Saturday, April 28, 2012

Semester Recap and Summer Plans

So the semester is over. It was a grueling semester, but we're done. I celebrated the end of the semester by getting all four wisdom teeth removed. So here I am, immediately post-op writing a blog post, because hey, why not. Aside from the fact that the bottom of my face is completely numb (on a side note, lips feel reeeealllly weird when they're numb), I feel fine. So listen, as I slowly sip my congee and type this out.


Winter 2012 Semester Recap

So this semester was a pretty interesting semester. It was definitely the most intense semester we had so far, thanks to the Intermediate Computer Graphics and Game Design and Production I courses that we had. Both of those required a lot of work and effort on the student's part, which often turned out destroying a lot of the time that we had to work on other things oh my God some congee just fell out of my mouth.

The classes themselves were pretty straightforward, we had graphics, game design, sound and audio, accounting and finance. First, let me say that I hate business classes. Like I hate them so much. I know our program has a business component, and I understand that, but I really cannot stand those classes. Going to them makes me miserable, doing the work there makes me miserable, all I want to do is stay in my room and program man >_>

You've helped me a lot though. But I'd be ok if I never saw you again.

The other classes were more interesting since they were actual game dev stuff. Graphics was probably my favorite course this semester because as a programmer, I really enjoyed learning and programming shaders. One of my goals this summer is to look at GLSL and learn it so I can work with both Cg and GLSL. Should be lots of fun. The experience system was pretty awesome too looking back, it was kinda fun competing with people getting experience, and after I was done, I could kinda just sit back, relax and watch people scramble to "get their shaders done".

Game Design was an interesting class because it was not really what I expected of the class. I thought there was going to be a lot of report writing during the class, like writing game design documents or something. But apparently I was completely wrong and made a lot of board games instead. They took up a lot of time every week, but they were interesting assignments, that's for sure. My favorite assignment had to still be the Shakespeare game. Yea, we totally made a Batman game instead, but that's why it's awesome haha.

Batman is practically Shakespeare anyways.

Sound and Audio was a cool class too, the content itself was kind of dry though. Playing around with some of the fmod stuff was really cool, since again, I'm a programmer and I like programming things. Incorporating some of the sound elements int the GDW game was also pretty fun since having sounds played at the proper time really does make the game feel a lot more complete.

The biggest thing this semester though was GDW. I learned a lot about UOIT Game Dev this semester, mostly being that the classes don't really matter that much. At the end of the day, no one cares what you got in a class. No one cares what you've "learned" in the class. What matters is taking what you learn in class (and outside of class) and applying those concepts to your GDW game to make it better.

I'm actually really happy with how our game turned out this semester.

We put a lot of time into GDW this semester. People that know me would probably know that I'm not really a late sleeper, I'm a fan of sleeping earlier and waking up earlier, not sleeping later and waking up later. Generally, I sleep at 11 - 12 and wake up at like 8 to work on things.

However, I pulled my first all nighter this semester. The day before Game Con, a lot needed to be done, so there I was, working throughout the entire night, tanking the entire day afterwards and then passing out at like 10:30 or something that night. It was an interesting experience, one that I hope I never have to experience again.

They put me to sleep today during the surgery. I don't remember falling asleep. Or waking up. (Wikipedia)

It kinda hit me that the GDW is really what matters. When you show your game off at events like Level Up and Game Con, no one cares about your classes or that 1337sauce straight As you managed to pull off. They care about the quality of the game, and they rate it in a scale of terrible to awesome. A lot of people we should our game to liked our game, and considering the time, effort and misery we spent to make it, it made it all feel worth it.

Even in industry, what you have made is what they care about.

Obviously school is still important, but I've learned that I need to stop caring about my marks as much. I'm still going to go for good marks, but I need to learn to just accept slightly lower marks. Bs aren't bad. Although B could stand for Bad. Whatever, I'll accept it. Eventually. Actually no, I'm only allowing one B in any semester. Screw that, As are where it's at. But we'll see.

The definition isn't good enough.

Honestly, we'll be in third year next year. That's our last year of GDW. I want a good GDW group that could make the best game ever so that when I show that game to people, they'll be blown away. I feel that we have people in this program that have the capacity to do that, and as a result I have officially left my GDW group and am currently in talks of forming another group.

This group should in theory do a lot better and therefore result in an even better game. I'm very hopeful that it works out and it does happen, since that would actually be great.

Summer Plans

So what do I have planned for the summer? I'm actually pretty busy and I'll be doing a lot over the summer. In May, I'll be in and out of the school as I'll be working under Dr. Kapralos working on one of his projects. He wants me to make a heartbeat monitor that he could build into their hospital serious games engine, so I'll be working on that.

I'll also be working on another project under Dr. Hung. Dr. Martin Vargus has some technology called Navdriver which Dr. Hung wants me to integrate into his Maxit systems. That one would be interesting to work on since it'll require integrating a piece of Java based web tech into a C++ platform.

And frequent readers of my blog should also know that I'm a tutor. I'm still tutoring over the summer, so I'll be doing that too. Kinda feel like I over committed a tiny bit, but hey, I'll deal with it.

However if you over commit you might lose your army and then the game. (GamezBlog)

But probably the biggest thing I'm going to be doing this summer is going to Hong Kong from June to mid August. So I'll be doing all the stuff I mentioned above in May while I'm here, and then when I'm in Hong Kong I'll be doing a few online tutoring sessions and then working full-time at Beaconwall, the company owned by Dr. Hung.

He told me that I'd probably be writing algorithms to analyze images and video, but I'm still not 100% sure as to what I'll be doing. Especially since recently he wanted me to integrate Navdriver into the Maxit system. Really don't know. I'll find out eventually though, but I'm more looking forward to being able to live in Hong Kong for two and a half months, that should be fun.

Lots of things to do and buy! (National Geographic)

Oh, I'll also be working on my own personal projects over the summer too. There's a lot of stuff I want to get done and try, and we'll see how much I can actually do with the time. But yea, I have a lot of stuff planned this

Well, I think that's all I wanted to write about for this post. I'll probably write another one a week or so before I leave for Hong Kong, unless if something incredibly epic happens between now and then. But I'll be going back to writing blogs on a regular basis once I get to Hong Kong, so stay hyped for that.

Till next time.


  1. "people we should our game to"
    "people we SHOWED our game to"

    I had to stop reading to make this comment for some reason.

  2. Bleh.

    Gonna blame that one on the anesthetic >_>

  3. You totally beat me to the gun on stating how little marks matter. I've wanted to do a whole blog post about it since a few days before GameCon, but never got around to it. I guess that's what happens when you procrastinate - someone else gets the pie that you wanted. I love pumpkin pie.

  4. Awesome post Gary. We need to go grab some semester end victory soup some time soon.

  5. Great post, awesome, agree, yada yada yada....


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