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Thursday, January 22, 2009

First Paycheck is Like First Sex... Need Help

Wooooooow... Chinese New Year comes early-la for me! Yahooooooo...!

I don't care if you think I'm making a fuss over something as common as this for the average ordinary citizen, but for hell, there's only a few handfuls of 'first time's in your life (like first word or first civil arrest) so I really got to plan how to spend this memorably.

Especially being that it’s the first hard-earned cash I’ve been given that didn’t come straight out of a wallet *cough* Ayah *cough*, I just thought I’ll photograph it for memory’s sake (and to remind myself how damn cheap these people are, even for an intern).

The amount is only about RM$455 though. But as compared to my previous choices to work at, I’m still better off, I think. Companies with exposure to trouble-shooting, customer service and networking. Actually, I hate networking but I picked it out because that way, I build character (Character = Grumpy). Most internship jobs fluctuates between RM$200-RM$600 I’ve heard, but I didn’t do much research on that part though. I was more interested in a fast graduation and formally call myself a graduate.

Oh crap that. Please excuse me while I do money-check-porn.

I have MONEY! I freaking have money that’s mine! Mine, mine, mine, myyyyyyyiiine! All mine!!

Okay, I confess. I already know how to spend a bit of it already.

It's a trip to Majlis Bandaran Petaling Jaya.

To pay my parking fine.

Yeah, talk about a deflating orgasm.

Hey, why don’t YOU try to find a parking space around TTDI on every freaking weekday morning. Previously, I had resorted to get myself parking at the residential area near the Damansara Specialist Hospital. Unlucky me, it came the day when the men-in-uniform left me a pricey love note on my windshield. Of course I didn’t tell my dad. He had the bad habit of blowing things out of proportions when it comes to money (my first money, what's more).

The office party at MYGO. These were the leaving interns posing with the 2 bosses.

The project I had worked on is so top secret, even one of the major characters is not allowed to be seen in the intro screen *laughs*.

Still, the resulting three hundred bucks is nothing to sneeze at. But now I’m at a bind. As I had been living the beggar-student life, I have completely no idea what to do with the extra cash (I don’t pay taxes yet).
-I already got new shoes
-And a second-hand laptop
-My current favourite game is a free-to-play (heh...)
-I haven’t read my hefty new novel yet; Twilight

All that’s left is to eat something different. Maybe I’ll try Wendy’s at Giant Kota Damansara. Blearg, put it at the bank until further ideas. Or the next paycheck (hehehe!).

MySis and Abang Arsenal told me how lucky I was since they weren’t being paid for anything during their internship (both had internships close to their universities). Then again, my older siblings and I had a wide age gap between us so times must have changed since then.

It did got me wondering about other people’s internship jobs, particularly since it’s so interesting that nowadays, you can actually get paid to learn a real hands-on-skill, whereas back then, interns doing a good job is its own reward. Based on the current situation, how much do interns of today actually get paid?

Can anybody tell me about their first jobs? And what to do special with the first paycheck?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Things That Had Happened Since...

Just for the habit of updating, here are some of the stuff that I've been through since I stopped for a while. These events were in order between the months of April 2008 to January 2009. It's kind of a lot to squeeze into one blog entry but I'm going to try to put them in chronological order.

Well, obviously my cousin Cammy* got married. Apparently, she and Mr. Groom (a USJ guy) met at university in England and had a whirlwind romance. Though they were both still learning, they opted to get married straight away (no engagement period, holy-F, slow down girl). I suspected it's a genetic thing since her mom (my aunt) got married at age 18!

Baby Nephew No. 2 came into the world in late May. Thus, from now on, BabyNabil will be nicknamed as BratNabil and second baby shall be refered to as BabyNasar. Hahaha, MySis wanted the boys in her family to have their names start with the letter 'N' and any girls born shall have 'H' names. Reason pertaining is hinted at the said parents' own names. Heh, go figure.

Oh and her husband's youngest sister is getting married too. Unlike my cousin, she choose a period of engagement and the part was just recently last December. AbangHuzir's sister was my schoolmate back at primary-to-secondary school, one of the cool-crowd gals, so we don't really meet face-to-face. I'm mentioning it that since I'm confirming to myself that I'm now at the stage in life were women should be tied to a man by her ring finger or else she's considered strange without one.

*Sighs...* I'll worry about that one later. Luckily, with an intern job in my pocket, I'm excused from the comments, even though it won't stop the Surau-Aunties from poking he over their gates (Surau-Aunties are far nosier and scarier than Family-Aunties, eeep!).

I was at MdeC, btw. Took a look around in some of the best animators and programmers in the country... that are still residing in the country, of course. I still hope to work in here someday. I'm pretty obvious in one of the pics, hahaha...

Do I like my job so far? At the moment, it's 50-50 since it's still all new to me. And the thing I thought I missed, namely the back and shoulders pain from sitting around for so long, well, I still don't miss that (hadn't had that kind of pain since the beginning of university). And I'm missing it even less right now as I type this, aaaarrrgggghhh!!

*Stops to stretch* I'm getting pretty okay with the 2 systems they want me to get familiar with. One is a 3D SMS game with you play on TV to control your character. The other is for a super-massive 3D MMORPG project based on the early mythology of Langkasuka. I've read the tech book and the spoiler book and was impressed all the way.

At the moment my bosses/mentors (wow, I have 2 of them!), Kristie and E-Rick (the later being that I never seem to find him offline during breaks) are getting me to work on the engine system and get used to building the world before they assign me to any map-building or level-coding. It's almost as similar as my RPGMaker 2003, except that it's in 3D (3D, PEOPLE, I'M WORKING WITH 3D!!), so I'm pretty excited (woohoo!).

MySis had started out intern as a programmer too but now she's mostly in areas of trouble shooting, I think. In fact, my mom was a system analyst back when computers still came with punch-cards, 16-bits monitors and binary coding. So needless to say, computer's in my blood. Mak had built some of the country's first programs, MySis helps others how to make it better while I'm making programs that makes people useless.

In conclusion, yes, I like my job (muahahahahaaa!!).

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Not-A-Games Review: Celestial Destroyer (3D MMORPG)

Full Games Review: Celestial Destroyer Online (3D MMORPG)
Shadow Pimpernel's longest and most extensive games review yet! I was playing so much at office that my boss made me write a report.


Other than being able to blog again, having a readily accessible connection to cyberspace that does not include a nanny-firewall (but I still can’t access YouTube though) means that I get to try out neat stuff which I had never tried out before but had always, ALWAYS wanted to and was ashamed to call myself a game enthusiast since I’ve never tried it before.

I’m yapping about the great leap from stand-alone system to the client server network... 3D MMORPG.

Celestial Destroyer

I had never played any kind of adventure games on a network before. There were 3 strikes against me; original software, technical capabilities and internet connection. The former is what I can’t afford, the middle is what I can’t afford to have and the latter is what I can’t afford to have all the time.

And today, I still don’t have any of the damned 3. But since everyone around me is so generous to be taken advantage of, I finally became a proud member of the worldwide culture that young parents would rather let their babies starve of food than miss out on that “limited-time-only-magic yo-yo with super one-hit kill” (available with assorted power-ups; extra boost against ogres and politicians).

Screenies from the main website.

Yeah, it’s obviously the background art and 3D visuals that had captured me. As most 3D RPG goes, this is not as spectacular in the mind of a veteran (and I’ve been many times the cheerleader behind the plastic seats of many cyber-café veterans) but I feel that this game can really stand on its own right.

Damn, my character is sexy.

It’s not a games review here, but rather, just showing an excuse what I’m doing when I’m not working on flying camera angles on my own system (more on that later, someday) and when I should be making reading rounds to my old bloggers’ blog. Don’t worry; I’m not an addict (yet). Pretty much, when I play RPG in my stand-alone (like Dungeon Siege 2, waaaaaaaay back), my habit is taking the Grandma’s Guide for Leveling Up RPG Characters (guarantee not to break your hips).

After taking the most basic of basic requirement quests, I would look for a low-level monster...

Aww, a butterfly...

Go to hell, you F-ing butterfly!!!

Upgrade complete.

And I would probably do this all the way until level 20+ or I succumb to melting pulp to a cheats’ trainer, which ever comes first. Tell ya the truth, I’m freaking scared of quests, any type of quests, especially the boss battles that without a very high-level character, they are usually 999x tougher to kill (but oh, so visually bad-ass). It’s just that I go by the principle that running away and not getting hurt can also be considered a “smart” move (I’m not a hack-and-slash tank machine; I’m a hit-and-run yella-clucking chicken).

My dream clan to be in the healers’ category. Cos they’re yellow.

Which, coming back at my old-lady style of beat-‘em-up. At the rate of my play-time hours, about 6 hours a week (hey, I DO work!), I probably hit my I’m-not-scared-anymore target character-level by the end of my internship.

Bleeeeah, I’m just exaggerating (hehehe!). Who knows? I might take a bite at a major quest sooner than later. Hey, c’mon! It’s my freaking first online RPG. Although the game can have the players get resurrected in the nearest town after any death situation, there’s not reason to rush what I can experience at my own pace.

Thus, why I say this isn’t a games review but rather, just a tit bit of somethin’ that’s related to games since it’s just soooooooo me (this is a blog, remember?).

Celestial Destroyer is completely free to download, to install and to play. You can download the English version files (a pretty big 1.15 GBytes) at the Downloads Page at their main website. The game had just been upgraded to open beta by now and you can still order your free games DVDs until January 19th.

If you’re looking for me, I’m usually in the zone, around 9am (GMT+8) for only an hour on weekdays, but more-or-less for 3 hours on Saturday mornings.

Just ask for the master ass-whopping butterfly-killer.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Wayward Pimpernel... Wannabe Games Programmer

I’m not going to scream or shout anything big like a set of capitalized word like “I’M BACK!!!” mainly because I’m doing this on my company clock and I aim to stay here after I graduate (for reasons that they have excellent internet connection and at the rate of the recession nowadays, I probably be falling into that clichéd ‘jobless undergraduate’).

Wow, so many words under one sentence. I guess my bad habit of talking about myself to myself still hadn’t abated. Then again, what is a blog if you don’t extend excessive bragging rights to the immense void of the World Wide Web? Har, har. Okay, keeping it short and simple (which is really said since I hadn’t updated my secret space for over half a year), my last post speaks of my short break from school.

In April.

Not that I’m actually going to feel any better after this since hitting myself maybe seen as sexy in remote parts of Africa, but here in Malaysia, it ain’t mature..

I may dust up a few parts around this place, getting rid of those widgets that don’t really mean a thing and fixing both Photobucket and Imageshack profiles. Particularly the lasy bit because one of the main reasons I had to quit was the excessively annoying firewall of my university is that they hate Imageshack and I don’t like to rely too much on Photobucket.

As some might remember, I’m a graphics whore and I love to post images I might find from looking around stuff (see sidebar to details). Now that I have a faster internet line that doesn’t require $RM2 an hour, namely company’s PC, I guess this is a chance to redeem myself back into the Community of Self-Bragging.

And so where do I start updating about myself? Hmmmm...

Well I did say I’m working now. Though it’s just practical training, I hope to stick around here for much longer than the 3 months stipulated. Actually, it’s 4 months by university requirements but at $RM500 a month, I suppose the programme’s budget can only make it so far. It’s not that I love the job too much, I’m just more in love with what I can do.

I’m a games programmer. In training.

Hahaha, shouldn’t be a surprise there for my former readers, since I make massive games review like an illegal downloader on guilt pills. Really, I wouldn’t have had this opportunity if it weren’t for one of my lecturers who was moderator of my final project, which is entirely a whole other story so more on that later, someday.

MYGO Solutions

Apparently, there’s this programme by MDEC trying to make Malaysia a happier place for delinquents and school-skippers by jumping into the internationally and grossly profitable industry that’s 3 times bigger than the movies. By sugar-coating it as ‘Information Creative Technology’, the programme aims to produce ‘knowledge-workers’, aka Cyberjaya minions.

These workers should be capable of hypnotizing dead beat working-class citizen into parting their money and their youth to be hooked to a monitor that glows and makes random beeping noises. Often, these unsteady-income individuals would be connected by miles of wires that link human-machine interaction by on sound system and multiple touch-sensitive devices that jack up adrenaline stimulation of their living bodies, just to make sure it’s still living.

And every so often, a whole new method would be developed, fresh off the experimental lab, and is inserted into the machine, just to see how the stationary human would react (take note that a loud fart is NOT considered as a sign of life).

So what’s the difference between game developers and sleazy doctors who treats institutionalized coma patients? Health insurance, I think.

Well, that’s what I wanna be by the end of 3 months. This place is great, really. Closer to home so it takes less petrol consumption for my car to take me here. It’s also got great clients and had managed to stay afloat for a good handful of years. Not to mention a really cool massive project coming out sometime between August and September this year.

I’ve just started on the first Monday of 2009 so I can’t report of any real experience yet. Wish me luck, though, as they’ve stressed that they do expect a lot from me. Gotta to end here for now (my boss is haranguing me on MSN messenger), more on this later of what are the changes to my blogging lifestyles later.

Oh, one last thing.

“I’M BACK!!!”

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