Archive for the 'Goals' Category

Commencement

After long thought, I decided to attend my graduation commencement a couple weeks ago. But when I made this decision, I decided that I would only do it under my terms. I wasn’t going to invite everyone just for the sake of doing so, and I wasn’t going to make a gigantic deal out of it. So I invited my mom, my brother, my aunt & uncle, and my best friend and her family, and left my sister out of the invitation rounds, choosing not to tell her at all that I was going to do it. I thought it would be better than saying to her, yeah I’m doing it but you can’t go because I don’t like you.

We also decided to do a small casual dinner with everyone afterwards at my favorite restaurant, but nothing major. My friend’s family decided not to go to this part so it was mostly my family and everyone told stories of their graduation, as one might expect to find at such a party. I decided since I was going ahead and doing it that I would go all out, so not only have a little dinner, but I also got graduation pictures taken, I went and got a nice outfit that could be used to graduate as well as pictures and interviews in the future. I ordered said pictures, and will order my walking pictures as well, both of which are very abnormal for me. And I went through all the crap to get a cap & gown and what not, I will likely be donating to my school at some point of my life, but I want to wait until I have more of an income before I do that.

The commencement itself was fine. My friend had a friend who was also graduating who invited me to sit next to her, which I did and was glad she invited me because otherwise I would have felt much more alone for the whole thing. I got to talking with some guy who was sitting next to me as well and had a fairly good time throughout. Scott Van Pelt was the special speaker. It was kind of odd, I didn’t feel he represented me at all as I don’t know who he is in particular, he had references to cartoons I’ve barely seen, and jokes targeted at a younger and different crowd. He definitely was not a speaker intended for me, but at the same time he did a fairly good job and had a couple good jokes to tell and interesting stories on how he got to become an ESPN anchor in the first place.

The whole ceremony itself went rather well, and I think it will turn out well in my life that I did choose to go to this, but for now I am a bit torn on whether it was all worth the time and money that it cost.

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GLS Conference 3.0

I went to the GLS Conference this past week. I wanted to start going to more conferences so that can network better and chose this particular one because it was here in town so that I didn’t have to worry about paying for hotel stay and travel arrangements and such. This conference is a small conference which really focuses on how games can be used for learning purposes and how they teach players how to use the game. This is a topic that I find somewhat interesting, however it is a very base interest. I mostly like when they talk about the games or the social aspects of games because I find that more interesting being in the MMO field myself. However a good majority of the field seems more interested in the learning so I do pick up stuff here and there.

The Conference itself is mostly used as a forum for students, professors, and other teachers, however there are some more mainstream developers and writers as well. This year’s speakers included a writer from the New York Times, a game critic from the New York Times, a couple of writers/designers from GameLab, Pathfinder Linden from Linden Labs (Second Life), and some guy that works at the company that made There.com. Rich Vogel (of Ultima Online fame) and Jeff Briggs (one of the producers of the Civ series) were also supposed to attend, however they both did not which was a major upset for me as I was really looking forward to both of them.

All this said the two day event had its ups and downs.

The ups were that the food was fairly good, though some was questionable. I was mostly disappointed that the beverages were weird (tea, milk and coffee). The snacks between sessions were great (nummy cookies, muffins and fruit). The Monona Terrace was beautiful as expected, though surprisingly small considering how big it seems and how much of a fuss was made over it, though I understand that part of that is meant as a transportation hub too. Several speakers were very good, I liked the two NYT speakers, as well as Constance Steinkuehler, and Katie Salen from Gameslab was absolutely amazing (she is seriously underrated, I put her up with Will Wright as far as speakers on games concerns). I got to meet plenty of people, including a couple in town I plan on hooking up with over the next week or so (and incidentally got myself pictured a couple times in Mark Chen’s blog.)

The downs really was the lack of the two that I was looking forward to seeing, as well as the lack of much strictly about games and even society to a lesser degree. It really is a meeting meant for people studying learning which just isn’t what I am into. I also had some issues apparently with paying. I thought I did back when I registered, and now they are telling me I did not so I don’t know how exactly that works. What makes it worse is that now they want to charge me the full price instead of the early entry price that I should have paid. This sucks only because I thought I had paid.

Would I go again? I don’t know. For networking purposes I suppose I would. What makes this decision more difficult is next years I will not be a student anymore so I will have to pay more. This makes it far less worth going to. For the student price, I think it is worth it for the networking, the food, the cool location and the about one session each day that was really worth the while. I don’t know if I will go again next year, depends on my situation. But I will definitely think about it.

New Computer

I got the final pieces to my new computer last Thursday and then promptly got it set up. I was up till midnight the first night and I went to bed with the happy knowledge that I got it up and running with Windows cleanly running. Actually the whole process went fairly smoothly. I had a couple hiccups, but all the pieces worked perfectly and once I made sure all the power connectors were hooked up, it was up within minutes.

The computer itself is a dream. It is extremely quiet! You can barely tell that it is even on even with the TV and AC off. My last computer however, was really noisy and often required me to go and turn the TV up just to hear it over the computer. The new one also seems much cooler, no longer do I sit at my desk and feeling hotter than I would be if I stood 10 feet away. I also think the overall room is much cooler, so yet another positive. Lastly, the graphics are amazing. Whereas my previous computer could barely run EQ2 at extreme performance, I now run EQ2 in Very High Quality instead as a standard setting, and I could probably even raise it to extreme Quality, but I don’t want to push it and end up with lag. Right now it runs beautifully without any lag, I can go everywhere with great graphics.

Overall, I got to say that I’m very happy with the performance of the new computer and feel it was money well spent!

New Monitor

In my continuing effort to upgrade to a new computer, I have made a purchase for a brand new monitor. I chose the Sceptre X22WG and got it from Newegg. It is a widescreen 22″ LCD, and boy is it big. I thought it was just going to be marginally bigger than my previous monitor which I thought was 21″ but am now starting to think was only 19″. The quality is good too, it is really bright, have played both Sims 2 and EQ2 to test it out and both appear similar to a normal CRT monitor, not all grey and silvery like the previous LCD I had tried a few years back. In fact, in many ways the picture actually looks better. Thus far, my main problem is that my video card is an Nvidia 5900FX which really cannot handle this monitor so I have to keep the resolution fairly low. I am excited to get a new video card and turn the res all the way up on this monitor because I’m sure it’ll make for some stunning visuals.

Meanwhile, I’ve bought both the monitor and my tower in the month of December, straying away from my 1 new part per month limit. And during a tough month at that. So I think I’m going to consider the Monitor to be Janruary’s part. To kind of compensate for the early part I’m going to try getting my next piece in mid-February which at this point I’m thinking will be the Draft N Wireless router. Which one will likely be determined via sales and price reductions.    I also am thinking it may be a good idea to use my $80 of gift cards on the router. By doing this I am essentially making it so that I won’t be actually paying for any new parts until March. Which should help me catch up to my credit card a bit. In march I may also worry mostly about wiring for the computer (round cables, fans, and dampeners to make the computer quieter). So that it is a low pay out month. April I can buy Vista…. Then finally in May use birthday money and hopefully replenished credit cards to buy the Video Card, 1GB RAM, A processor of some sort (right now leaning towards Intel but that can change) and the motherboard. I am hoping that buy May the prices on the DirectX 10 video cards will drop significantly enough so that I’m not paying a small fortune just for one. June would then be a month off and I may take July off as well until August when I’d start purchasing up a second Video Card to run SLI, a second smaller LCD monitor, and a second 1GB of RAM. Not necessarily in that order.

Hopefully with this plan I’ll have a brand spanking new computer for my birthday and I will have a computer by the end of the year that is good enough to last me a few years until some of my books/games that I’ve created pick up momentum and I can afford to really splurge. <crosses fingers>

My plan for next week

Starting next week I will be starting a new plan for my day to day life. The schedule will be set up with all my previous goals in mind.

1) 2-3 hours every day will be spent on writing my novel. I don’t expect to finish my novel in two to three weeks, but I need to get at least 25% of it done by the end of Christmas break. During these 2-3 hours I will not allow myself to use the internet except to use pandora for music. I don’t know if I will use the time to write non-stop, I am going to allow myself to read books that will help my writing such as a book of symbolism and a book for writing tips, but only if I am blocked. No TV during this time either. I have pegged the afternoon for this block of time as I won’t deal with tiredness at this time nor look over my shoulder at lunch time.

2) I am going to have 30 minutes every day dedicated to exercise. I am going to do  Wii Sports first to get me up and goal orientated with the Wii Fitness schedule. I don’t pretend this is the greatest fitness someone can get but it is better than nothing. I will then do about 25-50 sit ups to help my stomach.

3) Wednesdays I think will become a medical day. My Hep C medicine is scheduled for Wednesdays and I will also be going to the hospital for Hemophilia medication. Because of this I will likely make it a short writing day. Fridays will also be going to the Hospital for factor, but that won’t be an issue I don’t think as much.

4)I am going to drop lunches for the most part and snacks during winter break. I am hardcore about getting skinnier and I need to eat less. I also want to return to eating healthier for dinner and no more eating out because I need to be tight on my purse strings if I want a new computer.

That is it for now. I think with these 4 things over break I can help my goals well.

Indie Game Development

I’ve been reading The Indie Game Development Survival Guide. It is quite good. If anyone is interested in this as a field, and are considering going out on their own and making their own game, I highly suggest it. It has given me a lot of great ideas on how I could get this thing done. And I really think I could…

First I need to see if I can get together with this IGDA guy over the next week or two and see if we can get some plans made to do this. I’m not sure how much a producer is really needed for an indie project, but if he can help bring in three or four quality guys in the area, and help with potential promotion and design then I’m more than willing to let him have some percentage points on the product. As long as he is willing to let the game itself, and a decent chunk of the profit go to the company idea. This seems to be the big thing though and hopefully we can get by it. It occurs to me that perhaps by trying to sell him on the bigger picture I might have lost him. Likely because he doesn’t think that it is possible to create a company from scratch in this day and age.

And maybe it isn’t anymore. But I keep looking at some of the best games in history coming in this way. Will Wright did it with SimCity. Sid Meier did it. And while these happened in a more innocent time in the industry I can’t help but think that perhaps one reason the industry has stagnated is because these startups aren’t around as much anymore. And heck, it does still happen to a small degree with the guys who did Viewtiful Joe, or the makers of Darwinia, even PopCap with all their puzzle games or the makers of Puzzle Pirates. These were all indie studios that produced highly innovative, NEW properties, and thank god for them because otherwise we would be stuck with Old Game Idea XII: The return of the Previous Idea.

A letter to an Ex.

This is a letter that I sent to an ex of mine a few days ago. The letter itself should say it all. Thought it might make for an interesting addition to my blog.

Well here I am again. I full well realize how long it has been since I have gotten a hold of you, and well it is kind of a long story as to why I am writing this letter. So bear with me because I’m going to tell it.

When two people generally split up, they are supposed to stop thinking about each other, or being in love with each other or what not a few months or so after the split. That never really happened with me, obviously. I figured when you and I really lost contact with each other that maybe that’s what needed to happen, that maybe it was the constant contact with you that kept my feelings alive. But that never happened either. Truth be told I’ve always thought of you, ever since I first met you. Continue reading ‘A letter to an Ex.’