Q-Learning Agents, Part 3

A Q-Table greatly simplified the challenge of helping a computer agent “learn” to solve an environment. Unfortunately, this particular approach doesn’t scale well to the kinds of applications I would like to create. To help overcome this next hurdle, we will raise the complexity a bit more as the Frozen Lake environment is approached again, this time by using a neural network.

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Q-Learning Agents, Part 2

Telling a computer to perform an action based on an input isn’t too hard. Teaching a computer to learn what action to take based on what it sees is a whole different challenge. Now imagine that the computer wont even know if the action is good or bad until some unknown point in the future – how hard would that be? Well, let’s find out as we take a look at a machine learning algorithm called Q-Learning.

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Q-Learning Agents, Part 1

Machine Learning provides us an interesting way to solve special kinds of problems. If you’re just playing around, you may see that creating a good problem to work with can be a lot of work on its own. OpenAI gym has recognized this challenge and provided a great solution. They have created a whole collection of different “environments” that are perfectly suited to machine learning. To help us get started, we will be looking at one of the easy challenges which we can solve using Q-Learning.

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SpriteKit – Anchors & Safe Area

I’m still on my SpriteKit journey and am ready to tackle a few more hurdles. Primarily, these include making some easy and reusable code to allow me to place one node relative to another. We will then expand on this solution to help us place one node relative to the screen’s edges. Finally, this solution will also show how to handle the “safe area” you’ll see on an iPhone X.

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Core Data ECS

As a native iOS developer I have found a wide range of amazing tools and libraries that are freely available. Some of this is designed toward a specific end goal, but much of it is very flexible and could even be used for a variety of purposes including game development. With this in mind, I decided to explore what an Entity Component System (ECS) might look like when backed by Core Data. So far I am enjoying the results, and welcome you to try it for yourself.

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SpriteKit Tile Maps Intro

A lot of sprite games include tiled backgrounds. Tile Maps are a special tool which allow the creation of these backgrounds without needing large arrays of nodes, which could otherwise potentially cripple your game’s performance. This post will provide a quick overview for tile maps and features including: tile animations, tile variations, 8-Way Adjacency Groups, Custom Adjacency Groups, and a Tile Definition’s User Data.

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Patreon

I’ve been asked repeatedly about Patreon and have been encouraged to move my blog to my own site so I could try and make money thru advertising etc. Thank you! It means a lot that you would show your gratitude by concern for me! So I’ve decided to give it a try, and I want some feed back from you on a few things.

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Accessibility For Blind Users

I have recently been tasked with the implementation of accessibility related to blindness on a few different iOS projects. There is a lot of documentation on this already, but finding it all in one place and getting a “quick” overview of the basic idea were a bit harder to find. Following are the notes I made for myself as well as some tips and gotchas that others might benefit from.

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