Archive | February 2013

Minecraft House

Surviving first night wasn’t too bad. Gathered some wood and stone and crafted a table, torches, planks and a door so I got a working house. Only lacked wool because no sheep were nearby so I didn’t make a bed.

Outside view. Nice flower too.

Outside view. Nice flower too.

housein

Inside my house. Made the standard table and furnace as a workstation.

Didn’t bother clearing the snow =p

housedoor

Looking out my door waiting for morning.

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Minecraft Class on Acceleration

Saw that everyone was making virtual versions of physical classrooms but felt that it was quite pointless as it did not add any value to having lessons over a digital platform. Instead, I thought it would be more meaningful to create a real lesson on a real topic instead, so that the digital context can be fully harnessed.

One way of having a virtual class is to have one teaching the concept of acceleration. Games tend to use realistic physics in order to convey a certain realism in movements and motion. Minecraft is no exception.

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Each block in Minecraft is supposed to simulate 1m in real life. I made a high tower of about 190m in the game. At each 10m interval, I made an indicator to show how high the tower is, using roman numerals.

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Students should start off on the top of the tower, looking down. In front of him is a 1m gap, along with a tower of red wool. Basically, they should jump into the gap and fall to the ground while left clicking in front of them so as to break the red wool tower. Do ignore the gaps currently there as I only took the screenshot after I tried the thing.

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As mentioned, while falling, the student should be breaking the red wool in front of him. This picture is a bad example. The student should face forward instead.

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At the end when he is on the ground, he will be allowed to fly upward and see the gaps in the tower of red blocks. Using the indicators, his own counting, and the distance between each gap, he should be able to see that he falls faster near the bottom than near the top.

This essentially shows the effect of acceleration and shows how we do not fall as a constant speed. More can be done to show other forms on Newtonian motion.

3227: AR Game Concept_ Fugitive

Introduction

Fugitive is an Augmented Reality stealth game for a Head-Mounted Display (Such as Google Glasses) that is set in the context of a shopping mall. The player plays as a Fugitive, hiding from agents that are out to catch him while looking for items to disguise himself and escape his pursuers.

Description

When you enter your usual shopping mall, the lights begin to flicker and you feel that you are not alone. As you scan the crowds of people in the mall, you see a few suited Agents wearing shades despite being indoors. You feel this inexplicable need to run, hide and evade their attention as being caught by them would render your HMD useless for 30 minutes.  There are no maps. No indicators. All you have to rely on is pure stealth and wit in order to outsmart and outmaneuver the Agents.

You make use of crowds to break the line of sight. You hide around corners move fast to evade their attention. As you evade your first Agent, a subtle change in lighting occurs, directing you to certain places like Clothes stores and Cosmetics stores, where you can Equip items there to create a disguise. As time goes by, the pursuit gets more intense and culminates in your escape via a number of different possible methods.

Key features

  • The game will incorporate an adaptive difficulty that ensures that players can adjust to their “Stealth Mode” accordingly
  • Agents will be rendered as realistic but ominous humans that behave far too purposeful for being in a mall
  • Agents react realistically to crowds and will not “walk through” people
  • There will be no weapons or fighting, only evasion and trickery
  • The game would be able to access data on the types of shops in the mall and using the HMD, be able to identify items (such as a wig) within the store. These items can be Equipped by trying them on and doing a visual scan of it using the HMD.

Genre

First Person Stealth Thriller (Like Amnesia)

Platform(s)

Head-Mounted Display such as Google Glasses

3227: Ethnographic Study

The place I chose to study was the shopping mall near my home. It has been around for the longest time and I am so familiar with it that I don’t need to go there to know what there is there.

Side entrance

Side entrance of Parkway Parade

I’m aware that even though it is largely the same as years ago, it has been doing renovations and revamping the mall to increase the amount of spaces that shops can rent. There have been some shops that come and go, but there is never anything that made me feel that I HAVE to go there, other than groceries.

As it is approaching Chinese New Year, I found that there was a sort of “carnival” going on at the mall.

 

CNY Structure outside Parkway Parade
CNY Structure outside Parkway Parade
Stalls in the Mall

Stalls in the Mall

This is something that Parkway Parade does every now and then to add more life to the mall. With seasonal “events” happening, they would be better able to attract people to come and patronize the mall.

When people patronize malls, I believe there are 3 main ways they do it:

1. They know what they need and they go to those places to get it

2. They don’t know what they need, they just wander around and see what catches their eye

3. They know what they need, but would take detours to see interesting things that catch their eye

For Number 1, that tends to be how I patronize malls. I tend to know what I need to get, such as a gift, or a haircut, and I go to the appropriate places to get them, and I leave. For people like me, the mall is purely a functional location. There is little incentive to explore and further engage with the place beyond what our purposes are.

For Number 2,  it tends to be people who visit the mall for the first time. This allows them to get a good idea of what the mall offers so that the next time they come back, they know what to expect. For some other people, they may have been here before and know what is offered, but they come to just wander as they are too bored at home or have nothing else to do.

For Number 3, it would reflect the average patron who comes for a purpose but allows for additional detours and time to be spent just looking around for interesting things. It is one way they use to continue to keep up to date with the place and keep themselves entertained by exploring the mall.

I noticed that there were may patrons to the mall checking out the directory.

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This could be because they are first time patrons. It could also be a case that they are not sure where to go, and wish to look at the directory to have a “menu of things” they can do and choose from.

Thinking around this idea, the concept of “Exploration” strikes me. Exploration is interesting and fun. But for a already visited place, it sort of loses its meaning. For a mall like this with many shops, there are definitely things that an individual does not know about and may be interesting to them.

Perhaps an idea could be built around the fact that there are many items in this mall and there could be some sort of quest system built into this so that when people like myself walk into a mall, we can explore the mall in a very directed way instead of just wandering.