All of the downloads ended up generating just over 100GB of traffic on my web server this weekend - I’m very happy I have a good server, a lower end one might have melted.
Again, Thank You
It was a wild ride this weekend and one of the most encouraging ones I’ve ever had as an indie game developer. If you’re looking for more fun games to play, check out some of the other crazy games over at One Game a Month! And if you like the sound of co-op arcade multiplayer, come back at the end of February for when I post my next game. :)
For my January #1gam, I wanted to do something that’d be both small in scope and something that I hadn’t really done before. Based on a joke that my friend John made about Call of Duty always being abbreviated ‘CoD’ on the internet, I decided to make a first person shooter where all of your enemy are fish.
A lot of the ‘joke’ is how I feel about the standard FPS single player campaigns. Short, not terribly interesting, and completely over the top with their story elements.
From a development perspective this was actually a lot of fun to work on, even if I spent way more time on it in January than I ever anticipated to. I had never made anything like a FPS before, and I had never had any sort of scripted elements in a shipped game before, and this let me try out both of those things.
Things I had wanted to do that I ended up cutting in the interest of time:
An underwater level
In retrospect I think any more levels probably would have taken too long to play, and the joke frankly gets a bit old by the end of it. The 10-15m it takes to play through now seems sufficient.
Love Letter to Lightspeed - My game for Pirate Kart V
A game I made this weekend for Pirate Kart is now done! It’s called Love Letter to Lightspeed, and is inspired by games like Drifter, Privateer, and Elite. The goal in this game is to kill pirates, collect cargo, and upgrade your ship. There’s no “win” condition, just survive in the universe and have fun.
There’s a bunch of other stuff I’d like to add, but now that the initial 48h time period is over I’ll have to work on it as time allows.