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  #1  
Old 2015-03-04, 02:54
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marcosmapf marcosmapf is offline
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Advice for a rookie

Hey, so, I've started Computer Science college last week and, although I already have some experience with it, I was wondering if you guys could give me some advices... I mean, some of you know enough to create different engines for LBA, so you must know something useful to teach a rookie.

The teacher is going to be using Java for the first semester, so I would really appreciate if you could help with that

Anything tips, advices, personal experiences or whatever that you guys can teach me would be awesome

Thanks a bunch!
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  #2  
Old 2015-03-04, 03:03
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SpaceGuitarist SpaceGuitarist is offline
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Don't waste time, start learning french NOW. By the time they start production of LBA 3, you'll be a senior developer. ... ... :cry:
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sgk: Think of it this way: it's like a message in a bottle. In our world, we put a message inside a bottle to protect it while it travels through the oceans to reach some other island. In other worlds, they put a message inside an asteroid to protect it while it travels through space to reach some other planet. In this case it is a gift, a guitar, rather than just a message.
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  #3  
Old 2015-03-04, 12:32
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Neko Neko is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcosmapf View Post
Hey, so, I've started Computer Science college last week and, although I already have some experience with it, I was wondering if you guys could give me some advices... I mean, some of you know enough to create different engines for LBA, so you must know something useful to teach a rookie.

The teacher is going to be using Java for the first semester, so I would really appreciate if you could help with that

Anything tips, advices, personal experiences or whatever that you guys can teach me would be awesome

Thanks a bunch!
So.....you do not really have a question then?

My advice would be do not get stuck in one language. When something new comes along stay flexible
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  #4  
Old 2015-03-04, 13:16
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Darkflame Darkflame is offline
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To be a good coder theres nothing but experimenting and playing about I am afraid.

My advice is use something like Eclipse for big projects.

Learn how to divided your code up into classes as much as you can. Once you have classes cleanly separated you can use them without worrying about it.
Try to think what makes sense to separate and when. Generally its intuitive.

If your making a game, having a class for each enemy type makes sense. If you were making an email software, having a class that defines a email, which itself has classes for the header and body might make sense.
So, getting to grips with classes and constructors is #1 Id say.

After that other important things is to learn how to use your debugging tools.

Finally;

Have fun.

Processing is good for playing about and learning Java as its visual, has lots of sample code, and you can mess about with video feeds from your webcam and such;
https://processing.org

When your a bit better and want to work on on on-line stuff;
http://www.gwtproject.org/overview.html
(Code in a subset of java, converts to crossplatform Javascript for browsers)
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  #5  
Old 2015-03-04, 13:20
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Proxx Proxx is offline
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I finished my Master of Computer Science last year. Here some advices:
  • Concerning Java: Buy a book. Your teacher can give you tips which book fits best to his lectures. There is not THE way to learn a language, so it will be comportable to you to dive into the language just like the teacher will teach it in the lessons.
  • Again Java: don't stop at just reading the book (and doing the excercises). Start in doing some Java tutorials. There are a lot in the web, just google. You will find that tasks solved in the book are solved in the tutorials a different way. Open your mind for different implementations. You will learn a lot.
  • Again Java: Do your own project. Maybe one that is related to LBA? ;-) Just try out what is neccessary to do to create a small game. You will learn to use libraries, which you will definetly need when you start your job later.
  • A general point: you need to love math. If you don't love it, try to not hate it. About 70% of computer science students in germany abort the study because of math.
  • A last general point: get a job at your school or university. You can actively apply what you have learned and get in contact with scientists. I assume, that you will need to do a thesis at the end of the studies? If you are familiar with scientific work at this point, it's worth a lot.

I hope this helps. Good luck and welcome in the magic world of computer science!
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  #6  
Old 2015-03-04, 16:58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Proxx View Post
  • A general point: you need to love math. If you don't love it, try to not hate it. About 70% of computer science students in germany abort the study because of math.
Really? From my (limited) experience, there isn't a particularly large overlap between computer science and maths, other than logical reasoning being imperative (which is something that goes for all hard sciences). I can't think of many situations where computer science would require me to be whipping out Leibniz notation.
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#include "stdafx.h"
#include <iostream>
 
using namespace std;
 
int main()
{
  cout<<"Regards,\nDino-Fly\n";
 cin.get();
}
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  #7  
Old 2015-03-04, 17:10
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In the theoretical part of the studies math is the basis for almost all runtime computations. At least in Germany - I don't know about other countries - we made heavily use of mathematical proves about runtime in algorithms and their termination.
I remember Markov Chains that were used to prove a certain runtime of a random based algorithm. I don't remember in details, but for me this was heavy stuff. Just check out the P-NP-Problem: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P_versus_NP_problem this is theoretical computer science and it interlooped my brain.
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  #8  
Old 2015-03-04, 19:16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkflame
My advice is use something like Eclipse for big projects.
I personally do all my coding in Notepad, well except for VB 6 stuff... well actually even most of my VB 6 projects started in Notepad before they were taken to the IDE. I guess Notepad gives me more of a sense of freedom. An IDE tends to start annoyingly beeping and moaning about "Syntax error" when I, say, leave an unfinished function with an open parenthesis to be completed later to write another that I need to call there, while in Notepad I have complete freedom.

But then I guess I'm just a bit eccentric. I also prefer OpenWatcom C/C++ while the rest of the world is polarized between Microsoft Visual C++ and GCC, but I think that has to do with the fact the LBA games were developed in Watcom.

- Proxx: To learn Java, I just suggest creating a Minecraft Mod. You do something you enjoy, and learn Java from it too! That's how I learned most of my Java. (And for anyone that asks, no, I never released my Mod outside a closed group of friends, and I stopped developing it after 1.2.5 when Bukkit and Forge had the huge fallout which seriously affected the entire modding scene.)

I also recommend the official Oracle introduction to Java, that helped me a lot too.
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  #9  
Old 2015-03-04, 19:54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battler View Post
To learn Java, I just suggest creating a Minecraft Mod. You do something you enjoy, and learn Java from it too! That's how I learned most of my Java. (And for anyone that asks, no, I never released my Mod outside a closed group of friends, and I stopped developing it after 1.2.5 when Bukkit and Forge had the huge fallout which seriously affected the entire modding scene.)
This is an excellent idea. But I still would recommend to start with a book or basic tutorials before diving into this.
And then if you start with minecraft mods, you really learn to use libraries, tools and you will have a lot of fun.
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  #10  
Old 2015-03-04, 21:15
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Neko Neko is offline
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Read the daily wtf.
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  #11  
Old 2015-03-04, 21:35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battler View Post
I personally do all my coding in Notepad, well except for VB 6 stuff... well actually even most of my VB 6 projects started in Notepad before they were taken to the IDE. I guess Notepad gives me more of a sense of freedom. An IDE tends to start annoyingly beeping and moaning about "Syntax error" when I, say, leave an unfinished function with an open parenthesis to be completed later to write another that I need to call there, while in Notepad I have complete freedom.
Weird kinda freedom but guess, but would take about 10 times longer for anything even moderately big.
Also, eclipse doesn't blip or anything, just underlines or puts it in the problems list.

The most useful thing about an IDE though is navigation between multiple classes all in different files. Much quicker to hit a button on a function to go into its method then it is opening a file and scrolling down manually. Along the same lines pulling up all the references to something is very handy when it needs to be changed. Hell, just renaming something is vastly easier in a IDE because it autochanges all other references to that same object How do you live?

Autocompletition is useful for tedious or common things too.
Java is quite verbose compared to many languages, so I am frequently using cntrl+space to auto-complete things.

That said, eclipse does have issues. Updating plugins frequently goes wrong for me, to the extent I don't bother until enough has changed then I just fresh install.


Quote:
I also recommend the official Oracle introduction to Java, that helped me a lot too.
oh, its great - especially for the basics of OO. Lays it out very clearly with examples.

Less good for a reference mind, but that comes later.

Quote:
Really? From my (limited) experience, there isn't a particularly large overlap between computer science and maths
Not so much the logical flow side, but maths is a MUST for anything visually intensive.

Basic Position,Rotation and Scale operations will require a understanding of at very least trig, but ideally a bit more then that. Matrix maths is good for doing advanced transformations but - honestly - 9/10 your better just handing rotation,scale and position all separate. Matrixs can get very messy and confusing when things are put together.

Additionally; OMG SHADERS ARE AWESOME

If you get to playing with GLSL stuff and shaders on the graphic card then more maths = more cool visual shit you can do.

I only just started getting into shaders myself.
Made a lazer beam for a game I am working on, but some of the stuff other people have done...

http://glslsandbox.com/e#23135.0

http://glslsandbox.com/e#23070.0

more here;
http://glslsandbox.com/?page=1


Remember; You can use any of this instead of a texture.
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  #12  
Old 2015-03-04, 22:43
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Dino-Fly Dino-Fly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Proxx View Post
In the theoretical part of the studies math is the basis for almost all runtime computations. At least in Germany - I don't know about other countries - we made heavily use of mathematical proves about runtime in algorithms and their termination.
I remember Markov Chains that were used to prove a certain runtime of a random based algorithm. I don't remember in details, but for me this was heavy stuff. Just check out the P-NP-Problem: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P_versus_NP_problem this is theoretical computer science and it interlooped my brain.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkflame View Post
Not so much the logical flow side, but maths is a MUST for anything visually intensive.

Basic Position,Rotation and Scale operations will require a understanding of at very least trig, but ideally a bit more then that. Matrix maths is good for doing advanced transformations but - honestly - 9/10 your better just handing rotation,scale and position all separate. Matrixs can get very messy and confusing when things are put together.

Additionally; OMG SHADERS ARE AWESOME

If you get to playing with GLSL stuff and shaders on the graphic card then more maths = more cool visual shit you can do.
I stand corrected! There is indeed a fair amount of maths in CS. I realise now that the reason I couldn't think of any good uses for maths in CS was because it involves most of the types of maths I don't enjoy (as much). Except for trig. Trig is cool.

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#include "stdafx.h"
#include <iostream>
 
using namespace std;
 
int main()
{
  cout<<"Regards,\nDino-Fly\n";
 cin.get();
}
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  #13  
Old 2015-03-04, 23:20
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Awesome gif !

I met an ex programming student last weekend. Said he ended his studies because of all the math...
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  #14  
Old 2015-03-04, 23:36
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Pitty. I actually think programming is sort of a good way to learn maths. ish.

The problem with a lot of maths is its very abstract. Many people have a hard time linking it to real world uses. On the other hand code you often have a use for something but dont have the maths

And yes, that give is great.
The thing about Pythagoras is theres, like, hundreds of different ways to proofs it.
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  #15  
Old 2015-03-05, 00:20
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For completion's sake so we have (almost) all of the fundamentals of trig explained in gifs:

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#include "stdafx.h"
#include <iostream>
 
using namespace std;
 
int main()
{
  cout<<"Regards,\nDino-Fly\n";
 cin.get();
}
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  #16  
Old 2015-03-05, 00:23
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Mia Mia is offline
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My advice for starting to learn Java is to get into good habits early on - like Darkflame said, learn how to divide your code up into classes. Pick up on your early mistakes and make sure you know to avoid them, because when the code gets more complicated it can be a nightmare working out why errors are being thrown up!

Also, on a personal level, if there are girls in your class be nice to them, please. It's not always easy being female in a computer science class!
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  #17  
Old 2015-03-05, 02:42
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marcosmapf marcosmapf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpaceGuitarist View Post
Don't waste time, start learning french NOW. By the time they start production of LBA 3, you'll be a senior developer. ... ... :cry:
I'll probably be able to finish college twice before they start working on LBA 3, which is funny and sad at the same time


Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkflame View Post
To be a good coder theres nothing but experimenting and playing about I am afraid.

My advice is use something like Eclipse for big projects.

Learn how to divided your code up into classes as much as you can. Once you have classes cleanly separated you can use them without worrying about it.
Try to think what makes sense to separate and when. Generally its intuitive.

If your making a game, having a class for each enemy type makes sense. If you were making an email software, having a class that defines a email, which itself has classes for the header and body might make sense.
So, getting to grips with classes and constructors is #1 Id say.

After that other important things is to learn how to use your debugging tools.

Finally;

Have fun.

Processing is good for playing about and learning Java as its visual, has lots of sample code, and you can mess about with video feeds from your webcam and such;
https://processing.org

When your a bit better and want to work on on on-line stuff;
http://www.gwtproject.org/overview.html
(Code in a subset of java, converts to crossplatform Javascript for browsers)
My teacher has already introduced java through eclipse, so I should be good on that subject; thanks a lot for the tips, specially with classes; I'm sure it will be very handy!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Proxx View Post
I finished my Master of Computer Science last year. Here some advices:
  • Concerning Java: Buy a book. Your teacher can give you tips which book fits best to his lectures. There is not THE way to learn a language, so it will be comportable to you to dive into the language just like the teacher will teach it in the lessons.
  • Again Java: don't stop at just reading the book (and doing the excercises). Start in doing some Java tutorials. There are a lot in the web, just google. You will find that tasks solved in the book are solved in the tutorials a different way. Open your mind for different implementations. You will learn a lot.
  • Again Java: Do your own project. Maybe one that is related to LBA? ;-) Just try out what is neccessary to do to create a small game. You will learn to use libraries, which you will definetly need when you start your job later.
  • A general point: you need to love math. If you don't love it, try to not hate it. About 70% of computer science students in germany abort the study because of math.
  • A last general point: get a job at your school or university. You can actively apply what you have learned and get in contact with scientists. I assume, that you will need to do a thesis at the end of the studies? If you are familiar with scientific work at this point, it's worth a lot.

I hope this helps. Good luck and welcome in the magic world of computer science!
Thanks for the warm welcome My college seems to make a big deal about working with side projects. We are on the second week of the course and they already told us to start working with http://robocode.sourceforge.net/ and br.code.org. I've already checked a few tutorials before I started the course, but I'll be sure to check many more whenever I get the time to

Btw, I realy enjoy math

Quote:
Originally Posted by Battler View Post
I personally do all my coding in Notepad, well except for VB 6 stuff... well actually even most of my VB 6 projects started in Notepad before they were taken to the IDE. I guess Notepad gives me more of a sense of freedom. An IDE tends to start annoyingly beeping and moaning about "Syntax error" when I, say, leave an unfinished function with an open parenthesis to be completed later to write another that I need to call there, while in Notepad I have complete freedom.

But then I guess I'm just a bit eccentric. I also prefer OpenWatcom C/C++ while the rest of the world is polarized between Microsoft Visual C++ and GCC, but I think that has to do with the fact the LBA games were developed in Watcom.

- Proxx: To learn Java, I just suggest creating a Minecraft Mod. You do something you enjoy, and learn Java from it too! That's how I learned most of my Java. (And for anyone that asks, no, I never released my Mod outside a closed group of friends, and I stopped developing it after 1.2.5 when Bukkit and Forge had the huge fallout which seriously affected the entire modding scene.)

I also recommend the official Oracle introduction to Java, that helped me a lot too.
That's a very, very nice idea... I used to play Minecraft all the time (I must have over 1500+ hours played), so creating a mod for it is something that I might realy enjoying doing. I'll follow Proxx's idea and get a little more knowledge and experience with Java before I start working on it, but thanks a lot for the idea!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mia View Post
My advice for starting to learn Java is to get into good habits early on - like Darkflame said, learn how to divide your code up into classes. Pick up on your early mistakes and make sure you know to avoid them, because when the code gets more complicated it can be a nightmare working out why errors are being thrown up!

Also, on a personal level, if there are girls in your class be nice to them, please. It's not always easy being female in a computer science class!
There is, strange enough, many girls in my class.. 8 if I can remember... We started a conversations about that on the first week and even they couldn't believe that there were so many woman with us




It might sound a bit silly, but I just want to say this. All of you guys wasted your time giving advices to a rookie like me, and that means the world to me. I can't thank enough for the help... really Count with me if you ever need anything that I can help with

Is it weird if I say that I have seem all of those gifs when I was studying last year?
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  #18  
Old 2015-03-05, 08:01
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Neko Neko is offline
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Seriously: read this:
http://www.thedailywtf.com/

http://www.thedailywtf.com/articles/the-address-shuffle

Last edited by Neko; 2015-03-05 at 08:11.
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  #19  
Old 2015-03-05, 18:24
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SpaceGuitarist SpaceGuitarist is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mia View Post
Also, on a personal level, if there are girls in your class be nice to them, please. It's not always easy being female in a computer science class!
Ehm, why should anybody not treat anybody nicely? Until someone gives testimony of being an ass, I treat everyone nicely.
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  #20  
Old 2015-03-05, 21:25
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The hard part is treating someone nicely, even though (s)he is an ass
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  #21  
Old 2015-03-05, 21:52
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Neko Neko is offline
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Yeah you can do that or just don't bother with them.
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  #22  
Old 2015-03-05, 22:32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpaceGuitarist View Post
Ehm, why should anybody not treat anybody nicely?
I don't know, but I was in a computer science class of 9 guys and me when I was 16/17 and it wasn't the friendliest of environments! The first day I showed up they told me I must be in the wrong place and they were stunned when I actually got things right when they didn't and openly mocked me if I made errors, saying it was typical for a girl.

People should be nice to each other all the time though. If you don't get on with someone you should avoid them rather than being nasty.
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  #23  
Old 2015-03-06, 01:46
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Originally Posted by Mia View Post
I don't know, but I was in a computer science class of 9 guys and me when I was 16/17 and it wasn't the friendliest of environments! The first day I showed up they told me I must be in the wrong place and they were stunned when I actually got things right when they didn't and openly mocked me if I made errors, saying it was typical for a girl.
Well, they're just a bunch of losers.
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  #24  
Old 2015-03-06, 02:22
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Originally Posted by SpaceGuitarist View Post
Well, they're just a bunch of losers.
True. I only had to deal with them for a year anyway, I decided programming wasn't for me and switched out to Theatre Studies. I do sometimes wonder where things would have led if I'd stayed in Computer Science, though - there are some degree programmes in Scotland in Linguistics & Artificial Intelligence that I might have been eligible for which would have been fascinating.
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  #25  
Old 2015-03-06, 09:29
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Originally Posted by Dino-Fly View Post
For completion's sake so we have (almost) all of the fundamentals of trig explained in gifs:

Lol, I just took this picture to refresh my trig skills and implement curved walls in the last feature set...
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