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GDC was amazing!! I learned a lot and made some amazing contacts.  I also realized how hard it will be to get into the industry, but that is fine! I know with my work ethic and drive I will separate myself from the masses.  I also had an amazing time with the people I went with.  There was a lot of drinking and serious business… well one more than the other ;-).  I did also buy my first card game which was Boss Monsters!  It is pretty amazing and one of my closest friends in the cohort was so proud of me lol.   Also I probably had the best Chinese food ever!!!!!!!11043041_10101326110555947_9051514280982649710_n

 

Other than that San Fran is a very interesting town had some amazing food and went to a lot of great places!

 

Back to the real world … well… kinda

The team is getting ready for GDC and we actually have a build on Android devices that we can show off to people at GDC.  We are all very excited about it! Also I am really excited because I finally get to go on a vacation with my wife for spring break!  We will be going to Disney Land!!!  I have never been there and that is one place I have always wanted to go.  My mom always talked about Disney Land with me, but I was not able to go with her because she died  a year ago!  So this will be a very emotional trip for me, but exciting!

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Well  a lot has happened….  The games have been picked and I was not shocked by the choices.  The games go as followed Platos Cave, Crash City, B.E.S.T, Fire game, and 360 view game.  There are many people in the cohort who are very upset about the choices.  Actually there have been some people who have talked about quitting the program, which I would not recommend.  This happens many times in the industry.  You will get assigned a game and half way though you will lose funding and work on another project.  I think many people are letting their emotions dictate a very crucial decision in their life.  I understand that it is only natural to be mad, but I told that person to give it time before you make a choice.

I am really excited to be working on Crash City.  The biggest sell of the game is the team.  Everyone on the team is very mature and want to have fun!  Which is a big part of my choice.  If we are going to spend a year and half working together we better enjoy each others time.  Also if there is any issues, which there will be then we can handle it like adults.  Other teams have massive teams, which in my eyes are a production nightmare and many of the producers this will be there first time working in groups this big so that will be an interesting learning experience.  Also one thing I do like about Crash City is they are pushing for mobile development, which I have several years of experience in.  I can help the team with many decisions that come up.

Well things have been moving fast.  Thursday we have to pitch our game to the industry panel, which is very exciting.  We are finishing up the advice Roger and Bob told us our game needs.  We pitch to them how our game can go in many direction.  One of their biggest suggestions to us was “pick a direction.”  So we decided to go our Pikmin route.  So throughout the level you will have to find your jigglets ( which act like your Pikmin).  There will be areas around the level that you need your jigglets to get past certain obstacles, for example find all the jigglets in a room then you can gain access into another room, a bridge will be missing to get across to the next level, stairs will be missing, and doors will be locked.  Have no fear your jigglets will save you!!!  We have already put some videos on facebook and youtube and we have gotten overwhelming positive response.  One thing our team is trying to explain in our pitch is how we are trying to add a new verb to the gaming culture and that is JIGGLING!!!! We are all tired of shooting, running, and jumping.  Also Laurie came up with an amazing theme, which we can flip this game into a serious game (which one thing I learned from this program that it is very easy to turn any game into a serious game).  Our theme will be that you are trying to save your fellow jello people from the jello mold factory and escape with your jigglets.  We can flip this theme about being unique and individual and how not to conform to society.  Roger loved this idea.  To be honest if this game makes the final cut I will totally be happy with my time here at EAE.

This week has been a very eventful week.  I had a confrontation with a fellow class mate who has been a bully to other people in our cohort and looks down at some staff and not many people will stand up to him… and me being me will not stand for it.  I honestly thought I would never see this attitude at my age and at this level of education, but I guess I was wrong. To be honest I blew up because he said something rude to me and actually said it again to my face.  Needless to say I popped and I said a lot of rude things right to his face, which at the time felt soooooo right.  In all actuality it was not the right thing to do.  I talked with Jesse and Roger and they both talked about different situations I could take.  I remember talking to Roger at the start of the year about coming out of this program the best producer that I can be!  Roger told me that it is only natural to blow up on people, but a great producer will flip it around and make that person work even harder on projects. So I am going to decide to do the right thing and be a true producer and make sure everything on the project will be completed on time..  That being said I will give you a code word if you push it to far and it will be potato. So you know you took it to far when you hear that.”  This  was a great learning experience because the old Drew in the past would of honestly just thrown a punch.  I really want to give big props to my boy Roger and Jesse for sitting down and talking with me and cooling me off.  I am so glad to have such a great friends/teachers in this program.  If I can say one thing that I do really enjoy about the program is that the teachers really care about their students and you can go to them for anything.  So no more blowing up from Drew!  Its actually funny we have sat down and talked and now are even cooler than ever.  Its amazing how just sitting down and talking to someone can help!

So this week was very interesting because we had to choose our thesis games…. well more like narrow the choices down.  I pitched a drunk stealth game, which I knew that it would not get picked because well… lets be honest its Utah and the game and staff wont be proud to market it and probably wont win awards, but I had tons of classmates love the idea and wanted to work on it.  I know that we had the option to ignore what games they picked, but I know regardless it would get shut down so I do not want to waste peoples time developing it. I am really excited about the jiggling adventure game Erik made.  I am the lead producer for the game.  I have the vibe that many of the class mates think this game is a joke, which is fine because I have been a underdog my whole life.  So the team will prove them wrong.  I did find it very interesting that one game that made the cut, which needed over $1000 of peripherals.  Funny thing is the teachers told us not to pitch games that needed peripherals.  Not to name names but many of my class mates were very disappointing with the selection and know that if we decided develop another game it would be shut down.  O well… what can you do.. I want to finish this post with I now have a true hatred for that stupid commercial 1984.

This week has been pretty hard on me because my body was not ready for the lack of sleep and lack of video games I am playing. haha I was really excited about our projects class, which leads into our thesis game.  I say this because in prototype class you only had to work on a project for 4 weeks and you start over.  Now we will be stuck on the same teams for a year and a half.  This will make things very interesting.  Many of the C4’s told me about how their experience was last year and most of them said it SUCKED!!!  So I was ready for it, but typical Bob and Roger they changed things and they decided to pick the thesis teams differently.  I am actually totally for the way they are doing it.  So everyone in the cohort is going to pitch and they will pick the best 7 to prototype and the best of the prototypes will be fleshed out into a thesis game.  WISH ME LUCK for my game.  I think my game is one of the most unique ideas next to my boy Erik.  It will be really interesting to see what the panel has to say about my game.  Anyways, back to work for me!

WOW!!!! all I have to say is wow!  I cannot believe that we are 1/4 of the way done with this program.  I thought I had a big advantage being in the industry prior to this program, but I still learned so much.  Also I have made so many amazing friendships in this program. But, back to our last prototype… TRONCANO yes Tron has a baby with a Volcano.  We showed it off during EAE day and it was a big hit.  Many people loved the game and had great suggestions about making the game more fun.  It was really great to see all the students actually unwind from classes and just show off their games.  I was very proud of the team and how we finished the game on a positive note.  Many groups were getting burnt out and we kept pushing though to make a great game.  One thing I am super excited about is actually sitting down drinking beer and playing all the video games I have been missing out on while in school.  One of our last assignments for our prototype class is to write up a big post mortem.  This is a big paper that you talk about what you did in each project, what grade you deserve and defend that, the good people in the groups, the bad people in the groups, and what the teachers can do it improve the class.  I was actually dreading this paper, but sitting down and actually doing it I really enjoyed the paper and had some great suggestions for C6 and reflected a lot about the start of the class all the way to the end.

So today was a big day for our prototype.. we had Roger come in and play the game.  He seemed very interested in the game and I did not even tell him the controls.  I just wanted him to  play with the mechanic and the design of the game to see if it was even fun.  After a few tries he started to understand the game and had some really good info that we used to improve the game.  So currently we have you placed in a volcano and you have to collect gems to beat the level.  The kicker is that the pushing and pulling mechanic is not easy to control so it is challenging and fun at the same time.  Roger told us we should maybe take out the rocks from inside the volcano and maybe change them to cubes so you can clearly see and let the player know what he or she can push and pull off of.  Earl our Tech Artist made these Tron looking box’s that look amazing.  Also one of our artists Auti made a new target cross hair to also indicate to the player when they are on an object they can push and pull off of.

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Finally, we tweaked the numbers a lot with gravity to give you more of a floating feeling when you are in the level, which was one of Rogers suggestions.  We are all very excited to be done with the semester, but most importantly we are really excited about EAE DAY!!  That is a day where we bring in outside people and show off all of our work.  I am looking forward to walking around and talking to people about our games and future games we will be working on.  I have never been to a EAE day but everyone here says it is an amazing time!

Sorry for the late post.  I have been busy with all of the assignments and papers that are due. I have been really trying to work hard to get as much as I can done.  I do not want to wait the night before and freak out!  Our prototype is moving along.  Today we had 3 different builds and we all had to test each build and see what one was the most fun.  We all decided that the level with the lava rising was the most fun. It created a sense of urgency while the player was in the level. We are currently working on making the lava more fluid.  Maybe after you collect a certain amount of gems then it rises or even lowers again.  We all feel that it will add some extra “juice”.  To be honest the hardest part now is trying to keep everyone motivated.  Many of us are just at that point where we can not wait for break.  Many of us have poured our hearts and souls into all the papers, prototypes, pitches, and hours of readings.  I am very confident that the team will pull through and make an amazing game.  I worked my butt off to make the level as fun as possible and as “sexy” as possible.   I was able to work on level design and I absolutely love it.  It is funny because I had to make 3 new levels… not because we needed it, but Unreal and Jon crashed the level’s I made.  Jon felt bad about it but it was fine with me.  The team has really grown over the weeks.  Usually when we meet on the weekends to work we always go out and grab food together and there is always open lines of communication between Engineers, Artist, and Producers.  That is very nice because I have been in groups that communication was at a minimum.  I am looking forward to finishing up Prototype class, but on the other hand I am not.  I will miss making a game every 4 weeks, but it will be very exciting to be on a team that will be working together for a year and a half.  It is a very strange feeling knowing that the first semester is almost done.  Finally, I ended up bringing Storm into the lab and I think this needs to be a normal thing because she cheered everyone up!

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