Archive for June, 2011


Fall 2011

Wow, 2010 came and went… below are the courses I’ll be taking for Fall 2011!

CS 570 – Computer Imaging (3 Cr.)
The course introduces students to computer imaging where image analysis and image processing are unified to provide a useful paradigm for both computer vision and image processing applications. Students will use C# to implement different algorithms introduced in the course. Upon completion of this course, students are expected to have gained a general understanding of the fundamentals of digital image processing and computer vision. They will also have achieved a familiarity with the current analytical tools that are used in computer imaging applications and the ability to design and develop basic algorithms to solve computer imaging problems.

CS 581 – Introduction to Artificial Intelligence (3 Cr.)
This course covers important AI areas, including search algorithms, knowledge representation, production systems, game playing, uncertainty handling, learning, and planning. Students are required to have basic knowledge of data structures, probability theory, and mathematical logic. Upon successful completion of this course, students will have gained an understanding of and skills relevant to modern AI techniques, practices, and design solutions.

CS 598 – Computer Science Seminar (1 Cr.)
Every semester, guest speakers, faculty members, and/or graduate students offer to DigiPen students a number of presentations that cover different research topics in computer science. Each speaker decides on the choice of topic, but they usually are within the general boundaries of students’ courses of study. This seminar aims not to pursue any particular topic but rather to explore new research in more depth to allow students to develop their own skills in theoretical analysis. Each speaker’s paper(s) will be available to students. They will be required to read these papers and to choose one to expand upon for a final paper and an oral presentation.

GAM 550 – Master’s Game Project II (3 Cr.)
This course challenges students to research the latest techniques in game design and technology and to apply their findings in a 3D game/simulation. Students will investigate issues in 3D techniques, artificial intelligence, and next-generation game console architecture, as well as such advanced game design issues as massively multi-player persistent worlds, input/GUI theory and design, and advanced simulation theory and applications. Students will report their results to the class and present a pitch paper for a product that incorporates their findings both to the class and a faculty review board. Students will then create a game design document and technical design document for the approved project. Depending on the scope of their projects, students will work individually or on teams. By the end of the semester, students should complete a prototype of their game/simulation.

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Microreviews

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D by Nintendo

The first 3DS game I’ve purchased for my 3DS. The graphics are noticeably improved from the N64 version, with the majority of textures looking great. The game itself is a 5/5, no doubt – an excellent remastering of a classic title. The only flaws are issues with the system itself… since the 3DS is using a parallax barrier, bright objects on dark backgrounds will sometimes bleed into both eyes. Also, during tense boss battles, I’ve needed to turn the depth effects off – when you’re really jamming on the controls it is difficult to keep the system centered and if the 3DS gets a bit sideways the graphics double up as though you’re extremely drunk. I’d give the overall experience a 4.75/5 – the glasses-free 3D holds up in the majority of cases and pocket holograms are likely a few years away. Slightly relevant.

Wurm Online 3.0.1

I’ve played this for a few minutes after hitting a link on Raph Koster’s blog. The graphics are better than I expected and it has a climb button. I give it 7/10 PP (potential points.) Oh and Watch this!

Terraria

Mix SoTN and Super Metroid with MC Kids. Anybody calling this 2D Minecraft hasn’t played both of these titles. Whereas Minecraft is a sandbox, Terraria is most definitely a game and a great one. 6/7 Gels.

Spiral Knights

I hopped into this title the other day when Steam was promoting it’s F2Pness and the servers were going down in 10 minutes. I ran through a dungeon with a group of 3 strangers. The game was relatively lag free and very much a real-time affair… more like an artistic co-op dungeon crawler than a themepark MMO. I give it 6/10 PP… I docked 2 because I think I remember this having Sega’s name on it.

Forsaken World

Same story – I jumped in and played for not very long. I started as a vampire and the starting area was very cool. Graduated from the starter area into a typical generic medieval MMO fantasy town and immediately lost all interest in playing this game ever again. +1 for being freemium, +2 for having vampires as a class. 10/20 stars.

Ultima 7: The Black Gate

Quite possibly my favorite RPG of all time. If you haven’t played this yet, go obtain a copy and DOSBox – if you’re able to get past the dated graphics, you’ll find a game with an open world, witty dialog, an intriguing plot and… I don’t know. All the player agency in this game, they could’ve called it… The Agency… yes. 100/100 sparkly gold glitter beans.

Dwarfs!?

A bunch of game built on a handful of mechanics that aren’t very fun. Try the demo version, if you want. 2/5 nails. In the coffin.

Review of Robotek

Robotek, a new title from Hexage. My initial review would’ve been as follows:

I played exactly once and only played the tutorial. I alternated between adding/improving bots and keeping my shield up. When bots were maximized, I switched to alternating between dealing damage and keeping my shield up. Meh. 2/5 stars. 1 star for existing, 1 star for having good graphics.

However, John suggested the game was engrossing, and he’s a cool guy, so I’ll give it another shot. Here goes:

Ok, I’m playing the campaign this time. The text is a bit small, apparently some machines have taken over and whatnot, bad times for mankind? Canada is the weakest (burn!) so we’ll attack them first. The battlefield is immediately familiar, I am Moltar and I’m fighting a Portal turret – I can dig it. The game was slightly more difficult but my strategy remained unchanged and I was victorious. Upon victory I gained points, power and experience. I’m only 300xp away from level 2, apparently I should play again, so I do.

Once again, combat, Moltar vs. Turret! I’ll attempt to play a Rogue instead of a Paladin and focus on Direct Damage and Hacking. This is not going well, my hacking attempts are failing and I stand alone against a shielded turret and a droid duo. Defeated, 70 to aught. Blue Won. I am a dismal failure. The game saw fit to pay me the minimum wage of 300xp, rewarding my poor performance with another level.

Upon leveling up Moltar is given a health upgrade – he is commanded to feel 10 points healthier, immediately! If only I’d had these points of health for his last battle, he would’ve lasted another half a turn! Wait, Rapid Fire – which allows my bots to fire twice per round – that sounds fun. 1 extra coin with which I can upgrade the slot machine? Interesting.

Round 3 – sticking with my tutorial strategy of bots + shields. The enemy is duplicating my strategy except having better luck with the slot machine, the battle is not going in my favor. Another rousing loss.

Final verdict: 2.5/5. 1 star for graphics, 1 star for not crashing, .5 stars for customization options.