Friday, February 15, 2008

Off to GDC - Try my Game!

Just a quick post before GDC

We have a running version of our game found on my team mates website.
Links to videos on the game
http://chuckiesmals.com/hollowpoint/

Actual Playable version
http://chuckiesmals.com/hollowpoint/hp_alpha.zip

The game REQUIRES the following external programs to be installed before running
XNA2.0 redist
Directx 9.0c
.NET redist

We got artists so its awesome.
Any and all feedback is appreciated on the game!
We're currently at Alpha so theres much more to be done, this is just a taste of things to come :)

Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Digipen Week 5 and 6

Busy times to be had
GDC is next week so we've been gearing up for that. I should have a alpha version of my game to share with everyone next week so stay tuned! Its changed quite a bit especially with all the new art we got in (our artists are so awesome)

As sorta mentioned last post, I didn't get a job offer from MS. All the same since I totally blew it, I wouldn't have hired me.

Nicole's been working, I've been busy with school and GDC prep stuff. GOt new business cards made, checked out what companies will be there and making code samples and resumes etc..

Haven't been playing too many games. The odd WoW raid and Rockband here and there. Mostly I'm just waiting for Brawl. Well theres more to add about in regards to RockBand. Greg actually gave me $20 to buy some new songs off Xbox live. He figures since he plays it so much at Parties (and I usually just leave RockBand at there place since they're still partying and I'm too tired). Like at the last party he said he didn't sleep till about 6:30am o_o. I left around 1ish...

Anyway, GDC GDC GDC GDC GDC ahoy!
- Mike out

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Weeks 3, 4 and More!

Sorry for the lack of update, been a bit busy.

Run down... School's picking up we got artists lots of work to do on game. Last week I had an interview with MS. It was crazy. So lets break things down a little bit.

Nicole (finally) started work after all the Visa, background checks and weather issues. Oh weather issues! It snowed last Monday, city stopped and that was that. Nicole was suppose to start that day but her manager (like alot of people) were working from home that day. Maybe Nicole can post more details about her job, but for the most part I think its underneath her.

As per school, its been busy. The artists are awesome and they've drafted up some really cool concept art. We've nailed down an art style for the game and I hope we can really get there art in to our game easily. Right now we don't have a completed infrastructure but we have some stuff. My other classes are going fairly well. I have my first assignment in RayTracing due and it seems to be a killer. RayTracing in itself is a pretty simple concept, but some of the crazy math you can do to improve it is nuts and thats what we gotta learn.

Okay now for the MS interview stuff. My interview was last Thursday and it was nuts. I arrived at MS Building 19 at 8am (urgh not a morning person). After being briefed by the recruiter I got shuttled away to Microsoft Game Studios office located near Redmond Town Center. By being shuttled, I mean I was personally driven to the building, not the least bit intimidating or nerve wrecking...

So I meet the first interview, hes a Lead Developer in the publishing department at MGS. Tells me about what they do and how they work with developers and improve their code to work well with the xbox360. First question he gives me is code "isPowerOfTwo". Pretty simple, just use bit manipulation check for a single "1" bit in the input. Next question completely baffles me and I feel like I'm failing ><. Basically the question is to read a file once, and output any random paragraph. The catch is that ALL paragraphs must have an equal chance of being selected, you can only store 2 paragraphs at any time and you have no idea how long the file is. Sounds confusing eh? Trust me it was.

Immediately after that I go to the next person, turns out hes from Vancouver and his first question was "Whats your favorite Hockey player?" After some chit chat he asks me to code word reversal from a sentence. Its a simple problem, I do that okay, but I really do it too slow in my opinion urgh.

Next guy, totally drills me on my Physics and Game architecture code that I've written. I think I said 10 times that our architecture wasn't that good and tried to explain why we did it the way we did, but if I were to do it again I'd change certain things etc... Next he asks me solve a problem in which there are 1000 objects. In an optimum solution, find a way to return the largest 64 objects. I totally got blind sided by the question in regards to the previous in which we were talking about my physics engines and spatial partitioning. So I was doing stuff to reduce the size of the list but that totally steered me in the wrong direction. Eventually I run out of time and I'm not really in the right direction.

Last guy asks me to solve a simple collision problem (since I got physics all over my resume) and he drills me about what I'm doing 0_o. I mean what I'm doing is right, its just not optimum and he goes thru all that. Then he gives me another problem. 2 Spheres exist in space with a position, radius and velocity. Find out if they collide and if they do, find there interval of collision (like if they were ghosts and passed thru each other, when are they touching). So I start off Okay but sorta get stuck. I feel really pressured and my brain just craps out. I start heading down the right path but I run out of time.

Next is lunch, which was alot better. I got to talk casually to the last guy and its all good. My brain is fairly dead at this point and I can't think of any good conversation topics beyond a few things. The day pretty much ended after lunch, I was told that my interview "schedule" was complete and that was it. Sorta BS, I failed enough that they didn't want me to see anyone else (from what I've heard this is usually the case, no point wasting people's time when I've already "failed out")

So recap:
Interviewed with 4 people
lasted about 6 hours
solving problems on a white board
my nerves FAIL me hard
My right arm got sore from all the white board coding ><

Anyway, I'm trying to put the interview behind me. It was good practice and I learned alot which is more then I can ask for. Oh, Nicole and I also got a free dinner out of the interview thing. Since normally I would've been flown in if I didn't live in Redmond I get an expense account. On Friday Nicole and I went to dinner at Jeem (Chinese Restaurant) I get 40 dollars for dinner from MS, so we ordered a bunch of food and took left overs :)
The cook there was overly nice, like a super friendly Chinese Uncle (place wasn't busy, we were having an earlyish 5:30 dinner right after school / work). He got soup on the house for us (not like it mattered) and kept on making conversation with us. It was pretty funny. Our meal came out to like $32 so I tipped the remaining $8.

And thats all for now
- Mike out