Nav: (Display/Hide) - Home - About the Author / this page

Working on: Day 1001 (33) - Fall 2011 in Pics (59 / 110) - Zuma Blitz - Fall 2012 in Concepts (64 links)
Team: Americana Dawn (as Lead Programmer, Tech Demo Game Designer)

Sunday, May 24, 2015

WIP: Americana Engine Beta

Project page styled with a (modified) legacy AD template

With a growing amount of software development jobs favoring a portfolio of prior work over just a resume, I have proceeded to showcase a few pieces of work of my own.


The Americana Engine is a ongoing game engine project started in 2013 running under Windows. It was originally developed for Americana Dawn to get past a lot of the limitations that RPGMaker had (which the game was originally developed in), adding a higher resolution, finer sprite control (not having to rely on parallax mapping), map portability, and adding native functionality for the large-scale battle system.

A portfolio version of the game engine (including the editor used to make maps) is now available to the general public. More details on it and a playable demo can be found on its respective project page (in progress).

Brief Notes: (at the time of writing)

  • The engine is currently in active development, and may contain bugs or unfinished features. You are free to discuss it or report any problems, questions, feature requests, etc. at for now. If you want to directly contribute to the codebase, send a email to me directly.
  • Scripting documentation and tutorials will be provided in the near future.
  • Maps saved in this build which load images must be placed in the /img folder (an alternative solution will be up soon).
  • No assets will be included except for those used for in-game GUIs.
  • Demo maps included with these builds contains assets from Americana Dawn and are used for the purpose of demonstrating the game engine as a portfolio piece.
  • The Battle Simulator that was available to AD beta testers is also available here with some new features.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Snow on the Stateline

What I expected to go on this trip for: to see the new Hard Rock Casino, collect the appropriate chips, etc. It's new and has a large collection that is worth seeing.

What I didn't expect: Heavy snow during the trip. It just came up and wasn't thought of when it was planned around a month ago, which changes a few things. I managed to leave just before chains were being enforced (going eastbound).

Note on Big Pines Wi-fi: I stayed there and used their free wifi in 2013. Apparently their wi-fi has exceptional range, as my laptop automatically connects to it from a Harrah's Premium room on the 7th floor. It's usable, but it's not like it's necessary to have as Harrah's provides wifi anyways.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Chinese New Year Parade, San Francisco

Not liking the way Stockton's parade went out, I proceeded to go over to San Francisco for their Chinese New Year Parade, and it had everything I expected to see out of one, and then some. I greatly underestimated the amount of time the parade lasted (from watching youtube videos of past years I expected it to be more like an hour and a half).

Noting the following:

  • On Grant Street, there were a number of booths (Graton, Thunder Valley) that requires your ID and also records it as well, even though the latter only has booth prizes. I don't know why they require it but I decided to avoid participating in them.
  • Finding a spot 40-60 minutes before the actual parade starts is ideal.
  • Get a seat if you can. If not, it is more of a test of endurance when standing up, and even more so when trying to get pictures of everything. Many cameras do not have the capability to get pictures through 1/3 of the parade if you're regularly taking them. SLRs might fare better. I was standing for well over three hours.
  • Don't park at Portsmouth Square, you will get stuck there until the very end.
  • Position is important: Near the beginning if you plan to eat at the SF Westfield Mall, near the end if you want to see more performances. They close at 9pm, less than 30 minutes after the last float comes out.
  • I think I heard the song "Happy" played from at least three floats.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Battle Simulator, Beta 2

Four months have passed since the Battle Simulator in Americana Dawn was made open to beta testers, and a number of modifications and special rulesets were added to simulate a variety of real-world scenarios.

The initial wave of feedback shaped what GUI elements to include or optimize. In Beta 2, there are a number of visual and game mechanic changes, one of them including 'circles' underneath enemy units, which give a representation as to how soon they will strike and makes it easier to indicate where they are on the timeline as well.

A full list of changes made in Beta 2 is available here.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Chinese New Year 2015

Stockton's Chinese New Year, w/o the Lions

I arrived a bit late compared to other years (11:30), but what should normally be lions there's a music performance instead. And outside on the parade route the streets looked clean, there was no grandstand, and there was the normal flow of traffic like the parade didn't exist, so what's up?

OK, so they actually had the lion dance at the beginning, but was late for it because of the lack of parade participants (there were nine of them instead of 30 as usual), and everything was pushed back appropriately. I also heard the parade route was shortened for this reason as well.

Not to worry, I have another opportunity to see a Lion Dance somewhere else.

Freebies: There's not many booths that gave out free stuff. The most notable one that did was Jackson Rancheria, which left within an hour (at 12pm) and gave out $20 free play coupons like they were going out of style. If you obtained the program booklet at the entrance there's a $30 coupon on the very back page. (They only last for one month, and you can only use one of them.)

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Thunder Valley Chinese New Year Calendar

It's somewhat of my tradition to pick up these calendars every year at Thunder Valley, if possible. After spending a total of $3.79* and getting 88 points I got my calendar.

But... it's not as large as the one as I got two years ago, although it's still ok.

2013 Calendar for scale.

*The quickest way of doing this is to keep hitting the max bet button on a 1 cent machine until you reach 88 points. Although any machine will do, the 1 cent has a lower variance if you have a limited amount of money (and the Quick Hit machines allow you to max bet for less). I don't trust table games to accrue points since the number of points seems to vary by a wide margin.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Haggin Museum Art Show

More specifically, the 84th Annual McKee Student Art Contest, which spans two floors, and K-12. This (and other special exhibits here) are really the only ones worth going to once the entire museum is explored (when it's free the first Saturday of every month).

I've participated in an art show once, but that was in Lodi, and was mainly limited to drawings, photographs, etc. Here 3D models and sculptures are also included.