The holiday that I look forward to the most, Christmas Day. It is more than staying up all night waiting for Santa Claus to come down the chimney to place everything that I wished for under the Christmas tree. It was a time where I got to decorate the Christmas tree with my family, talk about all the events that has happened during the past year and to have a delicious meal to end it all. Even though my family may be going through some financial hardship, this year seem to be extra special. It may have to be the feeling that I am a senior now at RIT and in just a few months I will freshly minted as a graduate.

Since I am majoring in Game Design and Development, most of my future dreams are located on the West Coast, the other side of this huge landmass from which I was raised and born. As I have mentioned in my previous post, it is weird to feel like I need to grow up or to become an adult. Inside, I am truly a kid wanting to go play and explore the wonders of the world. But soon I will be in a workplace, paying bills, making life changing decisions of my future. Is it something I am prepared for?

Because RIT is converting to the semester system, this year we get an extra week for winter break for a total of 3 weeks! The first week went by quickly and all that happened was me getting stuffed by delicious food. My parents understand of the limited good food that I get to have on campus. I had a variety of cuisines from Italian to Portuguese and of course the traditional Chinese meal at home and at the restaurant (especially dim sum!). Also for the first time I set up and decorated our family Christmas tree all by myself. It turn out really well, transforming the bleak living room into a colorful festive space.

Besides being feed a lot, I am continuing to work with my friends on our ambitions endeavor to creating and releasing an original iOS game on the App Store before we graduate. Astral Bear Studios is up an running with our website,  twitter and Facebook page! Hope you all can follow us to check up on our progress on our game. So far everything is going well and the team that we have seem to continue to be excited on what they are working on so far. The development of game engine is humming along with the map editor. The battle and exploration mechanics are solid. Jeff Rapp, our main designer, is crafting an intricate game world. Sometimes he spends over 2 hours on coming up with just a name! But that’s how he is and he does come up with some of the coolest ideas. I continue to monitor the progress of everyone’s work especially on the art and business side. Hopefully we will have some concept art to show on our site next year. Stay tuned!

Everything else at school seems to be humming along. Last week, I hosted a delicious holiday dinner for my floor. We had brown sugar coated ham, baked mac and cheese, green bean casserole, baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, breaded chicken, stuffing with gravy and then there’s desserts! One of my residents created apple pie from scratch (including the crust), another one made cheese cake. An additional resident  made her baked apples which was explosive in the mouth. She carved out the core and stuffed it with brown sugar. It was so delicious. To finish it off we also had brownie cupcakes and brownie slices. There were no more room for ice cream cake! All of residents who attended really enjoyed it and I was surprise at how well the food turned out (since the chefs had to work in a really small kitchen). I am already planning for our end of the year feast which I hope to be a blast.

Over break, I am taking the opportunity to apply for some jobs and update my website. Awhile ago I found my collection of stories that I created when I was in high school. I started to transcribe them to my blog. You can read them in my written works section. One series is titled The Swordmaker and the second one is titled The Orb. Both I find extremely corny but I hope you all get a kicked from reading them.

Switching gears to the future, I found out that I had been accepted to the Japan Study Abroad program for the summer! Japan has been on my list as one of the counties that I really wanted to visit. I will be living  at Kanazawa Institute of Technology for 6 weeks taking classes and learning about Japanese culture. I hope my 2 years of Japanese from RIT will be sufficient! There are so many things that I want to see and due there. Right after that program, I will officially graduate from RIT.

This week my family have been saving up for our trip to Shanghai. We will be departing from our humbly abode in just two days and will be there till the end of the first week of January so I will not be able to write a New Year’s post. 2011 has been an exciting year. Starting off from my family trip to Greece then coming back to RIT to participate in Global Game Jam to find out that the game that I helped worked on won the top 10 Gamesauce Game Challenge in which I was flown out to Hamburg, Germany to give a presentation on our game. Then in just two weeks, I was off to San Francisco to attend my first Game Developer Conference. You can read about my experience in the February and March time post. Then back at RIT to finish up my Junior year. Then over the summer I was given the great opportunity to intern in New York City for Mindspark Interactive Network. I was so happy to also get my good friend Jeff Rapp to get and internship there also but he was at their HQ in Whiteplains so there was quite a distance between us. Then it was back at RIT to start my senior year. My last post mentions a little bit what I am currently doing this quarter. I am not sure what 2012 have in store for me but I hope it is just as exciting and fulfilling as 2011.

I wish you all good health and a happy holiday. Hopefully 2012 will be a great year. I will see you on the other side!

Memory Log 12-25-2011CE Recorded Complete.

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