Games, Rockets, and Mice

Game Discovery Exhibition

It’s been two weeks; where have I been?

well, for the first week I had a chance to visit Orlando with a few friends(and my in-laws for a brief period.) We basically did the tourist thing: Disney World, Universal Studios, and NASA. NASA was by far the most interesting; we spent the day touring different launch areas, watching a reenactment of the Apollo 8 launch, and at the end of the day we watched the launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Unfortunately they couldn’t stick the landing this time; but, it was progress.

Universal Studios was a great experience. We visited their to Harry Potter locations to enjoy some butter beer and buy a wand. The rides were amazing; it’s been quite a while since I’ve been on a roller coaster, so why not try as many as I could? I would have to say the Hulk was my favorite. But, for anyone going, definitely check out the Spider-Man ride; it was pretty intense for a mostly stationary ride.

The majority of our time was spend at Disney World. We tried to cover all of the parks and as many rides as possible. I would say the Tower of Terror was my favorite ride, but Epcot was my favorite park.

Overall it was an amazing experience, and the friends we were with made it all the more better.

That brings us to last week. At work, just before I left on my vacation, it was decided that we would present one of our projects at the Game Discovery Exhibition(http://www.gdxedmonton.com/) here in Edmonton at the University of Alberta. This made the past week extremely hectic, but worth it.

Yesterday was GDX and it was amazing. I knew this city had talent, but the projects coming out of the professional and independent channels were amazing. Everyone who we met was awesome with their feedback. I can’t wait to talk more with them, and really explore some of the avenues people suggested.

Our project was a game I’ve been developing, on and off, over the last couple of years(the initial prototype I used to convince the professors can be found here.) It’s objective is to allow young students, roughly grade 3 and 4, to experience communities from around the world. In the past 3 months several extremely talented students have joined the project. With their hard work, we’ve created prototypes for both the Chinese and Ukrainian versions of the game to show off. Over the next year and a half, we are looking at completing these countries, and hopefully adding more.

Pictured you can see myself, a couple of the students, and the professors working on this project(There are so many more people involved, but unfortunately they were not around at the time of the photo.) From left to right: Mark McKellar, Jiwon You, Don Nicholas, Natalie Kononenko, and Peter Holloway. Thank you everyone for your hard work.

Next week I plan on returning to my work outside of work; but for now, these last two weeks really needed a mention.

P.S. Thought I’d add one photo of Me chatting it up in Disney:

Cindy and I