Bret Victor

Two days ago, Bret Victor came to my class and spoke to us about his job and projects. It was really interesting to see how he is making programming languages more visual and user friendly. I feel that if I use his program, learning how to code will be so much easier and faster. We showed him the games that our class had created, and he even played some of them! It was really interesting to learn about his life as a programmer and I think the program that he created to code is really amazing. Thank you, Bret Victor for speaking to us! I learned a lot.

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A few days ago, I worked with arduinos for the first time. It was really enjoyable and I had a lot of fun. It was a new topic for everyone in my class so we all knew similar amounts of information regarding this subject. I mostly worked from my textbook and used the example codes given to us. The best part about this assignment was that we were able to keep the arduinos.

This is what my arduino looked like with the wires plugged in.
This is what my arduino looked like with the wires plugged in.


For that past few days, me and two of my friends created an algorithm to draw the best route for traveling to each of the places that people in my class are from. First we plotted point for each city a person was from, and then we used a method to draw lines from each city to the next, created the most efficient travel path possible. It was fun to work with others to create this project, and I learned a lot.

Here is a screenshot of the map with the route on it next to the coding on processing.
Here is a screenshot of the map with the route on it next to the coding on processing.

Final Project Proposal

For my final project, I would like to create a simple computer game. In this game, the player will be stationary and there will be birds moving across the screen. The goal is to feed as many birds as possible. I became inspired to create this game after trying feed the birds at the Exploratorium. All the pigeons would always eat all  the food, but the poor seagull wouldn’t have anything to eat. At the exploratorium, there was a similar game, except with fish. The player is supposed to text “fish” to a specific number, and must do for a certain period of time to stay alive. They ask the player to see what happens to the ecosystem when people catch too much fish, or too little. This bird feeding game will be similar, except, the more birds you feed, the more birds will appear (unlike the fish where the more you fish you catch, the less fish there are). The player will press the space bar to throw some food at a bird, and this is the only interactive feature that the game has. I feel that players will learn to not feed the birds in real life after playing this game because then more and more birds will come to ask for food.

Here is a sneak peek of what the game may look like.
Here is a sneak peek of what the game may look like.

Final Project

1. Color Theory: I find the way that the computer processes color really interesting. Since I paint, I am used to thinking about color a different way, which is why learning about how the computer processes it is so interesting to me.


2. Game Design: I love video games and would like to learn more about how to make a game user friendly.


3. Game Theory: Learning about the different outcome of video games is something that I have never learned about, and only know some background information from playing video games, which is why I find it interesting.


Yesterday, my partner and I created an algorithm for sorting cheese sticks based on size. We used Sublime Text 3 to write the code, and then we used github to publish it. This was my first time writing an algorithm to sort elements, and I am glad I had a partner to work with or else I would have no idea what I was doing. We coded a bubble sort  and the maximum run time is O(n^2).



Here is a screenshot of part of the code on Sublime Text 3.
Here is a screenshot of part of the code on Sublime Text 3.

You can check out my code on github here.

Processing Drawing

Yesterday, I used Processing for the first time. Although it was tedious and slow, I enjoyed seeing my code turn into an image. Since I love art, this was a very fun project for me. Basically we coded shapes and colors to create an image. For triangles you would plot three points; for circles and rectangles you would plot the center points, and then the length and width. There was simple addition and subtraction involved in this project, but I think coding this image was more of a mind game. You need to have a clear mind to know where each point is and where each point will be in your image. I love games like this, so I really enjoyed this project, and I hope to do more like it.

A screenshot of my code next to the image.
A screenshot of my code next to the image.

Stone Librande

Today, Stone Librande, a game designer who currently works for Riot, gave a lecture in my Computer Simulations and Interactive Media class. During the lecture, I found the different roles people play in creating  games and the whole process of making a video game very interesting. I learned a lot about how much work goes into this process, and it was really inspiring to see how much effort is put into making a video game. Stone shared with us how he has been creating games since he was a child, and he emphasized the importance of keeping past creations.

One of the things that Stone shared with us that I found really inspiring was his description of how video games bring people together. In the moment when the dice is rolled, and everyone is paying attention and completely engrossed in the suspense, people are put in the same mental zone and will react, in whatever way, at the exact same time. It is moments like those when people are mentally in sync and really connect with each other, whether they realize it or not. Regardless of what my career will be when I grow up, I will remember what he said during this lecture, and I hope to achieve this mental connection with more and more people. So, thank you Stone Librande for taking the time to talk with us today! It was a great experience, and I learned so much.


Turing Test

Just now, I read over some of Alan M. Turing’s article, “Computing Machinery and Intelligence”. It was very interesting, and I soon became curious about what is known as the Turing Test. Basically, to tell if a computer can think like a human, you ask a computer and a human the same questions and have judges try and guess who is the robot and who is the human. This is testing if a computer can think like a human based on whether or not the judges think that the computer can think like a human. I found this test interesting and hope to learn more about it.

Here is where you can read the article.

Twine Interactive Fiction & Mole Game

Yesterday I worked on two small projects: another interactive fiction and a mole game. This time for the interactive fiction i used Twine instead of javascript. It was exponentially easier, faster, and more enjoyable to use and create. I know that next time I create and interactive fiction I will use twine instead of javascript. Another project i worked on was a mole game. I downloaded someone else’s code from github and then edited it to add some tweaks to the game. Unfortunately I was unable to finish due to time restrictions, but I enjoyed working with a partner to edit the game and code.

A screenshot of a part of my interactive fiction.
A screenshot of a part of my interactive fiction.

You can play my interactive fiction here.