0xDECAFBAD: The Making of Euclidean Crisis

For those who have not heard of Euclidean Crisis…

Euclidean Crisis is a realtime strategy game for the TabletPC. Uniquely, it is designed to be played using solely the tablet stylus and voice command. Euclidean Crisis casts players strategic commanders of a battalion of spacefighters. The goal of the game is the ultimate destruction of the oppositions’ energy Cores. Euclidean Crisis consists of more than 50,000 lines of code and was completed in ten weeks. Euclidean Crisis demonstrates how quickly you can put together a cool game using C#. With the fancy new VS IDE, a lot of the code basically wrote itself.

Doug, Daniel, Travis and I wrote Euclidean Crisis for CS194, the senior project class for CS majors. The class was a toolshed of groups doing web 2.0 social networking modules with AJAX on rails on struts blah blah blah (there were a couple of other cool projects – shout out to Albert’s Bot MMO, in particular). We took in quite a haul with our game. Out of nine awards in the offing at the Faire, we won 1st place for five of them, netting us a brand new XBox 360 from Microsoft, along with other loot.

I’m currently working on packaging up Euclidean Crisis into a downloadable package – it should appear someplace on my website in the next week or two. Creating an install project for this code is difficult because it has a lot of dependencies: .Net 2.0, Managed DirectX, Microsoft Speech API, Tablet Ink API, and some other things.

Doug shouting at our game. “Shut up!” *Nooo. Yoo. Shutt. Dupp.*

For the Software Faire, we had head-to-head games running on an adjacent pair of super-large TabletPC-like devices. Webster, the company that makes the devices may not actually have any engineers. Given how flaky the input system is, it would not surprise me. Here’s a hint dudes – use different radio channels for different pens.

This n00b is about to get pwned.

h3nry, victoriouos~ haX0r The palnnet !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11~~~ AHCK Y0UUUUUuU

Henry beat both Doug and I in succession, on his first attempt ever to play our game. This basically makes him the best Euclidean Crisis player on the planet.

A screenshot of our game. Gold has surrounded his energy Core with a tesla barrier and is setting a group of fighters on patrol. Cyan’s pitiful attack is deflected. I’m working on teaching the computer player to hold back units until it has an sizeable attack force.

What dangers lurk in the nebula?

Euclidean Crisis Google count: 2

The hardest job you will ever love

I have heard it said that inside of every old man there is a bewildered young man wondering “What the hell happened?” I find being a college graduate distressing. Deep down, I never thought I would get this old and I feel completely unprepared for it. I take some amount of comfort knowing that with my masters in computer science, I will never have problems feeding myself.

The above image is from Dinner on the Quad. I did not attend any graduation events last year as I was not graduating or receiving a degree, so it seemed kind of pointless. However, I think it might have been fun to go to Dinner on the Quad with my class. In any case, dinner was lovely and the whole evening was very classy until a high school-esque dance party broke out. Lame. They should have gotten a live band.

The Saturday before graduation my family and I threw a graduation party in my apartment, to which a surprising number of people showed up. At one point I do not think we could have squeezed any more people in.

Roger and Jo’s Mommypuff were among the party-goers.

Last night before graduation, after the party.

Sleep is for the dead. I didn’t get to wear this fancy orange cape for going to bed at 9 PM. No, I would not say that.

John Henessey introducing the commencement speaker, Tom Brokaw. Brokaw’s speech was delivered well but written poorly. It was mainly concerned with how the Greatest Generation is better than I am. I say, that’s hogwash. Show me one member of the Greatest Generation that I can’t beat the crap out of. Seriously, though. The guy was calling the race before it even began.

The CS graduation ceremony was not planned well at all. While other departments had nice tents, shade, and food served during the hour between commencement and the departmental graduation, we had none of these things. I ended up sitting in the Fish Bowl with my parent for 45 minutes waiting for the ceremony to start. Then the introductory speaker gave a clumsy speech in which he continually repeated his main points: 0) have a strategic plan, 1) in the future, people will collect terabytes of data daily, 2) we will all live in virtual environments, 3) it is our responsibility to make these virtual environments inviting. Ick. What a horrible vision of cyber dystopia.

Held like water in your shaking hands.

Secular and Funky

I’ve had this post sitting in my blog program for a while. I’ve been busy.

Went with Jo, her Mommypuff and Roger to Strawberry, which is a music festival in Yosemite. Had an awesome time, even when it began hailing. It did forget my jacket which was a bummer. There were three musical highlights of the four day weekend. The first was Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband, which played The Devil Went Down to Georgia (one of my favorites) and the Rainbow Connection in the same set. Then there was the band, Brother, consisting mostly of bagpipes and digeridoos.