Archive for November, 2007

More detail of what i need to complete for my project

I aim to stick to my Gannt chart in order to complete my project within the givin time. However i am going to list below in more deatail what needs to be done to my project:

  • Design more images of healthy and unhealthy foods so that i can start to make more of them fall randomly from the top of the screen along the x axis, then drop them down along the y axis.
  • Work out how to make the food disappear when it hits the bottom of the screen or lunchbox by using collision detecting.
  • Once i have figured the above section out i can add a scoring system so that everytime the healthy foods falls into the lunchbox, it will incease the users score by 5 and everytime the unhealthy foods falls into the lunchbox their score will detuct by 5, however the score will go no lower than 0.
  • I will neeed to make an introduction screen and also a final screen. I am however leaving these till the end as the above points are more important for me to complete at the moment. They will allow me to understand how i put one level of the game together which will then help me when making more levels.
  • As well as this, through the project i wish to try and make my design of the game look more professional.
  • If i have enough time nearer to the end of the project i aim to put a better background on each of the levels, and also maybe include some sound and a volume controller; which would hopefully have a slider so the user can decide how loud they want the sound to be.
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MySQL

Learning MySQL/*First what needs to be done is to create a database for users to store the table; in order to do this enter*/CREATE DATABASE (database name);/*example CREATE DATABASE members;*//*next is to create a table within the database, to do this select the database you wish to use, for example ‘members’ typing ‘USE members’ into MySQL. Then type*/CREATE TABLE `members` /*to create a table called MEMBERS*/(
`id` int(4) NOT NULL auto_increment, /*sets up the classification and

`username` varchar(65) NOT NULL default ”, /*setting up the username variable and allowing a maximum of 65 characters*/

`password` varchar(65) NOT NULL default ”, /*setting up the password variable and allowing a maximum of 65 characters*/

PRIMARY KEY (`id`) /*ordering of the table by listing them in the order they sign up for the website, in this case by ID NUMBER*/
) TYPE=MyISAM AUTO_INCREMENT=2 ; /*not to sure what this does however in my case the coding didn’t work*/

— Dumping data for table `members`
INSERT INTO `members` VALUES (1, ‘john’, ‘1234’); /*this is setting up the user data into the table*/ ALTERNATIVE CODING THAT DOES WORK FOR MYSELFCREATE DATABASE members;USE members;CREATE TABLE tblUsers(
UserID INT NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT PRIMARY KEY,
/*alternative to PRIMARY KEY(id) as labelled above*/
UserName VARCHAR(65),
UserPassword VARCHAR(25),
UserEmail VARCHAR(255));
All MySQL Coding is like actionscript in the sense that it is in between the (   ) brackets instead of {  } that actionscript usesINSERT INTO tblUsers (UserName, UserPassword, UserEmail) VALUES(‘Marc’,’1234’,’marctaylor6631@googlemail.com’);

I have now reached week 9 of the production process. This week I aim to:  

  • Complete the main character’s movement (e.g. attacking action when Enter is pressed, keypress movement etc)
  • Complete baddie movement (random movement).
  • Perform simple collision detection between the baddie and the main character which should result in life deduction.
  • Perform collision detection between the baddie and a piece of rubbish which will result in an increase in the score variable.

 By week 10 I aim to: 

  • Began to insert the litter facts into the game.
  • Have completed level one on a basic level and commenced level two.
  • This includes drawing the background and inserting platforms in which the character can jump onto to. (this will also involve collision detecting).
  • Collision detecting for the game barriers, so the characters cannot walk through walls.

 By week 11 I aim to: 

  • Complete level 2 on a basic level and commence level 3.
  • This will involve making the game harder by increasing baddie speeds.

 By week 12 I aim to: 

  • Have completed all 3 levels.
  • Begin to tidy the levels up and see if there is room for improvement.
  • Finish off introduction, instructions page etc
  • Think about incorporating sound.

  By week 13: 

  • The game should function properly.
  • Test the game.
  • Final alterations.

Plagarism and understanding code

Plagarism has been spoken about a great deal by teachers and lecturers extremely seriously since school, through college and in university. It is obvious that it is an extremely hot problem. Plagarism can be a tricky domain in web design as you learn from looking at other peoples codes and developing their ideas- what counts as plagarism in thihs subject? There is a simple answer to this, anyone can copy code; we need to understand the ideas and principles behind it, if we understand it we can develop a new code that does a similar thing using several different sources to produce what we want. I have found several useful pieces of code and here I am deconstructing it to understand what it means and whit it is doing: –
Skew-
Function skewObj(obj object y scale ,mcW movie clip width , mcH movie clip height P+O, pt1, pt2 refrence points
Function distance (pt1,pt2){
Var dy variable distance= pt2.y – pt1.y; The distance when you change movie clip y
Var dy = pt2.x – pt1.x; The distance when you change movie clip x
Var side variable side = math sqrt square root (dy*dy+dx *dx)
Return side;
}
This code is basically telling the images to follow Pythagoras’ theorem- when you change one side, the other sides change proportionally with it so that when the cube changes the images on it skew appropriately. So the 2D images are in proportion and turn with the ‘cube’ to make it appear 3D

The theorem applied to my project is basically saying *obj._yscale (which never changes) of object at the time divided by obj.mc(movie clip) ._xscale xscale + yscale relative to how its been rotated- changes as to how the ‘cube’ is rotated.

This shows that I understand the code I am using.
Plagiarism is passing off someone else’s code as your own. I need to take the principles behind the code and make a code that works in a similar way, understanding the principles behind the idea and code I use.
I will keep a record of resources I use and reference anything I use in my assignment by keeping a logbook of code with annotations to show I understand code I am using and researching.

Project Management and Problem Solving

If my project is to be successful I need to plan it and my time carefully and appropriately.

First I need to define my project: –
Time- very important. I can organise this using a Gantt chart, I can also use SMART objective, risk matrix and SWOT analysis to organise my project and time.
Scope- I know what the limits are with this project- directly linked to time. My main constraint will be time, it is a challenging assignment I have set myself following the guidelines of the brief set for us. I hope that this project will be on my CD business card portfolio, acting as a PR strategy, which will hopefully increase my revenue as a freelance photographer.
Cost- Nothing, just my time and my images.

Project Management consists of: –
A brief- what I intend to do- create a 3D cube to show off 6 of my images
Setting Objectives- how I intend to do it- I will plan my project using a Gantt chart. I plan to get all my research done by 15th December and create the project in Flash over Christmas.
Risk Assessment- what could go wrong, I need to allow time to sort anything that might go wrong out. I have considered the Risk Matrix to find out how much risk I am taking. I have found that is possible that something may go wrong, however consequences are marginal, so my risk is moderate. I am willing to accept this risk and allow enough time to sort it out.
Resource assessment – do I have everything I need?- I have all the resources I need- tutorial sites, other information online and in books. I have images to use and the programme I need (Flash) to build the cube, as well as enough time.
Task allocation- all tasks will be allocated to me, I will follow the Gantt chart to make sure I have enough time.
Progress reporting- Keep track of progress- I will keep a record alongside my Gantt chart to ensure I am on target. If I fall behind I will make sure I catch up and if I am ahead of target I will keep going at that speed.
Quality assessment- does it do what the client wants? I must TEST IT! If it could be better I must adapt it. I must therefore allow extra time for this.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is a serious offence whether in a university, school or workplace and is the claiming of other people’s work as your own, deliberately or unintentionally. This can result in all your work being evaluated and if the case against you is serious, you may be kicked off your university course and be unable to reapply to any other university.
Reasons for committing plagiarism may be: lack of research skills, problems evaluating internet sources as public knowledge, confusion about paraphrasing or how to correctly reference/cite sources, poor time management or being unaware of what is plagiarism.

I have long been taught that I need to reference quotes, books, films and journals that I use in my essays and reports but, when it comes to practical work, the rules seem slightly murky and confusing. This is why I intend to make notes on where all my research has come from, include xhtml/html code and smil code. Although the code I will be using is fairly standardised, it is still not my own work and therefore can be seen as plagiarism. My notes will include the code I have found, the website url, the author, the date I found this information and my own take on the information found, reducing any risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Plagarism

Plagiarism has been a key factor through out the three years of studying at BCU more specifically related to theory modules; however it has never really come across my mind that things such as script, code and design could be classed or noted as plagiarism. This not only makes me thing about the work I am going to produce, but has made me look over previous work, and also about my final end of year product. With this in mind, I now know that for my flash mobile application I am going to research more into what is already out there is the market, and therefore stay clear of these designs and make a new and innovative design for this one application, although I will take note of the code used, I will make sure I keep an log book with the appropriate reference in them, therefore I know that if I use some of the code, I can date and reference it.  

Standing On The Shoulders of Giants Vs Plagiarism…

“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants’ – Isaac Newton, 1676 

– Referring to how we can develop and build our knowledge and skills through taking inspiration and learning from others –

In last week’s lecture we talked about plagiarism and how it affects web and new media production.

In the workshop we were asked to find something of use to our project or something we could use to further the project and/or our skills…this could include: ‘A script (PHP), a source code (Flash), or a website made in a certain way’ for example.

Something that I have already identified as useful to my project is the Facebook application, ‘MySpace Link.’

In my proposal I outlined a similar project that took inspiration from this particular application, but served a different purpose and was developed more. (One example of this is how I proposed to possibly introduce ‘skins’ to my application)

In doing this I hope that my work can be seen as ‘standing on the shoulders of giants,’ in this case Patrick Shyu – an established web developer – rather than as plagiarism, otherwise I could have just copied the ‘MySpace link’ idea and perhaps just changed the name for instance. What’s more I will have to learn and exercise all of the coding myself because this is not accessible through Facebook.  

However when looking on Facebook there are lots of replica applications, so I still feel the boundry between plagiarism and ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’ is hard to distinguish in web and new media production.

Standing on the shoulders of Giants and Plagiarism

The link below is a tutorial on how to create falling snow in Flash by using ActionScript (there is no need for tweening each snowflake) Each flake will be scaled to its speed. They have also added randomization so flakes don’t fall in same direction. I could use this tutorial and interpret the ideas and principles behind it to incorporate it into my own game, for instance when the healthy and unhealthy foods will drop from the top of the screen. 

http://www.tutorialized.com/view/tutorial/Let-Is-Snow-in-Flash-MX/10617 

There is information on this tutorial on how to create the snowflake, however I am going to look at the code and interpret the way they have used this. The code is shown below: 

width = 550;
height = 400;
total = 200;
for (var t = 0; t != total; t++) {
   var mc = _root.attachMovie(“snowflake”, “snowflake”+t, _root.getNextHighestDepth());
   mc._x = (Math.random()*(width+20))-10;
   mc._y = (Math.random()*(height+20))-10;
   mc.yspeed = (Math.random()*1.75)+0.25;
   mc.speed = (Math.random()*3)+2;
   mc._xscale = mc._yscale=(mc.speed+mc.yspeed)*10;
   mc.onEnterFrame = function() {
      var angle = Math.atan2(_root._xmouse-(width/2), _root._ymouse)+1.5707963267949;
      this._y += Math.sin(angle)*this.speed+this.yspeed;
      this._x += Math.cos(angle)*this.speed;
      if (this._x>width+10) {
         this._x = -10;
      } else if (this._x<0-10) {
         this._x = width+10;
      }
      if (this._y>height+10) {
         this._y = -10;
      } else if (this._y<0-10) {
         this._y = height+10;
      }
   };
}
 

When using this code I would have to remember to change the height, width and variables accordingly to my game.  The total part means the total number of snowflakes that will appear.

Attach movie is adding in the movie of what you will create before the code and then it is putting in the depth of the code.

The random code is where the randomization of where the snowflake appears, here you will place the movie clip onto a random point on the stage and the code will pick any number between 0 and 1. The X (vertical) and Y (horizontal) speed variables control the speed which the movie clip travels.

The onEnterFrame code moves the snowflake. This calculates the angle of the mouse.  The movie clip moves along the y axis and along the x axis through multiplying angle of mouse and speed together.  There are a number of different tutorials I will look at which teach how to learn how to create falling snow in Flash. These tutorials are shown on the links below: 

http://www.kirupa.com/developer/mx/snow.htm 

http://www.sitepoint.com/article/script-falling-snow-effect 

I will look at these to understand how they use code in their tutorials. 

When using information that others have used to aid me towards my project I need to be careful with the plagiarism issue. I will have to deconstruct the code so that I understand what it does and incorporate it into the principles I use to make my game. I cannot just pass somebody’s work as my own and I will have to correctly reference all work that I have used when I hand in my assignment.

Project Management

By completing a number of project management tasks I am able to see that the game in Flash that I am hoping to complete as a prototype is able to be a successful project.  

Below are my SMART objectives: 

Specific  

My game is aimed at a particular target audience which is children. Therefore I aim to make my game entertaining and fun to play which would keep children focused and at the same time it will also educate them. I will also make the game easy to understand and have a rather simplistic yet colourful design to not confuse the children. 

 I have a specific order that I want my game to be played, so I will follow my guidelines for this when creating it. This can be seen in the blog named Developed proposal for my project; under the section aim of the game.  

I have a specific number of skills that I want to improve on in Flash which can be found in the same blog I mentioned above but under the Technical objectives section. Therefore I will be trying to show that my skills have improved through my prototype. 

Measurable

I have produced a Gantt chart which can be found on the link below: http://i228.photobucket.com/albums/ee91/kylie_g27/GanttChart.jpg  This shows that my project is measurable, however I might not be able to complete all the activities shown due to the short amount of time I have, however I will be trying my best to stick to this time table. If I complete these activities in a quicker amount of time I aim to add two more levels. 

Achievable

As I already have produced two games in Flash prior to this project, I know that I can physically complete this project. However as I am trying to improve on my skills I will need to use some guidance as to how certain elements will be completed, for this I can use a number of Flash Tutorials which can be found on the internet.

Realistic  

My project is realistic as I feel that if I created this game to be an activity that children could take part with in schools, then they would be educated about healthy eating in packed lunches through an interactive and fun game. 

Time

See above the Gantt chart I have produced to show that I have produced myself a time table to try and stick to in order to create a successful prototype. If I manage my time successfully I feel that I could hopefully do this.  

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