Friday, October 19, 2012


There is a saying... "When the student is ready, teacher appears" had organized a course on a topic called Gamification. Coursera is a non profit organization with an objective of educating the world with free courses. And Gamification was the first ever course being offered there.Gamification is a new term getting noticed by the world recently. A one line definition for this term will be "to apply video game concepts to the non game context".

The saying above applies to me perfectly. "When i was desperate to learn about Gamification, Coursera was there to offer the first ever Gamification course".

Why was I so eager to learn about Gamification from the outside world has a simple answer. I saw it coming. I saw gamification happening around me. It is a beautiful concept that when applied correctly can positively upgrade your product, service, customer relationships etc. that too in a fun way. Look at, and more recently the Mozilla Open Badge.

Gamification is very new concept. Though there have some traces of gamification earlier as well but this is the time when it is taking a firm hold in the Web industry, mobile industry and the world.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Solving Box2D build issues on Ubuntu 10.04

While building Box2D on a Ubuntu 10.04 system I faced many problems. After lot googling and trying different solutions I finally built it successfully. The solutions are scattered on the net. I have collected it in this blog at one place because i think i have faced all build problems :) .  

1. Download Box2D from here :
2. Read the Building.txt file that comes with the download carefully.
3. I faced problem while building the cod with premake. The error message was :
 The problem was that the vpaths are added in the premake 4.4 version only. Hence the problem. Read this: This solved 'vpaths' problem.

3. Another error you may face is :

==== Building HelloWorld (debug) ==== Creating obj/Debug/HelloWorld make[1]: *** No rule to make target `../../HelloWorld/Helloworld.cpp', needed by `obj/Debug/HelloWorld/Helloworld.o'. Stop. make: *** [HelloWorld] Error 2

This is a typo.Read this : This problem will also be solved.

4. Again after successful building of HelloWorld. You may face below problem :

==== Building HelloWorld (debug) ==== HelloWorld.cpp Linking HelloWorld ==== Building Testbed (debug) ==== Creating obj/Debug/Testbed Render.cpp Test.cpp Main.cpp TestEntries.cpp Linking Testbed /usr/bin/ld: cannot find -lGLUT collect2: ld returned 1 exit status make[1]: *** [bin/Debug/Testbed] Error 1 make: *** [Testbed] Error 2

Read this to solve the issue:

5. Cmake problem :

[ 29%] Built target Box2D
[ 59%] Built target Box2D_shared
[ 60%] Built target HelloWorld
[ 61%] Building C object freeglut/CMakeFiles/freeglut_static.dir/freeglut_callbacks.c.o
In file included from /home/gaurav/Documents/me/Box2D_v2.2.1/freeglut/freeglut_callbacks.c:29:
/home/user/Box2D_v2.2.1/freeglut/freeglut_internal.h:111:39: error: X11/extensions/XInput.h: No such file or directory
make[2]: *** [freeglut/CMakeFiles/freeglut_static.dir/freeglut_callbacks.c.o] Error 1
make[1]: *** [freeglut/CMakeFiles/freeglut_static.dir/all] Error 2
make: *** [all] Error 2

/usr/include/X11/extensions/XInput.h is present in Ubuntu 10.04 as /usr/include/X11/extensions/XI.h. So just go to Box2D_v2.2.1/freeglut/freeglut_internal.h. Inside check the the line where error occurred : include X11/extensions/XInput.h . Just rename it to include X11/extensions/XI.h.

Try to "make" again. And when you see the below lines :

Linking CXX executable Testbed
[100%] Built target Testbed

Congratulations. The Box2D build is complete successfully.

Friday, October 12, 2012

I'm Playing: Limbo

Two colors: Black and White and One Word: Monochromatic. That is all you can see on the screen when you start playing the "Limbo". Right from the first untill the 25 chilling, challenging chapters complete (if you could... :) ).

Limbo is an example that proves how a video game can be beautiful,innovative yet fun and entertaining. In addition to this, games like Limbo proves that video game making is an "Art". Said that I want to write especially about the art of Limbo in this post.

Imagine you are a video game designer and you have have been asked or you think to use only two colors : black and white in your game. What possibly you can do. I bet your imagination will not reach at the level Limbo is. The first thing that gets your attention in Limbo is the "Environment" of the game itself. The darkness in the environment of the game is its USP. There is nothing special about the mechanics of the gameplay if you ask. You control small boy with tiny white eyes blinking on his black boy. The boy moves forward and backward and can take small jumps and move objects. That's it. These are the only mechanics of the game. If i put the gameplay in one line then it will be like... move forward,move backward, jump,push and pull. It is the "other" game elements that makes this game unique.

Being a 2D side scrolling game, Limbo adds the game environment with puzzles, those are created using the elements present in the environment itself. The boxes, the saw blades,water,plants,trees, the light, the electricity each and every element talks to you tries to tell to something about the game.
 And as the game progress it is the environment the tells you the story of the game. No narration, no tips, no help guides, nothing.And when such thing happens it is nothing but a piece of "Art".

So did this game gave me a JawDropping experience ?? It surely did. And here it is...