Thursday, September 29, 2005

On July 8th 2004, I once wrote I wanted to be a video game developer. And now, a little over a year, my aspirations have finally come true…

In fact, I’m actually settling in pretty nicely at Surreal. As a kid, I never imagined I would ever be in this industry. A hybrid of tech and entertainment is just perfect for me. Maybe I was never ought to be at one of those corporate powerhouse (a la Citigroup, Merril, and all those names). It never occured to me when I was a kid I’d be work at an office with game consoles are all over the place and toys at my desk. Making video games was always one of those don't bother to dream about type things.
The hours are longer than average, but they are flexible and the environment is easy going enough to feel like you are just hanging out. I like the corporate owned start up environment. We have weekly massage sign-ups, pizza and beer on Fridays, and alcohol induced meetings. Talk about getting drunk with your colleagues and then skipping work for the rest of the day. As long as I get my work done, I am free to do what I want. I can freely surf the web, chat, read a book/magazine, play poker or video games casually at work.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

After basketball at Archstone last night, it struck me during my way home how we easily often forget and dismiss the fundamentals. I had choked during my first game; put all my efforts into it, and failed miserably. The reason was not because I was slow, didn't have the skills, tired, or not in shape like I had originally thought. It was because I had forgotten about teamwork. I've been playing basketball for 11+ years, yet I dismissed the fundamental notion of teamwork. Instead of trusting your team members to share responsibility and maximize abilities, I tried to take it all upon myself. It really struck me how it took less grunt effort to win the next 7 games in a row because I had trusted their abilities. Gifts differing. I wonder how often I forget the other fundamentals in my life.

Whats with all the ad/spam/yuck comments on my blog?

~~~ Jimmy Eat World - Bleed American ~~~ Staple band. Nuff said.

Working at a video game company has really gotten me to think about how creative work is accomplished in the real business world. Especially since video game development is steering towards the US$10-20 million production budgets. On one hand, we want the logistics to keep the people and work being done by them under control, yet on the other, we want to encourage creativity. Finding that balance between freedom for creativity and bureaucracy is not easy at all.
In addition to having to search for the right balance between freedom for creativity and bureaucracy, being able to maintain it is just as much of a challenge. The development team are not robots, they are human. Humans with emotions, needs, ego, and baggage. They don't act upon your commands (even if you are paying them). I'm not sure I have an answer to the problems at hand, but I will say people need be dealt with on an ad-hoc basis. There is no consistent solution.
Oh, and of course, creativity (even at its best) doesn't necessarily equate to financial reward.
This is probably why I'm attracted to game production.

We <3 Katamari

The sequel to the unexpected cult-hit came out today. I can't say I'm a fan of this series (mainly due to the motion sickness), but I can say its uber simple game design really hits the spot. Musicians often mention they would come across songs/lyrics that they wish they had wrote; I think I'd say the same for this game concept.
Its definitely cool when the members at the studio gather around to check out the latest titles during work.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Lenard and I worked on this set of two towards the end of the summer. The painting with the orange is called X, the painting with the purple is called Y. Together, they are X&Y. They are both 36"x48" each. I don't want to sound artsy and all that; and am not going to talk about the inspiration and story behind them. Batman and I, however, have agreed that it would be interesting if somebody wants to guess what it is about. Add it as a comment if you'd like to do so.

Finally a better digital camera

Shades of Bellevue


~~~ James Blunt - Tears and Rain ~~~

Its been busy...why?
- Work at Surreal Software
- Approving work visa!!
- Bumbershoot
- Pigfest @ Hansville
- Searching for an A3
- Royksopp Concert =]
- Erh...naked chicks.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

~~~ Anberlin - Naive Orleans ~~~
~~~ Embrace - Gravity ~~~
~~~ James Blunt - You're Beautiful ~~~
+++ Kanye West - Late Registration (Album)+++

~~~ Kaiser Chiefs - I Predict a Riot ~~~
~~~ Pinback - This Red Book ~~~
~~~ Cake - Never There ~~~
~~~ Kings of Convenience - Misread ~~~
~~~ Buckcherry - Lit Up ~~~