2017 Resolutions!

This is insane but… I’m finally done with school. For good. After more than 20 years of my life. AAAHHHHHH! I’m still having trouble believing it! Haha I’m nervous yet super excited to start work next month! First proper job, and something I really believe in too!

But yes, as a chapter book of my life ends and a new one starts, what better time than now to set new resolutions? A public post this year for accountability, i.e. if you think I’m not sticking to them, please come and scold me. In order of importance:

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The awesome profs of NUS Computing – A collection of short stories

I’ve always said that we have awesome profs in SoC, but I’ve never really gone into that much detail about why I (we) feel this way.  And when better to talk about it than Teachers’ Day? Haha so here it is, a collection of short stories from SoC students and recent grads about how the actions of our professors have touched / impacted our lives.

A huge thank you to all those who contributed to this article. And please don’t feel sad if I didn’t ask you for a story – go tell your prof directly how much you appreciate and love them!

This post is dedicated to all the profs of SoC. Happy Teachers’ Day! Enjoy 

Note: Stories have been edited for grammar / context.

Let me start off with my own story (so difficult to just choose one!), which was the caption to this picture I posted on Facebook 2 years ago:

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NUS Orientation, good or bad?

Update 3 (6th Aug 2:09pm): Flag raised $472,473.45 this year, around $20k more than last year! Didn’t dare to get my hopes up when I saw how many of my friends were posting on Facebook about going out of their way to donate to the flaggers  looks like adversity really does bring people closer together! I’m so, so glad I was wrong about Flag and its beneficiaries suffering from this suspension :D

Update 2 (3rd Aug 10:27am): Looks like some of the non-camp orientation activities to be held  in the month of August will likely be resuming. Thank you OSA! Student leaders, don’t waste this opportunity to build the relationship back up (:

Update 1 (31st Jul 11:15pm): I got a chance to speak to Mr Ong Ye Kung, Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills), about this in person just now. Let’s see what happens next.

So recently, there was another huge hooha about how the orientation games in NUS are becoming increasingly sexualised. That article, followed by the one about the “strong disciplinary action” NUS will be taking, prompted me to post some of my thoughts on Facebook (scroll down for just the text alone):

My original post on Facebook
My original post on Facebook.

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The importance of story

This semester, my group is working on a transformational game for the non-profit Games for Change. We were given the controversial topic of gun violence in America, which was really difficult to come up with an idea for. Of course, we did eventually settle with an idea. I covered our brainstorming and idea evaluation process in a previous post, which I strongly encourage anybody who is working on a transformational game to read.

The goal of our game is to get the audience to understand the motivations and communicate respectfully with others who have different viewpoints from them on the topic of gun control. We specifically chose to focus on gun ownership for self defense and protection, as our research showed that that was the most common reason among gun owners.

The gameplay of our game is something like Twitch plays interactive theater. The audience controls the speech of an actor on stage by sending in conversation points via a web interface we built. This first actor then voices this out to the second actor, who responds accordingly. In this way, the audience discovers and directs the story as it unfolds on stage.

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Designing for VR

Virtual reality is cool, there’s no denying it. Yet it’s still in its infant stages, and there aren’t that many consolidated design guidelines around (Oculus does have a really good Best Practices doc though). And so I’ve decided to come up with my own set of general guidelines, based on my personal experience with VR, as well as some of the stuff I learnt at the recent Game Developers’ Conference (more on that here).

Note that this guide doesn’t have a specific headset in mind, and that I am by no means an expert in this subject.

On simulator sickness

As many as one in two people suffer from VR sickness. I myself have it really bad – think not being able to eat (and eating is my favorite thing in life!) after spending a day developing a VR experience, or wanting to puke after an experience which over a hundred other people have tried and are fine. Yet I still love VR, especially those which don’t make me feel sick after. Yes, it’s possible to eliminate sim sickness from an experience!

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GDC ’16 in a nutshell

My first time attending the Game Developers’ Conference in San Francisco, and I had such a blast! Here are some of the highlights of my experience :D


Best decision:

Going around GDC alone instead of with friends. No, I’m not antisocial – it’s just that it’s so much easier to talk to people and go for whatever talks/demos/parties I want without having to worry about pangseh-ing (sort of means abandon in Singlish) my friends. Met so many awesome devs there from all my random chats! Definitely gonna do this for all the conferences I go to in future :D

Worst decision:

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