No pain, no gain!

posted Oct 21, 2013, 12:00 PM by Nicklas Nyström   [ updated Feb 3, 2014, 5:23 AM ]

Darth Sion from Knights of the Old Republic 2! Vickan thinks the lightsabre is somehow symbolic. I don't get it.

That'll do, pig

posted Oct 17, 2013, 9:17 AM by Nicklas Nyström   [ updated Oct 19, 2013, 2:08 AM ]

Here's a picture I drew of an old Link enjoying a well-earned (and DEADLY!!) smoke after finally killing Ganon. By the way, both of the younger Nyström brothers are hopefully going to be PhD students, so soon you'll have to call us Doctor Nyström 1 and 2.

Workshop in Helsinki

posted Apr 12, 2013, 2:32 AM by Nicklas Nyström   [ updated Apr 12, 2013, 3:06 AM ]

We are now back and fully recuperated after an eventful and interesting trip to Helsinki, where we attended the mediating presence workshop at EIT ICT labs. We presented our work so far, and watched some very interesting presentations and demonstrations. Here's a picture of us standing around, looking good as always.

By the way, go visit our master's thesis project blog: Also, we've added a master's thesis section to the site, and changed the site navigation a bit.

Working with the Kinect

posted Mar 6, 2013, 9:18 AM by Nicklas Nyström

As you may or may not know, we're working on our master's thesis at the moment (which is why we haven't been working much on our games). We'll be building a videoconferencing system that makes use of a shared virtual workspace. On this workspace, user's will be able to collaborate and manipulate 3D objects. If the workspace is projected on a desk or a wall or something, a Microsoft Kinect camera will be used to turn the surface into a touchscreen. Here's a video showing what we've done so far:


posted Feb 6, 2013, 7:55 AM by Jimmy Nyström   [ updated Feb 6, 2013, 8:02 AM ]

My immune system is not doing its job! I had pretty much just recovered from a really annoying cold when I contracted a nice batch of the flu, so I've been lying in bed (and in couch) with a high fever since friday. Also, my throat is super sore and I have a cool growly voice :) But the fever is on its way down now - I think - and I'm planning on being back on my feet by Wednesday at the latest! (Last Wednesday, that is. I started writing this post last Monday, but I didn't have the energy to finish it. My speedy recovery failed miserably; I'm barely back on my feet now...)

On to a more interesting topic than my health, let's talk about life! Artificial life, that is. My life simulator (working title Evolt) has evolved! First of all, I've changed the environmental conditions a bit: Plants grow at different heights and only the large ants (I refer to them as ants because it's such a nice, short word to write) can eat the tall plants (also it rhymes with plants). But as plants grow and are eaten, some grass or leaves fall to the ground where smaller ants can eat it. Large plants grow in clusters, making up forests. Underwater breathing works differently, making it harder for land living animals to move around in water. Also, I've added a kill bonus to promote cruel violence! >:)
By the way, here's how it looks:

The color and sprite of the ants reveal how well they breathe 
underwater and how well they digest meat vs. plants.

The ants themselves have undergone greater changes. Before, they just used their nose to evaluate the smells around them to decide where to go. It worked, but it didn't really allow for complex behavior to arise. But observing their behavior is the most interesting part of the simulation, so I decided to give them brains instead! Each ant is now controlled by a neural network 
that evolves as the ants do. It's really interesting, and I'll describe it in better detail when I make a section for this project. But in short, the ants can now develop more senses than just smell, they can see, feel and make complex decisions based on the combinations of inputs that are available in their world. Everything is randomly generated at the beginning of a simulation, so some ants may just have a sense of smell, some may have (myopic) black and white vision and some may have strange combinations of senses, like grass smell hunger hearing. :) And of course, since they live in a cruel world, only the brains that do a good job are allowed to live on and develop! 
I'm hoping that if I leave a simulation running for a while, the ants will become smart enough to replace the crappy white blood cells of my immune system before next flu season! :P

Elias cave!

posted Jan 24, 2013, 11:43 PM by Nicklas Nyström   [ updated Jan 25, 2013, 2:58 AM ]

I've added two new levels to the Run demo, making it four levels long. I guess that isn't very long at all, but fear not, more are on their way! Jimmy is working on an updated look for the farmer, which is good, because right now he looks like a burglar or something.

Pretty pretty graphics

posted Jan 9, 2013, 7:25 AM by Nicklas Nyström   [ updated Jan 9, 2013, 4:51 PM ]

Just wanted to say that the Skam demo has gotten a minor graphics overhaul, and is now twice as good-looking. I've also tinkered with a new level for Run, but It's not ready just yet. I'll go back to planning my master's thesis now...

Run Demo!

posted Jan 8, 2013, 12:56 PM by Nicklas Nyström   [ updated Jan 9, 2013, 7:31 AM ]

Gaaah, lot's of school stuff right now... I took a minute to finally deploy the Run demo, though. It's really short, but I''ll add more levels when I get the time. The whole game will eventually be playable online, and you'll be able to resume your game between play sessions using passwords, like in the great games of old. Anyway, go ahead and try the game!

Filurk Online report

posted Jan 7, 2013, 11:50 AM by Nicklas Nyström   [ updated Jan 7, 2013, 11:51 AM ]

We've now uploaded the report on an old project of ours, Filurk Online (which you can play here). If you're interested, you can download it at the bottom of the Filurk page. You're not interested in the slightest, you say? Huh. Strange. Check it out anyway.

Artifractal Life

posted Jan 5, 2013, 7:21 PM by Jimmy Nyström   [ updated Jan 8, 2013, 8:03 AM ]

Hello, dear reader(s?). Merry Christmas in arrears (vocabulary++)!

I haven't written anything in a while (did you miss my parentheses packed texts?), but that doesn't mean I've stopped creating super-interesting things all the time! It also does not mean that I haven't... Or does it? Okay, I'll stop rambling and get to the point:
Working on the Tangibles project, I had to learn WebGL, and it is the probably the greatest thing since sliced bread! It can be used to create all kinds of cool.. things. As a test, I made a little browser widget (or something) that renders different kinds of fractals. For some reason though, I'm having trouble getting it to work online, so you'll have to wait a little while for it... You aren't really missing much though, since I'm hardly the only one on the web with a browser based fractal renderer. 
I realize a lot of you might not know what WebGL is, and not fractals either, for that matter. Well, google it! Or wait until I get the thing to work, and I'll explain it :) Okay, okay, I understand. You wanna see a fractal NOW. Here's a screenshot of a Julia set fractal.

Julia set fractal (the coloration needs some work)

The other, more interesting thing I've been working on is a simple form of artificial life. It's a simulator of a small world where grass grows, wind blows, water flows and anything goes! A world inhabited by little critters who use their sense of smell to search for food. When they feel like it - and if certain requirements are met - they can reproduce (asexually, at the moment). Children are similar to their parents, but with slight differences caused by random mutations in the gene sequence that determines their senses, metabolism and other physical attributes. They evolve and adapt to their little environment in interesting ways. 
It's far from finished, though, but I'll create a page for it soon, full of screenshots and more detailed information! (All graphics in the simulator fits in a 24x32px image, so don't expect anything fancy!)

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