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Blog post 5 : Dyslexia and University

So it is official I am dyslexic. I am 29 and this is the first time that is has been made official.

A few weeks ago I had undertook a series of tests from an educational psychologist. The tests determined that I have short term memory problems and I am unable to spell a great number of words. In the past this has been put down to me being lazy and not really wanting to learn, which is untrue, I want to learn and enjoy learning. I also have attention issues which I have been able to learn how to control with a great deal of discipline. I will be getting the help that I need in order to make it through university (such as programs that will read out what I have written etc). It does change the way I look at my own work, if that’s a good or bad I don’t yet know.

A few interesting points have come out of all this. I am smarter than average which is nice to know. I am also lateral thinker, so I don't think outside of the box, I more use it to trap small children and sell them to homeless people for straw hats.

In uni at the moment there is a lot of work that needs to get done. I have to make a program in java (I am just learning the basics of java at the moment). There is also a few reports that need written up and a presentation which will be done on Wednesday. The presentation is done by teams.

On the day that the teams had been made up we had been put in a group and told “you are team K”. I had only known anyone in the class for about two days and was hoping that it would be made of people that I could have a laugh with. Turns out I was right, like myself they are all computer game development students so I will have them in almost all my classes for the next few years. When the topic of leader came around and we had to pick, Mitchel jump straight in saying that he would do it and was leader of the group for around 5 minutes. The rest of the team had decided that I should be the leader as I just started working on what I needed to do rather than messing about (The messing about happened later). A bit of a tangent but now that it is out of the road.

The teams presentation is on Robots. I got to do what I think is the best bit about robots which is robots in general culture so a bit about their past and also in books and movies. Even though I let everyone in the team pick what bit they wanted to do first I still got the bit I really wanted, I suspect that is was more to do about the amount of work that needed to be done for it.

One last thing, I get to make games, they are very basic at the moment using a system called gamemaker, but i get to make games dude. In my gaming class I have been told to read comics, books, watch movies, play games, go do something new, go on a trip to somewhere you have never been and write a blog. So here I am. I am going to try and keep this up I don’t know what I am going to say but if anyone wants to ask me something than go ahead.


Still Chasing the dream

So, I did't get into the course that I talked about in my last post. All is not lost as I have just started a different university course with the university of the west of Scotland called computer game development. It is aimed more at smaller scale games, not AAA titles, with focuses on new technology and programming for new platforms. Along with programming there is a large amount of game design theory which is transferable between all game types from PC to board-games. One of the stranger things that you are made to do is understand what is in a computer and what it does. I am not going to complain about already knowing all that stuff as the class is worth 20 points that I should get no problem.

I am still going to make games, I still have a game in mind that I will make. So I am still chasing the dream.

I may need to make my dreams bigger though. A man who has fulfilled all of his dreams is only fooling himself.


What I want to do.

I am not looking for support or even for anything at all apart from my own knowledge that this is floating out in the the world of the internet.  
Everyone has a dream, something that we reach for. It can be something as simple as wanting to get a job or to make the perfect sandwich (The perfect sandwich is a worthy dream). My dreams have changed over the years. Some of them taken away from me by making bad decisions or distractions from other people and events. All of the success and  failures have formed the person that I am today. I am not a good person or a bad one. I am an individual but I am not nearly naive enough to believe that I am unique or different from everyone else in the world. I digress.  
I started following my dream of making video games last year by going back to college as a mature student at age 26. Sorely lacking in formal eduction, college was the best option. The aim is to get what I need in order to go to University and do a course called Psychology in Interactive Entertainment. I am already doing Psychology, Sociology and a lot of math. I am not a programmer I am a daydreamer. My goal is to make games that will effect people in different ways using Psychology. The fan-boy in me wants to be involved in the making of games on the fan-boy level. But I have to put him back in the cage in order to go through the long process of learning everything I need to know. I am only a few steps on a path for which I don't know the end.  
I will try to blog something a bit more interesting here next time. 


Installing to hard drive

  I do hate having to installing my games to the hard drive on the 360. It is not the act of doing it that I hate nor the time that it takes. No, what I hate is that I have to do it or my disks will end up being scratched to hell. I don't own any pets but after a gaming session without installing the disk looks like I live in a house with a crazy old cat lady.  
I know that I can get a larger hard drive, well not until I have money for it. I just felt the need to rant a bit.


Ghostbusters the game (a bit after the fact but hey)

I know I know. I am late to the party. I did mean to get this game ages ago. Instead I didn't. Do I have a good reason. Yes! well I probably did and now just cant remember it as it was so ago. 
So the game was really what I thought it was going to be. You playing as some no name dude that is getting dragged along for the ride, while the rest of the ghostbusters are caught up in some slime filled story that involves "Gozer the Gozerian" (got to love that name).                                                     
The models of the characters look good apart from the eyes sometimes the eyes look freaky, like pull you into another dimension then rip apart the world around you, while monster made of books try to knock you over (Which does happen in one if the levels around the middle of the game).  Getting knocked over is a pain in the ass on the hardest level (professional)  I have found myself spending more time trying to pick the AI characters up than shooting at ghosts.  The load time is a bit of a joke too. I don't know why but it takes way to long to load up the same level that you have just been playing. Some of the minor ghosts can wipe out your whole team with one projectile. The Hobo ghosts are the worst for this. I guess I cant blame them for being pissed that some jacked up dude went around and started stabbing Hobos to turn them into ghosts probably Jeff.    
The online multiplayer at this point is hunted ( I know) by six people. They have a 360 sitting in the corner of an abandoned room constantly waiting for someone to join there game will rocking back and forth in a grey boiler suit that they picked up from some dead guy at a chemical plant.
Ghostbusters is not a great game, unless you are a fan of the Ghostbusters. This is the closet thing that we will ever get to a new film with the original cast. I know that I will play it a few times in the years to come as I will want to go over the story again, simply because I want to do something where I trap ghosts with a proton pack. I do wish they had used more of the films soundtrack.