Sunday, February 26, 2006

I was not allowed to post until earlier this week, but I have been awarded the scholarship to attend GDC from the IGDA! Thanks again to Rudy Geronimo and everyone at the IGDA for the opportunity. That is really fantastic news for me and I am now even more excited about going. I have just planned out which sessions I hope to attend when I get there. I can't make it to all of them, so I have had to prioritize my choices. There is a lot in there about Microsoft and the Xbox 360 along with some Sony PS3 and PSP stuff. I have to attend some talks on Half-Life 2 and F.E.A.R. too since I love those games so much.
Since I had already booked my hotel, flight and Expo pass I had a nightmare changing things to fit the new schedule, (and it has turned out to be pretty expensive too.) Still, I get all the added bonuses of the trip to EA and having a mentor etc, so I am still really pumped about it. Since I could not return my Expo pass I donated it to my friend Duke who came along last year but wasn't planning on making it this time around.
I mentioned that I get a mentor. I am not so sure about what that entails, but I know I have been paired up with Mike Mika, Studio Head of Backbone Entertainment Emeryville. They are the creators of Death Jr. for the PSP and I can't wait to talk to him. I would like to thank him and the other mentors for giving up their time for us helpless students ;)
What else has happened recently? Well this was our last week of Game Project Preproduction and Game Design Fundamentals 2. The presentations I gave in GDF2 rocked the house and I think the design doc our team produced in GPP came out pretty well. I have started coding out a prototype of the animation system for the game today to see if it would work. I got it going after a few hours and a little debugging help from the team. I just need to modify my Maya Model and Animation Exporter now.
I started playing Condemned during the week and it looks to have a lot of the promise of F.E.A.R., which it should, being from the same company. I picked up EA Sports' Fight Night: Round 3 today too and that game is a hell of a lot of fun. I was playing it at Duke's place last night with a bunch of friends (after losing at Poker,) and it made me want to run out and get it. There is a lot more to it than the demo lets on. I probably would not have gotten it until I saw the full thing, (in HD quality no less!)

Saturday, February 11, 2006

I've been a busy boy, especially since Final Project has now started. We pitched our ideas and were denied making our potential million dollar idea. That leaves us with a game that is more fun to play, (I hope,) but a lot harder to make at the same time. Being an RTS/FPS it is also pretty complicated which has made decision making in the group difficult. Discussions can become very tiring, but we do seem to be making some slow progress. We are meeting over most of the weekend so that we can really get the gameplay concepts down into our design document.
Other things that have been happening: SuperBowl XL took place last weekend, but it wasn't as close as last year's game, so not as fun for the neutral fan like me.
I gave Auto Assault a quick spin while it is still in beta and it was a fun time. If the Mad Max universe were a game, then Auto Assault would be that game.
I applied to the IGDA for a scholarship to GDC this year. Hopefully I'll be chosen and given a Classic pass which is much better than the cheapo Expo pass I have ordered. I wasn't going to enter but they added the fact that you are given a mentor from the industry to hang around with during the conference. That could really help boost any networking I hope to get done while I'm there. I'll find out this week if I am successful.
Speaking of GDC, I have been trying to set up some meetings today using their new GD Connect website. You put in your details and what you are looking for at GDC and you can get a list of people that have done the same that may interest you. I have already sent messages to people from Valve and EA.
Last night two designers from Midway, Harvey Smith and Ricardo Bare, came and spoke to us at Full Sail. It was interesting to hear some of their techniques and I got to ask a question too, so I learnt a little something.
Finally, I won $20 singing karaoke last weekend at a bar here in Orlando. Not because I was good, just because singers were given raffle tickets and mine was pulled out. Some of my friends won too, including another $20 and a $50 bar tab. Good times.