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Dr. Killjoy
3rd February 2011, 01:36 AM
For a frame of reference, I'm a Sophomore in college, majoring in computer science and minoring in physics, hoping to someday work in either the video game or aeronautics industries.

Today wasn't great, but it wasn't too bad. Most of the food places around campus are close because of the recent blizzard, meaning the lines at the remaining places were so long I wasn't able to eat breakfast until after my morning lectures D= Trying to learn complicated stuff on an empty stomach is about as fun as it sounds.

Almost missed my afternoon lecture, but that was my own fault...who would have thought highly magnetized ball bearings (http://www.thenanodots.com/) could be so addictive? I barely got to the afternoon lecture in time, only to find out I shouldn't have bothered because the professor's descriptions and explanations confused the hell out of me, and I had to look in the textbook to clear things up. Isn't it supposed to be the other way around?

That evening, I did some programming for my Algorithms class. All this work I've done on the game I'm making (which I'll elaborate on later) has paid off - this stuff is practically becoming second nature to me. There's not a doubt in my mind now - I was born to do this stuff.

My quantum physics homework was giving me quite a bit of trouble, to the point I wasn't sure I would finish it on time. The good news is that I have not one but two suitemates (out of five) who are physics majors, and they were able to explain where I was screwing up. Honestly, when you get to quantum mechanics you reach things that seem less like something you can apply to the real world and more like something ripped straight from timecube.com. Thing is, though, I have to take this class to get my physics minor.

I'm going to wrap up the day by doing some programming for my game - a major project of mine, a turn-based science fiction wargame. It's going pretty well so far - the entire combat system is finished with playable maps, the save/load system is well on the way to completion, and most of the rest of the stuff is planned out. A lot of the higher-level stuff isn't present though - the title screen is very basic, some of the graphics are rather ugly placeholders, and there's no battle animations or flashy effects yet. Thing is, though, I want to make sure the mechanics work 100% before I deal with that. After all, I'm not Electronic Arts.

Somewhat related: While my life's ambition used to be a game designer, I drifted more towards the programming side of things. Basically, the opposite of what Mantis did. Because for me, there's something satisfying about being able to work out a solution that turns lists of numbers and chains of equations - and when you get right down to it, that's all programs are - into a world of its own.

Headed to Chess club, then I'll do the aforementioned work on my own game, then I'm off to bed.

Mantis
3rd February 2011, 02:11 AM
Nice first entry! I've known Dr. Killjoy for at least a couple of years, perhaps three or more. I may as well say, "As long as I remember"—it just about sums up my memory. It's been great to do so much gaming over the years, not to mention recommending various anime (inb4outlawstar) to each other. It's cool to see a journal.


Today wasn't great, but it wasn't too bad. Most of the food places around campus are close because of the recent blizzard, meaning the lines at the remaining places were so long I wasn't able to eat breakfast until after my morning lectures D= Trying to learn complicated stuff on an empty stomach is about as fun as it sounds.

You're not the only one to talk about the blizzards here. Seems like the US has it pretty bad right now. Remember, just think of that video if you want to get through a lecture on an empty stomach.


Thing is, though, I want to make sure the mechanics work 100% before I deal with that. After all, I'm not Electronic Arts.

Heh, down to the last byte I'm guessing. You've always been a workaholic, though it's a damn lot better than being a lazy bum like myself.


Somewhat related: While my life's ambition used to be a game designer, I drifted more towards the programming side of things. Basically, the opposite of what Mantis did. Because for me, there's something satisfying about being able to work out a solution that turns lists of numbers and chains of equations - and when you get right down to it, that's all programs are - into a world of its own.

Yeah, when I realised I'd be number crunching for decades to come if I were to start programming complex game engines, I made the wise decision to switch fields. I can only tolerate so much of that stuff as I was never a top maths student, and prefer to design. But I can see why it would appeal to someone with a more logical mind like yourself. You love solving things, so go for it. I do look forward to seeing your game progress, and when I get off my lazy ass I'll be sure to contribute at least a few graphics.

Masaka
3rd February 2011, 03:56 AM
That's pretty awesome that you can make games :D. Also


Headed to Chess club, then I'll do the aforementioned work on my own game, then I'm off to bed.

It's not a journal without a Chess club WOOT!

Dr. Killjoy
4th February 2011, 01:36 AM
Yeah, Mantis is the reason I found out about Outlaw Star. Quite a good recommendation!


That's pretty awesome that you can make games

Thanks, but that's being a bit charitable...I'm still learning so much. It's incredible how many skills making a good game demands.

Also, chess club members unite! We should get a game going sometime =)

Anyway, as for today's entry...

Last night at chess club didn't go great D= I was in two matches; I won one (a first-time player I was going easy on and showing the ropes. It was the first time I accidentally checkmated someone) and lost another (position was pretty even until I made a blunder that cost me a rook).

Had two classes today, Spanish and Logic/Data Structures. Spanish went okay, but in Logic I found out that there had been assignments I hadn't done, because before today I didn't know about the course website. Still, it's early in the year, so I have plenty of time to bounce back. Shouldn't be a problem, the class is pretty easy anyway.

I looked through my physics textbook, and now I'm understanding everything much better. Turns out a lot of the stuff I wasn't getting was the result of A) me overcomplicating things, and B) me not having read some of the book thoroughly enough.

Also, I was talking in the chat with Flare and KokiriNinja earlier, and I got an idea for a project for this forum! (Hint: It involves X-Com, and the fact that the game lets you rename soldiers.)

Currently eating chicken strips washed down with iced tea, with a pair of cookies for dessert. I mention this only because it's a good demonstration that my eating habits are horrific. I'm still practically skeletal, though, so I see no reason to stop. I'm sure my diet will become a problem when I'm older, so I may as well enjoy it while it lasts.

Anyway, I'm headed out now to the weekly Game Developers' Society meeting. I pitched my game last week and a handful of people were interested in contributing, so hopefully this will lead to good things!

Mantis
4th February 2011, 02:05 AM
Shame I couldn't make it to the chat earlier. This project sounds interesting. I hope the society meeting goes well. :)

Dr. Killjoy
5th February 2011, 01:53 AM
The game dev society meeting went great =) I've got a guy who's agreed to work as a storywriter, and we've already greatly fleshed out the game's storyline and characters. I guess this makes me a project leader now...it's a strange feeling, I hope I'm up to the task.

Nothing much really happened today. My 2 1/2 hour psychology lecture was canceled, though, so that was nice. Heading over to a friend's dorm to play SSBB in a bit. And since it's Friday, I'll finally be able to sleep in tomorrow!

Masaka
5th February 2011, 04:29 AM
:D SSBB, always a guaranteed fun time with your friends.

Dr. Killjoy
6th February 2011, 02:21 AM
Not much happened today, except my algorithms class is proving to be a serious headache. I'll have to visit the professor during office hours to make any sense of the homework assignment.

On the plus side, I finished programming my game's save/load system! Now I just have to work up the nerve to test it.

Mantis
6th February 2011, 09:36 AM
Sweet. I'll definitely help with that, if you need a tester.

Dr. Killjoy
10th February 2011, 04:02 AM
Damn I've been neglecting this topic! In fact, I've been neglecting this whole forum.

I'm pleased to report that, as far as I can tell, my game's save system works wonderfully with the small exception that it wipes all the save files on startup...yeah, seriously no idea why that happens, and it's definitely thrown an unexpected wrench in the gears =(

Went to chess club again tonight. Lost one game, but won another. I think I've improved my opening game.

Kudos to Flare and Diz, by the way - you guys have really livened up the chatroom.

Diz
10th February 2011, 03:25 PM
:D SSBB, always a guaranteed fun time with your friends.


Pure awesomeness, right there. We should have a SSBB online day or something. I love that game to bits. (I play it poorly, but that does not mean I would not love the game!)



I'm pleased to report that, as far as I can tell, my game's save system works wonderfully with the small exception that it wipes all the save files on startup...yeah, seriously no idea why that happens


I hope you manage fixing it without too much hassle. The fact that you can make your own games sounds very exciting and fun! I really wish I could do the same. Also, the quantum physics thingy reminds me of Big Bang Theory, the TV show. Got to love that gang having little to no understanding of life outside their laboratory. XD



Kudos to Flare and Diz, by the way - you guys have really livened up the chatroom.


Whoa. 0.0 N-nay! I think Flaries deserves the full honour for that one (she was the one dragging the frightened Raichu in there all the way from a topic it was hiding in, after all) and everyone else who took a peek in there.

After all, the chat room is just a jump to the *trips*! >_O;;

http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ1Ztsh1Y9WfDzykuuTLCpsCvIDwTiQ5 gKanncNwQ8oL6tk864V

Dr. Killjoy
3rd March 2011, 04:10 AM
Diz: Didn't know you played Brawl =D Who's your main? I usually go with Snake.

Speaking of the chat though, I haven't seen you -or- Flare there much recently =(

And no, I still haven't fixed that damn save glitch. I've made decent progress on planning out the AI, though.

Anyway, since I haven't been around much, I figured I'd go ahead and make this quick update to my journal. And speaking of AI, I watched the Jeopardy IBM curbstomp (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/17/science/17jeopardy-watson.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1) the other day and loved it. Watson might be a stack of circuit boards, but he's awesome and I was rooting for him the whole way. So, sticking with my theme of robot avatars, I decided to take Watson's Jeopardy avatar as my own!

Flare
4th March 2011, 05:07 PM
I have been hiding in the land of pencils.

But I am back, with a new bag of tricks!

Diz-lai, no need to give credit to me or anything, really ^^;;;; I spam too much so the chatroom 'seems' full.

Loving the new avatar, Doctor :D Reminds me of that "Hello, Planet*" song by Miku Hatsune. "Connect and Connecting, the technopolica"....

We really have to play some SSBB soon ^^
http://www.latinogamers.net/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/wolf1.jpg
I await your challenge... >=)

Dr. Killjoy
28th March 2011, 06:03 PM
Been awhile, but I figure this merited an update.

I put in some summer internship applications the other day. I'm only a sophomore, and I have had very little actual programming work experience, so I wasn't expecting much.

To my surprise, one company called me back, and one week from tomorrow I'm attending a job interview. Am I excited? Yes. At the risk of bragplaining (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=bragplaining), though, I'm terrified. There are so many things I have to get right if I'm going to have a chance at this. How much will the cab fare cost? How long is the drive? Is my suit dressy enough? Will I be able to give good answers to the questions they ask? Did I overstate my ability to use C++, and if I did will I regret it?

And then there's the matter of if I get the job. The building's in St. Louis, which is too far to commute from home (luckily, though, that's where the college I'm attending is, so it's still a familiar place). Where will I live? Will I be able to pay the rent? Will I have some kind of stipend to cover it? Will I be able to do the work they expect of me? How will I fare in a corporate environment I've never been in?

More importantly: It's a 2-month internship, so I still get a month's vacation in the summer, which is nice. But at the same time, though, if I get this internship, I've probably had my last summer vacation as I know it - 3 months of doing whatever the hell I want. And now I'm suddenly having to worry about things I've never had to think about, like paying rent and finding a place to live. It's like my childhood ended before I realized it. Lest anyone think I have Peter Pan syndrome, it's not that I don't want to grow up - I definitely do! I'm just afraid I'll fuck it up.

Looking at it again, though, I suppose it isn't too bad. I'm 20; people younger than me have managed to work these things out with less support from their parents. My friends from high school, who are about the same age as me, haven't gotten internships yet.

Internship or no internship, I suppose it isn't the end of the world. Furthermore, if I do get the internship, it'll make things that much easier after college is over and I have to find work. If I don't get it, I've still got next year, at which point I hopefully won't need to overstate my 1337 C++ skillz.

Mantis
28th March 2011, 10:35 PM
Well, you've had a job before, right? Weren't you doing a part-time one? It's those who choose not to work part-time before it comes to this kind of thing who face the most difficulties. I'm sure you'll fit into the corporate environment.