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The Big One

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HopeDagger

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Catching up!

Hey everyone. It's been far far too long since my last journal update -- gads, over a week! :-O -- but I'll try to keep this potentially lengthy post as to-the-point as I can. But no promises. There's just too much to ramble about. But nobody likes to hear me ramble. [smile]


University - Moving In

It was rough. It was strange. It was painful.

I'll start off by informing everyone that me and my roommate unwittingly moved into the wrong sides of the room. Apparently there are designated sides, since our telephones and network connections are dependant on our given side. Nuts. It felt weird for the first couple of days after we switched around, but it's fine now. I don't know how I ever managed to live on the other side in the first place. Psh.

Saying goodbye to the 'ol parental units was tough, too. I'm a fairly home-stuck guy, so this move and experience has been an interesting one, to say the least. The first couple of nights were lonesome, but I'm more or less adjusted now. It's all downhill from here!


University - Frosh Week

Frosh/Orientation Week was alright. 'Nuff said. I wasn't wow'd by it like some were, but I'm not a social butterfly either. Had some good rounds of beach vollyball, enjoyed plenty of free pizza, and met some new people. Also endured some boring (and lengthy!) presentations and lame events. I would say "oh well", but it did technically cost me $100 out of my payments!


University - RCC (Residence Computer Consultant)

I believe I did briefly mention that I was going to be an RCC for this term. What this basically entails is that I make sure that the people on my floor have functioning internet, and some general software troubleshooting on the side. The bulk of the calls I receive -- to which I use the term 'call' lightly, as I forgot to bring my phone up, doh! -- was during the first couple of move-in days where people were just plugging in and hoping for the best.

By far the most common problem was simply the ResNet's DHCP server. It stinks; or so it seems. I had to request a large number of manual port resets and DHCP forces simply because it wasn't dishing it out automatically. Bah.

The other issue was that most newer laptops seem to like to automatically force the wireless connection as the primary type -- irregardless of if it's disabled AND there's a LAN connection plugged in AND connected! Gah. It's just a matter of changing the metrics on the connection types, but gah. :P

Still, it's worth $200(CAN) for the term, so I'm not complaining. I smell an iPod around the corner! [smile]


University - Meal Plan

I found a piece of black plastic in my potatoes today. I think that sums it up.


University - Game Development Club

OMG.

Yesterday afternoon I met with the current President of the GameDev club here at Waterloo at a nice coffee pub, where we had an excellent discussion about game development and the position and direction of the club.

The gist of the club's position is that: a) it's young (just started last term), and b) there's not much support. Apparently a lot of people joined last term, but only a handful of active members remained.

I spoke with Kas (the Pres) about my experience and the sorts of games I've developed in the past, and I think I took him a little off-guard. He told me that the majority of the join-ers are first-year students, and that most have never even touhed game development. Heck, some are new to programming! He hasn't seen my stuff yet, but he seemed impressed with what I've accomplished. Let's hope when he checks out my portfolio that doesn't waver. ;)

Assuming things go fine, I'm going to be taking on the Vice-President position, which means I'll be working on areas like recruiting, presentations, and the leading programmer guy. Which is cool. I absolutely love teaching programming and game development, and I even sometimes entertain the thought that I'm somewhat good at it. [grin] This is definitely going to be a hugely fun experience, and I can't wait to get started. Expect news on this as it develops!


University - First Day of Classes

This would be today. I had my first Algebra and Calculus lectures, as well as my first Algebra tutorial class. Both lectures were ludicrously simplistic, but the coursework appears to be far more involved. I hope it's just because it's the first day. I paid too much to have teachers shirking on their teaching buffness. [sad] My first assignment is some Calc/Discrete review involving proofs (gurr!) and math induction. Neither are my favourite. :P

The tutorial class was great; mainly because of the instructor. He's also apparently the guy who writes a lot of the course material/layout, but his main feature is that he's funny as heck. Definitely great to see some folks in the Math faculty with a good sense of humour. [smile]

Tomorrow morning I have my first Computer Science class (woo woo!) and Psychology in the evening. Should be fun stuff. Can't wait to get into some cool functional programming!


Game Dev?

Oh yeah, I've been working on some gamedev stuff during all of this madness, too!

Once I again -- with much remorse and shame -- I put Skirmish on the backburner. Partly because I'm currently in a huge DooM/cyberpunk phase at the moment, and partly because I'm going to need to purchase another ISP line if I want to be able to host Skirmish, since our ResNet prohibits such.

I'm aiming for a 2-2.5 month timeframe for this project. It will be a first-person shooter played in a similar fashion to such wonderful games as DooM and Halo, with elements from the excellent cyberpunk genre, from superb titles like Deus Ex and Restricted Area. Now, I really dislike describing my game in terms of other games, but it tends to get the 'feel' across better than something I cook up. I have no intention of simply stripping out gameplay from these games and slapping them in, so banish the thought. The plan is to have a unique and interesting game of vast enjoyment. Vast.

As for programming progress, I'm still hard at work on getting a good (and functioning!) map format/system going. I managed to borrow a lot of existing code from Skirmish, such as the logging system, OpenGL init/drawing, and the FPS/mainloop stuff, so that's saved tons of time. Figuring out sectors, sub-sectors, and portals is next. Then somesort of map editor, who knows? Hopefully screenshots will soon follow. [smile]

Have an uber night, everyone!



Shout-Out: Check out Mushu's groovy new release, Hiatus!
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I'm also looking into arbitrary-polygon gameworld engines. I think I may have one that's semi-sustainable.

We should talk. Maybe we can team up to produce a standardized editor and format for Propane Injector or something.

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Original post by Ravuya
I'm also looking into arbitrary-polygon gameworld engines. I think I may have one that's semi-sustainable.

We should talk. Maybe we can team up to produce a standardized editor and format for Propane Injector or something.


Actually, I'm opting for a simpler system that uses purely rectangular sectors. Polygons introduce more headache than I'm after, but the rectangular sectors still offer more flexibility than, say, Wolf3D's tile-based approach.

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college will be easier than you expected.
take advantage of that fact to enjoy your last years as a carefree student.

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Original post by visage
college will be easier than you expected.

Soooo true. You'll probably learn more on your own than from class. Oh, and in your CS courses - there are always a couple of cute girls who need help with stuff. I'm socially inept, but if you're good with words and talking and stuff... :)

(oh, and thanks for the shoutout! <3)

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Guest Anonymous Poster

Posted

"I found a piece of black plastic in my potatoes today. I think that sums it up."

Haha! You just made my day :)

Hope you have a great time at college!

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Original post by mrlachatte
There's a gamedev club at Waterloo now? I am totally joining up when I get accepted next fall.


Awesome. I'll be here waiting to greet you with an onslaught of code and free pizza. [smile]

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