These past week had been rather monumental in terms of the progress and the security of my current job. The good news is, the project is now officially green lighted, and my job is safe until June next year… and hopefully something cool would come out in the process. The bad news is, I pretty much fell over dead after the first burst of workload is over. I’ve been drifting between coughing, dry throat, barely sleeping, etc. for the past two days… hopefully life gets better come Monday, but by then my boss would expect something done so I’m screwed either way.

Juicy details below.

Anyway, I’ve locked this for friends because I’m pretty sure that I should be sealing my lips on whatever I’m working on right now, or something… but it shouldn’t matter, if anything this would be “free publicity”. So previously on Dragon Ball Z… I mean my job… we’ve tried to reach an agreement between DSC, the UCI Gamelab, and Creative Kingdoms. In a nutshell, we’re going to cover the California Science Education Standard, especially items in the Life Science category, by building a dinosaur science exhibit/game thing, along with a complimentry web portal. The idea is to have the Creative Kingdoms people recreate an experience similar to MagiQuest (P*S* I guess it’s not a secret afterall…) on the ground, and we’d cover the tracks for anything of educational value (on top of trying to make fun web games) in the web portal. In the end, the negotiations pretty much escalated into a big charrette where everyone who is involved got together and started banging heads together until we all figure something out. The end result is… interesting.

The charrette is a 2 day event. So in day 1, I had to present all the ideas on our end, which includes website design, database layout, game design, the whole nine yards… imagine trying to do a ICS 125 presentation, except the guys listening are not grading you, they’re giving you your thumbs up or thumbs down on your next paycheck, or more importantly deciding the fate of something every kid in Santa Ana would see in about half a year… yeah, fun. We’ve also had the chance to meet a represenative from their animation studio contractor (cool guy) and the database/hardware contractor (really cool guy). We’ve spend about 4 hours in the afternoon trying to figure out how to register a damn player on location and for the website at the same time (accounting for stupid high security Point of Sales mechanisms, all manners in which a kid can lose his/her name/password/piece of paper, and all the ways in which a minimum wage worker can type in the incorrect data or follow incorrect registration procedures. oy.). Good times. In the end, everyone at the meeting went to dinner at some fancy resturant (Catal, to be precise). I had one of the most expensive and least delicious meals I’ve ever had, but we shared deserts (which, my boss says, is a ritual that means we’re off to a good start). the day went from 8:30AM to 10:30PM.

In day 2, we visited a local paleontologist’s workshop to get some hands on experience with the look and feel of the real deal. It was very fun – we took the VIP tour around the place, and we get to see real Mammoth bones and Ancient Whale bones as they’re being worked on. We also learned a lot about how bones are being extracted. Because the construction crews that usually find the bones want to keep working ASAP, the top of the bones are wrapped in plaster, then the soil around the bones extracted and they flip over the entire bone, then the other side is wrapped in plaster and the whole thing hauled out of the dig site… whenever they find something, all these had to be done in about 2 to 3 days. That’s the easy part – in order to remove the dirt from the bones you can spend 2 years or more chipping and dusting away the dirt… when they say that paleontology is a “romantic” career, they aren’t kidding – you gotta have some passion for it to sit around the same bones for 2 years chipping away at it day and night. (also, this is your tax money at work – but don’t tell them I said that). After that, things winded down and we spend the rest of the day hammering out details after details, and it concludes with an open critique on – guess what – our stuff. Yeah, I know that they’re going to hit us soon, but man does it still hurt to hear “constructive feedbacks”. Still, the president of DSC gave us a thumbs up as we’re taking off, I still think we’re off to a good start.

So now that we know what the heck we’re doing, life will be a train wreak until everything is done. Oh and I finally bought an epic mount for my gold farmer rogue. Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

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