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Current Projects: Americana Engine (Game Engine Development)

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.)