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Warcraft

If you have not heard of Warcraft then you probably are living in a cave on Mars for the last decade. This game…uh cult game created by Blizzard Entertainment was released on 2001 and has been a leader since in its genre. The game is based upon The Great War between the Orcs and Humans that took place a long long time ago. WarCraft one and two looked a lot like DOS based snake games but had a flavor of its own. Warcraft III – Reign of Chaos was something that put the franchise on a record smashing spree. It reached out to millions and won their favour in no time making it one of the best RPG games ever. The expansion Frozen Throne was also welcomed by all and  became a hit. The multiplayer version of Warcraft aka DOTA(Defense Of The Ancients) also created waves(actually more than waves) and is comparable to multiplayer games like Counter Strike, UT etc in terms of playerbase and acceptance. However in terms of online gaming Warcraft can beat others hands down. It has the largest MMORPG community till now and still growing. The expansion packs are awaited by many and have a tendency to become a hit instantly.

The game places you in the magical and mysterious world of Azeorath. It has single player campaigns for different races viz Humans, Orcs, Night Elfs etc and it add races in the later versions like Blood Elfs, Goblins etc. You get to play all of these and experience the idiosyncrasy, units, Heroic powers etc of each one of them. Once you finish the Single player campaign you will be well versed with the game craving for more. Thats where multiplayer steps in. Blizzard has created a virtual world on the Internet where thousands of gamers create their avatars and set out on adventures and quests. It is the first ever massive multiplayer game allowing all the players to co exist in Azeorath. Enough said !

Pros :

Great unit variations across races, good storyline, awesome gameplay and control.

Cons :

Could imporve the graphics a little more.

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Halo

Here comes the catalyst that triggered the next-gen FPS revolution in the gaming industry. Halo known to be one of the best FPS titles ever brought about the revolution in today’s gameplay for First Person Shooters. It proved how different aspects of a game like story and HUD could affect its ingame experience. The series is created by Bungie and published by Microsoft Studios. Four versions of the game Halo:Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3 and Halo:Reach have been released so far. Halo:Wars was also released which is a RTS based game. Halo4 is underdevelopment as of now. The game revolves around humans(of course) represented by the protagonist of the series Master Chief John-117, a cybernetically enhanced soldier, Covenants, descendents of the ForeRunners, and the filthiest of all Flood. Halo btw refers to large heavenly structures in the shapes of rings build by the ForeRunners to combat the Flood. We play to save humanity and stop Flood from spreading.

GamePlay:

Weapons are limited, classified on a broad basis. Its either an Automatic, Shotgun, Sniper rifle or Bazooka. We get to keep a sidearm useful at times thanks to its zoom functionality. Grenades are either our human frag grenades or Covenant Plasma(they stick !). You can pick up Needlers, Plasma rifles from the deceased covenents. We are allowed to operate gun turrents(unlimited ammo, oh yeah !). The best part is the variety in vehicles. You get to drive a Warthog as rashly as you like(zero damage :D), crush everyone in a Scorpio tank, drive the Covenent bikes or fly away with their banshees. All in all its great lot of options to interest you.

Pros:

Great story

Awesome graphics and gameplay

you want more ??

Cons:

No team/unit to control or work with.

cant of anything else, I love this game!!

This was our project for the subject Java we studied in the IIIrd year of Engineering. We(Me, Harshal and Shaunak) decided to extend out previous version of graph plotter. Our aim was to make the GUI more pro, the plotting more accurate and include the necessary facilities like better scaling, saving graphs for future use and multiple graphs for simultaneous comparisons.

GridBag(Card(GridBag))

We started with designing a Layout for out project. We considered and analyzed the available options and finally decided to make a combination of GridBag Layout and Card Layout. According to the design the Main Screen will be based upon a GridBag layout. This was done to avoid positioning/shifting/alignment problems of the controls that were going to appear on the screen. The function selector was supposed to be on the left sidebar, and always visible. The function selector was based on Card Layout, which in turn had a GridBag Layout to support the controls inside each card. We added the feature for parsing the input polynomial so that the user need not follow an order as in he can enter constants and degree polynomials without concerning himself about the terms being sorted according to their power. P.S. The design was heavily inspired by Limewire 4 !!

MathCore – AutoScale 2.0 and Special Curves

After the design we worked on how we can make our graph plotter more precise and with better scaling. To make it more precise we had to overcome the problem of plotting floating points on the computer screen. After much thought we decided to divide our canvas into units and each unit in turn into 10 parts. So if we want to plot say 5.2 on any axis then it would be at 5 units and 2 parts. This method was extensible to as many decimal points as possible but due to our limited hardware and processing capabilities we limited it to 2 points.  The increase in the precision enabled us to create smoother curves. We were able to include graphs for parabola, ellipse, hyperbola and special curves like Limacon, Cardiod and Rose curves, and what curves baby !!

This being done we decided to enhance our scaling algorithm. This time we used 3 scaling factors – 2,3 and 5. We designed and coded an algorithm to determine which value will give us the best scaling considering the computed values and canvas size, and then use that number to scale our values. It also worked smoothly and our Core computing task was done.

GUI

Our design/layout was done, but it was not enough. We decided to include a multigraph feature ie the ability to plot multiple graphs on tabs in the same screen, as we have in our web browsers nowadays. We implemented a TabCtrl class and created tabs on the fly to minimize memory leaks. Each tab had its own Canvas class and would save its graph as long as it’s object is alive. We added menus and keyboard shortcuts to complete the GUI. The last feature we added was for saving the graph as a .jpg/.png… file ready for printing or saving for future reference.

Packaging and The Splash !

Finally we packaged the whole stuff in a neat way and separated the Core Math part from the GUI classes. But something was missing, you guessed it right-The Splash screen…Harshal created a great looking splash screen the night before with the fractals and the killer font Evanescent. The final run sure made us go Eureka !!

Some screenshots:

splash , sine , rose curves , polynomial , parabola , log , limacon , hyperbola, exponential, ellipse, cardiod

Black Ops

Enough of doing things legally, sometimes you have to cross the line for the greater good.

The next version of Call of Duty has gone different that its usual self and delved deeper into the covert operations undertaken by the Pentagon and CIA after WWII during the cold war. The story starts in an interrogating room with Alex Mason trying to understand meaning of a series of numbers he is hearing in his head. The interrogators are making him remember about his missions in various parts of the world. You get to play Mason and Captain Hudson in the story. The missions are really exiting like  killing Fidel Castro to bringing down the Vietnamese during the US-Vietnam war. Then obviously we kill the Russians to obtain a chemical weapon developed by the Nazi called Nova 6. The final objective is to stop “sleeper agents”(same as the movie Salt, i see a connection :P) from releasing Nova 6 against the US.

The weapons are 1960s based and the game is brutal filled with blood and gore if you like it. You get to fly a helicopter, drive a boat and even escape a prison on a 1950 motercycle. The gameplay is awesome and the graphics are lifelike. The storyline once again is the heart and soul of the game. Final verdict : If they dont like like you, they will kill you. Beware its got zombies as well :D:D.

Modern Warfare is back !

The IInd version of modern warfare returns with a bang. This edition kept the spirits high as always for the followers and fans of the call of duty franchise. The engrossing feature of the series is still present that takes you inside the story and lets you live that era again with your in-game avatars.

You play as Ramirez(Rangers) and Roach(Task Force 141). Task Force is the unit that takes covert missions including extraction, assassination and other off the record missions led by General Shephard. The game revolves around a Russian militant Makarov whose actions instigate a war between the United States and Russia. As the game moves on it comes into light that General Shephard was also involved and was actually the main villain. We also get to play Captain McTavish who is the last survivor and who reveals the true character of General Shephard. All in all the game is great as was expected, the weapons arsenal is truly high-tech(loved the heartbeat scanner 😉 ) and it has this great storyline to boast upon. The climax of the game is apt, makes you savor the glory of hard earned victory !! A great job by Activision and Infinity Ward.

ASH Graph Plotter

INCEPTION :

This was our(Harshal, Shaunak and Aakash(me)) first project in college during the course BE in Computer Science at MS University of Baroda. We were supposed to create something for the subject Object Oriented Programming during the III semester. The project show have all the features we learned theoretically like Abstraction, Encapsulation, friend functions, Inheritance etc. All of us met and started thinking about the project. We were only introduced to Turbo C++ and were supposed to develop in that, sadly that was the only tool/compiler we knew. So graphically we were limited to the DOS display capabilities.

We first came up with an idea to create a simulation of the Solar System, displaying rotation speeds and astronomical figures for the planets in it. For some time that was all we could think about. Then one day I don’t remember who but introduced the idea of a graph plotter. It clicked and all of us agreed to create one. We were all really exited to start but had no clue about the leads. We had UML and stuff but we never paid attention to it(frankly we all bunked classes ;)). So we started off by creating a grid by drawing lines of the DOS screen.

THE POLYCAL:

We then went on to create the necessary functions to evaluate a polynomial mathematically for different values of its variables. It was named polycal(). It made us really happy when the function worked. Then we tried plotting our first no-references-defined-random graph. I just couldn’t get it right even after trying for hours, then at around 4PM I found the bug. Sala ek variable ko galat value diya tha(the variable value was not proper). Then finally our first graph was visible and the nature of the graph was accurate enough to meet our expectations.

AUTOSCALE and AUTODROP:

We then moved on towards the other functions namely Logarithmic, Exponential and Trigonometric. As we had already created the function to evaluate values of polynomial equations,  plotting Exponential and Log functions was easy. The reason being we took functions of the form ‘log(polynomial)’ and ‘e^(polynomial)’. The problem we faced was of plotting huge values that crossed the boundaries of our graph(screen). So we designed an Autoscale function which would take in array of values and scale them down to permissible values. Soon after that Log function raised its hand asking as to how would it calculate log for -ve numbers. We addressed it by designing another function which will take in both the arrays for x and y values(y being empty). It will calculate the polynomial and if the result is negative then it will drop that particular value from the x array. I dont remember the name of the function but lets call it “Autodrop” for now.

INTERFACE 2.0 :

Inspired by the CRO in our physics lab, I tried doing something more appealing graphically to our Graph plotter. So I designed a new look for our graph with proper boundaries, different colors and adding some animation to it. The new design looked great and all of us agreed to go with it. We displayed the scale and provided some navigation controls.

The only problem left was with the Trigonometric functions. The values our display could plot was integers and not floating point numbers. The trig values of sine and cosine being limited to [0,1] were not displayed appropriately on the graph. Then one night it just worked. Dividing by the number 6 was our answer, not 7 not 8 just 6. It is still a mystery to us.

All being said and done we added one more final touch of a splash screen inspired by the Footprints(college fest) posters designed by Nakul Purohit. On the last night we prepared the report got Prachi Jain’s 10 MP(big deals !!) at 10 in night, clicked the screenshots and had a good night’s sleep. The next day we submitted our project but the response was not as we expected(they missed our splash screen 😦 ).But never mind we were satisfied !

Some screenshots of the final product :

Splash screen , Main Menu , Function Selection , Polynomial ,Sine , Log , Exponential , Cotangent 

Goku !!

He is the most powerful fighter in the universe, the leader of the Earth’s Z-force and one who is respected by even the Eternal Dragon Chevron. He eats like pig, sleeps like a log and fights like a real hero. He is Goku, the main protagonist of the Dragon Ball Series.

He was born a Saiyan at the planet Vegeta and was sent to the planet Earth with the sole purpose of destroying it. But somehow he fell down heads first and forgot everything about his mission. An old man Gohan found him and brought him up. He grew up to be a strong lad(thanks to his saiyan origin) with a gentle heart ready to help any soul. In DragonBall he was just a kid whose dragon ball was stolen from him by those who wanted to use them for evil(Red Ribbon Army/Dr Gero, Garlic Jr). The DragonBall belonged to his then late Grandpa and Goku and held a special place in his life. On his adventure to get back the Dragon Ball he met many others like Bulma, Chi Chi , Krillin, Yamcha and others. He also participated in the world martial arts tournament defeating the likes of King Piccolo. Later his brother Raditz came to earth to check on him and Goku died trying to save his son, Gohan. The earthlings later learned that more Saiyans are coming after the mysterious Dragon Balls, this news make Kami interfere and he guided Goku to King Kai for training after convincing King Yama.

He trained and was just back in time to save the day defeating Vegeta. The next adventure was to use the original Dragon Balls on the planet Namek to bring back those who were killed during the fight with Vegeta. However another contender Frieza also joined the race for the Dragon balls. During their confrontations Frieza killed Krillin which triggered a transformation in Goku elevating him to Super Saiyan level. After the Frieza saga was over another danger by the name of Androids creations of Dr Gero hit them. That and then Dr Gero’s ultimate creation Cell. During Cell games Goku elevated to SS2. After Cell saga the last one in DBZ was Buu Saga in which Goku had risen above all to Super Saiyan 3 (awesome !!).  Thereafter the story continued in the DBGT series with 92 episodes, DBZ had 292 !! In DBGT there was only one main villian the Dragon. Overuse of Dragon Balls resulted in freeing of the Dragon and this time the Earth was almost destroyed. This series displayed the power of fusion between Goku and vegeta, enter Vegeto and Gogeta. The dragon was defeated and Goku left with Chevron for eternity. He is and will be the most powerful and kind fighter of the universe forever.

Evolution or revolution ??

Hatake Kakashi – The Copy Ninga

Hatake Kakashi is one of the main characters in the Naruto series and is a highly(probably the most) skilled jounin in the Hidden Leaf Village respected by all others(Guy Sensai too !!). His father was also holding similar reputation and was bestowed with the title White Fang of the Leaf ! During a mission his father sacrificed its success for protecting the other team members’ lives. This resulted in heavy criticism by the villagers and the reputation of the White Fang was defaced. His father left the village soon and not much is known about him since then. This incident transformed Kakashi’s attitude and he started to consider the mission more important than his comrades. This changed during a mission with his team headed by Minito(The Fourth Hokage) where one of his comrades from the Uchiha clan sacrificed himself to save him. The dying Obito Uchiha gifted Kakashi with the Sharingan. Since then Kakashi rose to new heights in skills and mastered(rather copied ;)) more that 1000 ninjutsu earning himself the title of The Copy Ninja.

He is a former ANBU team leader(one of the youngest). His basic element is Lightening and he is the sensai for team 7 consisting of Naruto Uzumaki(our Hero!), Sasuke Uchiha and Haruno Sakura. His most powerful technique is the Lightening Blade. He also succeeded elevating his eye techniques by attaining the Mangekyo Sharingan. He commands the Ninja Dogs using Summoning Techniques adding to his tracking abilities. He is best known for speed, coolness quotient and his yet to be disclosed face. He also loves reading the Make-Out series written by Jiraiya. He is by far the coolest character(close competitor to Itachi) and its thrilling to see him fight !

Many a times in a story we see many bad guys turn towards the good side. Same thing happened with Vegeta the lead villain in Dragon Ball Z series. He is one of the Saiyans who survived when the planet Vegeta exploded. Unknowingly he worked for Freeza who had destroyed planet Vegeta, but he had no idea about it. He came to Earth when by mistake Goku(the lead hero) revealed the secret of the Dragon Balls to his then dying brother Raditz(also on the bad side !). Seeing Goku who always remained one step ahead of him in terms of strength, he felt jealous and in continued to train on Earth. Eventually he befriended the members of Earth Z Force and married Bulma(:O). They have a son named Trunks and a daughter named Bulla.

Even after his transformation his heart was not totally pure as was seen in the episodes where Babidi uses the blackness in his heart to transform him and use him against Goku. But still he fought (with arrogance and without teamwork)against many other villains like the Androids, Cell, Buu. He was also seen in the next series Dragon Ball GT where he fought alongside Goku against Chevron. Both Goku and Vegeta rose to Super Saiyan Level 4, and the series also involved the first appearance of Vegeto!! Overall he may not be the strongest one(compared to Goku) but still his attitude and style will always top the list. After all he is The Saiyan Prince !!