Finally, the Day is here, we woke up early to head down to the festival to avoid any disappointment. A few of the highlights were a live mochi pounding/making, cosplay competition, performances and THE BINGO which is the most hype event I believe.
There were also many food stand and game stands. All price within 100-300 yen not too expensive in my opinion. We went up to the 5th level where our games are being showcased at. Other then our games, there were many another year 3 student projects being a showcase as well. Glad to see that members of the public enjoyed playing our games when we were there.
The last activity for the school festival was the bingo game. The prize varies across items like KIT KAT till the grand price A SWITCH. I was pretty unlucky and won nothing but the experience was fun and I am looking forward to bring this activity back to Singapore in a week time.
On the 24 November, 2018 is the Trident School Festival. During this school festival the Year 1 and 2 will prepare for the festival as the organizing community, booth stands, game stands and performances. For year 3, they will be showcasing the game project that they have been working on for the past 3-6 months.
For my case which we are working with 4 of the year 3 students. We have been working on our game for around 1 month 3 weeks. Therefore, we have been working hard to push an test play scene for our current progress. As the state on the previous blog post, we are technically done with the game. Just adding more improvements and so. With the final boss and level adjustment almost done. We look forward to the school festival as it will be man by the Japanese student. Hope to hear good feedbacks from the general public!
Today the Japanese student brought us to Kyoto! We took a bus that cost around 2700 yen toward Kyoto! It’s around 2 Hours and 30min ride! Something interesting about Japanese long-distance buses are they provide free power sockets and WIFI. The wifi is great, I can load youtube videos at 720p without lagging. I have never experience disconnection either.
Upon arrival at Kyoto, we decide to head to a place to try out Kimono. My friends decide to try them for the experience but I have tried wearing them before, so I decided to pass. It cost around 2k to 6k yen to try for the whole day. Prices varies base on the quality of the kimono and the service you asked.
There are many places to visited in Kyoto but due to time restrictions we decide to visit one of the most iconic places. Fushimi Inari Taisha known for it thousand gate (tori) and Inari is the God of Rice.
We decide to climb to the summit of Mt.Inari where the final desition will be a shrine. It a pretty long climb and descend. Total time around 1-2hours depending on your speed. While accending you will see multiple gates (tori) and each of them cost around 400k to 1millon yen to construct. Around 3/4 up you will see the Yotsutsuji intersection where it provides an awesome view of Kyoto which made the climb super worth it!
Lastly, if you want to take good solo photos. I suggest coming either very early in the morning or you have to climb up the Mt.Inari. The base of the shrine is filled with tons of tourist and it will be hard to take pictures or experience the place in peace.
Technically we are done with majorly of the main machines at this point in time. Most of the time I am doing VFX/SFX/Environment stuff to make the game more refine and polish up. Our artist is still pretty busy with UI and Textures. I didn’t want to bother them to make a texture for my some of my VFX. Therefore, I have to learn a few new method and tricks, using programs that I was not comfortable with. Such as Photoshopping my textures for the effect, along with a drawing tablet, using Adobe After Effects to create a lighting animation texture and using a free software to merge them into a sprite sheet. It was getting interesting as we reaching close to our final due date for the presentation.
Its the weekends today and we decide to head to Nabana no Sato, which is also near to Nagashima Spaland (A Themepark). This place is unique in its own way. You have to come to this place in the day and stay till the night where I believe is the main attraction to this place.
In the day, this place known for its flowers. Different season you get to see different type of flowers being grown and taken care of. It’s not your average garden where you only see a few flowers but this place you are surrounded by flowers. Many different breeds and colors.
At night, this place goes into SUPERNOVA. I mean the whole garden becomes a light show. All the fairy lights that are installed around the entire area/garden lights ups and it’s a stunning sight. The picture I will be posting does not give justice to this location. You have to come to this place yourself. Totally worth the sight!
Lastly, do note that the lighting for this place only happens on a certain season/date. To avoid disappointment please check their website on the dates when the lighting is available!
2 more weeks left before we return back to Singapore. The project is coming into life, with what we envision! We did hit a problem with our level generator, a miscommunication with the Japanese students which required us to revisit on the level generator. Textures are slowly being applied and most animation is done. Effects on skill are major done, with only the boss effects left. Next up are the UI effects, audio and couple of other stuff left. Hope we can finish everything up before the last week!
Today is one of my craziest plans. To travel to Osaka by train for an event in Osaka called Lock City Final. I left as early as 7am to catch the train towards Osaka. The trip from Nagoya to Osaka is around 3 hour and 30mintures. I brought myself a Kintetsu Pass that cost 3.8K yen. Which allows me to take unlimited train rides that are owned by Kintetsu with an exception of the limited express train. Those train you have to buy a seat and the price range different base on the distance and the train your taking.
Before Lock City, I decide to see Osaka castle and Dōtonbori. Two of Osaka most popular spot and I can see why it is so popular with locals and tourist after being here myself. Of course, when coming to Osaka, it a die must try their takoyaki and it is the best takoyaki I have ever eaten! HANDS DOWN!
Lock City was crazy with a total of 16 cities involved each having their own judge and champion from that city. I went down to meet with the Singapore group and also to support the Singapore champion! The place was as small as a classroom but there like around 150 people or more in the location. The finals were between 2 Japanese and they are really good.
I decide to paid extra 1.9k yen for the limited express train to travel back cause I am super tired. The seat spacing is great and I don’t even need to change train in between the stops unlike the none limited express ones. I guess you have the pay for the convenience and time!
Today is the day where the school planned a trip for us! As the title stated, it is Inuyama Castle! So what makes this castle so special compared to the others that I went? This is one of the only few castles that is not reconstructed therefore all the internal structure is still the same. The stair is so tall that you to do a 90 degree up to climb it.
You are allowed to climb all the way up to the top. Around 6 levels and you will reach the top where the view is awesome. Careful as that the railing is super short and it possible to fall over.
Next, they reserve a pottery session for us to experience from a pottery master. This man has been doing pottery for over 50 years. He can make over 200 rice bowl in a day when we are struggling to do even one. It was a great experience, it felt very calming and relaxing. We are allowed to bring one back! Can’t wait to see the finished product like the one we did is just the 3rd step which is the molding. We should see the final product in two 2 weeks time can’t wait!
Will be today weekly report for weekdays for now! Not much interesting thing to report for this week.
Project wise we have entered the alpha stage and proceeding with implementing more core mechanics and features with the feedbacks in mind. The game is coming together as time flys but we still doing trial and error on the game balancing and making sure the game is fun.
This week the Japanese student brought us to a Japanese KTV. Totally different from Singapore KTV. The equipment and the interface on the karaoke is god tier. Highly recommend people to try KTV when you visit Japan. Also, it is super cheap compared to Singapore.
Hey hey! Finally, after 21 days in Japan, I decided to go for a dance workshop at Mizuho City, Gifu. The workshop starts at night, so I have the whole afternoon to go somewhere. I decide to drop by Sunomata Castle. This place is not really as big or marvelous as Gifu Castle and Nagoya Castle but it is the history that makes this place shire. In history, the castle was finished so quickly that it gave the impression that it was done overnight. The purpose is just a fake border fort than a full sized castle and was intended to intimidate, surprise and demoralize the enemy.
The workshop is located in some unusual place in the middle of a town. I actually private message one of the dance instructors before coming, and she actually offers to pick me up at the station as the studio is around 5-10 min walk from there. So I assume that she going to pick me up then walk there but no. To my surprise, she actually asks her dad to drive us to the studio. WHAT! It was a pretty usual meeting. I was very impressed with the hostility that Japanese people give from this day onwards.