Pokemon Go: An Introductory Guide

by Andrew Seetoo

Screenshot_20160730-181756Pokemon Go is an augmented reality game based on the Pokemon universe. The game requires players to physically visit real world locations and search out Pokemon. As part of JY Pathways, this guide was developed to present an introduction on how to play the game and get the most from your experience of exploring both the real and virtual world. Have fun!

Getting Started

Screenshot_20160730-181914Your first steps upon logging in and starting the game are to create an avatar for yourself. There are options to change clothing, backpacks, and accessories. After creating your avatar, you are given the option to catch one of the three original starter Pokemon. Catching is fairly simple, you throw your Poke Ball by swiping up and releasing. The three original starters will appear in random locations around your location. If you ignore these Pokemon and move far enough that they disappear, Pikachu will appear as a possible starter Pokemon for you as well.

PokeStops

PokeStops are the cube shaped markers that appear throughout the world. Upon moving within range of a PokeStop, the cube transforms into a silhouette of a Poke Ball. Tapping this marker reveals info about the PokeStop and enables you to spin the central image in order to receive experience, Poke Balls, potions, and other useful items. PokeStops reset every five minutes, allowing you to obtain more items from it.

Gyms

In addition to PokeStops, Gyms are an additional marker that appears throughout the world. These locations are unlocked at level 5 and allow you to fight for control of the gym with your Pokemon. Gyms are held by one of the three teams: Mystic, Valor, and Instinct. Other players leave Pokemon in gyms to defend it and must be defeated. Gyms have prestige levels that must be reduced to zero in order for control to shift. Players can increase a friendly gym’s prestige by training at the gym or decrease a rival gym’s prestige by battling. For gym battles, every Pokemon has two attacks. One is a regular attack that is activated by tapping your screen. The other is a charge attack that is activated by holding down your finger on the screen after your Pokemon’s power bar has filled. During a gym battle, it is also possible to dodge opponent attacks by swiping to the left or right.

Improving capture chance

Screenshot_20160730-182001There are several ways to increase your chances of successfully capturing a Pokemon. The easiest method is to use a higher quality Poke Ball. You start off your game with regular Poke Balls, and as you progress through the game, you will unlock higher tier Poke Balls that will increase your chances of capturing a Pokemon.

Berries are an item that will increase your capture chances. They can be obtained from visiting PokeStops. Prior to attempting to capture with a Poke Ball, a berry can be given to a wild Pokemon to increase capture chance. The effect of the berry lasts until the Pokemon escapes the Poke Ball, after which another berry must be given in order for the effect to be reinstated.

A white circle appears around a wild Pokemon when attempting to capture it. There is also an additional colored circle that appears as well and changes size. With green being the highest and red the lowest, the color of the circle indicates your current chance of capturing the Pokemon. The size of the colored circle also affects capture rate as well. When the circle is largest, your capture chance is at its lowest. When the circle is at its smallest, your capture chance is at its highest. Simply put, throw your Poke Ball when the inner colored circle is smallest.

Paid Items

Screenshot_20160730-181944Pokemon Go is a free game with microtransactions. Players can buy varying amounts of Pokecoins, the in-game premium currency, with real world currency. Pokecoins can then be exchanged for items such as additional Poke Balls, Incense to increase Pokemon spawn rates, and extra Pokemon storage room. However, it is possible to obtain Pokecoins for free. At the top right of the shop interface is a shield icon. For every gym a player currently holds, 10 free Pokecoins can be redeemed up to a max of 100 per day. This can be done once every 24 hours and provides a viable method to obtaining premium items for all players.

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Sharing the Aspirations of Enoch Hang

by Enoch Hang

Some of the aspirations that I have in computer science include pursuing a career in mobile app development and cyber securities. Some of the reasons for why I am pursuing these careers are because of a small passion of mine to help with the medical field in the efficiency and accuracy of mobile apps. I have heard many stories of people losing their lives or suffering more pain than necessary because of the inefficiency of an emergency room of a hospital or because of the processes that are too time consuming in the way they are conducted. These experiences that others have had, has not only given me a motivation to be part of picture of helping those in dire need but also the undying passion to do so. One of my aspirations in this specific situation includes an implementation of cyber securities.

Cyber securities was not always a passion of mine, not because I did not like it before, but because I was not exposed to it yet. While playing games in my junior high years, I had experience with people who were taking advantage of the faults in a game, manipulating the game to be their own playing ground. What interested me were how these people were achieving it. I began to research how people were able to bypass game securities to create a more enjoyable game. I learned that the implementation of reverse engineering of these security systems and games were needed for the hacking of a game to go through. I pursued learning the basics of a few programming languages, these including Python, Java, and C++. Now, as a second-year college student, I am pursuing a degree in Computer Science and am also taking my first programming class. With this accomplishment, I plan to pursue further ideas of creating safe cyber securities in the implementation of my mobile apps and ideas in the future.

Although I am glad that I am in a more privileged position than many people in the world, I wish that I had been exposed to the programming world earlier than I had been. It has been a few years since I was exposed to the idea of cyber securities, and now I have learned the basics of a few programming languages. My knowledge in computer science is still limited, and I wish to break that chain. As my knowledge of computer science has expanded through the few years between now and when I was exposed, I have become more interested in computer science and the capabilities of the field of study. These other aspects of computer science include the new virtual reality ideas, interactive robots, artificial intelligence and more. Though my interests continue to peak in computer science, I plan to stick to the two computer science specifics, mobile app development and cyber securities.

廣告代理商經驗談

作者:Hank LinHank_Lin

廣告公司,對於很多人來說是一個光鮮亮麗,帶有光環的產業。舉凡電視書報,或網路瀏覽,幾乎所有我們在生活上接觸的內容,都不乏與廣告公司的產出有關。如同你在連續劇裡看到的一樣:廣告公司一般都有舒適和優雅的裝潢,大部分的從業人員都很有想法,而且充滿熱情和抱負。往往可以為了一句話,或者是一個設計的概念花上大半天的時間討論,只為了呈現出滿意的作品,替客戶帶來更好的商業效益。然而,這個產業是完全責任制的。意思是在執行專案的工作時間相對較長,同時從業人員在生活和工作的平衡上會比較難以兼顧。

對於職場的新鮮人而言,廣告代理商的工作除了是一個很充實的體驗,也會是日後在謀職上一個大大加分的資歷。很多企業喜歡雇用廣告公司背景的員工,最主要的原因在於:廣告公司的磨練,會讓人具備較高的抗壓性,以及宏觀的思考方式。這些經驗和特質,其實是在各種大大小小時間和成效壓力下的專案淬鍊出來;出身於這個產業的員工相對圓融,組織和領導能力會比較強,熟知如何和人做有效率的溝通和用團隊的方式完成工作。

city-marketing-lights-night

從另外一個層面來看,行銷的環節越來越多元,並走向專業分工及高互動性,除了以往主導市場的傳統4A的國際大廣告公司之外,有更多的數位廣告公司逐漸嶄露頭角。今天的這篇文章,最主要是要寫給將來想要往數位廣告發展的職場新鮮人,能對這個產業的型態,還有公司內部的分工結構有初步的了解。

數位廣告公司做些甚麼?

數位廣告公司的業務涵蓋範圍相當廣,從早期的網站活動行銷,到走紅的社群行銷,以及手機及其他移動裝置的行銷活動,甚至網站上的微電影,部落格行銷以及電子商務,都是數位廣告公司可能涵蓋的業務範圍。

數位廣告公司的特色不僅止於規劃以及操作網路行銷活動,他們的核心價值是在藉由評估線上線下使用者的活動數據,進而提供客戶一套縝密的數位行銷策略;同時也根據每次活動的成效分析,建議廣告主如何用一種最經濟的方式達到甚至超過預期的效益。數位廣告公司的從業人員,比一般人有更多時間和興趣瀏覽形形色色不同的網站和應用程式,所以他們對於網路媒體有更敏銳的觸覺,知道什麼樣的網路媒體組合更適合不同的專案。

說了那麼多,大家應該可以體會數位廣告公司的業務範圍有多麼複雜,接下來要講的就是數位廣告公司的各項執掌,還有如何分工。

簡單來說,規模比較大的數位廣告公司大致會分成幾個部門:業務部門(Account Management/ Business Development)、專案經理 (Project Management & Strategy)、程式部門 (Programming)、使用者經驗設計(User Experience/User Interface Design)、創意部門 (Creative Department: Visual Design, Animation, and Copywriting)、媒體採購部門 (Media Buying),以及數據分析(Data Analysis)。

  • 業務部門 (Account Management or Business Development)

業務部門是負責對客戶的窗口,最主要的執掌是開拓新的客源,還有維繫和客戶之間的互動關係。從重要的層面來看,業務部門也負責與客戶議價和簽訂合約。有些公司會將業務部門和企劃及策略部門合併,是因為數位行銷活動的步伐很快,往往需要業務窗口和專案窗口有密切的合作,所以公司就將兩個職位合併,讓專案經理除了管理專案之外,也成為全職對客戶的窗口。

  • 專案經理 (Project Management & Strategy)

每個業務接進來的工作是一個獨特的專案,自然要有一個人從頭到尾的照顧他。從策略和創意概念的發想,到細部的執行,以及和各個部門的協調,都是專案經理的工作。專案經理就是一個火車頭,釐清了方向之後就開始領導整個專案,在期限內朝著既定的目標前進。此外,網路公司的專案經理和軟體公司的專案經理有不同的定義。在軟體產業,往往會要求專案經理有PMP (Project Management Professionals) Certification,或者是熟悉敏捷軟體開發 (SCRUM Framework)。在數位廣告公司,相對不會有這麼嚴格的限制。

  • 程式部門 (Programming)

如果說專案經理是負責一個數位廣告活動的血肉,程式人員則是打造一個網路活動的骨幹。在專案經理規劃專案的初期,程式部門往往需要一同開會討論所有專案的可執行性,畢竟有的時候創意的概念太天馬行空,會造成程式執行上的不可行性:同時,增加多餘的時間除去程式上的錯誤 (debug),都是造成一個專案不能正確和有效率執行的原因。

  • 使用者經驗設計 (User Experience/User Interface Design)

在一個專案的骨幹大致確定之後,使用者經驗的團隊就會開始設計網站,或者是應用程式(App) 的介面。好的使用者介面設計團隊,能考慮到用一個最精簡的方式,讓網站的瀏覽者,或者是App的使用者可以迅速的找到他們所需要的資訊;同時,也能減少找不到資訊而增加的使用者跳出率 (Bounce Rate)。

  • 創意部門 (Creative Department: Visual Design, Animation, and Copywriting)

視覺設計主導的是整個網站或者應用程式的美術及創意表現。在專案經理在和客戶確認整個專案的過程中,除了協助提案之外,也決定了最後整個專案的風格呈現。同時,在網站的建置上,視覺設計團隊的成員,有時也會負責Flash 動畫的設計和腳本規劃。這個團隊和程式部門以及使用者經驗的團隊有著很密切的互動。

文案雖然在專案的執行中扮演著一個不可或缺的角色。試想一個網站或者是應用程式,最直接和使用者接觸的就是文字。一個成功的文案往往具有極佳的組織思考能力,了解如何用最簡練的文字引導使用者瀏覽;同時,一個網路影片或者一段網路動畫,文案也必須要負責腳本的規劃和提案。

  • 媒體採購 (Media Buying)

一個好的專案,或者是一個特別的應用程式,如果沒有了網路媒體的露出,自然就不會有充分的瀏覽率或者是下載率。每個專案根據不同的受眾,會有各種不同適合的媒體投放組合。媒體採購在一個專案中的核心價值是要和各個入口網站,或者是專欄寫手相互配合,根據客戶的行銷計畫提供媒體策略和排期的規劃,在整個專案的執行中,往往媒體購買的預算是占最大部分,也是決定成敗的一環。

  • 數據分析 (Data Analysis)

不論在專案的執行前期後期,數據分析都是影響專案成功與否的關鍵。就活動網站的執行中來說,數據分析部門要能夠適時的匯報活動的成效。多少的媒體導入的使用者,從首頁到分頁有多少的轉換率 (Conversion Rate),有多少被導入的瀏覽者成功的加入一個活動網站的會員等。這些數值都會是決定一個專案成功的關鍵,還有執行期初和中期調整的方向。就線上購物的網站或者是應用程式而言,平均消費價值 (AOV: Average Order Value) 也是一個勘驗整個介面成功與否的指標。這些數據,都是分析部門所掌管的,他們對數字相當敏感,同時也會是Excel或者是統計學的佼佼者。

On the Field of Engineering and Baja SAE

by Andrew Seetoo

In the engineering job market, experience is everything. Even a good portion of entry-level jobs require one to already have experience – before they have even graduated. Where can one get this experience while they are still in school? One place is through Baja SAE.

BajaSae

Baja SAE is an intercollegiate design competition run by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Throughout this competition, teams from throughout the United States and other nations compete in the design, marketing strategy, and dynamic prowess of their vehicles. Baja SAE simulates the design, planning, and marketing challenges of introducing a new product to market. Students need to function as a team to design, build, test, promote, and race their vehicles.

Prior to joining Baja SAE, I was taking courses just to fulfill requirements. I would be listening to lectures and wondering what practical use this theory had. Then I joined Baja SAE. All of a sudden, I now had something to apply my engineering theory to. In order to design and build this vehicle, I would have to use the theory I learned in the classroom. Designing parts for the vehicle also meant I had to reference material from previous classes, which effectively allowed me to review material that would have been otherwise forgotten from lack of use.

I learned and developed many skills throughout my time in Baja SAE. I started with very little knowledge about cars and almost no knowledge of hand tools. In fact, one of my first tasks while on the team was to pick up and sort nuts and bolts. While this appears to be an unskilled task, there was knowledge to be gained from it. I learned how to identify the strengths of bolts in addition to the various thread sizes and the standards that govern them. As one of the machinists on the team, I experienced firsthand the complexities between designing a part and actually making it.

Competition is where it all comes together. After a year of hard work, the vehicle is now complete and it is time to see how it stacks up compared to other teams. While the presentation and initial dynamic events are fairly uneventful, the endurance race is where things heat up. With about a hundred teams on the track and four hours to complete as many laps as possible, anything can happen. Vehicles flip and crash. Parts become heavily damaged and break. A broken part, however, doesn’t mean the end of the race. Teams are allowed to fix their vehicles and send them back out onto the track. As every second counts, this is a huge test of the team’s ability to adapt to and solve a problem on the fly.

All in all, Baja SAE has been a great experience for me. The wealth of real-world experience I have gained is invaluable.

BajaSae2

Pathfinder Spotlight

by Krista Pak 

Growing up, I never took part in any extracurricular activities. Rather, I was consumed in piles of homework without the side fun of music, arts, or the company of other companions. Then, high school hit me. I actually needed extracurricular activities (100 hours!) just to graduate. Since I was an aspiring writer, I decided to go on Volunteer Match and look for a writing position. And there it was: an opening for a newspaper editor at NCMACC, the Northern California Music and Art Culture Center, located in San Francisco.

I expected it to be a full-time job, but it turned out that it was more of a freelance position, needing only few hours to complete the entire editing process. In need of completing my required hours, I volunteered to do all sorts of activities. Vacuuming and scrubbing dirty carpets were regular activities on Tuesday mornings, and these started as soon as I walked through the door. From filing papers into binders, cutting business cards with small scissors, running to the store to pick up stain removers, and seeing the stress my coworkers had when having to find replacements for absent music teachers, I truly understood the tedious beauty of a nonprofit organization. I also realized that I never want to be a janitor; carrying a vacuum up two flights of stairs was equivalent to several sets of pushups. These tasks were integral to the successful day-to-day operation of the organization.

The office work and cleaning jobs were completed daily, and after two weeks, I had completed all my hours. However, I stuck around and thought it’d be fun to help them out. There were only three full time workers, and the little tasks I did seemed to help. Through staying, I soon embarked on the incredible journey of teaching. I was already used to tutoring classmates in school, but this time, I had to teach art. Art. I can’t even draw a decent looking tree.

Nonetheless, I took on the challenge and I was teaching in NCMACC’s 2014 Summer Music Camp. Being in an “internish” position, I had to do everything that was not being done by someone else. However, my main job was to be the arts/crafts teacher. In place of the typical work, during music camp, I came in and taught for an hour first thing, and spent the rest of the day researching the next day’s project.

Jiyon, one of the main staff, ordered fun art supplies, such as googley eyes, sequins, glitter, and more. This camp lasted for two weeks, resulting in a total of 10 art projects, one per week day. We made paper pianos, music note masquerade masks, and even decorated fuzzy balls that represented each student. After art, they would practice with their music teachers, which I would photograph and record for their website.

Seeing students excited to create unique art was very enlightening, and it was extremely rewarding to watch them rush to show their families what they created after the day was over. It was a tiring but fun time, and it provided me with the beauty of teaching and volunteering.