jaquet-droz_the-signing-machine-d_l

Mechanical Autopen

原來呢個世界有純機械寫字機
係”寫”字唔係打/印字!
http://www.watchonista.com/2914/watchonista-blog/news/signing-machine-jaquet-droz

仲要係1803年就有
有人仲話佢係電腦嘅最早版本
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autopen

奧巴馬仲用過黎簽法案添!~(雖然唔係好合法⋯⋯)
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/can-you-tell-the-autopen-from-obamas-real-signature/

睇完真係覺得好神奇
仲有啲心郁想買返部
但係諗真啲其實個原理好簡單
而且比人偷咗可能會比人係咁攞去簽嘢@@
個原理睇下呢條片就明嫁啦:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdPsskgQ-0k

咁當然要做得準就唔係咁易啦~

hqdefault3

Unreal 4 + Oculus Rift 筆記

撞正Unreal 4 Free咗又接到個Oculus job 做,
就好快手咁玩咗一陣。
初步感覺Crash嘅情況係有但係唔多,
除咗load新project會有啲耐之外performance都算好好,
document好簡陋但有unreal answer補夠。
新engine多咗fancy嘢,又唔洗錢,
明顯係Unity做得太好,佢地要急起直追啦XD

Unreal / Oculus Notes

  • Unreal本身就support oculus,唔洗裝plugin,就咁run個app fullscreen就會自動開stereo mode
  • 我部mbp一開stereo就好鬼慢,暫時未知個bottleneck喺邊。不過做Oculus app就一定要搞好performance
  • Quality Settings: https://answers.unrealengine.com/questions/23023/trouble-configuring-game-settings.html
    P.S. sg.ResolutionQuality好似影響唔到Oculus
  • Disable smooth frame rate: Project Settings -> Engine -> General Settings -> Framerate -> turn off smooth frame rate. 啲人話呢個唔會影響framerate但我見會減咗少少,而且frame rate好低嘅時候唔需要control frame rate
  • Ambient Sound: 記住個聲音檔format要係wav,仲一定要係Mono,否則個engine會做唔到因應player位置嘅立體聲
  • 自動fullscreen: 建立 DefaultGameUserSettings.ini 放入去 project_folder/Config 入面:
    [/Script/Engine.GameUserSettings]
    bUseVSync=False
    ResolutionSizeX=1920
    ResolutionSizeY=1080
    LastUserConfirmedResolutionSizeX=1920
    LastUserConfirmedResolutionSizeY=1080
    WindowPosX=-1
    WindowPosY=-1
    bUseDesktopResolutionForFullscreen=False
    FullscreenMode=0
    LastConfirmedFullscreenMode=2
    Version=5

    P.S. bUseDesktopResolutionForFullscreen唔肯定係唔係False

  • Trick: 個scene冇光源,加ambient cubmap,用有illumination 嘅material做燈光效果,物件加reflection,就可以冇lighting 嘅情況下做到好似有lighting咁,Performace超高。P.S. Unreal 嘅reflection做得出奇地快

Post Process Volume

喺Modes入面search “Post Process Volume” 加入去個scene度,喺Details做settings(將個feature嘅intensity set做0就可以熄咗佢):

  • Post Process Volume – Unbound: turn on令佢影響整個scene,而唔理佢個brush settings
  • Bloom: 光暈。呢個效果出奇地重,較細啲會好啲,但係冇咗又差好遠。就算個scene冇光源,佢對illumination都有效
  • Ambient Cubmap: Unreal冇 “Ambient Light”,所以要用cubmap。Unreal 只係Support 32bits/Channel, 8.8.8.8 ARGB 32 bpp, unsigned。如果做咗個cubmap import唔到可能係因為未set 32 bpp https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest/INT/Engine/Content/Types/Textures/Cubemaps/CreatingCubemaps/index.html
  • Lens Flares: 都係熄咗佢好啲⋯⋯
  • Global Illumination: 可以一次過調整所有illumination。注意有illumination嘅物件唔會令周圍嘅嘢光咗,所以要加cubmap
  • Motion Blur: 喺Oculus Rift見到Motion Blur仲衰過見唔到,一定要熄咗佢

Animation Transition Blending

唔知點解網上面search到嘅blending都好鬼複雜,如果你只係想做個好簡單嘅transition blending,由一個animation blend去另一個animation,首先create個animation blueprint,係入面create個state machine:
https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest/INT/Engine/Animation/StateMachines/CreatingStateMachines/index.html

然後喺個transition rules度set高返 Blend Settings -> Transition Crossfade Sharing -> Duration 就OK了。

Matinee

識用真係幾好用,雖然又多bug又多唔方便嘢XD

首先我解釋下點用:

  • create一個matinee actor,然後select佢,喺details度click “Open Matinee” 就會開咗個Matinee Editor。
  • 喺個scene度㨂咗個actor之後係Matinee Editor -> Tracks -> 左邊個section度add new empty group就會出咗嗰個actor嘅group。
  • 再對個group right click -> Add New Movement Track就可以animation個action走黎走去
  • 㨂咗track同時間之後按enter開keyframe
  • 返去個scene度set position / rotation 等等
  • 見到有條線track住點郁就成功啦
  • 返去matinee editor可以調整個curve

不過好多唔方便嘢大家要記得:

  • 如果喺matinee editor select個keyframe就會select返相應嘅actor,但係一deselect咗個actor就會deselect個keyframe,再郁個actor都唔會edit個keyframe。你要返去matinee editor select返個keyframe再返黎個scene度改。
  • 有個UI bug係click details panel會click到個scene 啲嘢,令你deselect個actor -> deselect個keyframe :@ 解決方法係留意下個cursor over detail panel嘅時候有冇轉到cursor icon,如果仲係十字就select另一個application(Cmd+tab for Mac, 去另一個app例如Chrome)再返去Unreal。
  • 又有個UI bug係right click個group冇menu出,呢個時候right click下curve panel至有menu出,然後right click個group就有返menu
  • 記住唔好開住Matinee Editor,而又唔係改緊keyframe個陣改其他actor,因為一熄咗Matinee Editor就會冇曬。
  • Matinee嘅animation track係冇blending 嘅,所以我用咗個好迂迴嘅方法做⋯⋯有人知道好啲嘅方法請話我知⋯⋯首先做個animation blueprint (custom_animation_blueprint) -> state machine,個transition rule用public variable determine (anim_var)。喺Matinee event track set 個keyframe,然後去Level blueprint -> add matinee controller(去level blueprint之前喺個scene要select緊個matinee actor),個controller會有之前係matinee editor度加嘅event。再跟住令個event改個public variable: actor ref -> get anim instance -> cast to custom_animation_blueprint -> set  anim_var
  • 如果你睇Matinee 嘅tutorial會見到佢好容易就做都一個cut scene,因為佢加條track就會自動多咗個camera然後好易就郁到佢。不過如果做Oculus,嗰個camera就唔會跟個oculus郁。可能你會想加個script入去個camera度就得,或者唔同camera track,而係直接郁個player actor。不過我又唔知點解rotate個actor向下望嗰陣個cam又唔跟住rotate⋯⋯

逃出亞特蘭堤斯 (Survive: Escape from Atlantis!)

控制自己的隊員和船隻,離開正在陸沉的亞特蘭堤斯,以及控制生物去阻止對手逃出。

遊戲時間:中等(60分鐘)
玩家人數:2至4人
學習難度:易
部件體積:中等

遊戲簡介

  • 每人有十個隊員,每個都刻有分數。每個玩家輪流把隊員放在中央的島上,然後每個玩家再放兩只船在島的周圍。
  • 玩家輪流開始回合,每回合做三個行動,每一個行動可以移動一個隊員一步,或者移動一個被玩家控制的船一步。在水中游水的隊員每回合只能移動一步。
  • 完成行動後玩家把島的其中一塊陸地磚塊拿走,該格成為海洋,然後執行陸地磚塊背面的指示,或者把它拿起成為玩家的道具。
  • 拿走陸地磚塊後,擲一個骰子決定玩家能移動那一類動物:鯨魚能破壞載了人的船,鯊魚會吃丟一整格裏所有正在游泳的人,海怪會連人帶船都破壞。
  • 隊員離開島嶼到達岸邊則得到相應分數。

遊戲分析

  • 不同分數的隊員有不同的作用:高分的成員要離開,低分的成員可控制船隻阻止對手離開。遊戲沒有指明每一個隊員的功能,但從分數上的分別就讓玩家能自行取捨。
  • 和別人合作控制船隻離開,或者坐在船中讓對手開船,然後控制別的隊員離開,或者把船駛離岸邊⋯⋯簡單的船機制也有不同的變化和互動。
  • 由玩家控制海洋生物是一種簡單的做法,但也可能出現直接針對玩家的現象,而且這機制對勝負的影響很大。基本上被吃得多,或者高分隊員被吃就輸丟比賽,但這部份跟玩家的技能和幸運性關聯不大。可能玩家應考慮如果和其他玩家交涉減少自己的隊員被吃。

兇煞迴廊 (Fearsome Floors)

簡單的逃跑遊戲,玩家的目標就是躲開怪物,把自己的隊員逃到終點。也可以利用隊員的位置阻止對手的移動,或控制怪物的移動。

遊戲時間:中等(60分鐘)
玩家人數:2至7人
學習難度:易
部件大小:中等

遊戲簡介

  • 每人有3至4個隊員,不同隊員在日間和夜間的移動力都不同。每次玩家行動時控制一個隊員移動,反轉它表示該隊員已經行動了並顯示下回合的行動量,然後到下一個玩家行動。
  • 當所有隊員都已移動,怪物會根據怪物卡向前移動。當怪物發現任何隊員時,他會轉向最近的隊員並吃丟他!
  • 特殊情況:如果多於一個隊員和怪物接近,怪物會傻傻的繼續血前進。
  • 怪物碰到牆壁時會在另一個位置出現。即使怪物離開出口很遠也可能碰到牆壁傳送到出口附近!
  • 基本模式中會有一些石頭,可以用作遮擋怪物視線。複雜模式中有更多物品改變怪物的移動模式。

遊戲分析

  • 簡單的怪物移動邏輯,沒有隨機因素令它改變路線,在移動隊員時卻難以遇料怪物的走向,因為任何隊員都可能會令怪物轉向,或製造特殊情況令怪物不轉向。在所有隊員完成行動前,怪物的行動路線都難以確定。
  • 當大部份的隊員位置都確定時,玩家可以利用自己的隊員引導怪物轉向,令其他玩家的隊員被吃!

一網打盡(Cash-a-Catch)

搶拍的拍賣方式,對抗性的買賣,挑戰玩家對物品價值的估算速度

遊戲時間:短至中等(30分鐘)
玩家人數:3至5人
學習難度:易
部件體積:中等

遊戲簡介

  • 由某玩家開始一張一張地拍出貨品卡牌,首先按下按鈴的玩家可用十元購買所有拍出的貨品。拍賣完成後到下一位玩家拍賣。
  • 玩家只可以扣留三類的魚,多餘的魚要丟至垃圾箱,在遊戲完結時扣分。
  • 玩家拍賣前可賣丟魚箱內的魚,同一類的魚的數量越多價值越多。

遊戲分析

  • 搶先購買的拍賣方式很特別,而且變動的不是拍賣價,而是貨品。
  • 在搶先的情況下考慮貨品的價值,對手得到的獲利,和拍下下一張魚卡的風險,對遊戲的經驗有一定的要求。正如一般反應遊戲(twitch game)一樣,是一個易學難精的遊戲。

賽駱駝(Camel Up)

就是估算賽果的遊戲,完全是風險和收益的衡量(risk versus reward tradoffs)。

遊戲時間:中等(30至60分鐘)
玩家人數:2至8人
學習難度:易
部件大小:中等

遊戲簡介

  • 玩家輪流作一個行動:擲骰子決定駱駝的移動,拿取一張中段投注卡,放置影響駱駝移動的指示物,或放置一張賽果投注卡。
  • 先投注的玩家能獲得更多獎金。
  • 後來居上的駱駝會疊在同一格的駱駝之上,當下面的駱駝移動時會帶動上面的駱駝一同前進。這令賽果更難遇料,亦令遊戲出現搞笑的狀況。

後來居上的駱駝會得到戲劇性優勢,這令賽果難以估計。但如果不去冒險投注,擲骰子卻會令賽局明朗化,令後來的玩家得益。先行投注可能有更大利潤,但風險也比較大。

那金字塔型的骰子盒是一大亮點!本身就是一個外型很有趣的物件,也保證了只會出一粒骰子。

這遊戲的平衡性難以估量⋯⋯但這就是一個歡樂的賭博比賽,不要太認真就是了。

政變(Coup)

抵抗組織(The Resistance)的另一作品,也是每人有隱藏身份的遊戲,這次玩家不是隊制對決,而是個人對決:只有一個勝利者!

遊戲時間:短(15分鐘)
玩家人數:2至6人
學習難度:易
部件體積:小

遊戲簡介

  • 每人抽取兩個秘密角色卡,代表玩家對該角色的影響力,每種角色有不同的能力。遊戲主要是收集資金,然後使用資金去解除其他玩家的影響力。當玩家失去所有影響力時,他就輸丟了該場遊戲。
  • 當玩家使用角色的能力時,並不需要展示該角色卡。其他玩家可提出質疑,如果被質疑的玩家展示了相應的卡牌,提出質疑的玩家則失去一個影響力,否則被質疑的玩家失去一個影響力。

遊戲分析

  • 隱藏身份直接影響玩家能力的遊戲可算是罕見。富饒之城也算是其中之一,但身份立刻在能力使用後被展示。玩起來感覺很像吹牛(大話啤),但卡牌的能力令遊戲變化很大。
  • 遊戲的對抗有自由的目標選擇,對抗方式也非常直接,所以被針對的玩家就會輸丟遊戲@@(小弟還是喜歡德式桌遊⋯)不過遊戲簡單明快所以輸了也沒相干~再來一局就是了~

正如抵抗組織的作風,遊戲只有很少部件(五個角色,每個角色三張,和一些金錢指示物),卻有豐富的遊戲性。卡牌製作也非常精美。

Zombicide

在KickStarter很有名氣的合作打喪屍遊戲,遊戲版圖很大,很多模型,但玩法卻很簡單。

遊戲時間:中等(60分鐘)
玩家人數:1至6人
學習難度:易
部件體積:大

封面

滿街都是喪屍!!

遊戲簡介

  • 遊戲有不同的戲情,包含不同的地型,特殊物品和勝利條件。不同的角色也有不同的能力。
  • 每回合在指定地點就會在喪屍進入,或者在打開房門時在室內會發現喪屍。喪屍每回合會向玩家移動一格,或向在同一格的生還者攻擊。角色被攻擊兩次就會死亡!玩家可利用物品發出的聲響控制喪屍的移動方向。
  • 特殊的喪屍能每回合行動兩次;大型喪屍只有特殊武器才能對付。
  • 角色停留在室內可以找尋武器和工具,也可能會找到喪屍!武器和工具可用作抵抗喪屍。
  • 角色擊殺喪屍會提升等級,但新加入的喪屍會因應最高等級的角色而增加,所以玩家要管理好每個角色的擊殺數,甚至減少擊殺喪屍來完成任務。

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

勃艮第城堡(The Castles of Burgundy)

在boardgamegeek.com排名11的遊戲,遊戲重點是擲骰子決定行動的可能性,買賣貨品或擴建城市。

遊戲時間:稍長(九十分鐘)
遊戲人數:2至4人
學習難度:易至中等
部件體積:稍大

封面

遊戲進行中!

遊戲概要

  • 擲骰子決定玩家可以拿哪些建築物,把建築物建在哪處,或賣出哪些貨物。玩家可使用工人去改變骰子的數值來增加選擇。
  • 大部份建築物在建造後立刻發生效果,只有少數建築物有持續效果。
  • 玩家可透過買賣貨物或建造某些建築物來賺取銀幣,用作購買建築物,但每回合只能購買一次,而且數量有限。
  • 玩家可透過建造農場,特殊建築物,或完成區域(用同類建築物填滿區域)來得到分數。建造同類的農場,或較早完成區域的玩家能得到額外分數。最高分的玩家勝出遊戲。
  • 建築物的選擇隨著玩家的拿取而減少,在每一階段開始時保充。每個玩家在每回合有兩個行動,每一階段有五個回合。遊戲在五個階段後結束。

遊戲分析

基本分析

  • 由於建築物種類比較多,新玩家需要花一些時間去了解建築物的功能。
  • 遊戲的平衡性:
    • 每階段保充的每種建築物的數量都是指定的。
    • 玩家可透過建造船隻改善行動排序。
    • 玩家的建設規劃是預先設定好的,不會出現太極端的建設規劃(例如全部都是農場⋯)。
  • 遊戲中很少正反饋系統(positive feedback)。大部分的建築物也沒有持續效果,即使有也不會有很大的影響力,未見到一些疊加性效果令回合效果倍加的情況。
  • 玩家的取捨主要在於優化行動的順序和工人的消耗上。消耗工人能得到更好的選擇,但消耗得太快的話會浪費更多的回合去獲取工人。由於較早完成區域的玩家能得到額外分數,而且回合有限,越少回合則能建的建築物越少,浪費回合意味著得到較少分數。
  • 玩家之間的主要競爭在於建築物的選擇上:農場的種類,先完成哪類建築物,特殊的建築物,有限的出購建築物。

衝突輕微

感覺上就是哪種和一名玩家爭同一資源就令第三者得益的遊戲。遊戲得分的方向很多,在遊戲進行的前部份衝突較少。

回合效益

和卡坦島比較,這遊戲令每個玩家的行動質量都相差不遠,不會出現像卡坦島中獲取資源的差異很大的情況。幸運性也只在工人的消耗上去體現,這也能由資源分配上去改善。與其說它是骰子行動遊戲不如說是使用工人的考量。整體來說主要都是回合效益和分數的計算。

mda2

Dynamics in MDA for Game Design

Mechanics-Dynamics-Aesthetics framework (MDA) is a tool of game design to analyse game, and more importantly, it’s a fundamental concept to make a game. In my opinion, “Dynamics” is the key concept of MDA, and which is the most useful concept for game design. Understanding of dynamics would immediately imply the understanding of MDA, and a clear picture for clarifying a game idea.

What is Dynamics?

Mechanics and aesthetics are easy concepts that people would understand: mechanics is about rule and aesthetics is about good feeling. For the players of certain game, they would understand and discuss about the rules and feeling of the game intuitively, such as the understanding of the rules, how to make use of the actions in order to achieve the best performance, and how they feel through the gameplay. Thus, it’s a common mistake to design about the mechanics directly without dynamics, for who want to make a game without knowing MDA. They may sooner find themselves lacking of the direction of the mechanics design, or the final product is not as good as they’ve expected. Understanding of dynamics would help to solve such situation.

For instance, Monopoly (skip this paragraph if you know how to play it), it contains a board with a circular path, players roll two dice to indicate how their character move on the path, and they can choose to buy the unoccupied land their character met. Players collect the land cards, and they could build their house on the land if they collect all the cards on a street of that land. Players have to pay fees to the landowner if their character met the opponents’ land, according to the land price and the properties on that land.

That’s a fairly detailed description of a part of the concept of Monopoly. Let’s make it shorter by focusing the player decision and behaviour:

“Players collect the lands, prefer them on the same street, build properties, and they would collect more money later on if that goes well, which would form an unstoppable positive cycle”

And may be adding some linkage with the aesthetics: as the players get the positive cycle, they would feel like the monopoly in real-life. This abstraction of the player behaviour is the dynamics, which is actually independent with the mechanics. Think about Monopoly Deal, there are no dice and board, thus no rule and mechanics of Monopoly would apply there, but it’s achieving the same dynamics: to collect lands on the same street, and to get more money for more lands on the same street when the rent card is played.

Once the game rules are confirmed, it cannot be changed through the game play, as a static factor of the game. The players would make their decisions provided by the game rules, but how they choose is up to their own, to make every match different from each other. The collection and behaviour of this factor are the “Dynamics”.

From a player’s point of view, a dynamics can be an abstraction of rule, but actually at a game designer’s point of view, a dynamics can come up with no mechanics in the first place. You may know how to manage a football team and come up with the idea of a football management game without controlling the football player movement, or you may play any existing game and you want to do something that the game doesn’t provide it, which is not necessarily related to the game rule. When you want to implement a certain dynamics, you may seek for many different mechanics to achieve that.

Here is the summary:

  • Dynamics is how players make their decisions, which would be different for players and every game plays
  • Dynamics can be a abstraction of game rules, focusing on the player behaviour. It can be the concept of a strategy, tactics, or a behaviour that link to the aesthetics
  • Dynamics is the goal of mechanics to achieve, and it would bring out the feelings to achieve aesthetics

Why talk about Dynamics?

Clarify the dynamics of the game idea during game design is important. Here are the reasons:

  • To widen the sense of Aesthetics
    If the whole process of game design focuses on the mechanics without dynamics, it would be hard to get the sense of how players feel. Imagine how to get the feeling of being the millionaire in real-life by rolling dice and moving around a circle, without the dynamics in the first place. If the dynamics that would carry out certain aesthetics is confirmed, the aesthetics are guaranteed no matter how the mechanics are refined. The effect on the dynamics of changing game rule would immediately remind the effect on the player’s feeling.
  • To define the goal of mechanics
    If a mechanics are defined at the very first place, it’s hard, or even no way to measure and analyse if that is good for the game or not. Think about why we roll 2 dice for Monopoly. What about 1 die? What if the players decide the movement within 1-6 themselves and make it more real to the real-life? Ya it would break some concept, but why not? The goal of mechanics should be defined or it’s too hard to refine, especially in the iterative game design process.
  • To seek for the possibilities of mechanics
    If the game is mechanics oriented, it’s hard for the game designer to seek for other mechanics for the game, or another sub-mechanics that work with the original one. In contrast, The game design with a dynamics first would be open to different possibilities of mechanics, and act as a bridge for different mechanics to work together.

What if a game without Dynamics?

To make a mechanics oriented game without dynamics is hard, but of course, there are many of them, like “Threes!”, “Blokus” and so on. Inventing a new game mechanics that is entertaining by itself is a way to go, which is actually pushing the gaming industry forward like a new theory in science. Here are my prompts for such approach:

  • Knowing the difference between “Game” and “Puzzle”
    As described in ”What is a Puzzle?” By Scott Kim:
    “Puzzles are rule-based systems, like games, but the goal is to find a solution, not to beat an opponent. Unlike games, puzzles have little replay value.”
    It’s a pity for many of the mechanics oriented games fall into the category of puzzle with low replay value, while they focus too much on the problem of player to solve. To make your idea more “game-like”, you should consider a game with different players and how they compete with each other, which would generate a large range of variation of the game play and make use of the social effect to spread your game out to the market.
  • The fun of puzzle is a mystery
    Different people would treat puzzle differently. Someone would feel certain puzzle as an addictive challenge, some would feel it’s a fool to the idiots. Correct me if I’m wrong, as the nature of different puzzles are independent and almost no correlation at all, there is no standardised theory for all puzzles and the funniness generated by it. It seems like a question of life the universe and everything. You can make a category list for all puzzles, but you can never explain who and why people love to play them. If you go for the new mechanics, you have to understand your idea in deep and to know why the player would like to play.
    Comparing to MDA framework, it clarifies the solid key that people would feel happy with, and work out the dynamics and mechanics to achieve them, which is a much easier and clearer way to do so.
  • Similarity to other game mechanics
    It is also possible to modify the existing game mechanics to be a new game, but to define the dynamics is still recommended for such modification, in order to measure how well the change is, and reason your change with respect to the dynamics. Otherwise, it’s likely to be very similar to the original game, or it may not be better than that at all.
  • It is all mathematics
    Mechanics, i.e. rules and logic, is all about mathematics. The orange street in Monopoly has the highest payoff percentage, under those mechanics there. It is somehow a dilemma for the designer to make a game with an entire new mechanics that have to focus on the mathematics and avoid it become a puzzle game, but proofing the equations valid is very essential.

If you are going to design your game, dynamics is an aspect of gaming and a tool to help the communication of game design group discussion, which don’t limit the way you design a game. You could take it to widen your perspective on a specific game, or go with your way as you know what the core of your game is.

Reference

Wiki – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MDA_framework

Paper from Northwestern University - http://www.cs.northwestern.edu/~hunicke/MDA.pdf

“What is a Puzzle?” By Scott Kim - http://www.scottkim.com.previewc40.carrierzone.com/thinkinggames/whatisapuzzle/index.html