SGD: recursion

By | Animation, Electronics, Impressions, Introspective, UVa, Video Game | One Comment

Recursion is a game that was pitched for the University of Virginia’s Student Game Developers (SGD) Fall 2009 lineup by Daniel Epstein. I was intrigued by its premise, and being a first year, I was excited to get involved in any project possible. A puzzle game at heart, Recursion borrowed a mechanic used in the popular Braid: using previous iterations of your character, solve puzzles. Though, as its name implies, Recursion used recursion. There is no ability to re-control a past self, which made players more thoughtful while level exploring and puzzle solving.

It’s strange looking through this old work now. I distinctly remember having random spurts of inspiration and laziness, so the project had very sporadic progress, but fortunately, Recursion was one of the games that had the considerable headway in terms of project completion during that semester. The project spanned over two semesters, since character design and animation were the main focus of the Fall Semester. We wanted a character that was simple enough to be presented in a 16×16 pixel box, and with that limited amount of space, it’s definitely difficult to make any detail noticeable. This resulted in a simple character: Piko. With feet. I resorted to using my favorite original character as the game’s main mascot, but for some pretty obvious reasons, we had to change the character at the end of production.

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Come back here, you lil—

By | Electronics, Impressions, Introspective | One Comment


Sleep. Once the playground for the exhausted geek, now a wasteland of antiproductivity. Can you write code while you’re jumping over fences with sheep in green pastures? No. Are you studying organic chemistry books when your broken doll of a body lays in bed? No. Are you collecting minerals in order to mount a 6-minute push that’ll get your opponent to surrender and type GG? No. Read More

Outburst #001: Internet Dependence

By | Electronics, Introspective, Outbursts | No Comments

I personally took pride in being somewhat computer/tech-savvy in my early youth, but that has since then changed. I’m definitely more capable at connecting devices together, programming some code, and working around minor technical computer problems than most of my family, but just as our parents’ generation are supposedeley technologically inept, if our technology continues to develop at its current rate, I fear that I will eventually drown in the continuous massive wave of innovations that swarm the market every year. That said, I don’t really want to talk about Apple coming out with a new iPad of iTouch, or Google continuously eating every single company idea that ever existed, but rather discuss one of the world-changing creations of recent centuries and our dependence on it: the inter-web, or internet.

The growth rate of the internet exceeds that of any previous technology. Measured by users and bandwidth, Internet has been growing at a rapid rate since its conception (with more than 5% year-over-year), on a curve geometric and sometimes exponential. Today, the Internet is growing in three different directions — size, processing power, and software sophistication — making it one of the fastest evolving technology mankind has ever made. However, inventions that are usually created as a productivity tool often end up being used for other uses. Read More

Pokémon Throwback

By | Animation, Anime, Electronics, Video Game | No Comments

A few weeks ago, I had an unexpected trip down memory lane as I remembered the good ol’ days where Pokémon took the world by storm.

I’ve always loved Pokémon. I wasn’t exactly a Pokémon nerd who followed each episode of the English-dubbed anime (or the original Japanese anime, for that matter) or attended local trading card game tournaments, but I had my fair share of obsessions. Like many others, I totally dug the Pokémon video game. What is so fantastic about the handheld franchise was exactly the idea of Pocket Monsters. Teenagers could explore the Pokémon regions anytime and anywhere. It was a world that felt expansive and endless (151 Pokémon felt like a lot at the time) and was accessible all at the flick of a switch. It was a game that was super easy to get into and out of, with tons of people almost mixing the two together. Read More

PlayStation Vita

By | Electronics, Impressions, Video Game | 2 Comments

During their press conference at the 2011 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Sony officially revealed their next generation portable: the PlayStation Vita (PS Vita) (PCH-1000 series).

“Vita,” which means “Life” in Latin, was chosen as the most appropriate name for the new handheld from Sony. Though the “Life” may be exactly what Sony is trying to reinvigorate into their line of handheld consoles, I am surprised that a more hip and stylish name wasn’t chosen. Granted, there exist an indefinite amount of worse possibilities, but the Vita’s codename, the NGP, fundamentally felt more 21st century.

It’s common knowledge that Sony made a substantial loss on every PlayStation 3 they sold, costing the company billions. With only a mediocre range of game exclusives and competing with cheaper rival consoles from both Microsoft and Nintendo, Sony has struggled to remain competitive in the console gaming market. Sony first unveiled their new device in January, during which they explained many of the tech specs, including an ARM Cortex A9 (core) CPU, a SGX543MP4+ GPU, and a SixAxis motion-sensing system (more specs can be found at the Sony website). Marketed as a platform that possesses near PS3-level capabilities, many people were wary of how to react to yet another “powerhouse gadget” from Sony. Read More