The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.
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3:31pm on Tuesday, 24th February, 2015:
It's that time of year when second-year students decide what project they want to do in their third year. These final-year projects are big endeavours, worth three times as much as taught modules; students have to spend 15 hours a week on them. Most are selected from lists or projects proposed by members of staff, but the 25% of students who bothered to attend the lecture of the subject are aware that they can also propose their own project topic. All they need to do is get someone to agree to supervise it.
Today, I was asked if I would supervise the development of a game with the following rules:
1) There are 21 balls on the screen.
2) The player and the computer take it in turns to remove 1-4 balls each, with the player going first.
3) Whoever takes the last ball loses.
Hmm. So that means the player loses, because in its turn the computer takes 5 balls minus the number of balls the player took on their turn. This is not a sophisticated game. Much as I'd like to say "instead of 15 hours a week, it took me 15 minutes in total to write a program to play this", I can't honestly do so because it only took me 10 minutes (in Lua). It would have taken me less if I'd been able to get SciTE to work.
So, I won't be supervising that student. Fortunately, they're not on the games module so I don't have to worry that my game design lectures are even less effective than I think they are.
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