miketava 's blog
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Mid-twenties gamers with roots starting with SMB2. I am a software engineering major with only a year to go until completion. I hope to land a job with a gaming company as an associate producer or at least some sort of engineering/program design area of work. Hopefully 2-3 years of that stuff will get me far enough ahead that I can then set my plans of Studio creation into motion. The header at the top of my profile is simply the evolution of my "company" logo - Seventh Border, currently going through registration processes, extremely slowly. However I do have an official T-shirt, and a shitty slogan - harumph.

As for my technical prowess, as stated earlier Software Engineer with 2 games, and game-ish project in my portfolio:

o Wooden Crusaders - a sort of Warcraft turn based strategy game
o Super Stick Brothers - a simple Smash Brothers rip off using simple polygons as fighters (circle, triangle, square etc.)
o Arcade Front End - a UI/OS for selecting games for use in a MAME cabinet, will be up for distribution soon.

I am proficient or knowledgeable in the following programming languages:
o Java
o C/C++
o Python
o ABAP - bloody useless

I've also dabbled with some multimedia stuff such Adobe Photoshop and Premiere.

I only game on my 360, though I might look into PS3 soon for Blu-Ray mostly ;).

Following (4)  

12:43 AM on 11.27.2008

Alright so I just went ahead and downloaded the full version of SSF2THDR without ever bothering to try the demo out first. Having been a long time fan of Street Fighter in all its incarnations (mostly a fan of SFIII in arcades), I was very excited about the visual revamp set up for this XBLA game.

Although I can say that I am satisfied with the purchase, there are a few things that really grind my gears, at least at this early stage. Mind you again, these are only first impressions and are subject to change with time.

1. The Music: for the most part I loved the new remixed sounds used in the game. I listened to these OCRemixes all summer and was getting one heck of a vibe from them. However there is I find a huge annoyance anytime it speeds up because one fighter's health is low, it just doesn't scale properly. The worst culprit so far has been Dee-Jay's stage, whose remix I know to be a lyrical affair. Also, the ramp up after the Capcom logo scared the shit out of me.

2. Other sounds: I don't get why Capcom would update the visuals without rerecording the sounds. A lot of the voice samples scream to be redone, and I found them to be very scratchy in places...

3. Ryu's Hadouken: Ok WTF: Down, Down-Forward, Forward + Punch right? Then why the hell does it only work 1/2 times. Ryu will go into his fireball launching animation but poof, nothing...what gives!!? This was infuriating as I have never had this happen in the 15 years of Street Fighting.

4. Animations: I can understand the reasons behind keeping the original animations I suppose, for those that enjoy the competition, but lo & behold, I see Capcom also included a classic GFX mode, ok so then why not have both sets of animations: old-school choppy SF2-style, and buttery smooth SF3-style?!

5. Characters: It just seems to me that some of the less popular characters haven't gotten the same kind of attention to detail as the original roster - looking at your Fei Long, he just looks off...

6. Menus: SHUT UP, why is the outlandishly too loud be have to happen every friggin' click!?

7. Difficulty: OMG I am getting raped on Easy wth?! Stupid Xbox360 Dpad...

OK so seen like this it might seem like I hate the thing, but I guess I'll get used to these. I hope to try it online this weekend see how that rolls. Let me know your annoyances with the final product, or bash mine if you will

You might have seen my edit from yesterday's post. Well I am at it again. This will most likely be my last edit of this pic, cause I'm really sick of looking at it. Anyways, the minor adjustments might go unnoticed to some, but a keen eye will see that the colors of the characters are not fateful to the 8 Bit originals. Little Mac now sports his famous green trunks and gloves, and I've also darken his shirt and hair a bit, so that it is more in like with a 256 color palette. As for Soda Popinski, I believe the difference is quite glaring - he's pinkish/purpley...what with all the drinking soda pop I would assume. Also his speedo/boots are appropriately red colored and his gloves a shade of orange.

That covers it really. Below is my favorite version of the 5. See attached pics for a panorama view of all 5 edits (crop the ones you so desire for wallpaper madness). Just note that in the panorama shot the upper left pic is the original (which I did not do) and the other 5 are my edits to make it more contextual.

Photo Photo

5:03 PM on 08.19.2008

I was taking a look at the Art Attack Friday picks and couldn't resist putting my own touch on the Punch-Out fight poster that was put up at the exhibit. Have a look see.

The Punch-Out Wall

I feel this way it ground this somewhat unrealistic fight in reality.

With the Fall school semester now looming, I come to the realization that my Bachelor's degree is coming to an end. With that in mind, the behemoth that is ECSE 495 - Software Engineering Project is at hand. This class has an equivalent in all engineering departments at McGill, though Soft. Eng. retains a unique twist that these other disciplines simply don't offer.

Rather than being forcefully teamed up with random students from your graduating year, you are free to pick your team of 2-4 member. DONE (we'll be 4). Also, instead of the course being split over 2 semesters (1 credit - prep, 2 credits - execution), this puppy's got a full 3 credit workload (prep and exec.), so that's why I am tackling it early. Lastly, instead of having a subject forced upon us, we are free to come up with something of our own to design, build and demo.

Here is where the video game stuff comes in. My intent upon graduation is to land a job with one of several gaming studios in the area (EA, Ubisoft, or Eidos are the major players) and so I figure that having as many games in my portfolio would help boost my credentials. With that in mind, I've come up with a sort of preliminary concept for a fun experience and I wanna know if it'll fly with gamers.

The plan is to use the XNA platform (with the new XBL and Vision camera support) in order to build a game focused around music. Now I know what you're thinking, this is not some clone to cash in on the Rock Band/GH craze of late. No, this would be more of an extension to that building off one of the features of GH4. In essence it's a sort of virtual recording studio, where for example, playing guitar or base buttons translates to pre-defined chords. Same goes for drums of course, and voice is a no-brainer. The vision camera comes in with a 4-player XBL mode, wherein users can see themselves as they play their own instrument (kitschy I know, but whatever). You can then of course recording audio and even hopefully output the true chords to be printed out for use by real musicians ;).

Although it might seem at first like a clone of the recording studio in GH4, from what I've seen of this feature it seems to be insanely complicated and just not catered to the casual music/game crowd.
Photo Photo

11:45 AM on 07.17.2008

This demo showcases the new look and feel of the UI. I felt the original to be too cumbersome to work around. It also shows off the full flow from selecting a sorting criteria, to a sub seletion and finally selecting a game and starting it. Flow is given back to the UI when the game is exited.

This version still does not support contextual selects, that is to say selecting Capcom will not display only Capcom games, but all games regardless. Look for this feature in the next version.

Hope you guys enjoy the new look. I'm still working out a few kinks with the text alignment, and window resizes when exiting the emulator, but it's all looking good.


6:51 PM on 07.14.2008

Aha! The project moves ever onwards. This time I bring you a demo of how the sorting works, as well as showing you the subsets of developers, letters, years and genres that will be featured in this amazing Front End application.

Hope you enjoy, and do please comment and style/substance. I've tried to get a retro feel with the old video game fonts, and keep all simple using text. In fact all input at this point is through the keyboard, as the final intent is to only use and X-Arcade joystick (which emulates a keyboard).