Crash course on basic ellipse geometry
Sep 18, 2017
Because I started a small series about astronomical algorithms and the magic of math in space, I think we need to cover an important prerequisite. In the series, I will talk a lot about ellipses (duh), I will move from the semi-axis majors, to the periapsis, to eccentricity, to ellipse’s center and ellipse’s foci. I am concerned that things can get more complicated than expected if the readers does not know many of the geometric properties of the ellipse.
WordPress abandoning React: a Facebook horror story
Sep 15, 2017
Today, during my daily web crawling, I found this article by Matt Mullenweg. I will not dwell in details, you can read the full story in the linked post. But I try to give you the core of the announcement: WordPress just decided to abandon React. This is a big news, with many implications and a few lessons to learn. Let’s go by steps.
The Context You are probably asking yourselves: why?
Computing planetary orbits between two celestial objects
Sep 11, 2017
As you probably know, I am working (slowly) on an astronomically accurate calendar generator. All the orbital calculations involved are quite challenging, and I am discovering a lot. It is a lot of fun (except for the all the times I need to do some trigonometric magic to make some formula work). Anyway, during this process, I am reshaping and producing many many formulas. I am sure that in six months I will forget all the motivations behind them.
How hidden variables in statistical models affect social inequality
Sep 9, 2017
Use of machine learning is becoming ubiquitous and, even with a fancy name, it remains a tool in the statistical modeler belt. Every day, we leak billions of data from ourselves to companies ready to use it for their affair. Modeling through data get more common every day and mathematical model are the rulers of our life: they decide where we can work, if we can get a loan, how many years of jails we deserve, and more.
Playerunknown's Battlegrounds did everything wrong. And doing so, it won.
Aug 26, 2017
This small article is born from a discussion I had with a friend of mine this week. He was writing a review on Playersunknown’s Battlegrounds (from now on, PUBG) and he ended up talking about the evolution of the genre and its triumph over every other competitor. The article was good but it did not enter in detail about, what I think, it is a greatly important and interesting question: Why PUBG? Why not any of the other dozens of battle royal games we were plagued in the last years?
PUBG is clearly a winner in this competition. It sold more than 8 million copies on Steam only, and I can see the trend going with the future release on consoles. The problem, in my opinion, is that, on paper, there is nothing in PUBG implementation that seems “right”. Nevertheless, it won.
Machiavelli once said that success is 50% luck. That’s definitely true for PUBG. But the other 50% must be researched in the PUBG qualities. Analyzing them, despite the massive “errors”, it is very important for any game designer.
Against Addiction and Gambling-like Mechanic in Free to Play Games
Aug 18, 2017
I want to take the cue from a last week massive Reddit thread on micro-transaction in Free2Play (F2P) games to give my opinion of the topic. I think it is important. We need to increase awareness that predatory practices in F2P games are incredibly close to gambling and share with it the same self-destructive and harmful addictive behavior. This is wrong in so many way: it is dangerous for the victims, it is dangerous for the game itself, and it is dangerous for the entire F2P model.
Artificial Anxiety and the problem "Mental Issues" in AI
Aug 3, 2017
Anxiety is a human mind bug. This may seem a strange claim, but I cannot find a better explanation for anxiety disorders. In fact, we can see pathological anxiety as the undesired consequence of our ability to think about the future. Being scared about a life-threatening event in the near future is a valuable ability: it helps us to survive, avoid danger and, in short, make our species survive. That is one of the reason our species has been so successful in nature.
Looking at the path so far...
Jul 24, 2017
Now that I finally completed my PhD studies, I started rethinking about my path up here. This is a path I started a long time ago. For some reason, this was the path I traced for myself since my childhood. When I was 10 (or earlier, I don’t really know for sure) I answered for the first time the question: “what do you want to do as a grown up?”. And the answer was “I’ll make games” (“I’ll make Mario’s game”, to be very precise).
Minimized Cave Generation with Cellular Automata
Jul 4, 2017
Improve Inventory-Aware Pathfinding with Map Preprocessing
Jun 13, 2017
_This article has been originally published on Gamasutra._
In the last article we introduced a basic approach for Inventory-Aware Pathfinding (IAP), a pathfinding algorithm capable of interacting with obstacles and not just avoiding them. If you have not read it, I encourage you to go back and read it to understand the basic challenges and the main ideas behind the proposed solution.
For instance, we can have a pathfinding algorithm that can solve small plans and “puzzles” involving reasoning like “before passing this door, I need to get that key”.