It’s about time I provided you all with a general update on my life. I’m pretty sure you’ve been anxiously waiting for this moment, even if you haven’t realized it yet. One day - about ten years from now - it’s going to hit you like a meteor to the face: You like reading my useless little life updates. You might even love it.
Research: my research topic has juggled around a good bit, but I think we’ve finally settled on something. Moved away from botany/L-Systems into buildings/shape grammars. I’ve made a few rudimentary attempts at progress which have resulted in gobbly-gook, but that’s just how CS research works: you keep trying things until something seems like it’s solving your problem, and then you see if you can’t refine that to get better results than what already exists.
Movies: James and I went to see Smoking Aces, and it turned out to be nothing like what we were expecting. This is not necessarily bad, and I won’t go so far as to say I disliked the movie, but it wasn’t amazing. If you liked the trailer, it’s worth a look I suppose. On the other hand, He Died with a Falafel in his Hand turned out to be pretty awesome. It’s an Australian (I think) movie Whitney got off Netflix (I have no idea where she hears about these movies). And it stars one of the (minor) characters in Life Aquatic, so you know it has to be good.
TV: Heroes and The Office. Yeeaaa. All the hype you’ve heard about them is absolutely true. And 30 Rock can pretty good (Alec Baldwin is great in it). NBC’s stock is rising.
Video Games: Picked up Shadow Hearts, but haven’t given it a very good try. What I have played seems pretty interesting; the mood of the game is different than most RPGs and the battle system is definitely unique. It hasn’t drawn me in like some other games, but in its defense I’ve only given it about a half hour. I also got my hands on a copy of Xenogears, which means that I’ll be playing through that. I’ve played the first fifteen or so hours, and it’s absolutely amazing. It’s been pushed back on my list in lieu of newer games, although that’s probably a mistake. I’m also picking up Rogue Galaxy tomorrow (Mel conned me into preordering it). Preording it scored me a demo disc, but it didn’t give a very representative view of the game. After that, the next RPG I’m looking at is Dawn of Mana, though that doesn’t come out until the end of March. Moving away from RPGs, Ricky picked up Elebits. It’s actually a lot more fun than I gave it credit for. Very stylish and energetic. I’ve also become addicted to Wii Bowling.
School: There’s nothing of merit to report here. Classes are uneventful at best. However, between class work, research, and TAing, my schedule is rapidly becoming very busy.
Game Projects: I’ve been fiddling with random code. Updating my core engine to the new XNA platform. Getting some basic functionality reimplemented to make it better and cleaner. Thought of a small edition to my Process Manager that might make it a great deal more powerful/multipurpose. Also seeing if I can’t apply some procedural texture generation to some kind of project. A new version of Tao came out that’s looking pretty cool. I don’t remember if ODE support was in there before, but I’m glad to see it there now, since I want to play around with physics simulation. I think my next short project (which hopefully will be soon - the Experimental Gameplay Competition starts on the 5th of February) is going to be using .NET in some fashion, though I don’t know if I’ll use XNA or Tao.
Social Life: Very little to report here. I’ve basically just been hanging out with Ricky and Zach with ocassional cameos from James or Whitney.
And that, friends, is your complete update.
Live from the center of the Earth.