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Current Projects: Americana Engine (Game Engine Development)

About

The Author

Brendan Chan is a graduate from University of the Pacific focused on software engineering, web development, and game development.

Basic Info:

  • Major: MS in Computer Science, Applied Math Minor, with emphasis in Software Engineering and Game Programming.
  • Major interests: Map Editing, Modding, and Procedural generation and modeling on a large scale (such as a city)
  • Other interests: Starcraft (formerly) / Photography / Video Editing / Laser Tag / Pop / Electronic / Trance / Dance music / Exploring new places / CKI (up to 2013).
  • bchantech = B.Chan + Tech (One Word Project)

Projects Developed:

  • Website: Bryan Chan Photography (2010)
    • Photography portfolio website. Implemented several systems from a design template, such as slideshows, allowing users to fill out a contact form, which automatically sends emails to the appropriate people.
  • Zuma Blitz Public Score Submission System (2012)
    • A PHP Script that extracts detailed score information from Zuma Blitz, when POST requests were redirected to this page (using something like Fiddler). A copy is saved to the database for later viewing or verification, as well as a lot of detailed statistics that were not originally presented to the player (the official stats page was not implemented until after three months later). Personal data other than the user's name (such as the player's number of game / FB friends) as well as other data outside the scope of this project were discarded.
  • Americana Engine (2013-2015)
    • A game engine built from scratch using DirectX. Contains a variety of map editing and publishing features designed for rapid map prototyping and development. Was originally built for the video game Americana Dawn.
  • Robinhood.NET / Robinhood CLI (2016)
    • An alternate means of interfacing and trading on Robinhood by using the command line. Provides technical details, safety features, and focuses on minimizing latency when placing orders while providing support for some of the newest features. Based on some other projects implementing the API.

On Other Social Media:

The Blog

The Other Side is a personal blog dedicated to providing commentary and sharing personal goals and experiences, personal projects, game playthroughs, reviews, developments, and other tech related stuff. The main goal is to create a original-content (and mostly original-research) blog that can both influence and provide others with the information they need, while making it simple enough for people to understand easily.

I never liked the way that the top searches for some game walkthroughs (especially for online games) were either misleading, weren't very helpful, or simply copied over - I wanted to change this. I'm a technical person, so I like guides detailed (to summarize, don't tell me to just do something because it works, tell me why it works.) If I'm covering a game and a guide or specific mechanic is not available elsewhere on the webs, it's probably over here.

The blog is reached its peak from 2011-2013 due to coverage of Zuma Blitz and related material.

Note: Posts are frequently backdated, which means that a post can happen anywhere between a day to a month after an event occurs. (ex. if a post was created in March on a event that happened last month, it will be posted with a February timestamp) This rule also applies to personal posts - when reading them they should be read without considering information on future posts.

Origin

The idea for the name of this blog came when browsing through a book at Borders. The title lives up to its name, however, as the majority of users who visit the site are not local and most posts intended for a certain audience never reach them, despite attempts to promote it on FB and other means.

Key Features:

  • Established Sept 2009. Idea of blog title was from reading a book from Borders (and influenced from Angelle's blogs).
  • Original Content blog - Unless otherwise noted (see below), all images (screenshots included) on posts and videos (that link to my youtube) are original content and were taken or produced by me.
  • Attempts to put a slight amount of humor and creativity in posts and post titles (the main topic is usually part of the title).
  • Personal storyline that is interlaced throughout all of the posts (marked with 'Status')
  • Many posts with (some good) creative pictures and a small caption.

The following comprises of around 95% of the posts in this blog:

  • Game playthroughs/reviews (with videos) - in the perspective of a gamer, a CS student, as well as a reviewer. Hence may note technical flaws.
  • Posts about Circle K (2009-2013) - Most people see them as events with huge groups of people (especially those from their club) - I don't see it that way, however. Some images may have limited releases elsewhere depending on content.
  • Personal Life - Usually about products, locations, reviews, the goal list, and all that other stuff.
  • Tech-related products (how many products covered depending on budget).
  • Programming - Some basic tl;dr info on how some stuff works for those not wanting to read through a bunch of information.

Title Image Archive

Contact

Any questions, comments, or concerns should be sent to brendan.chan@sbcglobal.net.

Photo Credits, Attributions, and Legal

Although I technically own the images (since the images taken on one of my cameras), I give credit to the people who took these pictures for the following posts:

  • Image "Meanwhile at UOP", taken by Robert Hasegawa
  • Image "Chinese Cultural Camp" taken by Bryan Chan
  • Image "DCON 2011" taken by (unknown)

These posts source pictures or screenshots not made by me:

  • Title image sources a set of images by Garrett Coyne
  • Post "Render - Beancoons" uses an image of a Beancoon by Puptea Softworks
  • Post "Inverse Crude Oil" (and some other 2017 posts) uses artwork by Tv Nguyen (under fair use).

Other Legal Stuff:

  • Most information about Zuma Blitz on this blog is considered 'original research' by B. Chan and as such is freely reproducible provided credit is given either via link or name credit - information here is not endorsed by Popcap Games and may not be 100% accurate. I am not responsible for any actions performed from information shown on this blog that result in bans (such as using a score parser).