General update

I’ve been making a bit of progress with my paper on algebraic information theory – and I’ve been continuing to also nurse an interest in building a sandbox RPG type game in Godot.

In regards to the paper, I’ve made a fair bit of progress. Most conceptual challenges have been solved. I’ve also moved towards some better project management practices with said research project, including using source control (finally), splitting my tex file into subfiles and actually having a sensible project structure (a nice-to-have on top of what I’ve done might be to create some form of Makefile to compile the project, although that is made a bit more complicated by the fact that I am using latex-mk and a few other non-standard latex compilation tools). What remains is:

  • polishing arguments
  • omnigraffling diagrams
  • tidying up references with bibdesk

With respect to the Godot project, I’ve recently backed a Kickstarter for a multiplayer car game course in Godot that hopefully should be available by Christmas – and certainly, by the end of July I should have access to the current prototype game associated to said course. I’ve also started backing this fellow on Patreon with respect to helping encourage them to continue developing in game level editing tutorials for the Godot engine. I’ve already managed to get my hands on some working github code by the aforementioned fellow, though, so I’ve got a reasonable / decent starting point.

With that knowledge to hand I should be able to start making more appreciable progress at least in prototyping a minimal viable product in Godot to proceed on the basis of.

In regards to same, at the risk of repeating myself, I’ve settled on the following functionality that I’d like to implement for a ‘phase 1 release’:

  • A network scene
  • A play scene (play mode) inheriting from network scene
  • An editor scene (edit mode/overlay) inheriting from the play scene
  • A start game as screen with ‘as server’ and ‘as client /w server ip’
  • Edit overlay is default for client and server
  • Edit can place walls and edit position of a character
  • Can (client or server) use WASD to move character around
  • Wall edits & character moves are synchronised b/w server and client

Certain parts of the above I can borrow from this repository – in particular the edit overlay, the editing within the runtime of the game, WASD controls etc. With respect to the networking functionality, I’m hoping to extract that from the prototype provided for the multiplayer car game course.

Other things I’ve been fooling around with:

  • I’ve looked at FireStore (the rebrand of DataStore) running in (legacy) DataStore mode on google app engine through this quickstart , mainly motivated by the fact that my current personal website is essentially just a collection of static files, and I’d like to implement something a bit more modern. I disabled billing on my test app after running it for a couple of days as the charge was $3.50 USD / day. My opinion is that this is worth exploring a bit further, but only if I can find some way to ship the app that doesn’t use the app engine flexible environment, which was essentially where all my cost was coming from. Another thing I’d like to look into would be to run a FireStore app in native mode. The attractive thing about FireStore is that the pricing (provided one isn’t using another google service like Flex in conjunction with it) is quite friendly – the free tier in particular is useful for experimentation.
  • I’m also currently investigating setting up my own MediaWiki server. Interesting so far.
  • I’ve been nursing an ambition to create a chat bot app and expose it somewhere on the web; learning a bit about applied machine learning and how to build apps using such techniques seems like a potentially useful thing to learn about doing, particularly if I want to move into the area at some point in the future. Still random thoughts / vapour at the moment though.
  • I managed to get a Siremis / Kamailio VOIP/SIP server prototype sort of up and running and chatted between my computer and my mobile phone – and got video sort of working, too. The connection was very unstable though. I’m toying with the idea of tearing down the VM I’m currently using, and building from scratch a new VOIP server using mumble (https://github.com/mumble-voip/mumble), and using plumble (https://github.com/acomminos/Plumble) for testing on my android phone.

Finally, I’ve started a Patreon page of my own here, mainly as an experiment, in order to see if this platform is a viable way to help position myself towards working on things of a more open-ended / research-y nature for a living, rather than merely as a hobby.

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