MovingAI pathfinding benchmark parser in Rust
Feb 16, 2018
You know I worked a lot with pathfinding. In academia, the MovingAI benchmark created by the MovingAI Lab of the University of Denver is a must for benchmarking pathfinding algorithms. It includes synthetic maps and maps from commercial videogames.
Parsing the benchmark data, the maps, creating the map data structure and more, is one of the most boring thing I needed to do for testing my algorithms. For this reason, I think a common library for working with the maps specifications it is a must.
Choosing between Behavior Tree and GOAP (Planning)
Feb 13, 2018
I would like to expand the answer I gave on /r/gamedesign some days ago. The main point of the question was: how can I decide if it “better” to implement the decision-making layer of our game AI with Behavior Trees (BTs) or with more advanced plan-based techniques such as the Goal Oriented Action Planning (GOAP) or SHOP.
First consideration: this is not a technical problem The first thing to know is that writing game AI is not a race for best technology, instead, it is just about chosing the right tool for serving the gameplay as good as possible.
GameDesign Math: RPG Level-based Progression
Feb 3, 2018
Level-based progression is an extremely popular way of providing the player with the feeling of “getting stronger”. The system is born with Role-Playing Games (RPG), but it is nowadays embedded in practically every game; some more, some less. Even if it is perfectly possible to provide progression feeling without levels and experience points, level-based progression is easy, direct, linear and fits well in many (too many?) game genres.
But designing a good experience-level progression is important.
Small rant about "blockchain" overuse
Jan 26, 2018
A lot of startups are using “blockchain” as a replacement hyped word for “distributed database”. Well, a blockchain is the most inefficient and slow “distributed database” ever created. Blockchain strength is not in being a database! Stop doing that!
The blockchain power is in avoiding divergent transactions, and guarantee a not falsifiable and immutable history. That is, no node in the system can alter the past of the chain. That’s it.
How to add a logo in Rust documentation
Jan 25, 2018
One of the feature I like the most on Rust is automatic documentation. Documentation is a pillar in language ergonomic, and I love that Rust spend so much time into making documentation and documenting code a much pleasant experience.
Rust autogenerated documentation (with cargo doc) looks good, every crate on crates.io get its documentation published on docs.rs, and, most important, every code example in the code is compiled and run as a “unit test” making sure that all the examples are up-to date!
Questions about Deep Learning and the nature of knowledge
Jan 21, 2018
If there is something that can be assumed as a fact in the AI and Machine Learning domain is that the last years had been dominated by Deep Learning and other Neural Network based techniques. When I say dominated, I mean that it looks like the only way to achieve something in Machine Learning and it is absorbing the great part of AI enthusiasts’ energy and attention.
This is indubitably a good thing.
The Most Promising Programming Languages for 2018
Dec 31, 2017
This is the time of the year in which I propose 5 emerging/new languages that you should keep an eye on the next year. I’ve done it last year, and the year before, and the year before that.
This year, however, I am not in the mood of doing it. There are several reasons why. The first one is that this year there have not been a lot of movement on the new programming languages.
Preserving a Cryptography book from 1897
Dec 10, 2017
Some time ago I found on my grandma’s house an old Italian book on cryptography from 1897. Why a 120 years old book on cryptography was on my grandma house, is a mystery. I’d like to think that some grand-grand-parent was a late 19th century hacker. Anyway.
The book title is “Crittografia ossia l’arte di cifrare e decifrare le corrispondenze segrete” of Count Luigi Gioppi of Turkheim.
Well, I don’t know if this book is hard to find.
NaNoWriMo 2017 in Stats
Dec 7, 2017
This year I joined and won the NaNoWriMo challenge: write 50000 words for a novel in 30 days. I did it. Now the nerd side need to splat on this page all the accumulated stats.
The Novel I think it is the proper way to do it: I need to talk about the novel. The novel is, of course, in Italian and it is unfinished. With 52k words I reached barely the beginning of the third act, more or less.
Procedural Calendar Generation & Lunar Phases
Nov 30, 2017
Here we are again! This is Part 3 of a small series on how to randomly generate a physically accurate calendar starting from planet’s orbital parameters. You can find the general motivation here, part one here and part two here.
Said that, here we go with the next part: lunar phases.
Why lunar phases Lunar phases are incredibly important in a calendar. So important, that many of the early humanity calendars are, in fact, lunar calendars or lunisolar calendars.