Browning’s Blogs #6 – My Journey so far

Well, here we are, the end of the term is approaching! This term has been one of my most challenging yet based on the obstacles that have come my way since the start of the new year. Amidst those obstacles, my primary desktop computer broke down on me at the very beginning of the term and it didn’t take me until a month later to get it back up and running. Luckily though, I had a laptop that I could work on so I wouldn’t get too far behind, it’s just the abrupt switch from high-end PC -> low-end laptop was headache-inducing at some times due to how long it would take things to load; I couldn’t multitask with multiple processes up at the same time either. Though in the end, I was able to manage to work on the laptop and be patient enough while waiting for the new part of my PC to arrive.

A Life Challenge/Simulation

In regard to the role that I have in this project, I will first highlight the areas of development that were available:

  • Front-end development:
    • Retrieve object and environment data from the backend and display it to the user
    • Create a UI / UX interface for the simulation
      • UI for stats page, pause/play simulation, save/load simulation, etc.
    • Create the displays for each of the objects:
      • Creature objects
      • Resource objects
      • Environment objects
      • Etc.
    • Animate the object data
    • etc…
  • Back-end development
    • Create the creature and genome objects that will inhabit the environment
    • Create a defined environment (topography, resources, day/night cycle, etc.)
    • Create API handlers to create a link to retrieve the backend data
    • etc…

Now, this is just a rough summary of the work that could be done, I just wanted to distinguish that we were developing both a front-end server with JavaScript’s react/electron, and a back-end server with Python’s flask module. I was primarily responsible for working on the back-end development. More specifically, I worked pretty much on everything except the creature/genome iterations. That means I was responsible for creating data of an environment class that the creatures move around in. Furthermore, I worked on the resource and topography classes, which will be a part of the environment itself.

Why did I choose this project, and has it met expectations thus far?

At the very start of the term when we were picking what projects we were interested in, this project (A Life Challenge) was my number one choice. The biggest reason I was interested in this project specifically is due to my recent interest in simulation-based programs/games. I personally think it is intriguing to see how things interact with one another based on different variables at play. Whether that be environmental factors, diseases, evolution abilities, etc., it is cool to watch and can also be useful in practical situations. For example, if we wanted to see which species trait was most dominant out of the bunch for a real-life scenario, a simulation can be created and adjusted such that the real-life conditions are coded as identically as possible. All-in-all, I enjoy the simulation aspect and the process of evaluating data at different points in time to determine what is or isn’t successful.

I believe this project has satisfied my expectations as it is one of the larger-scale projects that I have ever been a part of. Also, our overall progress has been relatively consistent to the degree that this project is very close to being finished, such that the simulation aspect of the program is almost complete and we can begin testing (almost).

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