Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Snowness in Seattle

I apoligize for the terrible title (Not really) but instead of Snowness it should really be Frozen Hell. So it Snow's on Monday afternoon, no big deal right? Except it seems like this City is now in a state of emergency or something.

First of all theres alot of moisture here being a coastal city, nothing new. But when it snows.. its really snowing slush. Combine that with -4 degree weather and its insta ICE when it hits the ground. Compound this fact with NO SANDERS and really stupid drivers and you have a recipe for great fun! When I say stupid drivers I really mean it... a significant amount of people think its smart to Spin your tires... yeesh.

So because of this School was canceled on Tuesday and Wednesday. I hope its not canceled again. While snow days use to be nice... they arent so nice when its near the end of semester and dead lines and breathing down your neck.

Let me repeat... no Sanders and Instant Ice == BAD.
On Monday night when I returned from school (longest drive ever...) I wasnt able to get up over the tiny hill that leads in to my condo complex. I wasn't the only one however, 4 cars were parked on our Hill be the end of the night.

Wii what fun... speaking of which... I've been playing it tooo much ><

- Mike out

Monday, November 27, 2006

Digipen Week 12

It was thanksgiving last week so nothing much happened school wise. Nicole and I went to a friends in a pot luck dinner. We made a chicken vegatble stir fry and a Cheese cake (or rather Nicole made the Cheesecake)

Generally it was just a bunch of us Digipen students just hanging out. It was all good except no one knew how to carve a Turkey. All the good turned out great, just a sloppy presentation in the end :)

Played alot of the Wii. Nicole ended up winning alot of the games we played. Most memorable was our Wii Boxing tourny and Nicole being the victor. She beat everyone, all in a row too!

Two more weeks of classes, it sure is gonna be a busy time for me.

- Mike Out

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Digipen Wiik 11

Alrighty, sorry for the delay in my posts to my viewers, I bet all two of you were anxiously awaiting this post.

Lets start off with the Digipen stuff.
This past week was the due date for our second modeling assignment which was to model terrain in 3D studio max. Below are some screenshots.

These first shots show my Terrain for far, yeah I know you can see underneath the ground and see water.

Nicole helped with my Terrain generation. She made a black and white contour image (like a satellite map) that highlighted where the mountians, river, city and ocean would go. I then took that image and applied it to a flat plane and then did a bunch of fine allightment to get the rivers and mountians looking properly.

From there it was applying textures to each section. Not tough, just alot of time selecting and moving polygons so that the boundries of the terrian look nice.

Nicole decided to help out and blend in my textures from the light green to the dark green in my mountains. I showed her how to do it and she did it!

These next shots are close ups. My city was generally modeled after Calgary in terms of layout plus the tower and the Stadium. Originally I wanted the stadium to really look like the Saddledome but my proffessor helped me model it after a traditional football field. So I just left it at that.

The Vehicles in the City are actually scaled down versions of my Jeep from my previous assignment.

Lighting was a bit tricky. I basically took 4 ambient light sources and placed them on the corners of the Terrian. I then took another ambient light and told it to draw shadows. This way theres shadows but things arent super dark when in shadow.

Tree's are just two planes stuck together in a cross format. I modeled the Traffic and street lights which was a bit over kill for this assignment but I found it fun.

I applied a raytrace reflection property to my water and a noise generator to the ocean. However my water looks to "clean" and my river is a bit jagged unfortunetly.

So now that I've said that... Now for the fun stuff. The Wii launch!

Friday before the official Launch I head to the Nintendo Corporate store and secure a copy of Zelda:Twilight Princess. Read the manual twice that night in anticipation :D

So Saturday night I head out to Fred Meyer, which is basically a walmart / super store place. Half to food other to home stuff. There were doing a Midnight Launch and my particular store was allocated 90 units. Nicole and I head out there around 9:oopm... HUGE line of people waiting ><. So we decided to stick it out and hope for the best. At around 11:00pm the store people come out and start handing out claim ticketets to those in line. Happends that we were in about 110 or so out of 90 ><

So I pursue my second plan, Circuit City bright and early. I wake up at 6am and head to Circuit City (They open at 10am) and theres a slight line there. I get in line and I'm 31st out of 48 according to those who got store allocations earlier. Apparently Circuit City was "forgotten" as some people in the line were saying how Target had a massive line and people were wrapping around the building.

So as I wait in line, I play a few DS games with others and then a store manager comes at around 7:30 and hands out tickets. I get my Wii Claim ticket and we can just come back when the store opens.

I head home and wait... longest 2 hours ever :)

So when I head back to Circuit City theres a massive line.. this is about 15 minutes until the store opens and its starting to rain fairly hard. Thankfully I'm in my gortex jacket :D Store opens and people flood in snatching up every thing they can.

When waiting in line to pay for my Wii I overheard a guy saying he found a nunchuk but no extra wii remote 0_o. All the Wii stuff was on a big table upfront and it was devoured in seconds.

I get to the checkout and pay for my Wii, with a Tax Exemption and a $15 Cicruit City coupon :D. So I get it for $234.99 har har. I head home and I begin to setup the Wii.

I played Zelda for like 8 hours that day... and I had a 5 hour group meeting that day too... On Monday it was another early morning as I head back to the Nintendo store to secure the rest of my items :)

I picked up Excite Truck, Monkey Ball and an extra controller + nunchuk.

The Wii is an absolute blast. Nicole is like a Pro in excite truck and Wii sports is so fun, especially when you create your Mii characture and put them in the game. Zelda is gorgeous... I've been playing it alot and barely touched any of the game.

I really want to see how my Dad enjoys Wii Sports Golf, It'll be interesting when we go back up for Christmas.

And with that I leave you this picture I took on Friday when I got Zelda :D

- Mike Out

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Caramel Sauce - 1, Nicole - 0

Today being Mike's birthday I thought I'd try something a little new and different. I thought I'd make some caramel sauce. Well I have never made caramel before, and today was an astounding failure :( I burnt the sugar and our whole place smells like burnt sugar (whoops!). Oh well, next caramel, next time I shall master you!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Digipen Week 10

This week saw my group demoing our engine proof for our game. It consisted of a Basic Physics simulation (all numbers) and a basic 3D room made from directX as our graphics engine. Things are slowly coming together, but it is slow unfortunately. School is still school, I'm trying to get ahead as much as possible with the looming Wii launch.

In other news, Airline tickets secure!
Nicole and I will come back to Calgary for Christmas on December 20th and returning to Redmond on January 3rd. We're flying via Alaska Airlines on a direct flight.

In other not so great news...
So I think the previous Condo owner has screwed me over. The condo management is assessing a $2000.00 bill to every unit in January for painting. Then Condo Association was previously not well organized so there are no reserve funds in place to cover the painting. In addition, to prevent future problems they are increasing condo fee's from $210 to $285 per month.

So why did I bring up the previous owner screwing me over? Simply they were the President AND Secretary before they left. They knew of the pending painting assessment before I moved in and the financial situation the Condo Association was in. Simply they left everyone else to pick up the pieces. I'm trying to see if I can reach them and see if they are legally responsible for disclosing said painting stuff to me earlier. I knew none of these issues before moving in... Urgh its gonna be a pain but I don't really want to pay $2000 to paint the place I just moved in to.

In more crappy news, my TV hasn’t been repaired yet :(
I called the place this morning and they said they are waiting for parts to arrive... I highly doubt the TV will be back before the Wii launches. I'm so very tempted to just buy a TV from Costco and return it later.

And that’s news from Redmond

- Mike

Monday, November 06, 2006

Digipen Week 9

More school as usual... never ending and unforgiving :)

Its Raining in Redmond, not much of a surprise. TV isnt back yet, I expect to hear from the shop in the next couple of days... The inability to play a quick game of guitar hero for a HW break sucks. I need my precious gaming fixes!

I've been spending far to much time lurking the internet looking for precious Wii news. A new trailer for Smash Brothers Brawl was released and the hype for the game grows even more... However more importantly my Hype of Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is at an all time high. I want the game! This weeks south park is a great example of my current anticipation.

Only two more wiiks! I won't have to resort to freezing myself since school is keeping my busy >.>

On friday I went to the Nintendo Store (again) to pick up a few things requested by a friend of mine who claims be a Zelda fan but hasnt played thru A Link to the Past and will remain annonymous... We'll just call him Ricky P. Hmm or rather R Pusch, that will do yes.

Picture's of dat loot

(Yes that is a big kirby)

Anyone else in Calgary want any goods from the Nintendo store? Be it Games, Accessories or other collectable trinkets. The discount is usually around 30% on most things. I forsee myself bringing up lots of Wii accessories. ($31 bucks for Zelda and excite truck, $30 for a wiimote, $13 for a nunchuk)

Lastly I've started looking in to flights for our Christmas Return to Calgary. So far we're looking at December 20th to January 3rd. I'll post when more details have emerged.

- Mike out

"Do u even care"

At 11:18 last night, some unknown person sent this text message to my phone. I don't know who they are or what they want, but they cost me 10 cents to receive it *grumble*