Friday, January 13, 2012

FIEA Boot Camp (ft. Stevie Wonder)

Hello guys and gals, here's a personal post for you.  It's been one week of school and man, I'm tired.  I actually have three classes.  One is Programming II and that's where the bulk of the work is.  The second is a capstone presentation class where we present a weekly update of stuff we've worked on (since I'm not a producer, I don't have to speak).  And the third is business studies in which we learn more about the ins-and-outs of game studios and why they make the decisions they make.  This usually involves writing essays on what we've learned.

Prog 2 started out rough.  The first assignment is to set up a Visual Studio 2003 (only version compatible with original Xbox) and this is the most annoying thing ever.  The goal is to load up a shell solution file (basic code that will be filled in later) with all sorts of project files laden with various settings & parameters so that they all compile together seamlessly (making a game for three different platforms--OpenGL, DirectX, and Xbox).

This involves sparse coding but mostly knoweldge about VS2003.  And unless you're a seasoned CS vet, you're going to have a LOT of issues.  The professor really didn't cover it in class (since it doesn't completely relate to programming) so there was a line outside of his office of people begging for help, me included.  To make things more tedious, if your code has any errors or warnings, you're docked points.  And sometimes these things can pop up just by the order in which the projects are compiled.  This was a pretty grating intro assignment.  I went to sleep on Thursday with a massive headache.

Now I don't have a problem with my professor.  He's possibly the friendliest teacher I've ever met and he'll gladly help you if you're struggling.  But the transition from Prog 1 to Prog 2 was really steep.  Like everything in Prog1 seemed feasible--you can see the light at the end of tunnel but you must work to get there.  On the other hand, Prog 2 one of those classes where you have to "read the books" to comprehend what's going on. And the professor gives two-hour lectures four days a week (Monday thru Thursday) and for the duration of these lectures, there's only so much information I can absorb.  Seriously, I think I'm developing a mild case of ADD.  This is NOT GOOD at this stage of the game.

The fun doesn't stop there as I have two more assignments due next week.  These weekly assignments will keep coming each and every week.  So get ready for the hill climb.

Maybe I am complaining but I don't know.  I'm in graduate school so I guess I should put on my big boy hat and do the work.  This class will definitely bleed over my other two ones.  Doesn't really help that I'm losing for BFT fast and I'm afraid my "supervisors" will twist my arm if I'm not working in my spare time.  Like forget about Battle Fortress Tortoise (done in UDK with its steep learning curve)--if I can finish Prog 2, I'm happy.  I'm just tired of being graded on everything.  It's been 16 years of the same "game"--taking tests, writing papers, and meeting deadlines...I've just mellowed out to it all.  I know these things continue in the business place with more on the line than just a letter grade (your job, for starters), but if I don't have all this overhead with stuff coming at me from all angles, I might just be less stressed and--get this--maybe will be able to work more efficiently.  I'm not one of those guys that can work on multiple obligations from 9 am to 9 pm anymore which really sucks.

Anyway, don't expect my blog to be brimming with all sorts of stuff future.  I don't have as much energy for it. And as long as Sega continues to mediocre, well...what can I really talk about now?  But really, keep checking in just in case I have a revelation or something.


There is a silver lining to all this.  I don't know who's playing my Super Sprint game since no one really tells me about it.  So I have some friends at FIEA and one of them works a night job as a supervisor to some college building.  And he and his friend had nothing to do so they played Super Sprint for 4 hours straight.  That makes me feel really proud of myself.  If I'm able to entertain both myself and others, then I know my work was not in vain.  So props to all of you who have played it.


BTW, it's Friday the 13th which is supposed to be an unlucky day but that's mainly due to ancient pagan beliefs and I don't buy that crap.  So in honor of Friday the 13th, I whoop Jason's ass by bringing you Stevie Wonder on Sesame Street (yeah, when's the last time your favorite band was on SESAME STREET???)

Lest you forget, Stevie Wonder was blind.

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