Unless your school has a culinary arts program, it’s a pretty safe assumption that even though the cafeteria food will be better than that of any public school system, it’s still going to suck sometimes.
That’s the case with Café Scad— fondly, SCafé. Some days, it’s not too bad. Others…stomach-ache inducing. Sometimes, a break is definitely necessary.
This weekend, a friend and I tried out a bunch of different restaurants in Savannah. Savannah has lots of great food in places ranging from Paula Deen’s famous Lady and Sons to an assortment of seafood places down on River Street. The great thing about being both a college town and a tourist destination, is that it has such a wide variety. There’s something for everyone. With so much to choose from, it can be lots of fun to just explore and try different things. After all, it’ll be a great change from the usual cafeteria food.
So, I guess my advice is really to treat yourself. Every once in a while, take yourself out to dinner. Maybe make an event out of it with a couple of friends. Explore. Try something new. Even if you’re tight on a budget, try to set aside a couple of bucks for a meal every once in a while. Or even just dessert. A little change of pace can be very relaxing and refreshing.
Perhaps I’ll do a few posts on a couple of neat little restaurants in the Savannah area, for anyone interested in SCAD or just visiting Savannah.
I’m not really a huge horror fanatic. In fact, I’m simply awful with horror.
Which is why I can’t play Amnesia: The Dark Descent alone.
Fuck that “you don’t get the whole experience” bullshit. No. Uh-uh. Those people at Frictional Games are horribly sick and twisted developers. They know how to scare the pants off of people. Hard. Fucking. Core.
I just played it for a couple of hours with my neighbors, and damn…all 3 of us were definitely scared shitless. Hopefully I won’t have nightmares tonight?
However, this really is an awesome game…despite the fact that I’m absolutely terrified of it.
My 3D Design professor says I need to do more extensive visual research in my sketchbook for each project (which will consequently bring up my sketchbook grade, haha). What she means is that instead of coming up with a concept and finding reference pictures and sketching my concept, she wants to see more “general research”.
For example, we’re just about to start an open planar structure. She wants me to do research and look at other artist’s work, or buildings, or whatever to get ideas. This is all fine and dandy, except that she wants 10+ pages of this for every project. Now, I’m all for research, but I can get an idea of what I’m going for by printing out a couple of neat examples I find, then researching my specific concept. This maybe takes 2-3 pages. But 10-15? It feels like an excessive waste of paper and printer ink.
I’m definitely going to strive to add more concept sketches and specific research, because I can see where that helps. And, reluctantly, general research as well. But really, is it all that important to have 10 pages of other people’s work in your sketchbook, instead of maybe just a couple of examples then moving on to research & develop your own concepts?
I don’t know, maybe I’m just missing the point. It feels unnecessarily excessive. What do you think?
Hanging out with your friends and staying up all night until 4, 5…maybe 6:00 AM is really fun! …Until it starts to screw with the rest of your life.
Don’t get me wrong, I love hanging out with all of my friends and having them over all of the time, but I’m really starting to feel the late nights catching up with me. It’s really bringing down my productivity and the quality of my work. We’ll be up until some ungodly hour and then sleep literally all day, only dragging ourselves out of bed just before class. And even when I do get up, I feel perpetually groggy.
I really don’t like this lifestyle. It’s fun to stay up every once in a while, but now it’s getting old. I need to get myself back on track as best I can.
Just heard about this. Apparently Google brought their Street View camera inside 17 different art galleries around the world. Now, over 1,000 different works of art are online. Each museum picked 1 work for a 7-billion-pixel photograph. The MoMA uploaded Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night. You can zoom in on these super high-res photos to view even the smallest details…everything from an individual brush stroke, or crack in the paint.
The goal of the project is to inspire and hopefully pique people’s curiosity to learn more about art. I encourage you to check it out, it’s neat stuff.
After a very hectic, very awesome weekend, Global Game Jam is finally over.
In case anyone is not aware, Global Game Jam is an industry crunch-time simulation, in which teams are challenged to create a full video game in 48 hours.
Despite being a freshman and having doubts about my usefulness on a team, I was very excited about this event from the start. Every person I talked to said that it’s worth doing, regardless of what year you are or how much skill you have. It’s all about the experience…and let me tell you, this was one hell of an experience.
At 5:00 PM (EST), participants at SCAD met at Montgomery Hall and were presented with the official Keynote presentation that kicked off the Jam. The keynote gave us a theme, around which all of the games had to be designed. The theme this year was “Extinction”.
Our brainstorming went really well. We came up with a ton of great ideas, and eventually settled on something we decided would be manageable and unique. Unfortunately, about 8 hours in, we realized that we expected too much. We had to keep editing and changing the ideas due to complications, and it ended up a very skewed shell of our original idea. No on in our team was an expert programmer, and we only had two people who had ever really been exposed to UDK (Unreal Developer Kit).
Sometimes, it’s best to just scrap something when you know when it isn’t going to work. Especially if the whole team is unmotivated about it. After our detective space adventure turned into a super boring fetch quest, we decided it was time to rethink.
In the end, we developed something completely different that we were all really psyched about.
The idea is that you are a robotic probe gathering DNA from endangered & extinct species for your master. These species include a dodo, a panda, and a bison (and just for shits and giggles, a beached whale). We decided that the animals would be on a set path, and it would be the player’s job to guide them to safety through an obstacle course.
A very appropriate adjective for our game is “derp-y”. While concepting, we picked an art style that was cute, and made the animals (especially the dodo) look very derpy.
"Cover" Art, featuring the player-controlled probe & the dodo bird.
I blocked this out in Photoshop, and our animator refined it. We had a Motion Media major on the team as well, and he created the logos and the Intro/Credits for the game.
I was so happy to be able to contribute something to the project. After this, the modelers showed me what a UV map was and set me up to start texturing, since Photoshop is one thing I definitely can do. I concepted & textured an adorably derpy whale for the bonus level. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it into the game because we only had time to finish the first level (starring the Dodo).
Even though he didn’t make it, I still thoroughly enjoyed learning to texture. It’s experience I can use later in my career, for one. Two, I loved being able to help out the team. Having me texture the whale freed up another artist so they could start rigging & animating other assets for use, thus making our workflow more efficient. And, it was fun. I like Photoshop, so I was only understanding a concept, not learning a program. However, I did have a very basic crash-course in Flash so I could make transitions between levels that could be imported into UDK.
Overall, I feel like we did an excellent job. We made a video game in 48 hours. 40 hrs., really, if you take into account the 8 hours spent on our first concept. It really felt like one ridiculously long day, because since there are no windows in Montgomery Hall, there is a very warped sense of time passing. Plus, we only got a couple of hours’ sleep, so essentially it was just one really long work session. But, we met the deadline.
It was definitely worth it, I’m so glad I participated. There are few feelings better than the feeling of accomplishment in the room as we played through the game right after submitting it. I had a blast, and the experience really just made me even more excited to break into my major.
I love this industry.
This is the team gathered around as we watched the first official playthrough.
Right now I’m sitting in Montgomery Hall, almost 17 hours into Global Game Jam.
Global Game Jam is an industry crunch-time simulation, in which you and a team create a fully functioning video game in 48 hours.
Being a freshman, I don’t have very much to offer as far as skillsets…I’m good with Illustrator and Photoshop, but I’ve never touched Maya or UDK (the Unreal Engine we’re making the game with). So, for me, this is a very big learning experience. 17 hours in and I’ve learned a little bit of Flash and how to texture on an unwrapped UV map and load it onto a model in Maya. I’m enjoying myself very much, but it’s really making me realize what kind of industry I’m breaking into. Crazy, hectic, fun…but it requires a very specific, very technical skillset that I really need to work on developing. Hopefully, by the time next year’s GGJ rolls around I’ll be much more capable.
If anyone is interested, SCAD is streaming a live feed of the different teams participating. Here’s the link to our feed. It ends Sunday at 5PM (EST), so the cameras will be on until then.
I’ve linked to my deviantArt page on the side, but I thought I’d mention here that I’m uploading some classwork & projects (as well as other work) to dA so people can see what kinds of things I’m doing here at SCAD.
If you’re a prospective student or just curious about what goes on at art school, I welcome you to check it out. Comments/Critiques from fellow artists are very much appreciated as well, and please don’t be afraid to ask questions! I’ll try and reply as quickly as possible.
This weekend I had a chance to play with the Kinect for Xbox, and you know what? It’s pretty awesome.
I went over to a friend’s dorm for dinner on Sunday and afterwards his roommate talked to his Xbox and turned it on. This was the first time I saw a Kinect in action.
We had a lot of fun playing that Kinect Adventures game. There’s some obstacle course adventure that has you dodging things, jumping, and collecting little “A” balls floating on the course. It gets progressively harder as the levels increase, so by the end you’re in for a real workout. And apparently, if you feel like sitting down for a moment, the Xbox will pause the game and tell you to get the hell back in the frame. Not only that, but the thing will move and try to find you. It’s actually a little bit creepy. Especially since in the game, while you’re doing random shit to collect the “A” balls, the Kinect takes pictures of you. Strange…
But, it’s a very cool device. We had fun just goofing around and making the human model do crazy little dances. Supposedly, they are also trying to add a gesture recognition sensor to the Kinect. That would be neat, but then of course you’d probably end up with a bunch of hacks for obscene gestures and some really rude, and possibly risque things…especially after the hack-bounty posted upon the device’s release.
It’ll be neat to see where this technology leads designers in developing different games for the system. Plus, it’ll be very interesting to follow how the competition goes between the Wii, Move, and Kinect.
Microsoft, thanks for the technology. And gamers, thanks for…um…not getting stalked by your Kinect? (Seriously. That thing is always watching.)
One thing I love about college is that you have to option to do this. My 3D design professor, although I’m sure he’s a good man, is basically Mr. Carpenter. The way he described the class was ideal for an architecture major. I am a video game design major.
I believe if I had stayed with him, I would not be learning the principles of 3D design in a way that is fully beneficial to my chosen major. Granted, this does mean I have to run around like a headless chicken tomorrow returning all of those carpentry tools I bought…oh well.
I think it’s important to remember that you have a good amount of control over your education in college. If you don’t believe a class is right for you…don’t take it. Drop it. Switch professors. While you’re here, it’s up to you to go out and get the education you deserve. So choose the best for yourself, whether that ideal comes in the form of professor, time slot, or the course itself.
I found today that I was very happy after I switched professors. Here’s hoping the new one works out.
Wonderful as it is, it sucks up funds like nothing else. Sure, textbooks are expensive, just like they are for any college student. But here, it’s all about the supplies. If you don’t have the proper supplies for the project, you fail. It’s as simple as that.
Tomorrow, I have to go out to home depot and get a carpenter’s tri-square, a hobby saw, a miter block, and some other random tools. I’m going to be using these for 4 projects in 3D design, and then I’m done with them. This is what it’s like for a lot of foundations classes. I’m not a sculpture major (or a carpenter, for that matter) so it’s not like I’m going to be using these things regularly. But…there’s another chunk of cash I can fork over in the name of SCAD.
For any prospective art student, I highly recommend opening up a bank account as soon as possible. Start dumping as much money into it as you can get your hands on. Hell, save your change. All of those pennies, nickels, and dimes add up. Because once you get here, you’ll need more supplies than you can fathom.
Sketchbook, portfolio, graphite pencils, illustration board, charcoal, erasers, xacto knife, cutting mat, more illustration board, tracing paper, straight-ruler, a monochromatic color scheme in various mediums, more illustration board, a t-square, a set of acrylics, colored pencils, watercolors, Sculpey, bristol…I could keep going. That’s not even all of it. I have about 4 different kinds of glue that as of now I’ve only used once or twice each. But…you get the idea. This is the kind of torture art school makes your poor wallet endure.
God bless those going into traditional majors…have to deal with this for the rest of their career, haha.
But for those of you nodding your heads in agreement, I feel for you. You are not alone.
I’m finally back at school! It’s so nice to see everyone…I missed it here so much.
Maybe this is just me, but I feel like college is more like my home now than my real home is. All of my friends are here, I go to school here, my bed is more comfortable, I have much more fun here, and even the food is arguably better than the frozen dinners I’d have every night in high school.
Perhaps this is the full feeling of moving out, and taking up residence in a new home. I mean, most of the time I even say “go back home” when I’m talking about heading back to the dorm for the night.
I guess it really all depends on if you’re ready to move out, and go somewhere far from home for college. I’ve been ready to get the hell out for quite some time, so it didn’t bother me at all that SCAD is 15 hours from home. But if you’re not ready for that drastic change, it probably doesn’t feel as nice to be away for so long. Regardless, it definitely teaches you a lot, both about life & responsibility and about yourself.
This is awesome. I sincerely love my school, and it thrills me when I hear good things— such as wonderful opportunities like this.
Anyone interested in pursuing a career in the arts should definitely take a look at SCAD. This is just one example of the awesome opportunities and recognition SCAD generates for its students and alumni.
I had nothing to do today, so I decided to kick back with Mass Effect 2 and try to chip a big chunk off of that game before I go back to school. (Unfortunately, I have no Xbox 360 at school with me, so I probably won’t get much playing done until I come back home!)
This game, the series…it just leaves me speechless on so many levels. It’s one of my absolute favorite games of all time. I’ll probably write about it a lot over the course of this blog. But to start with, I want to share with you my thoughts on the newly-released trailer for Mass Effect 3.
For those of you who haven’t seen it, I will now direct you to the biggest slice of awesome pie ever served:
For those of you who aren’t too stunned to function, take a moment to soak in what you just saw. I think we can all agree that this looks absolutely fucking AMAZING.
BioWare really outdid themselves with this trailer. It’s so gorgeous. I kept thinking this was an advertisement for the Marines or something when I first saw it. The only thing that gives it away as to not being live-action is the pan-out reveal to the big alien spaceships completely decimating London.
Aside from being the eye-candy equivalent to an orgasm, BioWare did another thing right with this teaser: It’s the biggest tease. EVER.
Seriously. Where’s that Delorian when I need it? Fire up the Flux Capacitor, baby, because I sure as hell don’t want to wait a whole year for this thing to be released. It’s going to be incredible.
Once I finish Mass Effect 2 (I know, shame on me…but college and work have eaten up so much of my time), I’m going to be so impatient for the year to be over. As I run through the second game, I keep wondering what tiny little decisions I’m making are going to affect that huge battle so beautifully portrayed in the trailer. According to the studio, over 1000 variables from the first two games are going to be used to create the finale.
I’m anxious to see how all of those variables fall together— and so are a lot of other people. From the comments underneath the videos, it seems as though a lot of people hope to see an epic Rachni v. Reaper battle in the third game. That would definitely be cool. Having saved their entire race from extinction, I believe Shepard reserves the right to call in a favor of this magnitude. Besides, from the way BioWare has developed the Reapers, it’s not like the Rachni will be around for very long anyway if Shepard is defeated.
Along with the Rachni, I’ll be very excited to see what happens to that Earth-dwelling idiot, Conrad Verner (apologies to those fond of him…he made me face-palm so hard I nearly gave myself a concussion), as well as whatever romances were developed throughout the series. But most of all, I think I want to see the Council’s reactions when they see the vid reports of those Reapers totally raping the shit out of Earth. Bastards deserved it after what they did to poor Shepard in ME2…
BioWare, damn you for making us wait a whole year for this! And gamers, haha, thanks for playing!
P.S. If you haven’t played the Mass Effect series, you most definitely should. I highly recommend it!
I think it might be time for an intervention. I’ve listened to the Complete History Of The Soviet Union (which, if you haven’t already seen, I highly recommend watching…it’s an excellent video) more times than I care to admit over the past few days, and have been playing the retro, 1989 version of Tetris pretty much nonstop for the past week.
This all stems from EA’s holiday sale in the app store. Tetris for $0.99? Hell yeah. So I bought it, and now Tetris owns my soul.
I did a bit of reading to try and quell my addiction (it didn’t work), and I learned a little bit about the game. Apparently, Tetris is 3rd on Game Informer’s list of the Top 200 Games of All Time. Makes sense, seeing as a version of this game has been available for nearly every platform ever. From the arcade to PC to Mac to Linux, to Nintendo’s whole line of consoles as well as both versions of the Xbox, to the Playstation and Playstation 3, to Dreamcast, to cell phones, etc. Really a timeless video game.
And who could forget that never-ending melody?
Russia, thanks for the game. And gamers, thanks for playing.
The other day I was cleaning up my online life— adjusting my accounts in various places (YouTube, deviantArt, FanFiction, etc.) so they all fell under the same username, with the same email address and whatnot —and I thought about trying my hand at a real blog. I think the main reason I thought this would be a neat idea is because I’ve just started my journey through college. Art school, to be exact. Already I’ve faced a slew of new challenges in the first quarter, and it’s not going to stop any time soon…especially as I test the waters in my chosen major, and attempt to break into a crazy, booming industry.
Major? Video Game Design.
I’ve had so much fun with the reactions I get after I tell people my major. I guess it comes as a surprise to them. Maybe I just don’t seem like the type of girl who’d be into that sort of thing? (One reaction I got was: “No way! I totally had you pegged for a Film & TV type of girl”)
Regardless, it’s going to be an interesting ride. I’m going to have tons of questions and challenges and obstacles I need to overcome along the way. I might not always have someone to answer them, but perhaps as I figure things out I can pass on my knowledge & experiences so that if there’s anyone out there who’s looking to follow a similar path, I’ll be able to lend a helping hand.
So…Goals. It’s always good to have goals. For now, my goals are pretty simple… First of all, (as I already said) I hope this blog eventually helps someone. Second: I want to try and keep things focused, but at the same time I want to keep things open so I can write about anything. Which…I realize is a contradiction. Crap, lol.
Predominately, I want to focus on things like college life, art school, video games, and the gaming industry. But I’m probably not going to stick to just that. For example, I have a summer job at a restaurant. So I’ll probably blog a little about working and such. …And food. Because I like food. Food is good.
But whatever else I blog about, it’s all a part of life. If it doesn’t quite follow the main focus, perhaps take the gist of it and apply it to your own life? Or, just…bear with me for a while, haha. I’ve never done this before, so I’m bound to make some mistakes before I get it right.
Which brings me to my last goal. I want to stick with this. You know, actually post fairly regularly, keep things up to date, keep things interesting. (And not suck at the blogging thing? Haha.)
Who knows where it’ll go!
P.S. It’s 2AM on Christmas Eve! So, Merry Christmas to all, and to all: goodnight! :D