Friday, 28 November 2014

Doing Technical Lead stuff - Solving the Facebook Group archiving problem

As we do 99% of our collaboration on a private Kingston Uni protected Facebook Group page, we were concerned that we would not be able to show how we were working together as a team.

As such we decided to follow the good examples set by the other teams and move over to a blog based communication system. Even though the Facebook Group page was easier as it updated quickly in real time, for tracking purposes it was not ideal.

The problem however was that even after we switched we still had 3 weeks worth of collaboration listed on the Facebook group page. We had to find a way to archive this data.

Luke selflessly volunteered to manually copy the data from the group page but this seemed like batch work to me and something we could script.

I spent a few minutes tonight looking at the Facebook developer page and looking into the Graph API. I used this API along with the online Explorer Facebook provides to write a query. This allowed me to pull down all the data from the group page. Video's and Images may have to be manually re-linked as they are currently linked to the group page.

The first thing I had to do was get an access token to gain access to my groups. Using the explorer made this easy:

The link to the Graph API explorer can be found here:

I messed around with the search queries using good old API references:

I then worked out the right query to pull the data I required.

At first I used: me?fields=id,name, groups

This gave me a list of my ID and name followed by all my groups along with group ID numbers.

I could then use the Astronautics Simulation ID (
"id": "584844028286125") to write the following query: 584844028286125/feed?until=now.

Which spat out all the raw data for archiving.

Not ideal as the data in a raw form:

  "data": [
      "id": "xxxxxx",
      "from": {
        "id": "xxxxxx",
        "name": "Deon Cresswell"
      "to": {
        "data": [
            "name": "Astronautics Simulation",
            "id": "xxxxx"
      "message": "Sketch is now updated and on Dropbox",
      "actions": [ [...]

but it beats spending an hour or so copy/pasting!

Other tasks I did tonight (will update in more detail tomorrow):

  • Replaced coordinate tracking system in the Tracking prototype with a Raycast, the engine does most of the brunt work now.
  • Started work on a texture replacement mechanic (although I'm still looking to see if this is the best solution)

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Post Presentation Notes

The presentation went ok, few notes:

Need to write up a scope document or project definition document. Now that our supervisor has approved of our design Matias volunteered to do this.

Replace my 'trigger look at' function with Raycasting. I read up how to do this in Unity and shouldn't be to difficult really. I'll try and push out a build with that today.

I also need to look at replacing textures on objects during runtime. I've done this before so again, it should be doable.

The team agreed to start using the team blog for discussions as up to this point we were using a facebook group and facebook chat. Using the blog might make it easier when it comes to marking.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Presentation Preparation

Presentation Prep:
Tonight we all met on facebook to help Matias who was compiling the presentation. In case he had any questions regarding our slides.

After that we had a quick Skype call (Deon, Luke, Matias and myself) to discuss who was covering which area of the presentation. We also followed up with other members about areas we were unsure about which they specialised in.

The final version of the presentation is now on dropbox and Deon, Luke and myself will meet up a bit earlier tomorrow before the lecture to make sure we are ready and not missing anything.

Other Tasks:
In other news, Matias e-mailed our project proposal a while back and our mentor came back to us. Thankfully he was happy with the design we settled on. Matias is organising another meeting with Dr.Claus so that we can show him what we have been up too. I hope he likes our work thus far!

I also set up a Github repository for the project. I can upload all my code here (it's empty for now apart from all my personal projects). This might be useful at a later stage.

As a side note I linked my Github to my Linkdin so people who view my profile can access all my source code as well. Saw a few companies who are now asking their applicants to have a github account. So I'm glad I got one set up. Staying relevant! :)

Finally, I started messing around with Visual Studio using my Unity scripts and I will be swapping Monodevelop for VS in the near future for development.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Meeting minutes from our Skype call today

Brief meeting summary from our skype call.

Spoke about:
  • Who was going to present (we decided on Luke, Deon, Rob)
  • AK was happy for me to present the programming part as he is very busy with work/assignments and had to play catch up.

  • Discussed different parts of the presentation (each area of expertise, UX, Games Design, Animation, Programming) and how they should fit together
  • Begoña and Melina are going to send me compiled slides/assets to cover in the presentation.

  • Covered the overview of the project and how it should be presented - discussed the presentations general overview and how we were doing this.

  • I will talk about the project overview / animation areas / development areas / conclusion
  • Luke (and Deon) will talk about the Project goals (what we are trying to accomplish) / Design / Gamification and Research

  • We'll make sure Matias has the slides for compilation by today/tonight
  • We can add in Melina’s stuff tomorrow along with the other compilation
  • (I'll have a conversation with Matias today at some point) 
 Sub-Tasks before Tuesday:
  1.     Deon will get his slides to Luke sometime today (23/11/2014)
  2.     Begoña will send me her slides at some point tonight (23/11/2014)
  3.     Melina will send me some assets tomorrow (24/11/2014)
In general everyone seemed quite keen to get things done and we all had some very valuable input. Many thanks to all for taking some time out of their week end!