Gravity Release Me

And don't ever hold me down

And that’s that.

Due to Pokemon and a pirated copy of RPG Maker, when I was about 12 years old I had dreamt up a life of making games in Japan.

And owning a pet Bulbasaur.

Since then, things happened, events took place, decisions were made, life was lived, failure was had and success was realised. My journey to achieve my childhood dream of becoming a game programmer in Japan has finally come to an end. On Monday, I had my final interview for the game programmer job mentioned in my last post. Read the rest of this entry »

1 Year Japanniversary

Today marks the one year anniversary of my return to Japan. I had left Australia in search of my dream. So how did I fair?

Well, I found a job as a web developer in Osaka. I climbed Mt. Fuji. I travelled (in fact, I’m on a bus to Gunma right now). I met up with old Kansai Gaidai friends, who I had missed dearly. I was reunited with an incredibly dear friend of mine, who, after a few months, became my wonderful girlfriend.

2012 was eventful. But where am I now? Read the rest of this entry »

Fun with Visual Mathematics

Yesterday a developer I follow on Twitter shared this really cool lecture by Steven Wittens (his website: http://acko.net/ – be warned, it’s all in WebGL) about visual mathematics. Here it is:

Steven Wittens doesn’t claim to be a Mathematician, but he’s definitely comfortable within the realm of math, specifically the creative and visual kind. In his talk he does his best to inform us that the algorithm memorization and symbolic math approach to learning math that is generally taught to us in school isn’t necessarily the best approach to teaching, or in fact learning, math. I remember learning integrals and finding the area under a curve and honestly, to this day, I’ve just taken the values the algorithm spits out entirely on faith. This, I believe, is Steven’s point: Sandboxes are important. Giving the ability to be able to experiment in real time so that the student/learner is able to understand the effect of their math is of far greater value than simply memorising algorithms. Read the rest of this entry »

Japanese Face Masks

The other week I caught myself a little cold. Since I work in a tiny, cramped office, oftentimes one would think it would be wise to not go into work in case the cold spreads throughout the office.

However, I felt capable of working, I was currently involved in a pretty important project that was nearing its deadline – I couldn’t really take a day off. Solution? Face mask!

20121125-011013.jpg

Read the rest of this entry »

Set up a C++ SDL/OpenGL Game Development Project – Xcode 4 (OSX 10.8)

So once upon a yonder there was a magical little link in the downloads section of the SDL site linking to the development libraries for Mac OSX which included the Project Templates for SDL in Xcode (< 4). However that link isn’t there anymore and those project templates no longer work for Xcode 4. There are a couple project templates that people have already made (such as here), but in an effort to further my understandings of Xcode, I decided to try and set up an SDL project from scratch and outline the steps I took so as to help out others who may need it! Read on to see what I did… Read the rest of this entry »

Instagram in Japan #1

Lately I’ve acquired an iPhone 5 (which I love to bits) and therefore re-acquired Instagram (which I also love to bits). Readers of my blog might find my photos of Japan interesting and so I often upload photos to my Facebook Page. For those of you who don’t frequent Facebook, or haven’t liked my Read the rest of this entry »

And we’re back again

So, yet another hiatus on the blogging front? I feel that my previous blogging hiatus’ have always been followed by the same epiphany: “Jace, it’s time to refocus.”

And this time is no different.

When I’m cluttered and unsure of what direction to move in I find it hard to motivate myself for any task – including the things I enjoy, such as this blog. I don’t think that this is an inconceivable thing to feel and I’m sure I’m not the only person who feels that way from time to time.

It’s been about year since I started Gravity Release Me. In that time I have done and documented some incredible feats that I have accomplished. Unfortunately I’ve allowed my environment to make me forget what I’m capable of and what I should be doing. But alas, the wake up call is upon me. Read the rest of this entry »

My first つけ麺 (Tsukemen)

So the other day I met up with a friend of mine at a nearby Ramen/Tsukemen shop, called Tokiya (時屋) in Nishinakajima (North side of Osaka). My friend, Ben, is quite the ramen/tsukemen enthusiast and runs a pretty cool ramen review blog over at Friends in Ramen (see his review of Tokiya here!)- a great resource for ramen-y goodness!

I often walk past Tokiya and there are always, ALWAYS, people lining up outside. I wasn’t sure what the fuss was about, but after hearing that Ben ran a ramen blog I figured I’d tell him about it. Ben informed me that Tokiya, whilst they sold ramen, was actually relatively famous for their tsukemen.

Ok, so what is tsukemen?

Tsukemen consists of two main, separate, parts: the noodles and the broth. The broth differs from ramen broth in that it is much richer, and a little thicker than ramen broth. Inside the broth were bamboo shoots and small (delicious) pork chunks. The noodles, I found, were also much thicker than ramen noodles. We both ordered the “Special” pork tsukemen. Read the rest of this entry »

The Mt. Fuji Post

3 weeks after the climb, here it is: The Mt. Fuji post.

It was 5pm Saturday evening that I had met up with a couple friends at Shin-Osaka station, all geared up to climb a mountain. We were to catch a Shinkansen (Bullet Train) to Fuji, then take a bus up to Fujinomiya’s 5th station. From the 5th station, we would climb ~1377 vertical kilometers (which is about as high as 3 Empire State Buildings) to the summit of Mt. Fuji.

From: http://mountfujiguide.com/guide/Fujinomiya_Trail

The plan was to begin our climb at 10pm on Saturday night so that we could hopefully be at the summit by sunrise. This also meant that buses to the 5th Station had stopped by the time we arrived at Fuji and we had to catch a cab instead. The bus was to be 2500 yen one-way, or 3000 return or something like that. The cab ride came to just under 10,000 yen – split between 4 people. The cab ride up to the 5th station took about an hour. The roads were especially windy and we saw a couple of deer. Upon arriving at the 5th Station, I was surprised at how high we were already. It was also quite chilly. I took a couple quick photos then changed into my climbing gear.

Taken in the morning, but the best night shot I had!

My gear consisted of a shirt, a jumper, a wind- & water-proof jacket with a hood, a warm hat, wind- & water-proof pants, hiking boots, gloves, a head-lamp and Kairo (Heat packs). Overboard? Probably, but hey, I was warm! I was considering buying an oxygen canister, but I didn’t grab one. I figured I’d take it easy, just stop and rest if I was out of breath. Read the rest of this entry »

A flash of spontaneity

So, in a flash of spontaneity, I will be climbing Mt. Fuji tonight. This is something I’ve been thinking about doing for a few months. In fact, it is something I had decided I was going to do this year. Although, due to schedules with the people I wanted to climb with, it turns out that I will be climbing it today.

Exciting!

I’ll be sure to post pictures and write about the details after surviving the climb!