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?

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.

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.

Post-Finals Update

Now that my last Final Exam for the semester is over, I’ll have more time to work on completing Sandwich Quest, as well as posting most of my more interesting works.

I’ve also decided to declare a minor. Once I go through all the required application/interview steps, I’ll be minoring in Game Audio. So, I’ll have experience in 3D modeling using Maya, programming experience in multiple languages, and soon, I’ll be able to work with game audio. I guess I’ll be able to make games all by myself, at this rate.

I still can’t draw worth a crap, though….