Saturday, May 23, 2020

Source files for Vista Point artworks released

Curious how I made the two Vista Point artworks (V1, V2) on this site? Now you can find out, because today I'm releasing the source PowerPoint files for both artworks!

The two artworks are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Escape a Tower version 2.6.1 - I can read the text now!



Today's Escape a Tower update addresses a major accessibility issue: text contrast.

Naturally, it's hard to read something when the text color's close to the background color. As it turns out, there's a contrast test known as the Web Content Assessibility Guidelines (WCAG), and a lot of Escape a Tower's text didn't pass even the minimum tests.

I've therefore darkened the majority of Escape a Tower's test to pass WCAG AA for normal text. Have a look for yourself.

Old text (does not pass any contrast tests)

New text (Passes WCAG AA for normal text)

Although I can read the old text just fine, I was surprised to find out not everyone may feel the same. I hope the improved contrast enables more people to experience the game.

In addition, this update runs the source code through a formatter for better code readability and changes the link from the GitHub pages URL to tower.gamesbytim.com.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Homepage tweaks

I recently updated my homepage, which now features a photo of me and a short blurb about myself front and center.

Old / New

Why make this change?

A portfolio site reviewer (yes, I'm preparing for the job search) got confused about my goals based off the previous homepage. For instance, am I into game development, web development, data engineering, or perhaps something else?

To clear up the ambiguity, I replaced the top banner with a personal statement that better describes my ambitions. The new statement clarifies that I'm not all about dedicated games, but rather software as a whole with gamification where it helps.

The photo of me address two issues. For one, it adds a more personal flair to the site. It also fixes the image that appears when linking Games by Tim in sites like Facebook or Slack. Previously, it'd show the So Many Numbers app icon since that's the first image on the homepage. Now it'll show my photo, which is more appropriate.

In addition, I've made minor adjustments to font sizes and capitalization.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Data science: Analyzing the top 1000 marathon times

And now for something different: data science! Here you'll find a write-up that explores a dataset of top marathon times. Originally published September 26, 2019 on a different site, I'm porting the post here for prosperity's sake.



When we hear about marathons, we often focus on the top elite runners. For instance, the top three marathon runners (men/women) as of 2017 were:



While this info is great to have, it doesn’t tell a complete story about top marathon runners as a whole. For instance, how close are other elite runners’ times compared to the top three? What other countries, if any, hold promising elite marathon runners?

That’s where it’s useful to analyze not just 3, but the top 1,000 marathon runners (men and women). I will use the Top Running Times dataset from Kaggle to conduct the report.