Looking for some Unreal Stuff?


The archives and what’s been going on can be found on the link above. Updates and adventures will be forthcoming as well as a few project announcements.

IMG_20140610_083914Making the most of a small workshop means approaching a critical density of stuff. I need to organize this into something more sensible, and some cool gizmos will be coming to this site soon. Check back often!


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notes on Objective-C

Getting and setting variables in obj-c

The @properties in the @interface allow the class to define any instance or class variables. setting values which are static are done in the @implementation section.

using them is either with the .dot operator or through [class object] interface.

the output for the above is

the last line where we use classVars staticFloat had no @synthesize or @property, anyone know why those weren’t necessary?

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Finished with edits, next steps.

So, the first and second rounds of edits on my book have been submitted to my editor.


I’ve been working non stop, procrastinating, thinking, living, and dwelling on my Unity C# book for over a year. Last night at around 1am I wrote an email, attached a bunch of word files and pdfs that contained the last round of comments and answers to questions from my editor. I’ve put off going to the gym, running, and having a life on the weekends having to re-read and re-work much of my book, and now I’m done.

I have to admit, I’m already considering my next book, I think I might approach something more fun this time. To be honest, I’ve started reading more fiction books and it’s inspired me. I do find myself curious if I could handle making a living from writing. At this point I’ll leave that subject for my day dreaming, I’ve got a lot of game projects to tackle.

I do have a puzzle game I want to finish up. Once I get the mechanic for that working I’m planning on releasing the code on github to allow for as many people to clone it as possible. I’m not planning on making money from the game, or it’s mechanics. It’s a cool idea, and I have plans for how to use the puzzle as a mechanic for a different game which I do want to add some fun/profitable collection game play aspects.

There’s also the rest of life to get back to.

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Gravity waves, and expansion.


Today there’s a new announcement about new data recorded at a telescope in the south pole. A study of the radiation over the course of 9 years, 9 freakn’ years has resulted in a pattern emerging in the background radiation of our universe. This pattern infers gravity waves, a direct result of the math Einstein used to explain gravity.

Not related to E=mc^2, relativity is used every day to figure out where your cell phone is. GPS requires a very precise clock to compare signals traveling at the speed of light from a satellite to a matching pattern in your phone. Depending on where the patterns match up determines where you are on the planet. As civilians we’re not allowed to use devices as accurate as those used by the military. Otherwise, you’d be able to locate your cellphone hidden under a ball cap in the corner of your living room next to a marble.

From the wiki page the satellites need to transmit on an ever so slightly slower frequency; 10.22999999543mhz compared to the receiver on land at 10.23mhz. That small difference in frequency is to compensate for relativity. If that adjustment wasn’t made, GPS simply wouldn’t work. That same calculation can be applied to many more things other than GPS, like gravity waves being propagated by the big bang. The number didn’t come about by guessing. That number was determined by a physicist before the satellite went up.

The significance of the evidence by the telescope is huge. The math predicted that there should be something observable in the form of gravity waves in the microwave background noise of space. If this background noise didn’t exhibit this property then the big bang theory would need to be tossed out and a new theory would have to replace it. However, the prediction found supporting evidence.

This is cool, the math behind it is cool. The prediction is amazing, and the evidence found to support the prediction took a long time to record. I almost feel bad that the evidence was found to match so well. This means the other theories are losing to the big bang leaving fewer options with supporting evidence.

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Robots and Computer Vision

So I’ve been doing some work on building pathfinding in an arbitrary environment which is only generated as the player wanders around in it. Outside of the immediate world where the player is in there is no data. When an AI has system in place to have the environment tell it where to go you need to come up with a more automatic system of pathfinding. I came up with a system which uses feelers it scatters around in the world to determine clear paths to which to go to. That looks a bit like this:

a net of nodes

The current implementation is considerably cleaner, but this looked cooler.

This is a mesh of nodes grown by a simple recursive tree algorithm. The branches reach out and around in a zig-zag pattern within a given range. This means if the AI or if the target is behind a wall then it’s likely that there’s at least one node that is close to the target. The nodes in the above image are represented by the red blue green axis markers. The cyan indicates the connectivity between the nodes.

This is similar to the sensors that simple sensors that robots use, like in the link below.


The pathfinding here is still using some pre-baked understanding of the world. The sensors then scan the world after a short path has been found like in his previous article here:


This connects nodes by distance values where the shortest path is the one with the lowest sum. Pretty simple stuff. For my system I don’t necessarily know that much about the complete environment, so I needed another way to generate nodes based on where the AI is. Hopefully this will work out.

More updates to come.

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