Advent of Code 2020 in Review

> December 25th, 2020

Happy Holidays! Here I am at the end of another year, having just finished Advent of Code 2020! If you are new to it, it’s an Advent calendar full of programming puzzles from December 1st all the way to Christmas, made by the amazing Eric Wastl every year since 2015.

I’ve been participating since 2018 - here’s my comments on last year’s edition -, and this time I actually tried my best to get some sweet leaderboard points! You can check my Python 3 solutions on my GitHub, and you can also keep reading for more info and my comments on the event.

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Reverse engineering Lunia, my childhood MMORPG

> September 18th, 2020

Lunia was an MMORPG by South Korean producer allm, originally launched in early 2006 and published in Brazil by Level Up! Games in late 2008. Its main premise was being an MMORPG with heavy elements of an arcade beat ‘em up, being one of the first to combine both genres.

I started playing Lunia sometime in 2009, and it was what taught me fast typing, introduced me to online forums and communities, and gracefully presented me the world of MMOs in general. The game was the biggest time-sink of young me until late 2012, when the Brazilian servers shut down. Sadly, the global servers followed suit just a year after. It’s fair to say it was far from being the largest MMO at the time, but to 9-year-old me, it was golden.

Recently, I stumbled upon some screenshots buried deep in my file archives. After a couple days of reminiscing old times in some unofficial servers that are still around - and realizing the game aged surprisingly well (although it might be just my nostalgia talking) - I decided to use the skills that I acquired since then to snoop around the game files, maybe learning some cool stuff along the way. As it turns out, that was quite successful and exceedingly fun, so here’s a quite lengthy rundown of my journey.

I probably spent over 150 hours in the last month to get up to this point, and it is still very much a work in progress. Many of the game files are still hidden or unexplored, and there’s a bunch that I still plan to do with the extracted assets. With that, I may update this post (or write follow-ups) in the near future if I do so.

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Games for Programmers (and Learners)

> May 5th, 2020

Games taught me all sorts of things: time management, fast typing, interpersonal skills, dealing with money and economy in general, and even how to read and write. Since I found out how exciting coding was, I turned my attention to the ones that can actually teach programming - and are still fun. Turns out solving puzzles using a made-up programming language inside a video game is as satisfying as solving a real coding challenge in a real environment, and best of all: the skills are transferable!

Compiled here is a list of my favorite programming games alongside a mini-review, in no specific order, for those who code - or would like to learn.

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2020 Goals

> January 11th, 2020

New Year’s resolutions aren’t usually my thing, but the stars aligned this time: this blog coincidentally came to life in a somewhat appropriate time; it should be my last year of presential classes, with a lower than average amount of classtime a week - so that should make things easier; and it’s also a new decade! With that in mind, I figured I would give it a shot with three main goals.

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