Archive for May, 2012


Get yourself over to humblebundle.com and shell out for Humble Bundle V. Go, right now! Stop reading and go!

Hhmm, still hear are you? Well you shouldn’t be. Humble Bundle V features five really well crafted games.

Limbo

Oh look, a giant spider – I wonder if it’s friendly…

 

I’ve played through Limbo on the xbox. It’s a slightly creepy game about a boy in a dark, slightly  intimidating dream like world. I would highly recommend it.

Bastion

Bastion is dynamically narrated. It looks pretty good too!

I’ve played Bastion a little bit, but not as much as Limbo. It’s gimmick was that it narrates what you are doing whilst you’re doing it, which is pretty cool. It’s definitely worth a look.

Psychonauts

Proud.. Master Yoda would be.. Yes..

Psychonauts is apparently about a school for psychic erm, kids I guess, but the teachers are hiding something. It’s a very colourful, cartoony 3D patformer and looks like a lot of fun.

Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery

Swords and Sworcery – now with extra ‘w’

Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP I have no idea about, but apparently it was one of Time magazine’s top 10 games of 2011 so it must be worth a look. I am certainly very intrigued!

Amnesia: The Dark Descent

might be best not to stick around and find out exactly what this thing is

Amnesia: The Dark Descent seems to be a survival horror game and looks pretty scary from what I’ve seen so far. It’s also have a number of very positive reviews.

Still reading? Here’s that link again. Now GO!

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Have you ever found yourself in the situation where you know what you want your program to do, but you just don’t know how to express it in code? If so, then read on. If not, read on anyway, as this still may be of use to you!

Code snippets are an excellent feature of visual studio, especially if you go to the effort of learning the shortcuts.

They most important shortcut to remember is Ctrl-K, Ctrl-X (multiple shortcuts used like this is known as a chord). This should bring a code snippets UI. Next I press V for Visual C# and then you can select or type the keyword of a load of constructs and code snippets will deal with the syntax for you. Any variables or names that you might want to define can then be tabbed through.

Hello, Code Snippets!

Here’s an example of a function created using snippets:

public void SortList(List<int> pValues)
{
  bool swaps = false;
  do
  {
    for (int i = 0; i < pValues.Count - 1; i++)
    {
      if (pValues[i] > pValues[i+1])
      {
        int temp = pValues[i];
        pValues[i] = pValues[i + 1];
        pValues[i+1] = pValues[i];
        swaps = true;
      }
    }
  } while (swaps);
}

And here are the parts of that code that were written using code snippets:


  do
  {
    for (int i = 0; i < pValues.Count - 1; i++)
    {
      if (pValues[i] > pValues[i+1])
      {

      }
    }
  } while (swaps);

Code snippets are particularly useful for developing in languages that you are not familiar with. Often you know what you want to do, but you don’t know the correct syntax. In these cases code snippets are invaluable. Here’s the same code, but this time written in Visual Basic, which I hardly ever use:

  Dim swaps As Boolean = False
  Do
    For index = 1 To pValues.Count - 1
      If pValues(index) > pValues(index + 1) Then
        Dim temp = pValues(index)
        pValues(index) = pValues(index + 1)
        pValues(index + 1) = pValues(index)
        swaps = True
      End If
    Next
  Loop While swaps

The logic is the same, but the syntax is different. If you’re ever unsure of the syntax you should be using to get something to work remember Ctrl X, Ctrl K and code snippets will help you out!

You can even define your own snippets, but I’ll save that for some other day.

Finalist’s BBQ

Yesterday was the computer science finalist’s BBQ. With the glorious sunshine beating down I don’t think that we could have picked a better day for it.

I enjoyed talking to some of the students who we’ve worked with for the last three or four years and I know that there were a few people who I meant to talk to, but didn’t get round to. I’m really sorry for that 😦

Flame grilled beef

I’m really proud of our students and what they have achieved. It’s a weird feeling to feel proud of something that you’re not really responsible for. I can’t speak for other members of staff, but at best I consider what I do to be a bit like a catalyst. All the bits were there to begin with, we just try and help put them together in the right order.

Another odd thing is that although I’m proud of our students, and I might even go as far as saying I like one or two of them, but I don’t think I’ll be sad to see them go. I’m more happy for them, and excited by what they might be doing next. I know that very soon after they’re gone I know I’ll have a ton of other things to keep me busy and before I know it the process will start again and we’ll be welcoming a new batch of fresh faced students.

However, what that doesn’t mean is that I feel like we’re completely done with the outgoing cohort. I’m always really pleased to hear from ex-students and find out what they’re doing, or even have them back for a visit. If you’re leaving us this summer I wish you the best of luck in whatever you choose to do, and if you feel like checking back in on us from time to time, please don’t hesitate to drop us a line!