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Author: Jacob Morris

I'm a software developer and recent graduate from the University of Hull. I'm fascinated by machine learning, artificial intelligence & procedural generation, and love sinking into exciting projects such as games, simulations & websites!

World Generation, Plant Life & NEAT brains!

World Generation One of the important parts of this project is having an interesting and detail-rich environment for the creatures to exist in. I want there to be a lot of information that can be drawn from the environment (temperature, biome, height) which can be fed into the creatures’ neural networks in order to allow them to have a proper understanding of the world they exist in. I want to be able to generate interesting worlds with separate landmasses, oceans & biomes (desert, forest, etc) which are customisable to the user. The different environments will hopefully drive speciation and result…

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Enter C++

After working on a prototype for a few weeks, I was able to create a fairly basic evolutionary simulator using neural networks. The prototype was a success; I was able to evolve creatures which had the ability to locate and eat food. The number of ideas I’ve had for this project is ever growing and given it was only a prototype in JavaScript, it was begging for a rewrite. Enter C++ and OpenGL. I chose to use these because it gives me greater control over the graphics pipeline, and allows me to write more efficient code (every developers dream… right?)…

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Creatures Get a New Look!

I’ve been working on my genetic simulation project for the past few weeks and have a few updates on the project I want to discuss: First up is the new look! I’ve spent some time generating creature bodies. For this I chose a point and did a 180 degree sweep plotting points at a various distance (using Perlin Noise) and then mirrored the resulting shape. This generates a fairly primitive body type, which while unique does look quite alike to the other creatures. This enables you to be able to see which direction each creature is facing more easily. In addition…

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Genetic Algorithms & Virtual Creatures

I’ve been reading a lot recently about neural networks and genetic algorithms, and I wanted to try a project based around these concepts… but what should I make? I searched for projects other people have done, and I found some cool projects which simulate evolution of little virtual creatures. I decided I wanted to create something similar because: a) there’s so many ideas to be implemented and different directions to be taken, and also b) who wouldn’t want to create a platform for evolution and watch the cool & crazy things that evolve in it!? The basis for this project is…

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We’re All Doomed

We’re All Doomed is a piece of coursework which I completed as part of a group for the module Advanced Graphics and Games Programming in my third year of university. The aim of the coursework was to demonstrate our understanding of component based game engines, which we did in C# using the C# OpenGL port; OpenTK. We were given a very basic game engine which we were to optimise, and further build on by adding in new systems (ie, collision, audio), and then build a maze based game with it – I’d estimate the work was 65% game engine, and…

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End of 2017

I haven’t posted since mid 2017 – things have been busy with university and whatnot. This semester I’ve been taught and done coursework about graphics shaders, component based game engines, game proposals for business and developing a game, alongside working on my final project. The game was created as part of a team for one of my modules, you should go read more about it here. The other big project I’m wrestling with is my final project, which is the low poly generation of terrains with biomes. I’m working in C++ and using the OpenGL library to handle the rendering.…

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Ripley’s Adventure

  Ripley’s Treasure is a game that I helped to develop in a group for coursework for my module Commercial Games Development Process. Our task for this project was to plan and create a game that is linked to the city of Hull, because we’re the UK City of Culture 2017. We decided that we wanted to make a game oriented more towards children, we settled on the 8-12 age range, and we decided it would be a point and click adventure around the city. This module is about the business behind development, and so a lot of work was…

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Postgrad studies and medical devices

I’ve been very busy with coursework and various projects, but I want to leave an update on what I’ve been doing. I received my results recently, and I’m excited to say I’ve finished the second year of university with a 1st! I’ve decided that I’d like to continue and do a postgraduate course, but at a different university. I’ve enjoyed my time so far at Hull (and hope to enjoy the next year), but I’d like to use this opportunity to travel and live somewhere new, hopefully abroad. I currently have my eyes set on Germany, Austria and the United…

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London, Sudoku, Pong and.. fluids?

As I mentioned in my last post, I have been shortlisted as a finalist for the Undergraduate of the Year in Computer Science, IT & Physics. I took a trip to London to visit their Assessment Centre based just next to the Thames. The day was pretty interesting, all starting from trying to navigate my way around the tube. I’ve used the Berlin U-Bahn during the day, but never anything like the tube on a Friday morning/evening during rush hour. When I arrived I got the opportunity to meet the people who I’m up against. Most were Computer Scientists, but…

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Undergraduate Finalist and General Update

Since the last time I posted, I decided to apply for the Undergraduate of the Year award for Computer Science, IT & Physics. The Undergraduate of the Year is run by Target Jobs, and the awards are being offered by various companies. For the one I applied to, the FDM Group were hosting. We were asked to write about our passion for technology, and I spoke about an idea that I dream of creating. This is the short essay I wrote:   Tell us about your passion for technology by identifying a technical innovation you dream of creating. My passion…

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