Writing on software and game design, emerging technologies and some tech philosophy.

Essays and ramblings on creative app development and technology.

Using Unity MARS and Flutter to Author Cross-Platform Augmented Reality (AR) Experiences

This recent development involves enabling app users to sign in using NFC-equipped business cards. These cards feature batteryless NFC tags, which transfer data to a mobile device when placed in close proximity, with power supplied by the mobile device. Due to its innovative nature, there's a growing demand for documentation of this process.

Using NFC Tags with Flutter

When we released the first version of cosmOS last year, it was written in Go. Go is a wonderful programming language, but it’s been a while since I’ve seen an article on the front page of Hacker News about rewriting some important tool in Go and I see articles on there about rewriting things in Rust every single week.

Game Design Character Study: Femme Fatale

This article presents a comprehensive character study focusing on a game character, offering insights into their background, personality, and design influences. Additionally, it delves into the technical facets of their creation, particularly 3D rendering techniques. This multidisciplinary analysis caters to both gaming enthusiasts and industry professionals, providing a holistic understanding of character development in the gaming realm.

Narrativity in Mobile Computing with Augmented Reality

Contrasting with traditional literary narrative forms, computer games introduce a unique cybertextual narrative, where players actively shape and influence the story's progression through their choices and skills. This research seeks to uncover the underlying mechanisms and influences that define ludological narrative, particularly in the context of mobile computing and augmented reality. By examining the fusion of these technologies, we aim to assess whether they enhance the established narrative mode of computer games or potentially give rise to a new, distinct narrative medium.

AR : Fiction or Virtual

Augmented Reality (AR) provides a way to place realistic looking virtual objects into a realworld scene. While the object may merely exist upon the screen of a phone; there are features to AR which combine the worlds; fiction and reality; beyond the two dimensional surface of a smartphone.

Connecting a Flutter Web Form to Google Cloud Firestore

Step by step guide to create a Google Cloud Firestore driven contact form for a Flutter web app; including details about how to build the form, validate the input and set up security rules before finally saving the data to the Google Firestore database.

Google Flutter Clock Challenge

Testing the new Flutter cross platform framework in a Google funded coding challenge.

Interactive Narrative : Spatial Narrative

Continuing from the examination of the permeable boundary between electronic narrative platforms and reality, the current study shifts its attention towards the significance of the real world within the context of interactive networked narratives. Specifically, the investigation centers on spatialized narrative, which involves the convergence of spatial dimensions and narrative elements. The primary objective is to explore the potential synergy that arises from the integration of space, place, computing, and interactive narrative within this framework.

Interactive Narrative : Blurred Boundaries

In our article, we delve into the unique interactive experience offered by Bandersnatch, exploring how player decisions using the TV remote control become a pivotal aspect of the narrative. We uncover an intriguing twist in the story where the player can directly inform the main character about the true nature of their situation. This narrative shift extends beyond the confines of the inner story, blurring the lines between fiction and the player's reality as the main character seeks a sign from the unseen entity controlling their actions.

Interactive Narrative : CYOA

In my article, I take a trip down memory lane to the 1980s, a period when I, like countless others, was immersed in the world of Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) books and text-based adventure games on my trusty Commodore and Sinclair home computers. I fondly recall the hours spent glued to the TV screen, typing commands such as 'go west' or 'enter hole,' often feeling stuck in an endless loop of repetition. However, those rare moments of breakthrough, represented by a simple line of text, held an undeniable sense of excitement. I reflect on why these text-based adventures, whether on paper or screen, marked our initial introduction to the world of interactive storytelling, as eloquently detailed by Jen Doll in her 2012 Atlantic article.

HACK 20 – Flutter Hackathon

The second-annual international Flutter hackathon, organised by the global Flutter Community, took place over the weekend 27/28 June 2020.The 48 hour app jam invites teams of up to five members to build an app using Flutter – Google’s UI toolkit for building natively compiled applications for mobile, web and desktop from a single codebase.

Askeuomorphic UI — visual design for digital natives.

The aim of this article is to explore how elements of UI (user interface) design evolved from the analogue world of physical, three dimensional switches, dials and buttons. It also examines potential current and future roles for skeuomorphs (digital components which look like real-world objects) within the field of software and product design.

AISpy — a research driven app concept using TensorFlow Lite + Flutter

AISpy, an innovative app concept developed with Flutter, leverages TensorFlow Lite for on-device deep learning. This experimental app blends artificial intelligence and gamification, encouraging users to submit source images to enhance the machine learning object recognition dataset. The prototype employs a modest pre-trained data model, recognizing nearly a hundred object classes, from everyday items like computer mice and fridges to people and even toilets. To further enrich its capabilities, the app engages users in capturing photographs of objects it struggles to identify during interactive gameplay

ARCore Cloud Anchor Testing

Cloud anchors allow AR (Augmented Reality) apps to create virtual objects within a physical space and persist them across multiple user sessions. This means that different users should be able see and interact with the same virtual objects at the same time from an AR app.