Das Killerin and the AI

 

13 weeks left 2 LA—

I was writing out my ESA petition for Killa (my ancient min pin) and found myself crying. The letter made me really reflect on what we’ve been through and its been a lot. Like a lot, a lot. Killa has been pretty much the only consistent thing/person in my life for the past 11 years- My entire adult life + 1. Killa has met everyone I have ever dated, lived in every apartment I have ever rented, moved 2 cities with me, outlasted all of my friendships, you know- just been there, every step of the way. She’s family and that means a lot to me because my family is a loosely connected series of genetic linkages…on a good day.

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Anyway thought I share that. I love my little old dog, she might have actually been the one to teach me what love is. Unconditional. Oh also, I’m going to live on campus (well near campus). I have seen the nonsense that is the LA rental market and I’d like to delay that for a year- besides my stipend will cover my campus living completely.

In other news…

As I disclosed on my tumblr page, I’m narrowing my focus from the wide scope of game generalist/environment artist to more game play programming and artificial intelligence and programming. Why? #1 Because I f-ing love programming #2 risk analysis: let us review some facts, I’m going to graduate school 1,500 miles away in one of the hardest cities to survive in, in the country. I fought tooth and nail to get into said school(s) and receive fellowship which is practically unheard of for an MFA. I have two years and then I will be released into the world (or into a PhD program, we’ll see though- I’m on the fence about this) and I need to make those two years really count. So I could improve my 3D modeling skills and be a practicing artist or professor with that. Average salary for a 3D modeler around 49k, about the same for an assistant professor at a name brand school. Ok so branching paths for a 3d modeler, art director, animator, something like that but not really much. Also the position is being increasingly outsourced to Mexico and India. So like I said Risk analysis, money is actually only a small component here, my real concern is time. I have 2 years at one of the top universities in the world (whatever that means, aren’t arbitrary comparisons grand?) so should I focus my time learning to do something I could learn at home, doesn’t pay well, and doesn’t really use my faculties. I like design and problem solving, and do best in environments with high stress with high rewards. I have always wanted to learn ai specifically as well as programming for simulation-type games and interactive media. I feel like, now is my chance. Time and options have finally opened up to me and I’m going to be in an MFA program that has a strong emphasis in programming courses- and then I have a huge chunk of my course load dedicated to electives which can be anything I choose- and I choose you hard af computer science and math classes that are going to make me cry and rethink my life but ultimately be for the best…I. choose. you. XD [I will still continue to do 3D as well, just not aaaaalll the time and will probably instead work with 3D artists while I do more programming and environment junk]

So yes, this is my plan. This Spring I’ve been self teaching linear algebra (as I mentioned in a former post), discrete math, and c#. I had to go to square 1 with calculus because my algebra II skills are still embarrassing (7th grade was a rough time) but I’m making major progress (mostly by using the punishment that is ALEKS) and will try to audit a real calc class at ookla. Discrete math is the sh*t, not sure why I wasn’t introduced to this earlier ::shakes fist at world::, and I’m still just getting my toes wet with Linear but I’ll report back when I make significant progress. In addition to this, at work I’ve been listening to audible. I finished like 3 books in the past week mostly Dawkins and the book, ‘The Moral Animal’. Now I’m listening to the Feynman lectures and “The Great Courses: Physics lectures”. I’m trying to make Calculus much more intuitive so these Physics lectures really help eeeease it in…wait…they make it more palatable. Also 3D graphics and movement require well…classical physics. I want to go back to baby me and scream “LEARN MATH HARDER!!” but you know gotta work with what I got, its the journey, not the destination, 2 birds in the bush, sticks and stones, a wise man…you know what I mean.

OH forgot , reading this too. I’m going to stick a photo of it here to remember to finish it!

Image result for Artificial Intelligence for Games 2nd Edition

okie okie, time to sleep—–

Current courses:
Linear Algebra: https://courses.edx.org/courses/DavidsonX/D003x.1/1T2015/info

Pre-Cal refresher: https://www.coursera.org/learn/trigonometry/lecture/OAep1/introduction-to-trigonometry

Programmer intermediate:
https://www.lynda.com/learning-paths/Developer/become-a-programmer

books:

Artificial Intelligence for Games
https://www.crcpress.com/Artificial-Intelligence-for-Games/Millington-Funge/p/book/9780123747310

Unity in Action
https://www.amazon.com/Unity-Action-Multiplatform-Game-Development/dp/161729232X/ref=pd_sim_14_7?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=161729232X&pd_rd_r=F55VCEBK8174HT0RSJAB&pd_rd_w=2QsrY&pd_rd_wg=qou20&psc=1&refRID=F55VCEBK8174HT0RSJAB

Beginning C++ through game programming
http://www.cengage.com/c/beginning-c-through-game-programming-4e-dawson

3D Math Primer for Graphics

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