All 15 entries tagged Coursework

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May 16, 2008


April 24: Today I completed my project report.
April 25: Today I helped write and record a short audiodrama.
April 26: Today I went round David’s with James W and played Worms.
April 27: Today Hennell told me how he accidentally got the internet to send someone thousands of dollars worth of flowers.
April 28: Today I learnt how to write games in Flash.
April 29: Today I mocked Tanya for playing Minesweeper for hours, and then even more when she displayed a total lack of understanding of the basic game mechanics.
April 30: Today I spent hours looking for one stupid little bug.
May 1: Today I watched Once Upon a Time in Mexico with Tanya and she loved it.
May 2: Today Jon and Ellie came round for a games night.
May 3: Today I started making a very simple Flash game.
May 4: Today our house was invaded by Christians.
May 5: Today I did not much of anything.
May 6: Today I juggled in the beautiful weather.
May 7: Today I was busy with revision lectures, discussing fourth year project ideas, a strange film and a console social. But none of it was memorable enough to mention here.
May 8: Today I went to the IGDA meeting in Leamington, where there was cheap alcohol.
May 9: Today I began making yet another physics-based game.
May 10: Today the game began to vaguely look like a game.
May 11: Today the WGD library conspired against us in every way imaginable, and Jen had her birthday party.
May 12: Today Leigh and I decided that we needed to just pick a project idea for our fourth year group project, and that as we were the ones doing the picking, we should do an awesome 3D physics engine with pluggable components.
May 13: Today we found some more people for our group, who unsurprisingly weren’t that keen on the idea of doing a hardcore physics engine.
May 14: Today the internet went down and it made everything sad.
May 15: Today I began revision.
May 16: Today I updated this for the first time in almost 5 months.

Vaguely inspired by a scene from Into the Wild, which I found to be an amazing and beautiful film.

December 21, 2007

Contrast, if you will

What I should have been doing:
  • Writing up my progress on my project
  • Doing more cool stuff on my project
  • Adding more cool stuff to the mindbender game
  • Thinking about the two business essays I have
  • Buying Christmas presents
What I have been doing:
  • Watching Heroes
  • Watching Scrubs
  • Watching Dexter
  • Playing Super Mario Galaxy
  • Playing Zelda: Phantom Hourglass

December 12, 2007

One month of good, bad and ugly

The Good: (all programming stuff, apparently)

  • Me and Sam made a buggy game called Clockspider for the 48 Hour Game Making Competition. And then Sam rewrote it to be way less buggy (zip file with exe).
  • I made another game that’s still a work-in-progress, but that I think has loads of potential. It’ll bend your mind! (Java applet). Mostly, it just needs more levels and more stuff to go in the levels.

The Bad:

  • I had to do a progress report for my third year project, which at that point was behind schedule and still seemed hopelessly ambitious. It took ages and was generally demotivating.
  • My student card (used to access the Computer Science building) and my bank card (used to access my money) were, for different reasons, cancelled. Both are now sorted out, however.
  • I still haven’t gotten my loan, although hopefully it’s now working its way slowly through the system towards me.
  • There was an essay that I found myself totally incapable of doing. That made me feel useless and pathetic, and I’m choosing not to think about the fact that since I didn’t do it, there are two others to do for the start of next term, instead of one.

The Ugly:

  • I got some poi for Christmas. Poi, as we all know, are girly and rubbish unless set on fire and spinning very quickly. The problem is that they’re also kinda fun.
  • I played Singstar at a Game Design social.
  • I’ve been asked to be a flowergirl at Jon and Ellie’s wedding.

October 05, 2007

Extreme Busyness

I am far too busy to write this entry, since I really should be in bed sleeping, so that tomorrow I can be up at/before 8:00 in the morning for the third day in a row.

But the world needs to know of my horrific struggles (and apparently I need to further avoid being productive and/or refuse to get sensible amounts of sleep):

  • By the weekend of the 13th, I need to have a complete Java game framework and an absolute beginner’s guide to programming (with games) written. If I don’t, then I let Warwick Game Design down and our first event is a terrible flop and it will all be my fault. P.S. join Warwick Game Design! We’re going to have an introduction to game making event and other cool stuff very soon, and it definitely won’t be a flop.
  • Within a week, the project specification for my horribly ambitious third year project needs to have been started, finished, and shown to my supervisor who is quite nice but I think already has a bad (but probably fair) impression of my work ethic.
  • I have an Assassins’ Guild website to make but the old webmaster let the site stop working completely and has now disappeared off the face of the earth. P.S. join the Assassins’ Guild—it’s great fun and I have so many stories from it. The idea is that you get assigned a target and are given their name, their course and where they live. Then you track them down and kill them with a water pistol or some more creative weaponry if you so choose. Of course, you have someone targeting you at the same time, so watch out for anyone looking suspicious.
  • I have a house full of people which means that I’m incapable of being remotely productive while I’m there.
  • I’ve bought a bike, which my leg muscles are already attempting to kill me for.
  • There’s no nearby supermarket and I have yet to even have the time to go shopping anyway.
  • I have been among the many caught out by the incompetence of the student loans company, by which I mean that I realised yesterday that I never applied for mine. I’m also very close to my overdraft limit, which temporarily reduced itself for no good reason at all.
  • I haven’t even had time to do any juggling other than at the juggling society meeting. And I’ve already lost one of my new juggling balls. P.S. join the Juggling Society! We can teach you many very cool tricks.
  • My laptop arrived, which you’d expect to be a good thing, but when I first booted into Windows, I got this screen. Of course, that wasn’t really so surprising. Ubuntu got hit by a particularly nasty bug, but thankfully someone else had found and posted a solution for me, so it didn’t require hours of work to fix.

May 11, 2007

Chapter 18, in which I talk about mundane topics

Since getting back, I’ve been kept fairly busy with coursework, but no longer. It’s all done, leaving nothing to do for the next month except watch TV, make games and juggle, with maybe some revision thrown in at the end if there’s time. Maybe.

And then at the end of that month, I’ll have 11 exams in 11 days, and the exams will take pity on me for being totally unprepared and make themselves easier for my sake. This is how it will happen; I’m sure of it.

I’ve been watching a lot of Heroes, and might be able to catch up to everyone else before the final episodes air next Monday. The last several episodes have ended in some of the most cruel (but awesome) cliffhangers.

I went to a juggling convention last weekend. Attended a unicycling workshop, meaning I am now even more skilled at falling off. Also attended a workshop on continuous backcrosses with clubs (where every club is thrown from behind your back). It basically turned into, “Continuous backcrosses are hard. It’ll take you months to even get close. Now here’s a large variety of tricks that are easier than continuous backcrosses.” And all of those tricks were also ridiculously hard from my current level of ability.

April 24, 2007

My schedule

1) Finish assignment
2) Sleep (optional; if time allows)
3) Hand in assignment
4) Sleep
5) Do laundry/washing up/food-buying/TV-watching/anything else that has been neglected for the past week
6) Begin procrastinating for the next assignment

Hmm, I don’t notice any time for “learning from my mistakes” there. Ah well, it can’t be that important then.

February 01, 2007

The adventures of Data Structure the data structure

I have spent the last 12 hours writing a pitiful amount for our group software project documentation. Very slowly. But I also wrote a cheerful and uplifting story about a data structure which James won’t let me put in an appendix.

Once upon a time there was a lonely data structure who had no friends. So he talked to the great programmer in the sky, who told him that if he really wanted, the data structure could be used in the algorithm the programmer was making. And the data structure was happy, because he would get to meet new and interesting data structures. Maybe he’d meet a charming young lady data structure, fall in love and get married.

Which just goes to show you that programmers are great and you should suck up to them more.

I have a 9:00 seminar tomorrow in which I’m meant to be enthusiastically Solving Problems. Nuts.

December 27, 2006


I have too many projects.

I started making a Tetris clone an Ancient Hobbit Puzzle game. (Sidenote: some people have too much time on their hands.)

I have plenty of work to do on Operation Meltdown.

The Beautifully Choreographed Battle Game isn’t complete.

I have various other LotH-themed games I want to make.

Perhaps more importantly than those games, I have two pieces of coursework due in at the start of next term.

Mark gave me some more Javascript stuff to do for St Pixels.

My Dad wants me to do some PHP stuff for him.

I have Babylon 5, Veronica Mars, Arrested Development and now Wonderfalls to watch.

I need to complete Twilight Princess before I go back to Warwick.


Grandparents were here for the past three days. We saw Treasure Island at the theatre earlier today, and yesterday we went to the ice rink, where some of us went ice-skating.

Ian has an iPod. He wanders around the house with it on all the time, ignoring people even more than before. We either need to get a remote control for it, or I’m going to get into the habit of hitting him over the head before saying anything to him.

Wandered around town last Friday for many hours with Pete and Mairead. Nowhere has any copies of Wii Play. We were unknowingly in the same Starbucks as one of Hennell’s sister’s friends for some time. We went bowling after finding a Hennell – I found that Wii Sports seems to help, but not enough to let me win. Then we went to Pizza Hut and then back into town where we met people from school. Pete and Hennell went to get a lift home and I went with them intending to get a bus, not thinking that it would make sense to tell Mairead. Hopefully she got back home alright, though.

Ian is fairly often getting up to watch the Cricket before I’ve gone to bed. It’s just wrong.

December 06, 2006

Yet more improvements again

Follow-up to My impressive game that's no fun to play from Draknek's Deprecated Devlog

New version.

It’s gotten to the point where my initial assumptions no longer apply, and I’m having to work around the original way I thought I was going to do things. Not good.

It took me far longer than I was expecting to get different shaped collision boxes working. Which is bad, because my plan was to implement that, and then start learning several weeks’ worth of material so I can do my coursework (due tomorrow).


Made sound work when running it as an application.

More stuff on level 3.

Better spinning graphic on pickups.

Some things have round collision boxes, others have square collision boxes.

As a consequence of this, you can now walk right up to doors.

Changed projectile movement so they can’t go through doors/corners.


The new collision code makes it easier to get stuck on things.

It’s sometimes possible to shoot through doors and I don’t know why – seems random.

Scientists and mechanics seem totally unfazed by a terrorist running around killing people.

Guards don’t seem to notice large explosions or bullets flying past them.

Guards can easily get trapped on a corner/behind some furniture.

Ammunition is worthless, because there’s no ammo counter.

Not enough explosions.

Blowing up all the regulators does nothing

To do:

Some kind of respawn feature for when you die.

Add some end-of-game code.

Make people move about even when on a different level to the player.

Limit the player to only having a finite amount of ammunition.

Add some path-finding for the AI.

November 29, 2006

Yet more improvements

Follow-up to My impressive game that's no fun to play from Draknek's Deprecated Devlog

We came first in the game making competition! By one point, but still. The results don’t seem to be anywhere online yet, though.

New version.


Regulators die properly.

More levels.

Stairs now move you to the right place on the corresponding set of stairs.

Added a pause feature (press P).

People drop items like ammunition, health or keycards.

Made it work as either an applet or a java application.

Made it capable of reading level files from inside a jar file.

Added spinning thing around pickups.


Scientists and mechanics seem totally unfazed by a terrorist running around killing people.

Guards don’t seem to notice large explosions or bullets flying past them.

Guards can easily get trapped on a corner/behind some furniture.

Ammunition is worthless, because there’s no ammo counter.

Need to add the death screen back in – at the moment it just pauses the game, so you can unpause with P (for one frame).

Not enough explosions.

Sound doesn’t work in non-applet context.

It’s now possible (just about) to blow up all the regulators, and it still does nothing.

There are some issues with drawing things on top of other things.


Why does NaNoWriMo have to happen in November? Too many things happen in November. October would be a far better month. I have coursework to do for Friday, so I really shouldn’t do what I did last year (start writing something a couple of hours before midnight). Unless I get that coursework done during the day, but how likely is that to happen?

New blog location

After a hiatus of several years, I’ve started blogging again at

My website

Looking for more information about Alan Hazelden? Follow me on Twitter or go to my website.

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