After successfully launching Project Gforum Version 2 in April, I took a very short break before resuming work on my game. However, due to my ever increasing hype for the HTC Magic and Android in general, I have instead decided to port the Ribbons Framework to Android for this release. Because of the nature of the framework, and due to having already completed a somewhat-large portion of the XNA version, assets between the PC and Android versions can be shared freely; that is, the level layout and sprites.
Getting the engine to work on Android was a little interesting. Coming from XNA, a purely-game-oriented toolset, I didn’t have as many niceties to work with in Android. Stuff like XML serialization (for level layouts) and the Vector2 class (for positioning) aren’t truly native to Java (though I understand there are ways of serializing XML). I hope you’re enjoying all this jargon, because I am. In fact I enjoy it so much that I will, as soon as my game reaches a playable state, begin a multi-part series of blog entries similar to a game’s postmortem, but before it comes out and without the “10 things that went right/wrong” list. This will be where you’ll get the first screens too, although I must point out the game is deliberately simple-looking on purpose, somewhat of an “artistic statement”. But it doesn’t clash with the gameplay at all, so I hope players will forgive this embellishment.
While coding the Ribbons Framework for Android, and while writing the above, I realized my choice of career ―game programmer― is the perfect choice for me, my dream job. Writing code is akin to mixing… building Legos with Tetris. You use your knowledge and tools at the beginning to build this great tower you envisioned, and along the way you need to solve a bunch of little puzzles. Me, I get satisfaction from both― solving the puzzles and building the complete tower. I was always taught to think mathematics and computer science are as inseparable as conjoined twins, but from my experience this is just not the case. Sudoku and programming are more closely related than math and programming. Of course, all three of these skills are left-minded skills, so I suppose I can see where the mistake comes from. And in fact, learning math after learning programming, I’m definitely starting to see how mathematics inspired certain design choices in modern languages.
Well in any case, as time goes on you’ll start to see me dive more and more into programming-related topics in my entries, as they’re becoming a more and more crucial to my life. By making this game, showing the commitment to get it done and release it commercially ($0.99 oh yeah ), hopefully I can get my foot in some good doors. Even though I’m entering a community college this August to get my Associate’s in Computer Science, and then transferring to a traditional college for two more years to get my Bachelor’s, there’s always a chance it won’t be enough. Having read many horror stories of programming prospects that looked good on paper but turned out to be duds, I know that a lot of companies view fresh out of college applicants with a skeptical eye at best. Once I’m there, I can easily prove myself, but it’s the getting there that will be the hard part.
And that last paragraph makes me sad. It makes me sad whenever I have to repeat my college plans to someone. Truth be told, I’m hugely grateful to be going to any college after grazing more than a few bullets this year. But by telling them I’m going to “just” a community college, I can see either shock, disappointment, or pity play on their faces. It’s not a damn death sentence. My parents are better than I’d thought they’d be about it, but I can still feel their disappointed gazes looming not far off. I wish I could say I’d be free after I graduate (June 19th whoo! ), but I won’t be. I love my family so much, but this year I’ve been psyching myself up to enter the “real world”, even though in the back of my mind I knew it wasn’t going to happen. I might get another two-to-four-year extended insulation period to continue being the carefree, aloof geek you all know and love.
The “real” world. I’ve never really believed the stuff on drama TV shows could happen to my family, but with my more matured eyes I’m witnessing my happy-go-lucky “traditional” family chip apart. As I mentioned last year, last May my oldest cousin died in a quite tragic way. With family always being first for me and the rest of my family, this hit us pretty hard. Death had invaded us; all bets were off. And now, even though I knew, I knew it was coming based on their remarks to each other for over a year, my sister and her fiancé may finally go their separate ways. I hoped without hope, and until it really happens I’ll hope some more, for my niece’s sake, but I saw the writing on the wall long before this. I could easily double this entry airing my grievances against both of them, but as I said I value family first, and this isn’t the place to do that.
Graduation isn’t the marker that will signal my adulthood, that isn’t until September. But I’ll no longer be a “high school kid”. This is my final month, I’m still on shaky grounds and thin ice academically, so it is truly make it or break it. This is my endgame.