Tuesday, October 02, 2007

IBM-EXITE Game Development Workshop End

It was a fun-filled two-day workshop but I must tell you, 3 weeks ago I was a nervous wreck over this.  The IBM people also told me that they were skeptical at first, because these were waters they had never tread.  I, on the other hand, was going nuts over the thought that I had to cram a lot of game information in less than a day. (Formalities in the morning, training in the afternoon, presentation of games the next morning.)  Normally, it takes my kids two whole weeks to come up with a decent game and even though I knew that I would be handling whiz kids, I had not been reassured.

To add even more to Murphy's power, the video file that I was supposed to show got corrupted and I had to search for a new one.  And because Trillanes was a moron, it took me quite a while to get home and get down to business. That is, to fix corrupted files and to convert files from PSP to Mac from Mac to PC.  When I finally found a very rare replacement video file, I nearly cried as I saw the estimated time of arrival (ETA) indicate 2 days.  I mean, I didn't have 2 friggin' days!  The workshop would start in 8 hours! No matter how long or how hard I stared at the ETA, it would just play between 2 days and 1 day 17 hours.

I went back upstairs, closed my eyes and prayed.  When I pray, I don't usually ask because I usually give thanks. But this was one of those desperate times when I really had to ask.  I went back down at 6AM and the ETA had changed from 2 days to 2 hours.  Because of that, I was 30 minutes late for the workshop.  Still, I considered it a miracle and I just want to thank God for it.

The panic started to rise early this morning, as the kids were so gung-ho about game design that they wanted to know about the advanced codes -- 2-hour time constraints notwithstanding.  They didn't want to leave the lab despite repeated calls from the organizers because they wanted to perfect their games.  In fact, we extended our time yesterday because they went "into the zone."  (Ya know, that trance-like state we go into when faced by a seemingly unsolvable puzzle.)  While I could explain about x = x + 1 the whole day, there just wasn't enough time.  I even had two students switch to JavaScript because they were more comfy with it.  We all really ran out of time.

The nervousness didn't dissipate during the presentation, but I was backing my girls all the way.  They had no time to draw properly, or design properly, but they all managed to make the best of their logic.  When the girls started giving their testimonies, I was happy to hear that the documentary I showed had them really engrossed (I did see it on their faces while they were watching the film). To think I nearly didn't get the chance to show them that! (God, you are the best!)

I was also told that this may have been IBM-EXITE's shortest workshop, but it had delivered the most output. Meoh said that he has read the feedback and they were pretty good.  I'm still nervous, though.  I have no idea if I had ruined the game development experience for these kids or not.  Questions like, "Did I overdo it?" kept running in my head.  The only good sign I can see was the fact that a group of those girls came to me after the workshop and asked for my contact details.

In any case, it was generally a happy day.  Except...

Well...certain misinformation came about and I'd like to make it clear: We do develop games from scratch in the Philippines. This has already been proven by Anino Entertainment and the rising popularity of multimedia programming in BPO. And I think the ABMA43 students, who had taken Python-Maya under me in Game Authoring 2, will object to hearing that we only customize pre-existing games.  I nearly tortured them to death when I had them make 3D assets from scratch and make them run via Python codes.  Python is not a pre-existing game, but a programming language commonly used in game development.

This wrong information actually bothered me for quite some time, especially as I had just given the girls a financial projection of how well we're gonna do in BPO by the year 2010. I suppose the source of the information didn't mean anything bad, since she came from a popular gaming company herself. It's just that with most gaming companies here in the Philippines are licensing and customizing games from Korea, it's easy to believe that the rest of the industry are doing the same.

SIDE NOTE: I left the girls with a token piece of information that I had found valuable when I was taking entrance exams.  As I had explained to them, my high school life was filled with daydreams. You wouldn't even guess now that I had hated math and science back then because I really hated studying. I only memorized one simple mathematical formula: The Pythagorean Theorem. You can derive nearly all mathematical equations from this...yes, even that dreaded quadratic equation. You can use it for physics, trigonometry, analytical geometry. Name it.  For statistics, on the other hand...as long as you know how percentiles work, you're basically set. Heck, I remember solving matrices with that.

COMMENTS from the old blog: 
zappa1one wrote on Dec 2, '07


skysenshi wrote on Dec 2, '07
IBM comes up with a workshop every year. For this particular workshop, IBM gave an aptitude exam for girls from science high schools. (The theme was kind of girl power.) They only got the girls who scored 94 and above in Math, Science and English.

zappa1one wrote on Dec 2, '07
Aaaaaaaa, okey

skysenshi wrote on Dec 2, '07
Aaaaaaaa, okey
I wrote about it in a previous post: http://skysenshi.multiply.com/journal/item/302/

Let's hope IBM comes up with something like this for boys naman next year. Who knows, maybe you can join?

aggieness wrote on Dec 2, '07
Congrats, Ate :)

skysenshi wrote on Dec 2, '07
Congrats, Ate :)
thanks! you should've seen these girls... they're so smart it makes my eyes water with so much pride. X

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