058: Young Game Developers

img_20160227_192647-01.jpegFor what was such a memorable day I turned out not to have taken any pictures at all. Instead all I have to show is a hipster-type shot that Emily took at a new restaurant that we tried. But more on that later.

We finished the second session of Hackademy Jr today. This time I made it a point to be at the office early, to make up for my tardiness last week. I also brought my nephew J– with me. I picked him up at 7:30AM and bless him he was already bathed and dressed and ready to go.

Knowing the students I would have, I prepared activities that required less of programming and more of customization and level design. I wrote a game called Loop Racer where the player would control a race car. The students would just have to draw the race track the car would travel on. They could also design their own car. The activity turned out to be a hit, with the kids turning out their own creations. I also introduced a variation called Grand Tourismo, with a bigger world map, but the students were too busy working on Loop Racer that this one didn’t get much play.

Since the students requested a shooting game last week, I also put together Space Bat Hunter. Similar mechanics: design your own monster and put in your own background. This game, though, really brought out the hackers in the kids. Even though I didn’t instruct them to change the code, many of them did. Several increased the rate of fire of the gun and the speed of the bullet. J– made the score go up by 1000 per hit, instead of my measly 1. Others drew bigger and strange looking bullets.

Emily joined us for the tail end of the workshop. We had lunch with the Ingenuity team after.

I brought Doggie back to the vet for her immunoglobulin shot. The shot was expensive, P1,800. Since Doggie was already responding to the treatment of antibiotics and vitamins, I hesitated for a moment if it was worth the expense. But only for a moment. I considered the alternative. If Doggie took a turn for the worse? I couldn’t forgive myself. I told the vet to go ahead.

Emily and I had dinner at a new place called Open Table. This is a small restaurant in Damosa. We had not planned on eating there, but on our way to our intended destination, we saw Open Table and decided to give it a try. Verdict: very hipster-y and a little pretentious, perhaps a tad expensive for the quality and quantity of food that they offered. We did learn a couple of new tricks on how to flavor salad, though, so we still got something out of it. Overall, the place seems very popular among the early- to mid-twenties young professional crowd.

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Dom Cimafranca

Teacher, writer, project manager, and all-around nice guy.