Okay, let's fast forward through this lack of updated blog content! Ready....go!
Finished my second module at university, which I think I already mentioned. I had a lot of fun on it and learnt a lot (of C, C++, OpenGL and using glfw, Visual Studio). But the stress kind of outweighed the fun parts. Another string of 'I'll just not sleep, it's fine' days. I didn't manage to snag a first for this module, I was off by around 2%! My supervisor was amazing though! It always helps when you have really enthusiastic people around to spur you on.
It was the same problem I always face, do I do something I know really, really well - and not learn anything new, or do I, trail by fire, take on a whole new area. As usual I choose the latter and unfortunately my grade reflects that.
I wasn't that upset about it as I learnt a bit about a huge sub-field in Comp-Sci, graphics programming.
At the end of the module it was the summer break. I spent some of this time learning Perl. I had two weeks to get competent at it. Now I am really pretty good at it if I do say so myself.
My employer, who remains nameless but is awesome, gave me the opportunity to switch from being a tester to a more developer oriented role. The specifics are yet to be confirmed but thus far I've been mostly building/maintaining tools to help other departments/developers with their day to day. Automation, baby! Most of the time I use Perl but from time to time I stumble into C++ or some other languages. I am loving it! It's pretty much the best job in the world for me right now. People have problems that need solving by some form of system/tool and I get to solve and build it. How is that not the coolest thing ever!? One of my finest moments was making a manual task that would have taken weeks take a minute with a script. That was pretty awesome.
University started up again yesterday, currently learning how to use Unity...so as you might have guessed I'm a bit ahead of the curve. But now I am faced with another choice again. Do I stick with the Unity game engine, or do I stray into Unreal territory so that I can have more face time with c++? Seeing as how I still need to work my day job and have a total of 3 weeks-ish to do this first assignment which counts for 50% of my grade, I don't know.
During the summer break I built a little twin stick shooter in Unreal following a tutorial, it's pretty sweet and looks great I think. I did it just to see how things work. But I still don't feel like I know UT well enough to even make a start on my own projects. The blueprint system is neat, but I need to make more use of c++. I get that you are supposed to set up the building blocks in c++ classes and then interface with the blueprint system so designers can make use of your building blocks. But I am not good enough at writing the building blocks yet! It's so annoying.
In any case, for my current Uni module, I already have a few game designs I made which I have been wanting to prototype for a while now. I have just not had the time to do so until now. So once I get my assignment brief I'll know which design I can use, save time having to think of one that way.
As for my final year project, after working in my fancy pants new position, I see what it takes to be a good graphics programmer, in the Industry. And to be frank, I don't think I have it in me. I am still not nearly experienced enough at it and I don't think I have enough time to spend getting to that point. Graphics programming is way out of my field of expertise. My undergrad was devoted to AI and I am still in love with that. I don't know what it is about graphics programming, I don't mind the low-level stuff or the math even. I am willing to spend as long as I need on that, it's just that in my current situation, I have deadlines for everything I do and I physically don't have the time to get to where I need to be.
I told myself I would specialise in graphics programming as it's very important in my line of work, which it is, but I feel that currently, as far as University goes, I'd set myself up to fail if I pursued it as a final year project. I have not made a decision yet but I am currently looking into alternatives. Constantly finding myself back at various AI topics. I'm looking into combining AI and VR on a project. Thus far with my ideas, the connection between the two are pretty loose at best. The superficial connection between the two fields is pretty underwhelming to me, but then that's what literature reviews are for right?
In any case I'll need to discuss with my supervisor and see if he'd still be interested in my new project and if not look into new options.
As for now, I need to get back to studying!
Rob out! Peace! *gangster signs*