Friday, December 10, 2010

Coco & Co Final Presentation

We just had our final presentation for team Coco & Co and our game WAY. The semester was a blast and we're incredibly proud of WAY. Here's a link to the presentation video (we're the 2nd video). Wish us luck for the IGF!

Sad note from Future Walt circa 2011: We didn't get nominated for the IGF. :-(

Happy note from Future Future Walt circa 2012: We just won the IGF!! OMG!!! Hurray!!!!! :-D

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Future Walt is totally not retroactively posting this from the future. Also, it was written by Paulwei originally for the ETC SV blog, but Future Walt totally thinks it's worth sharing.

Team Coco & Co. was at The Independent Game Jam (TIGJam) this year.

Coco & co at TIGJAM

If you’re an Indie Game nerd, you would have loved this event. The event housed around 50 indie game developers at the Hacker Dojo in Mountain View. Some people had experience and some people were complete newbies. It was a little intimidating going into the game jam. There are all these people that, if you know who they are, they’re indie game superheroes. The first time I saw them, I was totally geeking out. Then you get to know them and really, they’re just regular people like you and me.

Our first day, a stranger sat down across from me, shook my hand and introduced himself as Ron. It wasn’t until later that day that I realized I just shook the hand of Ron Carmel of 2DBoy, the creators of World of Goo.

Other superstars included former ETC Alums, Kyle Gabler, and Kyle Gray. Derek Yu, the creator of Spelunky was also there.

Anyways, we set up shop, we got to work and it was a very productive 4 days. We were able to test our game with some fun people and everyone enjoyed our game once they figured out the mechanics.

Our advisors, Jiyoung and Carl stopped by Friday afternoon to check it out. They stayed for a bit, talked with some people, took some pictures and even got to play a pre-XBLA version of Spelunky before they left.

Aside from the great atmosphere, there were some fun events that happened throughout the jam.

First off, there was a movie being shot while we were Indie Game, the Movie is set to come out sometime next year. Our team was right next to where people were interviewing all these indie developers so you might actually get to see our screens, backs or even faces in the background of the movie.

There were a few nights where we had a single elimination tournament for all to see. The third night was a Madhouse tournament in which Paulwei got into the finals and lost pretty badly. The fourth night was a Nidhogg tournament where Chris got into the finals and lost. These small losses will bring a big win in the near future (fingers crossed).

Every night there were different talks from different developers about what’s on their minds. Scott Anderson talked about getting more people into games. Derek Yu had the same message about being all inclusive and never burning bridges. These were all very off the cuff talks that made it great to hear from all these different people about the industry that they love.

Believe me, making indie games is definitely a labor of love.

Coco & co at TIGJAM

Coco & co at TIGJAM

Coco & co at TIGJAM

Monday, October 25, 2010

Coco & Co Half Presentation

Here's a link to our totally-awesome half-semester presentation. I think we kicked ass. Future Walt agrees. We're the third video:

Here's what the game looked like 4 weeks ago:

And here's what the game looks like now:

Monday, October 11, 2010

Coco & Co Quarter Presentation

My project team, Coco & Co, gave our quarters presentation a few days ago. Here is a video recording of it:

There are three videos on that page. We're the 2nd video.

Future Walt wishes he could embed the video, but he can't. :-(

Friday, September 10, 2010

San Francisco Bike Tour

My team this semester went on a bike tour of San Francisco and across the Golden Gate Bridge.

Future Walt is adding some pictures because pictures make blogs prettier:

Monday, September 6, 2010

Coco & Co

My project team for this semester is called Coco & Co, which stands for Constructive Communication and Collaboration. The goal of our project is to create a two-player puzzle game in which the players must communicate with each other to solve the puzzles, but without using text or speech chat.

Future Walt is here and hypothetically wondering whether this project will amount to anything. Hmm....

Monday, August 23, 2010

Keyboard Failure

This just happened.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Tanky-Tank 0.10.6

At long last, a new version of Tanky-Tank has been released! Here are the changes:

  • Halftrack has been reverted to the old minelaying version.
  • Hopefully fixed crash bug on startup.
  • Hopefully fixed crash bug when the terrain shadow texture fills up.
  • Upgraded to .Net 4.0.
  • Misc performance improvements.

Download it now!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

What Happens in Vegas

Las Vegas is probably my least favorite place on Earth. It's no fun unless you want to spend a lot of money on alcohol. Hi, Future Walt here. It also helps to be a girl. You get in places for free. I am not.

This weekend a few other interns and I made the 6-ish hour drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. The big reason we went was to see the Cirque Du Soleil show Ka. (More on Ka later...)

The trip to Vegas was super boring. It pretty much all looked like this.

On the way we stopped to eat in the town of Baker, CA. We ate at a Greek-themed restaurant.

We also saw "The World's Tallest Thermometer". It should really be called "The World's Lamest Thermometer", because it's actually just a bunch of numeric, digital temperature displays. (Trivia: It is 134 feet tall -- 134 degrees is the highest-ever temperature recorded in nearby Death Valley.)

We stayed in one of the cheapest hotel casinos in Vegas, The Excalibur.

After checking in, we went exploring!

And as it turns out, Vegas is pretty much entirely slot machines.

The outsides of the casinos are usually much more interesting than the insides.

You can, of course, gamble and swim at the same time.

Vegas is littered with all sorts of lame street performers, such as this couple in awful, awful (though at the same time pretty impressive) Toy Story costumes.
After taking this picture I was yelled at and shooed away by the performers, who wanted a tip that I would not give them.

Saturday evening we saw the Cirque du Soleil show Ka. It is easily the most technically impressive piece of theater I have ever seen. The show and it's incredible stage cost over $200 million to create. The massive stage itself can move in and out, up and down, tilt up and down, and spin. It also has a sophisticated camera-based actor-tracking system that allows them to project all kinds of special effects onto the stage. The stage is so massive that it was built by a company that normally builds large-scale industrial mining equipment.

Ka is a great show, and if you are ever unfortunate enough to be in Vegas, is not to be missed.

Friday, June 11, 2010


Yesterday evening we went to see Prince of Persia at the El Capitan in downtown Hollywood. The movie was a reasonably entertaining summer action flick.

The El Capitan theater, though not owned by Disney, shows only Disney movies. It's also a pretty cool venue. Before every show there is a performance by a live organist, who then descends into the stage just before the previews.

The whole theater itself is decorated to match whatever movie is being shown, and there are often displays of movie props in the basement. Here are a couple from Prince of Persia:

Before the movie we walked briefly around downtown Hollywood. There's really not much to see, though the hand and foot prints of all sorts of movie stars are pretty neat.

Anthony Daniels (aka C-3PO) is a visiting scholar at the ETC. He's a nice, polite man, and very, very smart.

Someone once told me that I reminded them of Jack Nicholson. Personally I don't see the resemblance, but I took it as a compliment.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Maker Faire

On Friday and Saturday, a few of us Imagineers ventured up to the San Francisco area for the Maker Faire. It's basically a bunch of do-it-yourselfers geeking out with each other.

Anyway, Imagineering went up there to showcase some of the cool technologies we're working on as part of Maker Faire's education day for kids.

One thing we showed is a cool trick whereby a webcam captures video of your face, which is then projected back onto this model of a human head. The effect is kind of like a really bizarre 3D mirror. It was definitely popular with kids.

Another technology we're showed is a 360-degree camera. Once upon a time (a couple weeks ago) it was attached to one the ride boats for the It's A Small World ride at Disneyland. The cool thing about this video is that, though it is all prerecorded, you can still pan around within the video as if you were controlling a normal camera live.

But the most popular technology we demoed was the FLIR infrared camera. It can see heat instead of normal visible light. It costs about $35,000, so we didn't let any of the kids touch it, but they could see themselves glow bright on the screen. One cool thing is that if you touch the wall with your hand for a couple seconds, it actually heats up the wall, leaving an imprint for a little bit.

Friday was the education day, and on Saturday the main fair started. Upon entering the fairgrounds, one couldn't help but notice the giant rocketship in the middle.

A commonly-recurring theme throughout the day was crazy vehicles.

Robots were another common sighting.

Not to mention the obligatory R2 droids.

These aren't the chickens you're looking for...

There were a bunch of fun wood "sculptures" that anyone could bend into their desired shape. (Puppy!)

One group had a shadow-detecting projection. I only mention it because we've done much more interesting stuff at the ETC.

Another group had a cool tank combat video game, but not quite as cool as Tanky-Tank.

There were a bunch of wild-and-crazy art pieces.

And some human-powered carnival rides.

Lastly, there were a couple of awesome musical devices...

One was a mechanical percussion instrument:

And the other was a musical instrument using giant Tesla coils! The notes you hear are simple electrical current flowing from the coils. (Yes, there's a person in the cage between the two coils.)