Friday, August 10

Memories of Boston

Taken from my Reflections in my Journal on my internship:

Now that the 9-week summer internship has ended, the game is finally in a satisfactory state. I have largely enjoyed my 9 weeks here even though what I specialize in is not really related to the games industry. Having said that, I would not wish to work for a game company in the future, because the pressure and intensity (of rapid development especially) is something that I do not like to partake in.

My job doing sound/audio for the team was a rather tough one as the game needed many audio assets (to cater for the visually-impaired). Since I’ve been trained all along to create music per se, and not for media (like film, animation, or games), it was rather a challenge to adapt the style of my music to a superior authority. Before, I’ve had the liberal freedom to compose music as I liked; the sky (my creativity) was the limit.

Personally, I feel that Scrum is not effective for rapid development of prototypes by student teams, because it assumes a level of professionalism and ignores natural human behavior and “limits” (humans cannot work 16 hours a day!)

I’ve been thinking if the game could have more than just the tutorial and one actual game level. However, given our short period of rapid development of 9 weeks, I feel that demonstrating the concept of the game with one solid level is better than having many levels with “bugs”.

That the sound effects and dialogue have been finally settled on is a huge relief. Many hours had to be spent on the gameflow, which was crucial to determining just how much sound effects and dialogue were needed.

I feel that it is very difficult to make a game “perfect”. Just as a “perfect” song would not exist, so the same goes for games – after all, these artistic products are subjectively judged and the level of “perfection” is but a mere human standard by which we try to attain.

I leave thoughts of the future development of the game aside as I try to concentrate on my final year of my diploma. It would be nice to see a derivative version of the game in future.

Overall, I believe I have done my best (along with juggling the school workload simultaneously while I was here in Boston). I’ve had a severe lack of sleep while I was here, and have sacrificed many weekends, outings, talks and game sessions to do my schoolwork instead. I am looking forward to completing my final semester in SP to the best of my ability.


Indeed, I've been sleeping very late and had to wake up early many times to go to "work" on the project. It really drained all my energy and vitality that I brought along with me to this wonderful city of Boston... if only I could come here again, not for work (heck it!) but just to enjoy its beauty... maybe in a few years time if I get to Berklee.

I'll be leaving Boston for Singapore this Saturday evening and will arrive in Singapore at 6am+ on 13 August 2007 (Monday). I definitely had a great time here with all my friends from the other polytechnics, universities, private schools and of course, MIT itself. There were so many wonderful times I had here (bike tour, theme park, Harvard Square, Berklee, Independence Day fireworks, and so much more) that acted as a stress relief to the ever-growing pile of schoolwork. Honestly, life's not just all about work, unlike some Singaporean mentality. I've learnt a lot from the US... ideals, concepts and techniques that I want to try out in Singapore. Time for work is strictly time for work here, and playtime is strictly for play. Unlike Singapore, where we still have to think about our work even during playtime - the distinction is blurred - resulting in our ever-lowering efficiency and productivity rate. Talk about Singapore trying to be a hub for every fucking thing in the world; Arts Hub, Biomedical Sciences Hub, Education Hub, Media Hub - it's always good to aim high to motivate oneself, but not at the expense of many other important factors in our life - our family, friends, and time out that we have to take to "recharge" ourselves. OK, I'm being too political now, but I guess I have the genes of my dad who could give a lecture on a certain topic for hours.

As I close another chapter of my life, I'm looking forward to all my friends back in Singapore, some of whom have been awaiting my arrival for some time. My classmate Jasmine even dreamt about me several days ago - that I had returned to school. I miss you all DMAT peeps, SP Musical peeps and other peeps! See ya all in a few days' time.


Thought it might be fitting to end with the lyrics of the song "Boston" by Augustana... love it man...

in the light of the sun, is there anyone? oh it has begun... oh dear you look so lost, eyes are red and tears are shed, this world you must've said...

you don't know me, you don't even care, you don't know me, you don't wear my chains...

essential and appealed, carry all your thoughts across an open field, when flowers gaze at you...they're not the only ones who cry when they see you you said...

you don't know me, you don't even care, you don't know me, you don't wear my chains...

she said i think i'll go to boston... i think i'll start a new life, i think i'll start it over, where no one knows my name, i'll get out of california, i'm tired of the weather, i think i'll get a lover and fly em out to spain... i think i'll go to boston, i think that i'm just tired i think i need a new tow, to leave this all behind... i think i need a sunrise, i'm tired of the sunset, i hear it's nice in the summer, some snow would be nice... boston...where no one knows my name...


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