March 18th, 2009  | By: Daichi  | Categories: Programming, Projects  | Tags: , ,

In my last post, I talked about my Tetris Clone I wrote. Since my last post, I felt like I should talk about making a Tetris clone in general.

I noticed while porting my code to Flash, there is now a ton more resources that help break down the game. In this blog post by Luke at Terminally-incoherent, Luke explains what details make up the Tetris game in a mini design document. While his document is nice, it made me aware something even better, the really cool wiki. Something that wasn’t around when I wrote my original code for the game. This wiki taught me some terminology I didn’t know about before, such as “Wall Kick”, which is what allows you to move a piece while it is against a wall. I coded this feature because I noticed it in other Tetris games I played, but I never knew a name for it. The site also gives names to many of the popular rotation systems and talks a little about game strategy.

I didn’t change any of the core code in my port. So it is fairly identical to my original C++ code in functionality. But if this wiki existed when I put my clone together, I could of cut my original programing time in half. I originally programmed the game code in about a week and I remember spending about two days just figuring out the code needed to rotate a block. However, It is not a bad idea to figure out the concepts yourself. It certainly was good practice for me.

I don’t know if anyone will find it useful, but I decided to share the source code for my ActionScript 3 Flash port of the game. Read more…

March 10th, 2009  | By: Daichi  | Categories: Programming, Projects  | Tags: , ,

A couple years back I programmed my first game, which was a clone of Tetris in C++. There are many good reasons to remake a classic game. First, you do not need to worry too much about a design document, since the classic games tend to be pretty simple. Second, you can learn a lot doing it yourself.

The actual game code took about a week to write. I actually spent more time writing my DirectX 7 graphics engine, which took about two weeks. Too bad I never used this graphics engine I made to write any other games. Oh well, I have since moved on to easier and more powerful graphics interfaces.

Today, I decided to get some more experience with Flash, so I ported my Tetris clone to Flash ActionScript 3. It took most of the day, but I think the results are pretty decent. Read more…

March 7th, 2009  | By: Daichi  | Categories: Anime, Convention, Projects  | Tags: , ,

I took a break from Japanese study on my Sixth Week. Instead, I was working on my Anime Music Video submission for Sakura Con 2009. This video ate up a lot of my time. However, I am not going to go into detail on my submission for this year since It has yet to premiere at the convention. Which will happen in April if it gets approved. Instead, I am going to talk about the video I made for last year. Read more…

March 7th, 2009  | By: Daichi  | Categories: Convention  | Tags:

I will be going to the Game Developers Conference this year. If you don’t know what GDC is, it was surveyed as the most important game industry event of the year. Long story short, I applied to be a Conference Associate volunteer for GDC a few months back. Initially I got rejected, but being on the waiting list seems to of pulled through. I just found this out Tuesday afternoon that I was accepted and I am pretty darn excited. It took me a few days to figure out my finances but sure enough, I will be going.

I have not talked much about my various projects that I have worked on since I started blogging. However, it was always my intention to do so. With GDC being two weeks away, this is a great time to polish my portfolio up. If you do not know much about me, most of my projects fall into the programming or multimedia category. I know this is vague, since multimedia means just about anything these days, but look forward to seeing my work.

March 3rd, 2009  | By: Daichi  | Categories: Learning  | Tags:

Maybe someone has been wondering why I haven’t written anything in a while. For any newcomers, I have been studying Japanese language, mainly my Kanji with the help of the “Remembering the Kanji” book and SRS ( Spaced Repetition Software). The simple way to explain SRS, is a piece of software that quizzes you with flashcards with efficiently spaced repetition. The more you verify that you knew a flash card correct, the more it will delay each rep until it is drilled permanently into your memory.

Week 5

For week 5 I had a goal of 40 Kanji per day. So I working on my Kanji study as hard as I could, I kinda over crammed I think, I started and peaked at 50 Kanji per day. After the week was over, I averaged around 30 Kanji. I had to slow down because I was busy and I noticed that my retention from the prior days wasn’t doing too well.

I have two separate decks for part 1 and part 2. This lets me get statistics for each part individually. Here are some numbers I kept from my Friday Morning’s review.

Part 2 deck, the 89 cards that needed to be reviewed. (it went up to middle of lesson 17)
performance: 70.8%, 63/89 cards, about 45 minutes in time.

Part 1 deck.
performance: 90%, 51/56 cards, 25 minutes in time.

It’s pretty obvious that my part 2 cards weren’t as well known. I probably went over them too fast. This made me wanna concentrate and slow down a bit, rather then try to reach my initial goal of 40 per day averaged. Comprehension is a bit more important to me.

Week 6 – Different Project, less language study.

Unfortunately I moved my focus away from language study this week. I started working on a new project that had an end of the month deadline. This deadline meant I only had a few days to pull the project together. Since I was so busy on my project, I only loaded up my SRS decks a few times this week. And I never got through all of my reviews. Just a couple. So before I can start learning again, I am probably going to have to especially re-review the last two lessons I just did to catch back up. We’ll see I guess.

As for this project that made me neglect my Language study, I’ll talk about it a bit more really soon. So stay tuned.

February 17th, 2009  | By: Daichi  | Categories: Learning  | Tags:

Wowzers, A month has gone by?

* Daichi double checks his calendar.

Well, a full four weeks or 28 days. I suppose A standard month is actually 2-3 more days.

On January 19th, I decided my lowly Japanese language skills were too poor and I took it upon myself to learn more. I think the number one thing I have learned from this experience so far, is that Spaced Repetition Software rules. These software programs should be more common, used in schools and for individuals to learn just about anything on a daily basis. SRS is flashcard software that schedules the best possible intervals at which to remember a certain fact. Apparently the most efficient time to try to recall something, is right before you are going to forget it. The harder you have to work to try to recall something, the better it will stick into your memory. I have mostly talked just about Anki as my SRS solution, mainly because it’s free and actively developed, but SuperMemo is the original SR Software. Check out the history of how SuperMemo came to fruition. Read more…

February 9th, 2009  | By: Daichi  | Categories: Learning  | Tags:

This is week three on my desire to enhance my prior lessor knowledge of Japanese. I have been trying to learn Japanese using the high tech methods, SRS and Sentence Mining. SRS or spaced repetition software is a super effective flash card tool. Using the “honor” system, you rate yourself on how well you understood a flashcard. The software will use the rating you gave it to optimize the frequency of how often you will see a card. If you mark a flashcard as easy, it will space that card out longer and longer before you need to see it again. This way you can focus on the cards that you are having trouble with. Sentence mining is a way to optimize your language input. You need a crazy amount of exposure to a language before you build the brain power to understand and output it with accuracy. So with sentence mining, you make flash cards based on sentences you have collected together. You rate how well you understood a sentence, and you let your subconscious do most of the work based on this optimized frequency.

This week will be a little different, mostly because I decided to change my focus of study. Between Monday (Day 15) and Sunday night (Day 21), I’ve been mostly focusing on my Kanji study. I have practically stopped reviewing my sentence mining and vocab cards.

Why? Read more…

February 6th, 2009  | By: Daichi  | Categories: Anime, Movies  | Tags: , ,

So I caught Sword of the Stranger in theaters this evening. The movie itself was great. A nice and simple storyline with some great action scenes. While the storyline does not feel like anything original when you look at the root of the story, I do not have anything to complain about. Even the dub is pretty darn good. Really, just sit back enjoy the action and obscene violence. While I wholeheartedly recommend the movie, I can not say the same about the Fathom Events venue. Read more…

February 4th, 2009  | By: Daichi  | Categories: Learning  | Tags:

Apparently I need to keep my articles short, else I lose the attention span of my audience. So short this be, in hopes you go check these other two articles out.

I’ve mentioned Khatzumoto’s site before. One of key parts of his approach to learning Japanese is to “drown” yourself in as much listening of the natural language as possible. This is probably a key reason why his website is called “All Japanese All the Time”. One of the problem with academics, is the focus on results, rather then understanding. It has not been till just recently, that people are starting to academically realize that exposure is a very effective method for learning a second language. Just remember, you don’t send your baby off to grammar school before they learn to speak.

And do check out the youtube video in the second article, it’s a very interesting way to have a language taught.

February 2nd, 2009  | By: Daichi  | Categories: Learning  | Tags:

I’ve been working on studying Japanese using some new technology called sentence mining, it’s a more natural way to expose yourself to a language, so you can learn more like a baby does. A baby doesn’t learn language by being taught grammar, rather they learn from simply being exposed to enough of the language that they figure it out from the patterns. To make sentence mining more efficient, I am using Space Repetition via Anki flashcard software, which spaces out your input of sentences as effectively as possible. For example, If you know something really well, you won’t need to see it as often. This allows you to focus on what is most important, the stuff you don’t know as well. It’s hard to document how well I’ve been working since I do not feel like I have been all too productive lately, but I am still working at things, at the very least, I’ve been working on my reviews. Read more…