Coder creates self-driving car in GTA V.

Video series. This is the most recent video.

 

 

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Grand Theft Auto’s wanted system & Ghost Recon Wildlands

I’ve been playing a lot of Ghost Recon : Wildlands recently.  It’s a fantastic co-op game – because of Grand Theft Auto.

Thinking about the most exciting times in the game, they all involved Unidad.   Unidad is the in-game police force. It fights both enemy NPCs and human players.

The more you fight them, the more of them you fight and their armoury changes.  They come with miniguns and helicopters.  Soon you’re faced with overwhelming odds.

It’s the wanted/star system from GTA.

But let’s think about what a leap in logic (and technology) it must have been to implement GTA’s wanted system in the first place:

It affects a small set of NPCs

Gives them tools no other NPC has

Affects NPC AI

Introduces dynamic difficulty based on player behaviour

The wanted system breaks the rules of the main game.  Can you imagine trying to pitch that in a planning meeting?

Everyone I play with is wary of Unidad.  Everyone I play with is worried they’ll get involved and excited when they do.

Because the thing that makes Wildlands – and I think makes any co-op game – is forcing players to deal with overwhelming odds.   Because those are the shared moments when co-op play is most important and most difficult.

Whoever invented the wanted system, I salute you.

 

BBC story on blind cheerleader

BBC story on blind cheerleader competing with the GB paralympic team.

Disabled sports are thought-provoking because the rules always seem to take mechanics into account.  How do you adapt a sport so disabled people can take part and how do you rate their ability against other disabled athletes?  (And why does that cheerleader’s accent swap between English and American?)

Wheelchair rugby is particularly interesting. Player ability is rated on a point scale: the less disabled a player, the higher their point rating.   A team can only have players worth eight points total.

There are seven classes ranging from 0.5 to 3.5 with functional characteristics identified for each athlete class. In general, the 0.5 class includes those athletes with the most disability and the 3.5 class includes those athletes with the least disability or “minimal” disability eligible for the sport of wheelchair rugby.

In international wheelchair rugby the total number of points allowed on court at any time is 8.0. That is, the total points of all four athletes actually playing cannot exceed 8.0 points. A team may play with a lineup that totals less than 8.0 points, but not more. 

My bold.

 Must add a wrinkle to team selection; more players with less mobility or fewer with more?

I believe a similar points system is used in Warhammer 40K.

http://www.iwrf.com/?page=classification

 

 

 

Gears of War without the Gnasher

Gears of War 4 without Gnashers is a game about flanking and fixing, not running and gunning.

During my weekly Gears session, I suggested that the group play without the Gnasher shotgun.

The Gnasher is a force multiplier.  A good player can destabilise the game.

On the lobby screen – before the host chooses a game – we removed the shotgun from our loadouts, swapping it for a Hammerburst or Enforcer.

It forced everyone to play differently, calling out enemy positions and working together, instead of rushing in alone.

I was wondering what it would be like to assign a Gnasher to a player, making them the close-range attacker,  when the host had an idea: change the weapons that spawn on the map, replacing boomshots with shotguns.

Now Gnashers would be available, but we’d have to work for them.

We had to fix and flank, but the Gnasher took its rightful place as an special weapon.   It’s the only gun that can take out multiple players one after the other, without hampering the user’s movement or risking blowing themselves up (hello Boomshot).

By making  them weapons that spawn, the playing field is immediately fairer and there’s a sense of danger when the enemy team picks one up

It won’t be easy, but it will make the game feel fresh again.   Try it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Very easy pasta sauce recipe

Butter in pan.

Garlic cloves.  Remove when browned.

Half an onion.  Not chopped.

Can of plum tomatoes.  Salt.

Cook for 45 minutes on a medium heat.  Reduce.  Stir now and then.  Remove onion (eat separately).

Adjust ingredient amounts to taste, apart from the onion.

Based on a Marcella Hazan recipe.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19552.Essentials_of_Classic_Italian_Cooking

 

Put two unrelated movies into the same universe.  How will you do it?

You have to take two separate films and put them in the same universe.  You don’t have to use lead characters.  How would you do it?

Example:

Godzilla attacks New York, but the Ghost Busters and the Statue of Liberty are there to save the day.  (Or Cloverfield attacks NY and ‘Zillow and Stay-Puft fight it off.)

CondorMan’s comics help inspire a young Bruce Wayne to build his gadgets.  Together they team up to fight The Joker and an army of Soviet Porschses.

The house from the Amityville Horror is where Kevin McAllister is left Home Alone.

TED Talk ‘power poses’ don’t work

A few years ago there was a TED Talk and a lot of excitement about ‘power poses‘; how standing in a particular way before a meeting or talk might make you feel more confident and improve your performance.

Now one of the idea’s researchers says they don’t work.  The experiments were flawed, the sample size was small and they didn’t look at the results properly.

Link to article on on the story

http://fortune.com/2016/10/02/power-poses-research-false/

Link to researcher’s statement PDF

http://faculty.haas.berkeley.edu/dana_carney/pdf_My%20position%20on%20power%20poses.pdf

Here’s the talk.  Looks like we should ignore it.