Evolvinator

Hey all.

Yup…that’s all I got after having taken a pretty long haitus from writing stuff in this blog.  For a while I turned kinda health nut and lost a bunch of weight…and blogged about that stuff for a while, but that’s not what I really want to be spending my time thinking and blogging about.  I think what happened is I was finding ways to keep my brain interested in the process of eating better and exercising…because I hated it.  I’m still doing it…I still hate it…but it’s more a part of my everyday life now.  That’s how it’s gotta be if you really want to keep healthy and keep weight off…but like I said, it’s not something I’m terribly intersted in so I’m not going to actively blog about unless I have something I to say that’s burning it’s way through my fingers.

Ok, if you’re still with me…great.  This page is a landing spot for the project I kicked off with my younger kids.  The concept is that I’m going to use this as a way to show them how the coding process works.  Starting a project out in source control…designing the concept of the program and how objects should interact, coding up a framework to build from, reviewing code before it’s checked in, etc…  So far they seem to love it…unfortunately I’m a terrible teacher so they’ll have that to keep dealing with.

So the basic idea I pitched to the boys was that Evolvinator was going to be an app that has the concept of a cycle.  At the start of every cycle it creates a “Toffoid”.  The toffoid currently just exists and sits in memory…and every new cycle another is created and added to the collection.  I know…stupid…but a simple concept for an 8 and 10 year old to get their heads wrapped around.  I then said my intent is to alter the “toffoid” code so that they would start interacting…and then eventualy mutate on their own.  They were hooked.

One of them immediately started coming up with different varients of toffoids and started making artwork for them.  The other started getting really into the coding side of things and started writing his own programs to learn what my code was doing.  I’m so excited…they are showing interest in what I do for a living…well sorta.  Now I just have to figure out how to keep fostering that curiosity and not let it die.  If I can do that, they’ll have a much better jumping off point in the coding world than I did.  I always said I wish I would have gone to school for programming instead of being self taught.  There so much training in logic and patterns than a person gets while going through all the education in coding techniques that took me many years to figure out on my own.  It would be so awesome if I could give them an edge by teaching them what I know.

I’m using Microsoft accounts and Visual Studio Online for an IDE and source control.  I’m still trying to convert to the world of “git” myself so it’ll be good for me as well.

I’ll be posting code source and details about design as I go forward as well as any interesting conversations the boys and I have that I think is worth chatting about, but this is the kick off.  Enjoy!  🙂

Update 01-05-2017:

I’ve got the framework of the app down.  I have given it the concept of a cycle which is currently 10 seconds.  Every cycle it creates a “Toffoid” object.

A “Toffoid” currently consists of having a Guid for an Id and a value of 1-10 for LifePoints.  They are then added to a List<Toffoid> collection and that’s where they sit.

I made the Toffoid serializable and when the program exits it serializes created Toffoids out to a binary file…when the app starts it deserializes them back into the List<Toffoid> in memory.

That’s about all the further I’ve take it so far as I’m waiting for the kiddos to do some code review.  Idea’s we’ve talked about is having different classes derive from Toffoid to make things like a planet for other Toffoids to exist on, evolved Toffoids, non-evolving Toffoids to give the evolving ones something to stress about and give them the need to evolve.  Idea’s about land, flying, digging, and swimming variants of Toffoids have been talked about.

The term “Habaltar” has been given to Toffoids that can evolve into other things.  That’s it for now.  Possibly some artwork from the kiddos about what these things could look like if we decide to add graphics to the project.  🙂

Update 02-08-2017:

Now that the basic idea has been figured out…I decided that I really must have some way to display the stuff that’s floating around in memory…and then I decided I’m going to take that a step further and actually figure out how the Toffoids are going to exist…so Ploffoids came to be.  A ploffoid is a toffoid that other toffoid’s can live on…now how to show ploffoids.

I felt that it would be easiest to try to pick up Unity and see if I can make the graphics part work using that…to that end I went through the “Roll a Ball” tutorial and managed to create my first game with it…now I’m just trying to find a way to create a cuboid type globe…which will be my “ploffoids”.  I’ll post some more info once I figure that stuff out.  🙂

Here’s a couple of posts I’ve come across that talk about something similar to what I’m trying to do.

http://entitycrisis.blogspot.com/2011/02/uniform-points-on-sphere.html

http://answers.unity3d.com/questions/142630/sphere-made-of-cubes-algorithm.html

http://answers.unity3d.com/questions/257815/how-do-i-generate-cubes-to-form-a-sphere.html

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Evolvinator

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