xikka

A collection of the things I have made. Some of them useful, most of them not.


Fake Comments

Sunday, 3rd February 2019 ◆ Unwanted maps returned (4)

Not long after I added a commenting system to my site, I felt oddly proud to discover I was getting spam comments. I made the commenting system from scratch, so I thought I would be safe, expecting that bots would specifically target blogspot or wordpress comment boxes (or other recognisable forms).

So, what feature of my comment system have the bots latched onto to realise it's for comments? On this page, I've embedded four comment forms (in addition to the real one), along with a counter on each to track how many times it's been submitted to. With luck, the bots will discover this page, try to submit to it and then we will be able to see which comment forms are the most popular.

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Round in circles

Thursday, 15th November 2018 ◆ Something unexpected in grand omelette (6)

Note: this is a follow-on post from follow your dart.

In making games, I often want to randomly place objects inside a circle. I have always done this one of two ways, but I feel unsatisfied with both.

Method 1: Randomly pick a point surrounding square, and reject points which are not in the circle.

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Polis

Thursday, 8th November 2018 ◆ In Europe, girl eyes chef oddly (6)

Polis: Fight for the Hegemony is a two-player asymmetrical territory-control board game. I'm usually cautious of territory control games, but Polis avoids most of my reservations. Firstly, it's strictly two player which means there is no kingmaking to contend with. Secondly, the game is exactly four rounds long so you don't have to play for aeons after a loss becomes evident. Its asymmetry is exciting, and the theme is strong.

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Follow your dart

Thursday, 1st November 2018 ◆ A bard trod clumsily on cork circle (9)

Imagine throwing a dart at a dartboard such that it will hit any point on the dartboard uniformly randomly. What is the expected distance between the dart and the centre of the dartboard?

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Rolling in the deep

Sunday, 21st October 2018 ◆ Sandwich spells troll's end (4)

I don't like traditional four-sided dice. When you toss them, they just thud to the table without really rolling. Reading the number is also awkward. All in all, bad.

I have collected a couple of variant d4s which I find much more satisfying. On each, the number is clearly visible after rolling, and the dice actually roll on the table once you release them. I knocked together a couple of models in Blender to show the shapes I have:

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