This semester was definitely the most challenging yet – multiple all-nighters going into finals, and projects and terminology that I wouldn’t have dreamed of as a freshman. AI and networking were my two most challenging – and rewarding – classes, with many projects coming out of both of them. I’m beginning to feel more competent as a programmer, slightly. At least when I look back at earlier projects I see how far I’ve improved, which is something right? Finishing this semester with a 3.95 was bittersweet: really good, but so close to that 4.0.
If you’ve visited the site recently, you probably have seen it in a few different forms. I’ve been experimenting with the layout, theme, and pages, and have finally (re)settled on what you currently see. I think it’s a good balance of showing off my portfolio and being a good blog, though it is lacking slightly in that department. If you check out my work page, you’ll notice a ton of new pieces, but not all of them have write-ups yet. Don’t worry though, I’m working on that and they will be completed (with updated download links, I haven’t forgotten about that either) by the end of break – I just want to give each the care and love it deserves.
DASHockey is on the back burner for now, I’m still deciding the best way to incorporate multiplayer as well as work out bugs in the AI, as well as general polish. I’m also waiting to see how the AppleTV matures and whether or not it becomes a viable platform. I hope it does because it can encompass a whole new audience of casual gamers in a dedicated environment. So for now that project gathers some dust, but hopefully not for long. In other news, Flip’s ‘recreation’ is picking back up. I’m currently rewriting its source in Swift from AS3 to better incorporate Apple’s SDKs and allow for easier updates in the future. I can’t say much more than that, but I’ll let you know more as soon as I can.
After all that is done, I hope there’s some time left on the tail end of break to start learning Unreal/Unity as that is what I’ll be using next semester in Production II. I’m looking forward to that – one project over the entire semester with artists and designers with the possibility of being cut half way through. The other class I’m looking forward to is Advanced Graphics: all I know is we’ll be learning and using OpenGL. Maybe (and hopefully) some Vulcan, though I feel that’ll be about twenty feet over my head. Anyway, I also hope there will be some time to crank out some new prototypes; it’s been a while since I’ve had some time to just experiment with new concepts. Any game jams coming up?
This time last year I just finished up Self Destruct. A beautiful game, but the architecture behind it was a little more than horrendous, and I guess that shows just how far I’ve come in the past year. My favorite projects from the past semester are Obstacle Avoidance from my AI class, and PongBreak from my Networking class – I’ll have the write ups (and downloads) for them soon.
To all who stumble this far (or skip to the end), I wish you and yours a warm, relaxing holiday season. :)