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Getting Visual Studio’s IntelliSense (auto-complete) to work for Unity

One of the most powerful features of Microsoft’s Visual Studio IDE is IntelliSense, which is basically a helper that shows you autocomplete suggestions as you write your code. It’s a tremendously helpful feature, especially if you’re using it to write code for Unity scripts.

Unity's IntelliSense
It’s the smartest thing in the world.
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PayPal Conversion
Original photo by Lukas from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/analytics-blur-business-close-up-590045/

Save money by being smart with PayPal conversion

In today’s digital era, where everything is becoming smarter and faster, and everyone is about doing things that make them look smart, PayPal is absolutely invaluable. It’s a payment platform that stores all of our payment information across different cards and banks, so we don’t have to remember and re-enter pesky things like credit card numbers everytime we purchase something. Just click on PayPal’s big yellow checkout button! It’s the smart thing to do, right?

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Troubleshooting PHP gettext

Troubleshooting PHP gettext

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been tinkering with PHP’s gettext to set up internationalisation for one of my web apps (i.e. getting it ready for translation into different languages). Even though there were many step-by-step guides and Stack Overflow topics on the web, all detailing a similar set of instructions, following them did not work things out for me.

After some frustration and a lot of time tinkering, it turns out that these guides were missing some pieces of information.

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Unity Rigidbody Interpolation Hero

Unity Rigidbody’s Interpolate property

If you looked at the properties available for configuration on a Unity Rigidbody and poured through the documentation for it, you’ll likely find that most of its properties are pretty easily to understand, with the exception of Interpolate and Collision Detection. We’ve explored what the Collision Detection properties do in another article on this blog, and we’re going to explore the Interpolate property in this article.

Unity Rigidbody's Interpolate
The Interpolate property has 3 possible values.
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Apoca Force WAIFUs

Showing Unity’s NavMesh in-game

As part of a school assignment in the past year, my team and I created Apoca Force, a tower defense game where WAIFUs (World Apocalypse Intercepting Frontline Units) are deployed onto a battlefield to combat an undead horde. In this game, WAIFUs serve as the eponymous towers of the genre, but with a twist — by spending some resource, they can be moved after they are deployed.

To denote the areas that WAIFUs can walk on, we created an interface that highlighted walkable areas on the map when players decide to move their WAIFUs. This is what we ended up with:

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Swords and Shields
Awesome starters artwork by Ry Spirit: https://instagram.com/ryspiritart/

Calculating EVs needed to raise a stat in Pokémon

As a result of working on upgrades for this Pokémon Effort Value Calculator, math has been a pretty big part of my life for the past few months, as I’ve been rearranging the games’ formulas for stat and damage calculation to make my own that fit my needs.

One such formula was the EVs needed one, which gives you the amount of EVs you need to invest to raise a stat by n points. Everyone knows that at Level 100, you get 1 stat point for every 4 EV points you invest; but what happens when you’re not at Level 100, or when you factor in stat modifiers like Nature, or item and ability boosts?

Don’t know what effort values are? Start with this article from Bulbapedia. Don’t play the mainline Pokémon games? Then you should start with these.

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Dust to Dust

Organising your Unity Inspector fields with a dropdown filter

Over the past 4 months, my team and I have been working on a rogue-like hack-and-slash game for our school’s final year project called Dust to Dust. We have very high ambitions for the game, and we had never worked on projects as large of a scale as this. Of course, by doing that, the challenges we encountered got bigger as well. We had to keep track of many parameters in developing a role-playing video game, and quickly realised that the time taken to find Inspector properties in the project was getting longer and longer. Furthermore, the project was on a 15-week timeline, so every minute was valuable.

Hence, we needed an effective solution that would ease navigation in the project, and — like before — it became clear that we had to once again extend the Unity Editor to suit our needs.

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reCAPTCHA Meerkats
Image by Mike Birdy, from https://stocksnap.io/photo/animals-mammals-VJ91Z8LULN

Verifying Google reCAPTCHA v2 checkbox on PHP

17 July 2020: Updated the class provided in this article to make it easier to use.

For those of you using Google reCAPTCHA to weed out spam on your websites, here’s a code snippet for verifying the reCAPTCHA v2 tickbox response on the server-side using PHP.

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RAM in Black
Image by Tim Sullivan, from https://stocksnap.io/photo/computer-ram-IN0CFPMXAQ

RAM, explained in English

RAM stands for Random-Access Memory, but that is something that you can find out just by doing a quick Google search. If you read the results of said Google search to understand what it is, you’ll start running into jargon that can be difficult to understand for a layperson. Here are some examples:

…a form of computer memory that can be read and changed in any order, typically used to store working data and machine code

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Random-access_memory

…temporary storage that goes away when the power turns off

Avast: https://www.avast.com/c-what-is-ram-memory

…is used to load and run applications, such as your spreadsheet program, respond to commands, such as any edits you made in the spreadsheet, or toggle between multiple programs, such as when you left the spreadsheet to check email

Crucial.com: https://www.crucial.com/articles/about-memory/support-what-does-computer-memory-do

These are not bad examples, per se, but if you don’t work with computers a lot, these explanations will seem very abstract. What does working data mean, for example; or why is RAM temporary storage (why not just make it permanent)?

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