The Animal Farm

January 30th, 2008

Important Life Lessons

Rock Band has taught me something very important. I should not be allowed near a microphone, ever, under any circumstances.

Seriously folks. I’m not joking. Not one bit.

Apple of Doom

January 29th, 2008

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

I know, I know, this game is never coming out.  Every day I go to the Smash Bros. Dojo! and read little tidbits of information about the game, whether it be a new character, a new stage, a sample of music, or even some new content like the ability to power up your characters with stickers in the Space Emissary mode, I basically drool every morning.

My friend Greg sent me this link via email and I must say, this game is going to be absolutely incredible.

~Zach

January 27th, 2008

The Gloves Come Off

I’ve been up to my eyes in the GeForce 8 Series Specification and More OpenGL Game Programming, but I’ve made some significant steps toward my research. Vertex buffer objects and transform feedback can now safely be described as chumps.

Another week or so and I should have some fly things to show off. Graphs, charts, various efficiency demonstrations, stuff to really excite you. Hell, maybe I’ll get this thesis done on time.

They take this thing kind of seriously.

January 26th, 2008

Perfect Hair

I was just practically accosted by an Eat ‘n Park waitress because my hair is “so beautiful.”

I wish women under the age of 50 liked my hair as much as senior citizens do.

Was it a religious experience?

January 24th, 2008

On the Shores of Redwood, The Second Day

My final day in California. It started early (8:30 AM) after abrupt, fitful sleep. I got lost on the campus (more on that in a second), but Kate came and rescued me and led me to my interviews. It was a long day of interviewing - 9-3, with lunch thrown in there - and also was my first big interview session. I’d like to think I did OK; I took longer than I should’ve on a couple of the technical questions, and I floundered on a couple personal questions, but overall I was given the opportunity to show my talents, passions, knowledge, and so on. Sometime next week I should know whether those are good enough. I hear it’s a fairly competitive position, so I’m tottering between hopeful and pessimistic.

EA Redwood Shores (EARS to me, but not to you peons) was an amazing place. I don’t know that I should talk about all the things inside (I imagine they keep those doors locked for a reason, but I also can’t imagine they’re horribly secretive about their building contents as opposed to, say, their projects). Suffice it to say, if California sank into the ocean and the campus was left on its own little island, it would make a fairly serviceable habitat. A very pretty, serviceable habitat.

After the interviews, I headed straight for the airport where they put me on an earlier flight to LAX to avoid any potential layover problems. The plane trips were tolerable; I wasn’t any more comfortable than I was the first time around, but I did know what to expect at least. I didn’t manage to get any sleep on the plane and had no time upon arriving home, so I’m currently running on E. For those keeping score, that’s three days in a row of poor (if any) sleep.

Now I’m going to go bide a bit of my time before class.

It’s good cardio.

January 22nd, 2008

On the Shores of Redwood, The First Day

I have today been flown into Redwood City to interview with EA. As friends are aware, this was my first plane flight, and it was tolerable - not as morbidly terrifying as I imagined, but still sufficiently frightening. My secert desire was that a cute girl would sit next to me and make small talk which would then lead to a life-long friendship, but I guess that kind of thing only happens in movies, because nobody sat beside me.

I arrived in town at around 5 PM PST and took the taxi to my hotel Sofitel. The taxi, as I expected, was about as scary if not scarier than being 40,000 feet off the ground. Still, it seemed tamer than Chicago (I didn’t hear a single car horn, for a start).

I’ve had some time to explore my immediate surroundings, and here are my impressions. In terms of general feel, Redwood Shores is the anti-Chicago: whereas Chicago’s bustling city life obliterated anything that resembled nature, there are trees and grass everywhere here. It’s really quite charming. Even in a place that seems focused on business, there are still some beautiful sights. My only complaint is that I walked fifteen-twenty minutes in each direction and didn’t hit a single restaurant.

I’m a little sad that I’m not going to get a chance to explore more (I interview all day tomorrow and then practically shoot straight for the plane back), but I guess that’s for another trip.

Meanwhile, a Chicago-based game company expressed interest in my resume, which may be a good reason to visit again.

I apologize for horrendous typos. Internet-TV sucks.

January 22nd, 2008

Wubi

I’m currently writing this post on Ubuntu thanks to a special little program I call Wubi. Wubi lets you painlessly install Ubuntu on your system without the hassle of multiple partitions or burning a CD. It even auto mounts your Windows system so you have quick access to all those files.

The system came working with my wireless card completely painlessly, which is a refreshing change. The only thing I’m having trouble working out is how to setup my second monitor (or, for that matter, update my nVidia drivers).

Also, I catch a plane to California in less than 8 hours. Lord.

Brain power!

January 20th, 2008

Stuntman: Ignition

The GameStop demo center has never done anything for me; most of the games on display I already own or have absolutely no interest in. The last time we were in GameStop things were different, hence why I felt the need to introduce the situation.

I played Stuntman for the PS3 and was instantly enamored. Here was a driving game that had nothing to do with racing, had nothing to do with conducting battles or besting opponents. The premise of Stuntman is that you are, well, a stuntman and your life’s work is to perform crazy stunts that get put in movies. You drive your car through hazardous sets, doing sharp turns and jumping ramps and activating explosions in time to set cues, striving for a perfect shot. And the game is not easy, it’s hard in a grueling, unforgiving kind of way, but that’s okay because every shot is a ton of fun.

I played maybe two or three times before deciding that it was my life’s mission to own this game, and I sent Ricky off on a journey: find a PS2 incarnation for our consumption. He came back seventeen seconds after perusing the shelves and handed me Stuntman: Ignition, which I took home giddily.

The actual game outside demo form is even better. The first glaring difference is that you are presented with a few different vehicles to drive, all of which handle differently. The Motorcycle is a ton of fun, and aside from the standard car is one of my favorites. The second big take-away is that you are driving for big movies. Each movie lasts about six shots, and then you are presented with a campy, hilarious trailer to go along with your awesome stunts.

This game was a gem to find and makes a very compelling argument for owning a PS3.

Don’t crash!

January 17th, 2008

I’m So Scared

EA called me today. And talked about flying me to California. I’ve never been on a plane; the very thought of being that high makes me crave sedatives like Flintstones Vitamins, a forceful desire to devour an entire bottle even though it’s in no way healthy. I suppose it had to happen sometime, I was just hoping that time would be when I was in my upper 80’s and possibly blind.

Meanwhile, Diced is crazy. I put my resume up, and not two hours later I had my first call. Something about casino games, I think. I wonder what other fancy calls I’ll receive.

Never gonna give you up.

January 15th, 2008

Netflix…

…is awesome.

Free first-class, one day shipping. I can watch a good number of older stuff online as much as I want. Very reasonably priced.

Since I’m going to have an influx of DVDs, I’m thinking of starting a spinoff to the site where I talk about a new DVD each day.

Carnivale!