Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Meeting with Mr Robin Tan

Meeting Point
I was supposed to meet Mr Robin at Bugis, 4pm. However, due to my lack of discipline, I was late. As I was on the train, I contemplated on whether to inform him that I would be late. Deciding that it was basic courtesy to inform him of my unpunctuality, I messaged him that I would reach at 4.15pm. Meanwhile, I was thinking what kind of bad impression I would give him. Well, his reply was that he would be late too :/

Arriving at Bugis, I went to Rockmaster to buy bubble tea as he hasn't reached yet. It cost me $1.80 for that cup of Passion Fruit Milk Tea + Pearls, which wasn't worth it. The pearls were rubbery and overall the drink wasn't up to standard. Oh well, live and learn :)

Mr Robin arrived at 4.30pm. He had an urgent meeting earlier, which was probably why he was late. He led me down to this cafe that sold delectable donuts and coffee. I forgot what the name of the cafe was, except that it had the word "Donut" in it.

The place was delightfully cosy and rather hidden from sight. I've never really noticed the interior of the cafe before. The comfy sofas complimented the ambience, which generated an extremely relaxed atmosphere. Under the dimmed lighting, I mentally noted this place as one of the romantic spots I would bring my future beloved to. Alright, I'll stop here haha :D

It was so nice of Mr Robin to treat me to a donut! He even offered to buy me coffee, which was pretty pricey, so I refused. After eating the donut, my fingers were dipped with cream. Mr Robin then took the initiative to get serviettes for me. I was so embarassed by his kind gesture.

Our Conversation
Mr Robin first asked me what kind of programming I like to do, since there is such a wide variety, including Gameplay, Networking, Physics, User Interface, Artificial Intelligence, Graphics, Audio, etc.

I said that I'm opened to any kind programming, although I do more Gameplay and Physics programming. I also told him I can't really do Networking (it ain't easy) and I'm interested in learning A.I. programming. I guess he wanted to know what kind of tasks he should give me if I were to work for him.

We moved on to talking about the projects he was working on, getting funds, and the speed of which his company developed demos and games alike. He asked me if I brought a notebook. Thus, I fished out my heavy laptop from within my bag and lay it before him. He then began showing me the mysteries of the univer- I mean demo reels of some projects they were working on.

The projects they were working on were enthralling - the standard and excellence in their work was much higher than what I am currently able to produce. And at a much shorter time span. I was further wow-ed by the realistic rendering project that he showed me. Real-time ray-tracing + ambient occlusion. Awesome.

In turn, I presented some videos of the work that I've done so far. As we watched the videos, he commented that we (Bryan, Mujun and I) picked up a lot from our 3 year course at Nanyang Polytechnic. He was quite impressed at Leroy Koo's artwork which he did for our game "Spectral Effect". Mr Robin wanted me to introduce Leroy to him :D

Mr Robin also talked about how his company operated. Envisage Reality's office is stationed at Malaysia, where everyone would gather for meetings and updates 2-3 a week. Otherwise everyone would be working from home, OTOT. He prefers people who can think for themselves and not mindless workers who must be told everything. He says he is opened to ideas and suggestions to make the game better, and not just mindlessly doing a job. The company communicated with each other via email and MSN most of the time. This is how an indie game company operates (which Mr Robin prefers) compared to the professional big names.

This is how he hands out tasks:
  • He gives you charge over a component of a project - let's say the entire UI or physics component
  • He gives you a rough picture of how it would be like, but he is open to any suggestions or ideas
  • He sets the deadline and askes if you are able to finish it by then. If you don't think you can, you better say something.
  • If you finish it by the deadline, good. If not, he will screw you (his exact words)
While speaking, he had a friendly smile on. I've never seen him angry before, so it'll be interesting to see him screw someone (not me though) XD

Seeing that I may have only 3-4 months to work due to NS, he began telling me about the projects that I would probably take on if I were to join his team. I might be doing some gambling game, which I prefer not to, although I'm okay with it. Well, the game would not simply be a casual game of cards or roulette - there's going to be a special feature which is novel and technologically advanced. I'm not at liberty to share what it is but it is going to take a lot of research to get it done. Even right now, I'm excited yet apprehensive at the notion of taking on this task. Woot.

We continued our chat until about 6pm, before we parted our ways. I'm not exactly sure if I should join this company yet. Thus, I decided to go for one of their meetings in Johor to have a feel of what it is like. I'm praying that God will lead me to right path, 'cause
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." (Pro 3:5-6)
Thank God for an open door! If I am willing to jump aboard, it is almost certain that I can get the job :D Just need direction and wisdom now.

I'm into LÖVE ^^

Hey all, just here to update what I've been up to. I'm gonna use quite a bit of game industry jargon, but I'll try to make it comprehensible to the layman.

Before I continue, this post is not about romance if that's what you're thinking.

The search for LÖVE
I've been wanting to learn LUA Script for some time, seeing that many games today use it (including World of Warcraft). It is becoming a requirement for Game Designers to know it. Also, I've been having a game idea that I want to develop. Thus I thought it would be a good idea to incorporate LUA Script into a 2D Game Engine.

I Google-d "2D Game Engine" and I found LÖVE! It is a pretty cool game engine, integrated with graphics, input, sound, 2D physics, etc. A unique feature is that everything has to be done in LUA Script! This means no compile time and easy editing. Furthermore, this would be a good opportunity to pick up LUA.

LÖVE 2D Game Engine

Of course there are drawbacks:
- Unlike C++, you have no access to underlying code and thereby less control of what you can do
- Anyone with knowledge of LUA may be able to view your source code and hack the whole game.
- LÖVE is still at its fledgling stage; it's current version is 0.5.0, not even a 1.0 yet.

My conclusion is that LÖVE is great for rapid development and testing of game concepts. If you want to make a real 2D game, its better to use Haaf's Game Engine (HGE) or Popcap 2D. Thus, I'll just be working on a game demo with lousy graphics ;D

By the way. the dots above the 'o' are called an umlaut. lälälälä

The LÖVE Club
The community is small but the people are nice. They are generally good-humored and encouraging, always giving helpful answers on the forums. One AWESOME thing is that everyone's avatar in the forums have the word 'obey' on it. Kinda gives a sense of unity and identity. Thus I decided to create my own:

My Avatar

Yea Vader rocks. Thy Father Beckons.

As of now, I'm pretty comfortable with LUA Script - its quite similar to C++. I'll be meeting up with my previous lecturer, Mr Robin Tan, at Bugis later at 4pm. This guy has his own game company, Envisage Reality! O_O

Immortals: The Heavenly Sage,
a project Envisage Reality is working on.

Well, I'm hoping I can get a job at his company, and maybe even help to ship a game before NS :)

I pray that I have the wisdom and anointing as I meet with him later, and not say anything stupid hahas. Whatever it is, let His will be done :D

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

最后的战役 The Final Battle

Hi guys, I'm here to introduce one of my favourite Jay Chou songs, although it is not very popular. It is perhaps the saddest and most touching Jay Chou song ever! And the song is called...

最后的战役 (zui hou de zhan yi) or "The Final Battle" in English. The song is about war and friendship, depicting the story of a dying soldier and his loyal friend, who remained with him until the very end.

Jay Chou expresses much creativity in composing this song; he integrated artillery and gun fire sounds as part of the music. The bagpipe composition at the end of the song is extremely meaningful as well, seeing that bagpipes are usually played in honour of a soldier's death in battle.

Alright enough talk, here is the song! I added English Subtitles XD

video

Hope you enjoyed this song! Jay Chou rawks! =D

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Brand New Day!

Hi everyone!
Sorry that I have not been active in posting recently. Its partially because of some difficulties in my personal life as well as family problems, but praise God for His grace!

God is such a great God! He helped me breakthrough in certain areas of my life, which I shall not share liberally. Anyway, today's service was awesome! (Yesterday actually - its past midnight). Somehow but God's grace, I managed to be punctual for my usher duties today :D Usually, I struggle to be on time, but it seemed so much easier to be on time today! I served God cheerfully with mental alertness and wisdom which I normally would not have. It was the anointing of the Holy Spirit!

Indeed, today felt like A BRAND NEW DAY!!! :D

Exciting times are ahead of us! :D Praise God for what He is doing in Felicia's life! Praise God for His promises to me! Praise God for the calling over Weiren's life and W406! Whatever it is, just PRAISE GOD!!!

Ok, I know, I am speaking in parables in this whole post. Probably you won't understand half of what I'm talking about but it's okay hahaha :D Maybe I should be less secretive :X

See ya next time for a less secretive post!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

FAITH CAMP!

Yea I'm back from Faith Camp, and was totally awesome!!! NOAH! :D
So here's a glimpse of the fun moments:

Day 1

At registration

Playing icebreakers and learning cheers


We nearly lost every game to Joseph on the first day, who played as our nemesis the whole time. I guess we aren't talented in sports and physical activities haha. BUT we kept a good attitude at all times, cheering also for the other houses!

The night session was phenomenal!! Presence of God was very strong and Weiren preached an AWESOME message! Everyone was talking about it! I was feeling quite down as Noah lost at almost every game. However, when God's presence and anointing came, suddenly all these things became insignificant - it doesn't matter even if Noah doesn't win. That is because the reason for this camp is to get the anointing of the Holy Spirit, the impartation from the Leaders, the passion for Christ and the presence of God. That's all that really matters at the end of the day!

That night, I had the laugh of my life. I literally LUP (Laughed Until Peng)! Hey I just invented a new word! Anyway, there was this guy named Melvin (or Belvin) who liked to do Yoga stunts. He was hopping around with one leg with the other leg behind his neck. I've never laughed so hard for a long time!

Me and Melvin


Melvin doing yoga stunts.

He told us that he slept like this for 1 hour that night. LOL

Day 2
We slept for like 4 hours and woke up for morning prayer. We were all feeling tired but the presence of God showed up very tangibly! We had a great time seeking God together :)

We played Who Wants To Be A Millionaire in the morning! We won about 3 out of 10 rounds, which is not too bad, considering there are 4 houses. I helped Noah win 1 round, singing Through It All! :D

Later we had a break before the night session. We did the placard for Felicia, talked rubbish, snacked, camwhored and more. Occasionally, Qiming would be chased around by various sisters, especially Adeline.

P.S. I stole some pictures from the CG Blog.

Mervin and Eugene
before the night session

I'm beneath the shield lol


On guard!
Where did Sheryl jump out from?

W406! :D

Day 2 night session was great! We had performances from Campus Superstar finalist Rachel and Strikeforce! Rachel is just 15 years old and she looks so mature! She has a wonderful voice as well. I'm just amazed at how God can use someone so young for His glory!

Rachel Ling,
Campus Superstar Finalist


Strikeforce really BLEW THE HOUSE DOWN! Their radical performance was full of energy and power! Really love the rhythm! I recorded part of their performance:

video
The Strikeforce!

Tonight was also the Project Runway Finals! Congrats to our models, even though we didn't win - cause they really took a step of faith, and they will always be winners in our eyes!

Noah's top models,
James and Felicia!

Pastor Zhuang delivered an inspiring message about the Presence of God. I'm so glad that Jolin, Eugene and Melvin responded to the Altar Call! :D

Edwin led the final praise songs which filled the hall with excitement! It kinda felt like Emerge! Everyone was jumping, singing to God at the top of their voices. We all crowded to the front of the stage! Edwin and Pastor Zhuang also dived into the audience with the brothers tossing them about LOL. Pastor spun a few rounds in our hands :X

The crowd going wild!

W406 Again! :D

Qiming conducting his famous "We're Never, Never, Never gonna lose" cheer based on the hit song "Nobody" by Wondergirls

When most of the crowd has cleared the hall, I went about on a camera-ing spree.

Edwin's head popped out of nowhere.


Jing Yuan and Sunthari


Huimei and Myself

Later Huimei introduced me to Chui Laam and Geraldine although we already knew each other. Only when she asked them to "get my number" that I realized what she was up to haha. I have no idea why she thinks so highly of me.

Huimei please don't pull this kind of stunt on me can? XD I'm not that good as you think I am; just ask Weiren :X "我不配..."

Speaking of Jay Chou songs, I was really high that night and sang out loud as we were bathing. Anyway, back to my camera spree...

Random picture of bros


Ready for battle!


Now presenting a MUST WATCH video of the retarded things we did:

video
That's Zining doing her gymnastic gig, Melvin hopping on one leg with the other leg behind his neck, some brothers behaving like monkeys on the pull-ups bars

Day 3
We had a great session with Faji! He asked us to invite our friends for the celebrity weekend, and within 10 mins, we have 110 confirmed friends! We broke camp at 3pm, and Qiming treated all of us to lunch!!! Bless his kind soul! I pray for God's strength to be with him as he enters army tomorrow.

Noah had the lowest points at the end of the 3 days, but I believe we were the most spiritual! When Faji did the shout of faith, most that fell under God's weight were from Noah! The only person that had a word from God through Pastor was Joel from Noah! The brothers also prayed together before we slept every night!

Conclusion
The Faith Camp is truly a faith camp! I discovered that I have an abundance of faith after the camp, to be Cellgroup leader, to reach out to the lost, to shine for God in the marketplace, to see a new generation of young leaders who will take Singapore by storm!!!

Finally, I would like to end by saying that all of you guys in W406 have the potential to do great things for God. Pastor Zhuang, Weiren, Faji, and the rest told us that we are the next generation that will accomplish great things for God not just to inspire us. There is substance in their words - I too feel in my spirit. Many of you will become CGLs! You are the generation of the greater works, the generation that will bring City Harvest Church to 100,000, the generation whose hearts are pure before God!

Praise the Lord!

Friday, June 5, 2009

New CG Blog + Sheryl's Birthday!

New CG Blog
Hi guys, sorry that I've neglected the blog for awhile - was busy designing the new W406 blog! It now looks awesome! (Self-praise)

Check out the title picture:
w406 Blog!

Actually I prayed for creativity before doing the picture, 'cause I rather give God the credit and do a better job, although I'm narcissistic :X. I'm very happy that God answered my prayers! I didn't have a plan on how to go about doing the picture, but as I started doing, everything just fell into place!

I just had the thought to use a Linear Gradient as a mask for logo with the wings, and it created a nice fade-to-black effect! I felt that the sea was missing something, and the thought of putting Noah's Ark just popped into my head! Normally, I'm not that creative, so all glory be to God - even in something so simple =D


Sheryl's Birthday

Yay, it was Sheryl's 14th Birthday on 3 June!

Birthday Girl!

Isaiah barbecuing

Piano Cake! So cool!

Isaiah and Xing Jie the devourers

Eugene the Chef!

Cadbury Ferris Wheel!
Ok fine this is a random pic.

Me and Shiqian camera faceoff.
Her cam is much better than mine...


video
Director Qiming decided to do a stupid drama about giving a high-calorie cake to Model Felicia.


video
Felicia's "good" singing
nearly gave me nightmares XD


Sorry, I don't have the rest of the nicer photos :( They're all at the CG Blog so please visit it!

Monday, June 1, 2009

You Stand Alone by Hillsong

Hi guys, just want to introduce an old Hillsong worship song - You Stand Alone. It is the song playing in the playlist! This song is just so pure and lovely! My favourite part is the first verse - I just want to fall at Jesus feet and listen to the sweetest sound of all...

You Stand Alone - Hillsong
I will lay me down
At Your feet in worship
And listen to the sweetest sound of all

Oh God You are my God
How my heart it longs for You
I'm thirsty for Your presence in my world

I cry out night and day for more
To hold the majesty of You

My God You stand alone
And I worship at Your throne
I will look to see Your power and glory
Jesus Lord of all