logo_nusgdgIn this Mission Control, we learn how to build a game from the ground up in Python (which you already know!), with a focus on setting up the basic infrastructure of a game.  This workshop will be interactive, so please bring your laptops, and try to get PyGame installed and working in your laptops before the session (Setting up PyGame can be a bit of a pain, but it is a one-time thing).

Presenter: Oh Shunhao (NUS Games Development Group)
Venue: SoC SR3
Time: 18:00-20:00
Date: 22 Jul 2015

PyGame Setup instructions

Windows: Python 2.7 – download binary here [http://www.pygame.org/download.shtml]

Python 3.4 – download binary here [http://www.lfd.uci.edu/~gohlke/pythonlibs/#pygame]

Mac: Follow instructions here [http://pygame.org/wiki/macintosh]

(From what I hear, it seems to be easier to setup for python 2.7. Also recommend installing brew first)

Unix: Haven’t really tried. Try looking here [http://www.pygame.org/download.shtml]

To verify that PyGame is working correctly, run this script in python:


Same as below:

# If the test works, you should see a blue circle moving around the screen.
import pygame
screen = pygame.display.set_mode((480,360))
x = 0
y = 0
while True:
    x = (x + 10) % 480
    y = (y + 10) % 360    
    pygame.draw.circle(screen, (0, 127, 255), (x, y), 25)
Artwork courtesy Shindelrock.com

As we come to the end of the summer and the beginning of Sem 1, many of you may be feeling the pressure to complete Orbital.  Especially those of you participating in summer camps, O Week or other semester-start activities, please do plan your schedule with your partner well, as the last milestone is notorious for causing teams to drop who do not plan ahead.

Well, we’re here to help too.  To help keep the milestones well-spaced, we’re extending the deadline for Milestone 3 back one additional week.  For those who don’t need it, no worries — get it done as planned.  But for those who are feeling the heat of re-entry as we head towards Splashdown, you now have a bit more time before the goalpost.  So to summarise:

Evaluation Milestone 3 is now due on 3 Aug 23:59 SGT.
Peer feedback on Milestone 3 is now due on 10 Aug 23:59 SGT.

(The deadlines on the Orbital calendar on Google Calendar have already been updated, please take note)

Photo credits: Andy Mangold @ Flickr

Attention all teams!  It’s only about 1 month to Splashdown! Aside from getting your project all together, you’ll have to showcase it as well.  That got you nervous?

Well, don’t worry.  The famous Dr Damith of our own SoC will be giving his popular lecture on design, which can help you improve your Orbital project’s UI and the crucial Splashdown presentation.  Ace your poster presentation by attending his lecture in person during Mission Control #9 this week on Wednesday, right here in our own SoC SR3!

Presenter: Dr Damith Rajapakse
Venue: SoC SR3
Time: 18:00-20:00
Date: 15 Jul 2015

Having trouble navigating the payments landscape?  Or perhaps just interested to learn about payments for your next big thing? Well, this lecture will clear whatever doubts you have about payments in general.

It’s one you don’t want to miss.  Why?  1) It’ll be at a special venue at Paypal, thanks to our mentor alumnus Laurence!  Cool digs!  2) Orbital Alumus and tutor, Yos Riady, will be guest starring in this MC. 3) saving the very best for last — food (Pizza!) will be served.    See you there!

Presenter: PayPal Staff
Date: Wednesday, 8 July 2015
Venue: 5 Temasek Blvd, #07-01 Suntec Tower Five, S(038985)

Time: 18.00 – 20.00

Photo Credits: Philipp Pohle @ Flickr
Photo Credits: Philipp Pohle @ Flickr

Dear all:

Your second Orbital hurdle is here!  Please make sure to put up your project’ revised README and log into Skylab (see Slack later for details on what to put, no later than 29 Jun 11:59pm SGT, but preferably as soon as possible).

Thanks to the groups who have at least put in a preliminary or final project README and log into their EG group.  Note that you need to inform your EG adviser in advance of the deadline if for some reason you cannot make the deadline.  You must inform your advisers in advance, or lateness may count against your eligibility for getting credit for Orbital.

In the following week, you’ll also need to do the peer evaluations of your three peer teams in your evaluation group. These evaluations are due in Skylab no later than 6 Jul 11:59pm (exactly 1 week later).

HTML is great for declaring static documents, but falters when we try to use it for declaring dynamic views in web applications. AngularJS lets you extend the HTML vocabulary for your application. The resulting environment is expressive, readable, and quick to develop.

AngularJS extends HTML with new attributes, and is perfect for lightweight, Single Page Applications (SPAs). Finally, AngularJS is easy to learn. Join us for a 1 hour tutorial to learn the basics of AngularJS.  Join your Orbital senior, Anand Sundaram, as he goes through the very basics of AngularJS.

This workshop is part of the NUS SoC Orbital Summer Programme.

Presenter: Anand Sundaram, NUS
Date: Wednesday, 1 July 2015
Venue: Plug-In @ Blk 71

Time: 18.30 – 21.00


[Hope you had a great time with our Mission Control sessions so far!  Support your Orbital alumni and learn and network with them!]

During Liftoff did you want to attend the Droid tutorial, but didn’t get a chance to go?  Ever wanted to program a phone application on the most open and popular install base? Never fear, NUS Orbital’s Jun Wen is back, featuring his hands-on tutorial for Android Programming, coming right your way for free.

You’ll get a hands on introduction to the Android environment, and develop a useful app as part of the hands-on demonstration.

To get the most out of this tutorial you should have downloaded and installed Android Studio prior to the session. This workshop is part of the NUS SoC Orbital Summer Programme.

Presenter: Tsang Jun Wen, NUS
Date: Wednesday, 24 Jun 2015
Time: 18.00 – 21.00

Introducing Swift

Swift is a new general-purpose compiled programming language developed by Apple. Described as “Objective-C without the C”, it aims to do away with some of the legacy drawbacks of using C as a basis for a modern programming language.

We invite Orbitees and the general public to learn about this new programming language’s basic differences, through experimenting in the Swift 2 playgrounds. An introductory level of knowledge of various programming languages will be assumed. To fully benefit from the hands-on part of this workshop, you will need to have an Apple Developer account and have Xcode (beta) installed on your computer.

Note that this presentation will be a pre-recorded video due to the presenter’s overseas travel. Presented by Min, NUS Orbital Staff.

pyconPyCon Singapore, the premier conference on Python in Singapore, will be held at NUS next week (June 18 – 19).  We are fortunate to get two free tickets to raffle off to two lucky students.    Who are the lucky students?  It could be you. All you need to do is to send an email to Gaoxiang (Eric) Wang (email posted in Slack) with a short message about why you should be given the free ticket.  Deadline for entry submissions will be on the 15th (next Monday) More creative entries will prevail!

Each ticket is valued at S$240; with even the student tickets valued at S$80.  So why not do a little bit of work to try to get yourself a free ticket?

PyCon SG is a conference about the programming language Python. It is a community effort driven by the members of the Python User Group Singapore. Grab the chance to see how Python is used in real life by others and you may apply the skills you learn in your Orbital Project. 

There will be tutorials and EDU Summit happening on June 17th, while the actual conference talks will be on June 18th and 19th. For schedule details, please refer to https://pycon.sg/event/edu-summit and https://pycon.sg/schedule. For pricing details, pleaser refer to https://pycon.sg/event/pricing-information.
Ever wondered how Google is like? Is the food that awesome? Is the work-life balance really there? Are people nice there?

In this talk, our Engineer, Yuling, will talk about her experience since joining Google last year. In addition, she will share some interesting parts of Google that she found fascinating. For example, the process of doing code reviews, the usage of protocol buffers and the release cycles. Lastly, Yuling will share some advice, which would have been very useful for her if she had known 4 years ago.

Yuling was a computer science graduate from NUS in 2014, and is currently working as a software engineer in Maps iOS team in Google Tokyo.

You must have pre-registered to attend this talk.  If you did not pre-register, you might still be able to get to attend by emailing Google’s Claire Yue (address posted on Slack after the announcement).