Author: Olcay O.

UE4: Making a decent scene (Part 1)

UE4: Making a decent scene (Part 1)

In Unreal Engine 4, beginners mostly suffer because they can’t make a scene. But, %66 percent of people get across that very quickly, and almost everyone gets stuck on the issue of lighting, positioning props, etc. (Well, as far as I know). Well, I have a tactic. Which is, randomly making a scene, then getting inspiration from that scene to make the scene you desire.

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Xamarin: Cross-platform mobile apps made (really) easy

Xamarin: Cross-platform mobile apps made (really) easy

I found out about Xamarin like one and a half months ago. I really liked it, and now I think that it is time to make a blog post about it. Xamarin is a platform for building cross-platform (or non-cross-platform) mobile apps easily, using C# and Mono. You can use any IDE for it, preferably Visual Studio 2015. Since Xamarin is owned by Microsoft, there is an option for installing Xamarin directly onto Visual Studio. Perfect!

Xamarin has a few branches; Xamarin.Forms, Xamarin.iOS, Xamarin.Android, Xamarin.WinPhone(UWP).  Each of them are for their corresponding platforms, but what is Xamarin.Forms? Xamarin.Forms is a branch of Xamarin, that allows you to write shared code for the UI. So, basically you write UI code for all platforms, but you may have to write extra code specifically for each platform.

Let’s get to the point. Xamarin, especially Forms, is INCREDIBLY flexible. You can basically do everything mobile in there (there are exceptions obviously, such as 3D physics games). There are many tools, views, layouts, pages, etc. You can see that just from the applications made using Forms.

But, if you don’t want cross-platform, or you want to harness the power of each platform specifically, there are always the platform specific ones. I mean, cross-platform isn’t always better.

I will be posting more posts on this topic, so stay tuned! (Maybe on Sunday if I don’t forget or play Half-Life 2 for eight hours, just maybe)

Featured image credit: TechCrunch

Virtual Reality games and HMDs

VR is a game sub-industry which is, well, blowing up right now. It wasn’t too big before, and technology to make VR games were limited, but now, there is more technology to make VR games than you will ever need. The thing is, how do we test those Virtual Reality games? An HTC Vive is 900 euros! * dead * It costs more to test the game, than you get money from it! And, you have to learn to make VR games, understand how it works, so it will be a LOOOONG time before you can break even. And don’t give the “Oculus Rift is cheaper” excuse, the HTC Vive is ten times better than the Oculus. Besides, the DK2 is sold out. Gimme a break..

Hand controllers

The hand controller is a great idea, because what is the point of VR when you just look around, and give input from a keyboard from the real reality? It just isn’t virtual anymore. (Too bad that the guys at Oculus slept through the course of innovation.)

The controllers of the HTC Vive have trackpads, which is a nice idea too, to give more control. I think that the more input you can give (that isn’t given to something other than the HMD), the better experience of VR.

A huge problem with VR

A huge problem with VR is that, if you give movement input via walking, then you will most definitely, %100, guaranteed, crash into a wall, hurt yourself, and maybe even break the headset. And since going outside to play VR games is a really bad idea, you most likely have to turn Standing Mode on, and what’s the fun in that?

Summary

Basically, making VR games is hard, playing them is hard, but when you can, it’s so much fun!

That’s it for this post because I have to go to sleep in half an hour at the time of writing. Thanks for reading!

P.S. I am not dead. I just forgot to write posts for a month straight.

Orbitals in atoms (Atomic orbitals)

Orbitals in atoms (Atomic orbitals)

In atoms, electrons don’t just stay stationary relative to the nucleus, or orbit the nucleus in a fixed path. Instead they are found as, well, they are not found. It is impossible to know the exact location of an atom. But, there are areas which there is a probability of finding an electron, called electron probability clouds. The configuration of these clouds and electrons are called orbitals, a.k.a atomic orbitals.

Orbitals have 4 types; S, P, D and F orbitals. There are multiple orbitals for every shell, for example the first shell only has the 1s orbital, while the second shell has the 2s and the 2p orbitals.

All orbital types except S can be separated into various counterparts. A p-type orbital has 3 parts; px, py and pz. The d and f orbitals are more complicated, and I won’t go over them in this post.

Orbitals, take part in most phenomena that most people don’t know the reason to. A good example of this is why the water molecule is bent. This happens because of orbitals trying to not overlap each other (because two electrons repel each other). And because they get as far away as possible from each other, oxygen takes a tetrahedral shape. And if oxygen is tetrahedral, no two bonds will make the molecule straight. A similar example is why methane is tetrahedral. Carbon is tetrahedral too, just like oxygen. A tetrahedron has four vertices, methane has four hydrogen atoms. So, the four hydrogen atoms bond to each of the vertices of the tetrahedron the carbon forms, therefore making methane tetrahedral.

This is all for now, I am in a rush right now, and that is why I couldn’t write too much. This is all for this post, I will make another post on Sunday explaining orbitals, more in detail. Take care!

Derivatives Explained (Part 1)

A couple of weeks ago, I posted the intro to this series. This is part 1 of this series, where I will throw light upon the basic rules of derivatives. But before you continue, make sure that you understand the concept(s) explained in the intro post. Then you may continue on to this post.

We know that taking a derivative is easy with simple functions, and sometimes linear functions. But when it is almost impossible to calculate without guides, you have to refer to rules. The basic rules are: (Note: c refers to any constant, and f(x) and g(x) refer to functions.)

(c \times f(x))' = c \times f(x)'

f(x) = g(x) + c f(x)' = g(x)' or in other words, (c)' = 0

and lastly (for now) f(x) = n^m f(x)' = mn^{m-1}

If you combine this knowledge with algebraic rules such as n^an^b = n^{a+b} or x^{-1} = \frac{1}{x}

Sidenote:

\frac{d}{dx} f(x) is the same as f(x)'. I use the notation with the apostrophe because it is shorter and simpler. If the first notation is used anywhere, know that that is a derivative. End Sidenote

With this information, you can (and will) solve almost all functions excluding ones that use the exponential function, logarithms, trig, etc. To test your knowledge, I recommend you solve some tests on this topic. One of the resources available on this topic are MAT 270 calculus tests. I don’t exactly know the origin, but I think these resources are provided by Arizona State University, but I’m not sure.

This is it for this blog post, I hope I explained it well. As I said, I highly recommend practicing derivatives to have learned the topic. Take care!

My dual boot attempt and adventure (and misery)

My dual boot attempt and adventure (and misery)

We all know that dual-booting is not an easy task to do. But if you do it right, it’s a walk in the park. But if you do it wrong, all of your data and your system is in complete danger. I was trying to dual boot Windows 10 and Fedora 25 Workstation on a Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Series and I completely botched it.

So, here is the story from the beginning. I was trying to set up a fast virtual machine that I could code on, but it was just too slow and laggy to use, even to code. So, I opted for dual booting. I shrunk D: drive, and I left 50 gigs of unallocated space. Then, I burnt the Fedora 25 ISO file to a USB flash drive via Rufus, then I booted it from UEFI settings, but it just didn’t work. I had tried everything, I was out of solutions. Then my dad recognized the drive label was different. He told me that it had to be specific, not just anything you want. We re-labeled the drive and booted again. Still didn’t work, it was stuck at the loading screen at about half. We rebooted and this time we went into text view so that we could see what was going on. It was stuck on some sort of WPA applicant thingy. We, once more, tried everything, but one thing worked. We booted from legacy mode settings, and it worked! Then we finally installed Fedora 25 on my hard drive.

But, when we tried to boot, it passed the WPA applicant part but it got stuck on “creating user something something UID 1000”. Rebooting somehow solved the problem, and voila! I am able to log- Oh no. It is now stuck on the grey screen that comes up after you enter the password. It doesn’t let me go into text mode either. “Dangit!” I shouted out. Why wouldn’t it work. I decided to take a break and boot to windows- Windows boot manager is gone. Oops.

So, I gave up on fedora, and I tried to get windows working again. I had a copy of it on a USB drive, so I used that too try and restore windows without my data being wiped, but it didn’t do anything at all. I try to get a fresh installation, doesn’t work. It was at that point that I decided that I will sacrifice the data on C: to get my PC working again. Did the same steps, nothing worked. Then, I, bravely decided to sacrifice the 600 GBs of games, movies, music, videos, etc., to restore my PC. We deleted EVERYTHING, and installed windows like new, then it decided to work. For success, I had to make the biggest sacrifice of my life (literally).

Conclusion; research before doing anything with a risk that you do not want to take. If you make a mistake and botch up everything, you have to make a sacrifice to get it working. This applies even on computers.

Don’t be like me and dive in blind into a pool of danger and risk, be wise and do research first. Take care (of your computer)!

EDIT: I was supposed to post this on Sunday, but as I said I pulled a fatality on my computer 😛

Video games and education

Video games and education

Video games are thought to be the opposite of education, because it is thought that it kills time and brain cells, and has no useful feature at all. I call incorrect on this one, and I strongly believe otherwise.

So how can video games improve education? They already are, by enhancing problem solving capabilities. This has been proved in countless studies. Also, some games are built for education, and on education topics. Not only that, but good and fun games about education are doubly effective because it presents educational topics coated with video games. Maybe, popular games can be redone to fit educational needs!

But, one of the problems are that video game companies only care about the money, and since it would be hard to make a good game and incorporate it with education flawlessly. And hard things mean more cash lost to companies. The companies do not want that. And the small devs can’t do much on their own, so most games are really small, and sometimes bad quality. I guess this is a dead end.

I have run out of ideas on this topic, and I believe that it has potential. Maybe, if I have time, I will try to fix this on my own. But before that, I need to do some important things that will benefit me, maybe then I can start working on this topic. Who knows?

That is all for this blog post, stay tuned for my next post, because it will be on Sunday. Take care!

Thumbnail; Controllers photo: Huffington Post, book image: Picovico, education button: Mpece

The procrastination problem

The procrastination problem

Procrastination is a big factor in productivity, and life in general. For those of you who don’t know, procrastination is to put a task off to do some other meaningless stuff instead. Basically wasting your time when you have a task at hand. And it’s really bad, so you should stop it immediately.

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Unreal Engine 4: Moving platforms V2

Unreal Engine 4: Moving platforms V2

 

I said that I was going to write a bonus post containing 5 bonuses. Here they are:

  1. Changeable timeline curve
  2. Making other objects be able to hit the button
  3. Chained lifts & lifts stopping when blocked
  4. Lift shooting projectile when it stops
  5. Rock smashing through the wall we made in the material instances post

Continue reading “Unreal Engine 4: Moving platforms V2”

Unreal Engine 4: Lifts and moving platforms

Unreal Engine 4: Lifts and moving platforms

Lifts and moving platforms are an essential part in making platformer games, or any game at all. And, it is really important because a game with just static objects would be really boring, so you definitely need moving objects, platforms, etc.

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