Starting a new project

I suppose I should make it a point to update my site more often, especially since I’m going to be using this site as part of my professional portfolio. Since, I’ve graduated last December, I’ve been sending out resumes to studios in the Greater Los Angeles area, hoping to land an interview and, ultimately, a job. Thus far, no success but I’m still hopeful.

I haven’t been idle, though. Most of my time has been spent decompressing and spending time with family, especially with my kids. With naval service and undergraduate studies and work, I’ve been pretty scant in regards to spending time with family, so I’ve been trying to spend more time with them these past two months since graduating. Not only that, but I’ve also spent more time cleaning up around the house, as well. I’ve been far from idle. However, I’ve done little in regards to game development, other than taking time to learn WPF for certain positions I’ve applied to.

Even though I have hopes that I’ll eventually have an opportunity to gain employment, I cannot just sit and wait for that to happen anymore. So, I’ve decided to start working on a project of my own.

I have a few ideas of what I want my first game to be about, but I want to write up a few design documents before I break out Unity and start working on it. In addition, I am also considering whether to take my Advanced Game Project game, Shades of the Past, and flesh it out into a full-fledged game for commercial release. I’d have to get in contact with the game’s co-developer and see if he wants to go ahead with a full release as well, or if there’s some other way he’d want to handle it. The game is half his, so it’s only right to get his input before moving ahead with anything in regards with it.

As for my own game, all I’m willing to say about it right now is that I want to make a shooter that mixes elements of bullet hell shooters with directional shooting like you’d see in games like Gun.Smoke, where different buttons control different shooting directions. I’ve never worked on a shooter before, so this should be very interesting.

That’s all for now. I’ll try to keep this blog more current in the future.


A trailer and a new game! It was a busy semester.

So, another long wait and another post after several months. I’m not good at this blogging thing, am I? But, that’s okay, because I’ve got two things to share.

First, as some of you already know, there’s a trailer out on my YouTube channel for a new game that I’ve made for my Intermediate Game Design class at USC. Heh, I actually have a video on my channel now. How weird is that? Anyway, I have to mention that I did not create the trailer, but I did have a little bit of input. Not much though, because I was really busy coding the darn thing. So, if you haven’t yet seen the trailer, here’s a link to it.

Okay, now that you’ve seen the trailer (you have seen it, right?) I’ll get right to the game itself. It’s a 3D room escape-like game built in Unity. The story behind the game is that of a person vacationing in southern Japan, who suddenly blacks out while hiking in the woods near some mountains and wakes up in a locked building. It’s up to the player to find a way out.

I’ve built versions for Windows and Mac, so there shouldn’t be a problem… unless you use Linux. But I can make a Linux build if anyone wants that, so no problems! Anyway, here’s links to the game so you can try it out yourself. There’s no installation; you can unzip the file and double-click the *.exe to start.

Shades of the Past – Windows

Shades of the Past – Mac

There you have it. My first real game, albeit not a game for commercial release. I’m not that far along yet. One day soon, I’ll be able to release my first commercial game, for in the meantime, please enjoy this game that I’ve just finished.

I’m also considering putting up the one I was working on for ITP 380 – Video Game Programming, which was built using Unreal Engine 4.10.4, but there are a few final tweaks I’d like to make before I’d feel comfortable showing it off. Maybe in a couple of months or so, I guess. I mean, I’d hate to have done all that work and not let anyone try it out, right? What would be the point of that?

I made a new game!

It was for a class assignment and it’s admittedly bare-bones, but nonetheless, I made a new game! This is a very simple pinball game that I haven’t really named because of how stripped down it is. I mean, there’s only two flippers and five bumpers, so… yeah. But, in my defense, I’m simultaneously taking three classes that give heavy coding assignments, so I don’t really have time to make things fancy. In fact, once I post this, I’m off to work on another coding assignment that I hope I can finish before I go to bed tomorrow.

Anyway, here’s a link for the people who can’t be bothered to click over to the new Games link higher up on this page.

EDIT (12/16/16): I’ve built my pinball game into a standalone executable file that you can download and play even if you’re not on the internet. The link above has been changed appropriately.

And so ends another semester.

Well, except for a couple of finals, that is. But that’s next week. Right now, I finally have time to write something in this blog of mine. I mean, I paid for the damn thing, so I should at least try to keep it updated.

So. In my Game Workshop class, we ended up making a few non-digital games, e.g. board games, card games, etc. Since they were group projects, I don’t have all the assets from making them, so I can’t post much about them here. However, I did make one by myself, and my group’s Final Project is uploaded to The Game Crafter‘s site, so it can be professionally printed and assembled. I can post my solo game, no problem, and some of the assets I worked on for the Final Project, but it’s not published, so I can only buy copies while logged in under the class’s account. Obviously, I’m going to order a copy for myself at a later date.

So, I’ll post some details and pictures of those two games at a later date. For now, now that I have time to relax, I’m going to relax. For a little while, at least.

So, two weeks into my new semester.

I’ve got five classes again this semester, but it definitely looks easier than the previous one. CTIN-101 is Fundamentals of Procedural Media, and it looks like a lot of basic programming with the Processing sketch program. I made a picture of Mario standing on a ? block, Super Mario Bros. style.

EE-352 is Computer Organization and Architecture, which seems like it’s about learning about how processors, memory, and other computer components work, plus learning how to write in assembly language. Seems interesting so far.

MTEC-277 is Intro to Music Technology, which is so far looking to be about music production. So far, so good.

CTAN-452 is Intro to 3-D Computer Animation, which is awesome because I get to work with Maya again. Well, the class is using Maya 2015, but I think I still have Maya 2014. I’m still considering whether to upgrade to Maya 2015 or stay with what I have. I’ll have to check out my options on this end. Thank goodness I have a temporary license for a student version, otherwise this could get very expensive.

And finally, CTIN-488 is Game Design Workshop, which is mostly about game design in general, with an emphasis on non-digital games, e.g. board games, card games, etc. I already finished a modified version of a game called Up the River with a group from my class. We called it Oh, Sh!t! Zombies! (I came up with the name ^__^) and it turned out pretty well. I ended up making the game pieces and providing a single d6 die, so I pretty much ended up doing very little, production-wise, but I did make several contributions to the rules, so there’s at least that. Anyway, this time I have a different group and we’re working on a completely new game. This one’s going to be a 2 vs 1 vs 1 game utilizing trading and romance. Unusual constraints, but we’ve brainstormed and came up with some interesting ideas. We see what happens as we continue to work on it. I’m kinda looking forward to it.

I finally finished Sandwich Quest!

I finally did it! I finished Sandwich Quest! My very first game has been completed! Wheeee!!!

Granted, it’s a very simple game and you can pretty much finish it in about five or so minutes, but the fact of the matter remains that I finally finished a game. I saw it through to its completion and I’m feeling pretty good about it.

Anyway, I meant to have this out before the Fall Semester of 2014, but I ended up adding more content than I had originally intended. Then, the semester hit, and hit hard, so I ended up putting it off until now. However, what’s important is the fact that it’s done. Also, let’s not forget the fact that I allowed for actions to be taken in any order, so there’ll definitely be some content that players will miss their first time through. Bet you weren’t expecting this game to have replayability, did you? Hah! (Well, there’s not that much, but there’s still something. I worked hard on this game, dammit.)

Anyway, go check out the game. There’s a link to the game’s page up at the top, and there’s also a direct link here for very lazy people. So, click here if you’re a very lazy person and enjoy Sandwich Quest: The Quest for Sandwich!

Oh, yeah…. This thing exists, doesn’t it?

Such a long time between posts. Well, that’s how hectic this damn semester was. I hardly had time to get my homework done, let alone update this blog. And Sandwich Quest? Hah, fat chance. And thus, my blog was left to just sit and wallow in its silence.

Well, that was until the end of this week. Last Wednesday kicked off Finals Week, and what better way to start Finals Week than IMMEDIATE LINEAR ALGEBRA FINAL EXAM. We were given five days to study but with four of those days being spent desperately struggling to finish one homework and two final project assignments before time was up (I only managed to finish two of the three), I only managed to have all of ONE DAY to study for it. It’s like they forget that you have other classes besides theirs when assigning work. But hey, that’s college for you.

So, with Linear Algebra’s final exam out of the way, and with Advanced Writing counting our final project as our final exam, that means I’m halfway done with finals. I just have my Programming class and my Theory class.

Their finals? This Wednesday. Both of them.

Yes, I have two final exams on the very same day. One in the morning and one in the evening. Fun times. At least I have plenty of study time, plus extra time to relax from the massive overload of stress this semester so kindly provided me with. I have had nearly zero gaming time. For a gamer, and for someone planning to eventually enter the gaming industry, that just will not do. So, I’ve been trying to get some gaming in before settling down to study for Wednesday. Also, I’ve finally got some time to work on finishing Sandwich Quest, so that’s back on the agenda. I’ll be working on this during the Summer until it’s finished, so it’ll finally be done after all my putzing about with it. I hope it at least amuses those who remember this from my old CTIN190 class last semester. But if not, it at least amuses me, and I enjoyed making it. And it’s my very first game. The first one I made from scratch. That’s at least worth something, experience-wise.

That’s pretty much everything up to this point. Hopefully, it won’t be another 4-5 months before I post again. Heck, my next post might even be about my finishing Sandwich Quest. That’d be nice.

You do realize you asked for this….

You know, I never realized that Linear Algebra would be so much harder than Multivariable Calculus.

Well, it feels like it is, at least. Having a professor that teaches at lightning speed and offers little in the way of concrete examples makes it harder to comprehend anything. At least I’m doing decently in my other three classes.

I’ve given each of my classes my own nickname to make it easier to let people know which class I’m taking about. WRIT340 is Writing (natch), CSCI 104 is Coding, CSCI 170 is Theory, and MATH225 is Math. Yes, very intuitive, I know. I don’t even have to give you the full name for you to get the gist of what these classes are about.

Anyway. I really should’ve finished Sandwich Quest when I had the chance during Winter Break. My classes aren’t letting up, work-wise. Add to that the number of hours I work at Viterbi DEN just sitting behind camera control panels, recording online classes… man, I get no breaks this semester.

But you know what? I really did ask for this, when I enrolled at USC. I’m not complaining (well, not much), but I do wish a few classes could tone it down with either the workload, or at least make things a little easier to understand. I’m doing my best and all, but damn.

I got my CTIN-190 final paper posted on Gamasutra.

After I got my paper graded, I noticed in the professor’s notes that he suggested that I should post the paper online, such as in a site for game developers, like Gamasutra. So, when I finally managed to scrape together some time, I adapted my paper into a blog post format and submitted it for the editors at Gamasutra to review.

And today, I found out that they posted it. However, such I have this nice website in which I blog about things game-related, and since this paper is game-related, I figure it should also have a home here. So, I’m cross-posting it here, in it’s entirety, unaltered from the post at Gamasutra. Enjoy.

PETA used Parody! …It’s not very effective.


An imitative work created to imitate, or comment on and trivialize, an original work, its subject, author, style, or some other target, by means of satiric or ironic imitation.

– Wikipedia entry on Parody

A genre … in which vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming … into improvement.

– Wikipedia entry on Satire

Parody and satire are common in today’s media, with television shows like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report that satirize news shows, novels such as The Wind Done Gone or Pride and Prejudice and Zombies that either satirize the original story or tell an alternate version with themes from an entirely different, unrelated genre, and films such as The Great Dictator, which parodies Hitler and the Nazis, or Blazing Saddles, which is a spoof of the western film genre. Video games are not exempt from being used as vehicles of parody and satire. The difference between using video games as a medium for parody and satire and other mediums is the fact that video games must be interacted with in order to be experienced. Without the player, there is no video game; the game is nothing but lines of code and image files burned onto an optical disk or written onto an integrated chip on a breadboard in a game cartridge. However, even though video games are gaining more respectability as a medium, there is a distinct difference between whether a parody game is intended as humor or as a satirical statement. You cannot create a game intended as satire, and then pass it off as humor when the public at large greatly disagrees with you. To do so would devalue the message you might have wished to convey, damage your respectability, and sometimes, generate the opposite effect, exacerbating what you want to correct. A perfect example of how misuse of parody and satire in combination with video games ended mostly in failure is shown in the case of PETA.

The website for the animal rights organization, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), is perhaps the last place one would expect to find anything video-game related, as their main concern is the treatment of animals in the real world. After forming in 1980, PETA’s first case was the 1981 Silver Spring monkeys case—a dispute about experiments conducted on 17 monkeys in a laboratory in Silver Spring, Maryland—which they won. Since then, they focused their message on four areas: factory farms, the clothing trade, laboratories, and the entertainment industry. Between 2001 and 2004, they created their own Adobe Flash-based video games to draw attention to their campaigns, especially aiming them at children through their PETA Kids website. In 2004, they had four games on their PETA Kids website: Save the Chicks, a game about saving chicken from boiling water; Make Fred Spew, a game where the player makes “Fred” vomit after feeding him dairy products; Revenge of the PETA Tomatoes, a game where you throw tomatoes at fur-wearing targets; and Lobster Liberation, a Frogger parody where the object of the game is to save a lobster by making it cross a road and river, much like in the original Frogger. With the marginal success of these four games, PETA decided to release a parody of Super Mario Bros. called Super Chick Sisters, with the intention of revealing animal cruelty in fast food chain, Kentucky Fried Chicken’s food production.


Just like with Frogger, the mechanics of Super Chick Sisters work just like Super Mario Bros.; you jump, you stomp, you lose a life if you touch an enemy or fail into a pit. There were two main things that made this title stand out. First, in addition to the titular Chick Sisters adventuring to rescue the kidnapped princess, the game shows Mario and Luigi—characters who are the intellectual property of Nintendo and were used without permission—rushing off to rescue the princess as well. However, the brothers got off to a late start due to being busy playing Wii, getting “Wiitus” for playing too long, and going to see Dr. Mario (paradox much?), all the while believing that there isn’t anyone else that can save the princess besides them. Second, the princess that the evil caricature of Colonel Sanders kidnaps in the game is Pamela Anderson, dressed up to resemble Princess Peach. This would mark the first time PETA would use the likeness of one of their celebrity spokespersons in their games. PETA would again repeat this formula for their 2009 game New Super Chick Sisters, a parody of New Super Mario Bros., only this time, aimed at fast food chain McDonald’s, with an evil Ronald McDonald caricature kidnapping Princess Peach Pamela Anderson. Regardless, it wasn’t until 2008 that PETA would turn its attempts at satire toward video games themselves.


Currently, on their website, PETA has several Flash games that parody other well-known games. These include: Pokémon Black & Blue: Gotta Free ‘Em All (2012), a Pokémon Black 2 & White 2 parody; Cooking Mama: Mama Kills Animals (2008), a parody of the Cooking Mama series; Super Tofu Boy (2010), a parody of Super Meat Boy; Super Tanooki Skin 2D, a.k.a. Mario Kills Tanooki (2011), a parody of Super Mario Bros. 3; and the aforementioned New Super Chick Sisters (2009). Each of these obviously satirical games features gameplay similar to the original games they parody. However, unlike the whimsical, cartoony, fun atmosphere that accompanies those games, PETA’s parodies are blood-filled depictions of gore laced with heavy-handed preaching of the evils of animal abuse and eating meat animal flesh. Considering the target demographic for most of these games are young children, it follows that the target demographic for these parody games from PETA would also target children. However, when presented with bloody graphics like in those found in Cooking Mama: Mama Kills Animals


It comes as no surprise that PETA received a lot of backlash for this game. In an article in Kotaku, Mike Fahey writes:

She just wants to fill our tummies with goodness, and this is the thanks she gets?

According to an article in The Escapist, the official response from Cooking Mama publisher, Majesco, was that the game that PETA was satirizing, Cooking Mama World Kitchen for the Wii, actually contained several vegetarian recipes from around the world and that Mama fully supported the humane treatment of animals.

In the case of Super Tofu Boy, one of the developers of Super Meat Boy, Edmund McMillen, told gaming news site G4 that he posted on the game’s blog that he had created several accounts on PETA’s online forum to get PETA to create a parody of the old Flash version of their game, using PETA’s tendency toward attention-getting behavior for Super Meat Boy’s benefit. Of course, he left out the fact that the Meat Boy character is not made of animal meat, but is really a human boy with no skin. PETA eventually created Super Tofu Boy in 2010 after the developers turned their small Flash game into a full-blown console game for Xbox Live Arcade and Steam, using their game to promote veganism and protest the game. In response, McMillen announced on the game’s blog that they would be adding Tofu Boy as a playable character to Super Meat Boy. In addition, he listed the characteristics of their version of Tofu Boy – “Pro: Inflated Ego; Con: Not actually as effective as he thinks he is” which is a fitting description of PETA’s attempt at satiring the game. He even added a joke at PETA’s expense at the end:

How many Peta members does it take to change a lightbulb? None, Peta can’t change anything.

In November 2011, Nintendo released Super Mario 3D Land which features the Tanooki Suit, an item that lets Mario dress up like a tanuki, giving him the powers to float gently to the ground and to change into a stone statue. This prompted PETA to create Super Tanooki Skin 2D the next day, as well as issue a statement saying that by wearing the Tanooki Suit, “Mario is sending the message that it’s OK to wear fur.”


Contributor to, David M. Ewalt, remarks that the suit is merely what it is—a suit, or rather, a costume, not the skin from an animal. Well, that and Mario changes into the suit by grabbing a Super Leaf, not by skinning a tanuki. Nintendo responded by pointing out that Mario has taken the appearance of several objects and animals over the course of his games giving him different powers, such as a frog, a penguin, a balloon, or even a metallic version of himself.

These lighthearted and whimsical transformations give Mario different abilities and make his games fun to play. The different forms that Mario takes make no statement beyond the games themselves.

The day after Nintendo made their statement, PETA issued a clarification, stating that their game wasn’t really satire, and that they were just poking fun at the game while trying to raise awareness of a serious issue. Of course, if PETA were to just look back about 24 years ago to 1990’s Super Mario Bros. 3, they probably would’ve realized that they’re not only almost a quarter of a century too late to complain, but that 90’s fashion was noticably absent of any raccoon tails or tanuki suits.

Not ones to let reality stand in their way, PETA decided to take aim at the Pokémon franchise in 2012 by releasing an unflattering parody the day after the release of Pokémon Black 2 & White 2 called PETA’s Pokémon Black & Blue: Gotta Free ‘Em All. Pokémon Black & Blue is a Flash game created by New York-based indie studio THIS IS POP—who, interestingly enough, does not include PETA among their list of clients, despite displaying Pokémon Black & Blue on their website, but not others, such as Super Tanooki Skin 2D—that claims that Pokémon “paints a rosy picture of things that are horrible” and that, if PETA existed in the Pokémon universe, their motto would be “Pokémon are not ours to use or abuse. They exist for their own reasons.”


While they may make a salient point concerning how the battles in Pokémon may be similar to cockfighting, the main difference between people who engage in cockfighting and most of the Pokémon trainers in the franchise is that most of the Pokémon trainers actually do care for their Pokémon. In fact, according to Pokémon canon, since Pokémon often exhibit the desire to fight and become stronger, battling Pokémon to develop its combat abilities is desirable for both the trainer and the Pokémon itself. But, as Jessica Conditt, a writer for Joystiq, points out:

Pokemon Black and Blue demonstrates that while it’s terrible to punch, kick, cut or hit fictional animals with bats, it’s perfectly acceptable to electrocute humans.

Furthermore, in the above screenshot, you can clearly see Pikachu wielding a sign that states “I support Team Plasma.” While Team Plasma does try to convince trainers to release their Pokémon, claiming that humans are hindrances to the lives and interests of Pokémon, if trainers do not wish to release their Pokémon, they will try to steal the Pokémon instead, using their own Pokémon to battle the trainer. So yes, PETA supports Team Plasma; a team of hypocrites.

The list doesn’t end there. In fact, contributor to, Erik Kain, put together a list of five “silly anti-video game protests” two days after Pokémon Black and Blue was released. Of the five, Super Tanooki Skin 2D and Super Tofu Boy were already mentioned. In one such example, in 2009, PETA urged its members to log into World of Warcraft in order to defend seals from being clubbed to death. Digital seals. Because defending bits of 1s and 0s from virtual head trauma is more important than protecting actual seals. In addition, in a video released on YouTube by PETA, they portrayed the seal clubbers as Canadian, and that they traditionally clubbed baby whitecoat seals. However, what they failed to realize—other than Canadian accents don’t sound like the ones in that video—is that Canada had banned the hunting of baby whitecoat seals way back in 1987.

In 2013, PETA released two more parody games: a sequel to Pokémon Black and Blue called Pokémon Red, White, and Blue: An Unofficial PETA Parody, and Cage Fight, a River City Ransom clone where you play as one of three characters based on real MMA fighters. Even though the Pokémon sequel is more of the same, Cage Fight is actually a decent game, even though the dialogue during the cut-scenes still lean on the heavy-handed side. However, by now it is probably already too late for PETA. With so many games criticized for missing the point, sending the wrong message, or being ignorant, hypocritical, or just plain wrong, any credibility PETA may have had—at least as far as video game satire is concerned—has expired. In her essay, PETA: How the Messenger Kills the Message, Hannah Crisan states that if people have negative attitudes about PETA, then they will automatically be biased against whatever issue they are trying to promote.

PETA’s name has become so notorious that as soon as someone knows they are associated with an issue, they close their minds to PETA’s message, even if it may be an important and excellent one. If people think of them as disrespectful and uncaring about whom they hurt, PETA is killing the message.

It is not just the message that they are killing. By becoming notorious for extreme publicity stunts in order to push their ideals, they are not only killing the message, but they are also killing their own name.

Just this month, Brian Crecente of Polygon writes, PETA opened the doors to its own server in Minecraft. The main aspect of this server is that players will not be allowed to harm animals. Considering the reputation that PETA has now, I can’t imagine what the response to this by the Gaming and Internet communities at large might be. Oh, wait. Yes, I can.