At long last the internship is almost over. This last week is going to be jam packed with last minute work and things to do. For one I need to get the website live and uploaded onto the current DNet Solutions website. It should not be very difficult to do that, the only thing I haven’t had time to test is the speed at which each web page loads.
For the current website, everything loads really slowly, but for this website, I took out a lot of unneeded photos and clunky boxes in favour for a more minimalist approach. I’ll post another blog in the middle of the week talking more about the website, kind of like a post mortem. For now here is a picture of the home page:
This is what the old Homepage used to look like:
I am still in the process of changing the header image because I would like to replace that with a slideshow. However I am still waiting on some pictures.
Overall this internship has been very rewarding. I got to wear a lot of different hats during my time working here and it was my first time both working abroad and in a very small company. I like how relaxed and homey it feels to work in a small company and most of the people here have known each other for many years. I used to work in a much larger company where it was a lot more professional but it also felt very fake and it was not the right fit for me. Working at DNet, I sit 3 seats away from one of the CEO’s and I can approach him whenever I want and we can strike up a conversation about many different things. Working at SNCL I needed to walk half a floor away, knock on a door and choose my words carefully when I spoke to my boss who was always busy and the air in the room always felt very tense.
At DNet I feel like I can work at my own pace and I have a lot more control and freedom to do my work. I am very glad that I had the opportunity to take part in an 8 week internship abroad and I would like to come back to Hong Kong in the future to do business.
This was a shorter work week than normal because we had the Monday July 1st as a statutory holiday. Not only is it Canada day, but it is also the Hong Kong SAR day. The global edge crew including myself spent the weekend volunteering at the Canada Day celebration by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. I was pretty busy and I regret not taking enough photos, if I manage to find some that others took I shall post them here.
Aside from that this week has been a bit slower than last week. On Wednesday I had a chance to visit ASAP Creative & Communication. They are interested in partnering with DNET Solution to hopefully sell our hardware in Taiwan. I was glad my boss took me to the meeting so I could see first hand how business was done in Hong Kong. It turns out that my boss knew the Director for over 20 years. He was telling me that in Hong Kong relationships are very important, it’s mostly how business is run. My Boss’s goal was to get the Director to showcase the product to her husband who has a company in Taiwan who would eventually tell his colleagues and through that their business would spread and they would be able to sell the hardware. Most of the meeting was in Cantonese so I couldn’t gauge anything but their facial expressions and reactions.
The other main task this week is trying to integrate another companies tech with our multimedia panel. Essentially that tech is an Android based media server that would be the perfect harmony to our companies hardware. Our main job is to figure out if the tech can either fit in and be integrated into our hardware to offer the full hardware and software experience to the customer. Otherwise if we can’t integrate it we have to add it on as a package deal when we try and sell our hardware to our clients. I personally hope that we can integrate it because our current software is pretty primitive and from the demonstration I saw last week, I like their version a lot more.
Mainly because it is developed using the Android 4.2 OS, as a software (game) developer I can see myself trying to convince my boss that games can be developed specifically for that system.
On July 8th, I had the privilege of visiting a press and industry launch of “Tomorrow’s Guestroom” at the Icon Hotel and the Polytech Uni. DNET won the award so myself along with almost everyone in our office went to the press conference to showcase our hardware to both the press and industry. It was really exciting to meet several people from the hospitality industry and it was a bit awkward since almost everyone there was 2-3 times my age. It was great to see how fast paced things in Asia are. I never knew how slow business was in Canada until I came here. I guess it really helps that China is so close that we don’t have to wait long to hear from manufacturers. In Canada since the distribution channels are mostly further apart from one another, I guess it slows down business. It is really amazing that a small company can manufacture hardware and prototype so fast!
I am writing this after commuting home from the Level Up convention/award ceremony/event.
It was truly a great and interesting event for a number of reasons. I did not plan on going until I saw that our Game Design class was cancelled at night. At this point the only thing stopping me from going was my own laziness. I tried to grab my other group members to join me, but I only managed to get Kevin. Probably the best one to bring anyway.
While we never had any intention of showing of our game, or worked on it exclusively for Level Up, as soon as we got there we began debugging.
At this point out game had no sounds, no HUD and an imbalanced game system. We did not have our blacksmith master menu system that would allow the player to level up their items and complete side quests. We just had several battles linked by using a little rotating exclamation mark.
We had left with Gary’s group and managed to get to the convention by 3pm, from then till 5pm Kevin and I were debugging. I was fixing the shader lighting and Kevin was balancing the game to showcase.
We essentially prepared for a huge Q/A session to gather a whole bunch of data. I wish we had put more effort into getting a HUD into the game. Regardless of the HUD I learned a lot of stuff about the game that I would not have been able to find out through normal testing.
What needed to be fixed
Aside from the obvious points of making the game look prettier by adding higher resolution textures, HUD/GUI and the rest of the shaders. We noticed that the collision system was a bit wonky and people were having issues with depth perception. There needed to be a greater collision response for the player since most of the time people were asking “am I even killing this monster?” Also the AI were updating way to fast and were very difficult. People were getting cornered and died fairly quickly. We need to allow the players to exit the battle and upgrade their equipment rather then re-spawning them in the same level.
The great thing was that there were a lot of artsy girls and male programmers along with some gamers who tested our game. I noticed that some guys were very aggressive and tried to parry and dodge while moving back an attacking. Many inexperienced gamers just stood there, got surrounded and managed to die. Granted when Dr. Nacke and Dr. Hogue tested our game they both had issues with the HUD and the obvious problems.
I also noticed that some people were having issues with the camera movement. We need to slow down the intensity of the camera movement since some people ended up staring down into the ground because the camera acceleration was to fast for people with slower reflexes. It would be good to have the player adjust the camera acceleration to their preference in the final version.
When people were in the forest area, they would walk around aimlessly and end up having a horde of enemies chase them while they ran backwards and attacked. The forest area should have regions where only some beasts spawn and they patrol that area. Many times people spawned and were surprised that a wolf began chasing them. We need to have better and smoother transitions between levels that give players a safe zone that they can chill back in. Players need to make the decision to enter a dangerous area and provoke an enemy attack. Rather then having the AI walk towards you in a line, they should recognise that they are colliding with each other and push away to corner the player. The AI need more behaviour that will allow for a more robust battle system then just the player running backwards and attacking.
Overall, we need to give the player more and better feedback during gameplay. We need to place our HUD into the game to tell the player how much stamina and health they have left. We need sounds to show the location of the enemy, and tell if they are hitting an enemy. We need to add more AI behaviour instead of endless seeking.
We went there with a 2 man team from a group of 6 people. We went in unprepared with little expectations. By this time next year, we should have our game completed and use this event to test our game out with a different crowd and have several different versions to test different things. There were different types of people that played our game and it was evident in the way they played it.
Experienced gamers adapted very easily to the WASD controls and managed to survive for a while
In-experienced gamers got completely destroyed and would have preferred a controller layout with simpler buttons
Players had to bend down or kneel on the floor and were in a very uncomfortable position playing the game, giving a negative feel to the game already
Next time we should prepare a variety of versions of our game with different control layouts and a proper chair and screen for them to play it on. Also polish. Our game needs to be very polished. By this time everything should be implemented, and we are just performing balance and fun testing.
Is this level to hard? Do we need to increase our collision response? Should you be sprinting faster? Do you need more stamina? We should be finding the answers to these questions in preparation for the final GameCon.
Overall it was a good event and I did learn a lot. I got to bond with some fellow classmates from all years of the program. We debugged and found errors in our game and code.
Some of the attendees offered awesome advice and seeing them play the game and enjoy it regardless of the state it was in really made me happy. Considering this was an unfinished game, I just wondered how much better it could have been and I deeply regret not preparing a better version for this day.
People were really impressed with just the fact that we built out game from the ground up not using anything. Some people even had a hard time believing us that we were not outsourcing anything by using external programs like Havok for physics. This probably made me the most proud to be apart of UOIT Game Development. That and the fact that one group that was using Unity Toon shading had several members who had no idea how to do edge detection and did not know what the Sobel Operator was.
I am looking forward to going to more of these events in the future and creating better polished games in the near future. Time to get some sleep. GOOD NIGHT!
During the Ancient Roman era in 1st Century B.C. during the reign of Julius Caeser, Galvados lived. Galvados went from a slave in the gladiator arena to a decorated bronze knight of the Roman Republic. Galvados rose to fame during the Gladiator War (Third Serville War) where he fought against the slaves and Spartacus.
What is your Name? Gender? Race? Religion? Age?
Lentulus Batiatus my lanista named me Galvados after I saved his life. I am a Thracian born in the land of Thrace on 90 (B.C.). I lost faith in the gods after I killed one of them.
You seem like a man of few words, am I right?
Were you a slave? Which God did you kill?
My tribe was ambushed by Glaber and I was sold to Batiatus after I killed 40 Romans in the arena. I ended the life of Spartacus.
Spartacus was not a god to many people, was he not a fellow Thracian and a brother in the Arena? Why did you not fight alongside your gladiator brethren during the war?
Spartacus was a god to the slaves. He tried to train skimpy slaves to wield sticks while fighting against Romans covered in iron. I had won my freedom in the arena and Crassus offered to train me as a centurion to later become a Legatus. I fought in the front lines while leading my men to push Spartacus toward the mountains in Petelia.
What year is it now? What are your plans now that the war is over?
It is 50 (B.C.) and I have been asked to watch guard over Gaius Julius Caesar.
What about your parents and how you were growing up, did you struggle and if so in what way?
*Grunts then laughs*. You really know nothing of Thracians do you.
Well then, how would someone stereotype you at a glance?
My bronze armour.
Where did you get the armour? It seems custom made.
I told Crassus that I wanted to fight alongside my men. He did not want me falling in battle and ordered several Blacksmiths to create this suit of armour. The large two handed sword was forged a by a master blacksmith and he named it Nerio after the goddess of war.
What about the Helmet? I have been told that you never take it off. You are even wearing it now.
I lost my identity the day I became a slave. The man you see in front of you now is a Roman warrior. My face was that of a slave.
You seem lonely, do you have a significant other? Best friends?
Glaber took my wife as his house slave when he invaded my tribe. He killed her when I was still in the arena after I threw a spear at him as he sat in the imperial box watching my fight. I killed him during an ambush by Spartacus and his men on Mount Vesuvius. Spartacus let me leave unharmed. You could say that Spartacus was my only friend.
I am interested in you relationship with Spartacus. He was your friend and a brother in battle. You say you ended his life, but his body was never found?
Spartacus and his men are dead. We are members of the same barbaric tribe that is near its extinction. The relationship we have is the same as you and other people of your race. Is this an interview about me or Spartacus?
You, I am sorry. What is your economic situation?
Money is not something I value. I worked under the richest man in Rome (Crassus). As long as my armour does not rust and my sword is sharp I will be a happy man.
What was your relationship with Crassus? How has his death affected you these past 3 years?
Crassus saw my skill as a man-slayer after I almost killed my doctore (gladiator teacher). He saw to it that I had my freedom and I was looked after. After his death I guarded his sons until the Republic asked me to help Julius Caesar.
Crassus ruled with an Iron fist, he revived decimation and punished his troops. He ordered the crucifixion of over 6,000 slaves to teach Rome from ever rebelling again. Other people saw him as a tyrant, what do you say now?
I am not other people.
What about the decimation, having troops kill their own comrades?
We won the war, even when we were outnumbered by the slaves.
Where does your allegiance lie? Can you be trusted by your friends? What are your vices?
Right now I fight for the Roman Republic. The men under my command can trust me. Friends and women just make men weak.
You seem like you live for battle, do you enjoy killing other men? What gives you contentment?
I enjoy the thrill of fighting. Slashing a man’s chest to see his intestines bleed out is gratifying. I miss the roar of the fans in the arena when you decapitate your enemy.
I guess that means that you do not fear death?
I fear I will not die a noble death. If a man is able to best me in combat, he is worthy to take my life.
What is one secret about you that no one knows about you?
*Grunts*. This interview is over.
Given Name: Galvados. Meaning: Protector. Comes from the word galvanization
Birth Name: Aspios. Meaning noble, power, grace, beauty, strength and freedom.
Current Location: Rome
Height: 6′ 0″
Weight: 240lbs with armour 300lbs with sword 325lbs
Hair Colour: Brown
Skin Colour: Light Brown
Eye Colour: Unknown
Language: Latin, Greek and Thracian Language
Super human strength
Champion of gladiator combat
Expert hand to hand combat skills
Dominant personality during leadership
Powerful military leader
Not good with women and children
Armour makes him slower
Trouble with relationships and human contact
Years of war and battle will take a toll on his body and his mind
Fairly emotionless outside of battle
Personal History/Story Arc
Galvados was born in a barbaric tribe known as the Thracians. A man’s strength in battle proved his worth as a human. Weaker men were considered women and left to do feminine tasks. Galvados became a great warrior by helping his fellow men protect the tribe against other barbarians. He falls madly in love with a beautiful Thracian woman named Naevia. She becomes his world shortly after their marriage. Galvados was once an amiable man who cared about his tribe and its defence. Only few knew him as ‘Aspios’, his birth name.
During a large scale battle with another barbaric tribes, the Romans ambush the town absent of its warriors and drag the slaves over the Mediterranean Sea to Rome. When Galvados accompanied by Spartacus and other Tracians arrive to their town they are ambushed by Gaius Claudius Glaber and his small army. Tied up and placed on a boat headed straight for the Arena, Galvados and Spartacus’ lives were about to change. Galvados and Spartacus were both concerned about their wives and grew a brotherly bond at this point. They tried to fight their Roman captors and escape several times, but were only met with punishment by a whip.
When they arrived in Rome they were sent to the Arena to test their skills in combat. Spartacus and Galvados fought side by side and took out a mix of 40 Roman warriors. Glaber demanded they be executed but Batiatus wanted to purchase these slaves. It is well known to many Romans that Thracians are barbaric individuals that hold honour in battle and answer to no one. Training a Thracian is a near impossible task, yet Batiatus just purchased two of them.
While in Batiatus’ ludus (gladiator school), Galvados and Spartacus were trained by the doctore Oenomaus. At the time the current undefeated champion was Crixus, he was one of Batiatus’ top gladiators. Spartacus was a difficult man, and constantly fought with his captors and the other men. Galvados on the other hand was eager to learn and fight. He had heard of Gannicus, one of Batiatus old gladiators who was granted his freedom. Galvados was told if he became the champion, he would be given his freedom so he could look for his wife.
Spartacus was in a similar predicament however, Batiatus told him that he would look for Spartacus’ wife in return for his obedience. Batiatus on the other hand had found Spartacus’ wife and ordered her dead. In one of Galvados’ previous battles, he saw Glaber watching and threw a spear towards him, missing by an inch. Enraged Glaber killed Galvados’ wife and sent the head to Batiatus.
One of the slaves in the house attempted to kill Batiatus, Galvados reacted quickly and saved Batiatus’ life. Batiatus rewarded Galvados by naming him Galvados instead of referring to him as the Thracian.
When the time came, Galvados had bested Crixus in combat and his next match was one with his good friend and teacher Oenomaus. Before the battle Spartacus had found out that Batiatus had killed his wife and wanted revenge. Spartacus was planning a rebellion and wanted Galvados to help them. Galvados refused and went on to fight his last battle. During that battle Galvados bested Oenomaus and Batiatus pleaded to the Arena Master to spare Oenomaus’ life.
Marcus Licinius Crassus (General and Politician) was in the VIP crowd and saw Galvados match. He granted his freedom and gave him a job. Back at the ludus, Spartacus had found the head of Galvados’ wife and that Batiatus was hiding it from him.
At this point Spartacus had started his rebellion and later killed Batiatus. Galvados was in Rome being trained as a Centurion and was being taught how to lead an army from Crassus.
A year passed and Spartacus was looting and pillaging while creating an army of slaves. Galvados was sent by Crassus to eliminate Spartacus. He was sent to work with a small unit to Vesuvius where Spartacus was hiding. He was told to fight alongside Glaber’s men. Spartacus had anticipated them and ambushed them. Only Glaber and Galvados were spared. Spartacus told Galvados about how Glaber killed his wife. Galvados ripped Glaber apart and spread his body parts around Vesuvius.
Without anything to live for Galvados told Spartacus to end his life. Spartacus convinced him to join their cause. Galvados told Spartacus that he would not be able to win this war, and the only thing he could do was escape and save as many lives. They then planned to retreat in a mountain pass where they would escape through a series of tunnels where a boat awaits to take them away from Rome. Galvados volunteered to go back to the Roman army to help their plan. Galvados returned to the Roman army with the news of Glaber’s death and the position of Spartacus’ troops. He lead the attack killing many slaves and innocent men.
Galvados was slowly going mad. First his enslavement, then the death of his wife and now the endless murder of many people. The war was coming to an end and Galvados was becoming more and more robotic. Crassus let him lead the battle ordering him to bring Spartacus’ head to him as a test of his loyalty.
During the battle, Galvados had cornered Spartacus and what was left of his men in the mountains. Spartacus and his men began to escape as planned. Galvados asked Spartacus to end his life in one final battle. Spartacus refused. Galvados mentioned that Crassus would probably kill him for not bringing the head of Spartacus. Spartacus then began to carve out his flesh ripping out his slave mark along with his Thracian tattoo. He dropped his bloodied skin on the lap of Galvados and left.
Galvados became a hero and the slayer of a God. He received several accolades and gained to the rank of Legatus.
When Galvados became a slave he had forsaken his old identity. He put on a helmet and became a ruthless gladiator. He went from becoming a patriotic Thracian to a bloodthirsty monster who needed to kill for his freedom. The only thing driving his rage was the idea that he would find and save his wife.
Once Galvados entered Vesuvius with Glaber and he was ambushed by Spartacus was his last major defining moment. He had always hated Glaber and once he found out he had killed his wife, Galvados went into an unstoppable rage. At this point life was meaningless to him, yet Spartacus did not want him to die. Galvados became a shell of his former self after this point. He simply followed orders, like a robot.