In the Spring of 2014, I was an engineer on one of USC's Advanced Games teams, Rhea. The Advanced Games projects are the capstone projects in the USC games program, bringing together the best and brightest that USC has to offer. I was very fortunate to be on a such a tremendously talented team and have learned so much from each and every member. Rhea's big claim to fame is its use of Oculus Rift, the cutting-edge virtual reality headset created right here in southern California. My main task on the team has been to both develop a metrics collection system for playtests, and parse the collected data in an interesting way. We've chosen to display the data interactively, meaning that playtest leads can visit the levels from tests and see exactly where the player went, what he/she did, where they got stuck, how they died, etc. . .
The SimCity project for our software design course is one that gained immense notoriety even outside computer science students. Working often days at a time in the same room, we designed an agent-oriented simulation of Spongebob Squarepants's Bikini Bottom. This involved implementing a decision making model for the citizens (i.e. when they went to work, when/what/how they ate, etc), integrating everyone's code, and unit testing the whole thing. I was responsible for residential life in Bikini Bottom. This meant writing rules for what folks did when they got home, how they'd go about paying the rent, fixing a defective house, sleeping... It was hands down the most demanding projects any one of us had had before or since, but it was a tremendous learning experience that we can always harken back to when we're faced with seemingly impossible challenges.
Outside of games, I spend most of my time with the wonderful kids and counselors of Troy Camp, one of USC's oldest philanthropy groups that strives to provide students in South Central Los Angeles with mentorship and plenty of outlets for fun and education. During the school year of 2013-2014, I was a cabin counselor for nine fifth grade boys as well as the Director of Communication on Troy Camp's executive board. Along with my co-counselor and the rest of Troy Camp, I take our cabin to events at California Adventure, the LA Zoo, and USC football games. As Director of Communication, I tracked the involvement of the organization's 120+ members, maintained and improved the website, and facilitated communication of both E-Board and general membership.