Archive for April, 2020

Innocuous Pong

Sunday, April 26th, 2020

Last year, I participated in a weekend game jam with some friends to make Pigsy Banksy, a simple little platformer where you play a flying piggy bank. This year, I decided to try the solo version and made a game on my own in 48 hours. Details are on the Ludum Dare page. You can download it for Windows or Mac and even play it on the web.

The theme was “Keep it Alive” and I was doodling some ideas around something like paddle ball. Dyson looked at it and said, “How about Pong?”. So I considered that for a bit and thought it might be kinda cool to make a simple one-player version of Pong that steadily got more and more complex.

It’s a very simple concept but I’m pretty happy with what I did for the ultimate level when the player gets a score of 15. The other thing I’m pretty happy about is that I managed to come up with all the sound in the last couple hours.

If you can, try out the game and see if you can get to a score of 15. Otherwise, feel free to check out the full game demo video below:

Two Weeks Later

Sunday, April 12th, 2020

A couple weeks ago, I tried to make some predictions on how things might go depending on whether we continued isolating or not. How did it go? Well, for the most part, the U.S. has adhered to isolating and it really showed when looking at the graph of growth rate (the dots almost completely overlap the “No Action” prediction):

The two weeks went almost exactly how I imagined, which was:

Gn = (Gn-1 – 1)/(Gn-2 – 1) * (Gn-1 – 1) + 1

Or in other words, a function that geometrically decayed towards 1. That’s great news as it means that if we continue holding out, we’re over the inflection point. Similarly, the total number of cases was pretty close as well:

Unfortunately, my prediction for “lethality” didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped:

In hindsight, this makes sense. Even if we were perfectly isolated, it would have taken a few days for that to reflect in the numbers for people who already had it. We can see that better in the graph for total number of deaths:

The graph is starting to taper, but it took a few more days for it to taper than I had initially hoped. Still, it’s been getting better. So I think we’ve avoided the worst of it. The bigger question is how long can we hold out? What will the world look like when this is over?