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Gaming

Names like Nintendo, SEGA, Playstation, and Steam warm the heart (and inspire the keys) of hackers all around the world.
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Gaming lunduke.substack.com

The computers used to do 3D animation for Final Fantasy VII

There’s a lot going on in that picture. Let’s take a closer look at exactly what computers and gear they were using to do the 3D animation for this game.

Why? Because, Final Fantasy 7 is a true classic. When the game was first released in early 1997, for the Sony PlayStation, it took the RPG gaming world by storm. To this day, many consider it the greatest entry in the franchise.

I remember getting this game for Christmas and playing it nearly non-stop until school started again after the new year. Greatest entry in the franchise? Easily!

The computers used to do 3D animation for Final Fantasy VII

Gaming grafana.com

Can Grafana run Doom?

A fun post from the Grafana blog for your Friday enjoyment:

It started as all good projects do … with Rick Astley.

After seeing the project about how to Rickroll your friends with Grafana — in which a seemingly innocent hyperlink surprises users with the music video for Astley’s classic “Never Gonna Give You Up” rendered with Prometheus and Grafana — a question arose: Can Grafana run Doom?

Thankfully, this post breaks Betteridge’s law of headlines. The answer to the question is a resounding yes!

The Changelog The Changelog #483

ONE MORE thing every dev should know

The incomparable Jessica Kerr is back with another grab-bag of amazing topics. We talk about her journey to Honeycomb, devs getting satisfaction from the code they write, why step one for her is “get that new project into production” and step two is observe it, her angst for the context switching around pull requests, some awesome book recommendations, how game theory and design can translate to how we skill up and level up our teams, and so much more.

Practical AI Practical AI #166

Exploring deep reinforcement learning

In addition to being a Developer Advocate at Hugging Face, Thomas Simonini is building next-gen AI in games that can talk and have smart interactions with the player using Deep Reinforcement Learning (DRL) and Natural Language Processing (NLP). He also created a Deep Reinforcement Learning course that takes a DRL beginner to from zero to hero. Natalie and Chris explore what’s involved, and what the implications are, with a focus on the development path of the new AI data scientist.

Python kaggle.com

Get the daily Wordle on the first try using the tweet distribution

I love how much hacking has been inspired by Wordle.

The Wordle source code contains 2,315 days of answers (all common 5-letter English words) and 10,657 other valid, less-common 5-letter English words.

We combine these to form a set of 12,972 possible words/answers.

We then simulate playing 1,000 Wordle games for each of these possible words, guessing based on the frequency of the word in the English language and the feedback received.

Then we take three measures to evaluate the observed distribution of ⬛🟨🟩 squares on Twitter according to our valid words.

The resulting code is included in the article.

Vue.js github.com

Wordle built with Vue, aka VVordle

Rebuilding Wordle is a fun way to show off what your frontend framework is capable of (and how). Evan You has been doing just that for Vue. It’s not a 100% reproduction of the original, but it does have one cool feature the official game does NOT:

You can make your own Wordle and send it to friends by base64-encoding a word and include it as the URL query

Here’s a custom one using an acronym that many devs think about often…

Opensource.com Icon Opensource.com

Solving Wordle with help from the Linux command line

Jim Hall used grep and some fancy regular expressions to get a leg up on Wordle, the word game that keeps you guessing… but only once per day. Some people may think of Jim’s technique as cheating. I wouldn’t necessarily disagree.

But it’s a lot better than View Source-ing to get at the answer, which you can also do in a pinch. 😉

(Also there’s zero point to Wordle other than having fun, so it’s really only cheating if your answer-finding-method is less fun than you’d have otherwise. Even then, you’re only cheating yourself.)

Brad Van Vugt blog.battlesnake.com

Controlling a battlesnake with a webcam, Replit, and your face

Battlesnake’s Brad Van Vugt:

This past spring on Coding Badly, Joe and I, for whatever reason, challenged ourselves to build a camera-controlled Battlesnake. The result was “Facesnake” – a Battlesnake controlled in real-time using your face and webcam. This post outlines how we built it using Replit and tracking.js :-)

You can also jump straight to the source code or watch Facesnake in action here.

Gaming github.com

Super Mario World modded to be 16:9

Super Mario World Widescreen is your beloved Mario World SNES game but in the 16:9 resolution. This is possible by expanding the horizontal resolution by 96 pixels, increasing resolution from 256x224 to 352x224. Since the original SNES does not have this resolution, the emulator focused into high definition mods bsnes-hd must be used.

I love how open source hackers give classic games like this new life by applying their skill and ingenuity to a property they love. I wonder if having it in widescreen changes the gameplay mechanics at all…

Super Mario World modded to be 16:9

Go Time Go Time #182

Go Battlesnake Go!

In the past decade a variety of games have emerged where players need to create an AI to play the game rather than play the game directly. In this episode we speak with the creator of one of those games - Battlesnake. Brad Van Vugt joins us to talk about building a game engine using Go, making programming games easier for beginners to get started with, the long term vision for games like Battlesnake, and more.

Command line interface github.com

rpg-cli —your filesystem as a dungeon!

rpg-cli is a bare-bones JRPG-inspired terminal game written in Rust. It can work as an alternative to cd where you randomly encounter enemies as you change directories.

You’ll want to practice a bit first, then once you get good at it go ahead and override the builtin cd by adding this function to your bash profile.

cd () {
   rpg-cli "$@"
   builtin cd "$(rpg-cli --pwd)"
}
rpg-cli —your filesystem as a dungeon!

Kottke Icon Kottke

Reprogramming a game by playing it (an unbelievable Super Mario 3 speedrun)

Here’s a fun rabbit hole to go down if you have some free time to spend.

After a fellow named Zikubi beat the speedrun record for Super Mario Bros 3 by about 8 minutes with a time of just over three minutes, speedrun analyst Bismuth made the video above to explain how he did it…by changing the game with the gameplay itself.

The first couple minutes go exactly as you’d expect, but the speedrun takes a weird turn when, instead of using the second warp whistle to go to level 8, he uses it to go to level 7. And once in level 7, Mario races around randomly, letting opportunity slip away like a blindfolded birthday boy unwittingly steering himself away from the piñata. It’s only later, during the explanation of how he got from level 7 to the final screen so quickly, that you realize Mario’s panicky idiot behavior is actually the player actively reprogramming the game to open up a wormhole to the ending.

Practical AI Practical AI #102

Hidden Door and so much more

Hilary Mason is building a new way for kids and families to create stories with AI. It’s called Hidden Door, and in her first interview since founding it, Hilary reveals to Chris and Daniel what the experience will be like for kids. It’s the first Practical AI episode in which some of the questions came from Chris’s 8yo daughter Athena.

Hilary also shares her insights into various topics, like how to build data science communities during the COVID-19 Pandemic, reasons why data science goes wrong, and how to build great data-based products. Don’t miss this episode packed with hard-won wisdom!

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