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Sold Out Lamps

We went shopping for a lamp, a desk, a mat, and a shelf at IKEA yesterday. The store funneled us in to prevent crowds. It was uncomfortable to be near others even though everyone was wearing a mask.

From my shopping list, I had a vision for the bookshelf that I wanted (based on my previous visit). We really liked the design of the Besta shelves. In my mind I knew roughly that it would go underneath the window, and that the color would match the decor of the room. But in the store, the pieces didnt come together. From the options shown I had the choice of mounting a floating tv stand to the wall, or stacking a shelf and a short-shelf for the desired height.

I had no vision for a lamp, though I did like the tall cylindrical ones. My family requested a desk, but called to tell me they changed their mind.

We found a nice lamp, and after deciding to purchase it, found that it was out of stock.

We found a single soft floor mat in a heap of exterior door mats. It was out of place and we couldn't find where it had come from. I wanted to see if there were alternate colors, to no avail. We took the mat.

Towards the end of the trip, I walked into the as-is section to buy a set of Billy shelves. Again, the color matched, but it didn't feel like the right shelf. I passed, and circled around a few more times.

Serendipitously, perhaps by the hand of fate, I finally noticed the discontinued Besta standing tv- shelf. It was the right size and all.

There really was no choice for me that day in shopping.

Change Happens

We measure progress with tests and metrics. We measure performance with tests and metrics. These tests are simply measures that help us confirm that changes have happened, that improvement and progress has been made. They aren't a necessary condition, and shouldn't be the only way progress is achieved.

Change happens whether we measure it or not. Time flows without us constantly watching the clock.

Daily Habits

There are a plethora of books about how to build habits, but you must create it by acting it out. Ultimately, it will be a very personal journey that will allow you to build the life that you want. 

A natural requirement to being a human on Earth is that we have a daily routine: Waking up and falling asleep with each turn of the planet. Use the sun-rise and sun-fall as universal anchors and build your day.

Dedicate Time To Being You

Most hours the day, I am not myself.  In games, I take on the avatars of heroes and champions. In films I relive the tension and drama of others. In the virtual realms of social media, I become a reflection of the community. When am I me?

Worry not, Negotiate

We worry a lot about different potential futures.  Have I made the right choice?  Will I pass that interview?  Worrying does not solve the issue and only makes us more nervous.

The cornerstone lesson from Negotiations: "Everything is negotiable".

Worst case scenario?  You'll negotiate.   And negotiating isn't too bad. It will open up even more possibilities.

Creative Goalsetting

When being creative, set a goal that is outside of the norm.  Oftentimes, aspirations are derived from one's immediate perspective, and one's goals will be in the realm of a limited 'possibility space'.  Don't restrict yourself.  Place your goal further out and reach a bit.

The goal that everyone else sees is not necessarily yours. Establish for yourself a strange, personal, and unconventional goal.  Forge a new path with a novel approach and an inspired way of thinking.

Placeholder

A placeholder reserves room for new and wonderful things to come.  

The MBA Journey

Where one journey ends, another begins.  The past two years have been a mix of personal tests: challenges, curiosities, and choices.  I set out at the end of 2017 determined to forge myself in study.  This goal led me to the UC Davis MBA program, and I found myself surrounded by a supportive community of business leaders with an appetite for improving the world. 

It's interesting how a vague goal slowly manifests into many interesting happenings.  Over the course of the program, I discovered product management for games, participated in a venture capital case competition, started an educational app project, and much, much more.  I made new friends, adjusted my thinking with a few books, and honed my communication skills.  All these deserve stories of their own, which I'd love to divulge someday.

Today, I'm just taking a moment to celebrate the achievement.



When I moved my belongings home (most of it fit in this van!), a big question mark appeared in front of me.  What's the next journey going to be?  

This year started off with a lot of uncertainty.  It's one-half tumultuous and another-half chaotic, but new ground will be settled once balance is returned.  2020 also marks the near-ending of a decade for me.  So I'd like to make it a meaningful cycling of time.  Regardless of where I'm headed next, I'm certain to hold myself to these key values:

Creativity - to make reality from imagination
Connection - to share and communicate
Curiosity - to investigate and discover 

Continue on!

Steel Samurai on Fire - Global Game Jam 2020

Jammed it out in Sacramento this year!  We kept it simple with a small team of 2 + 1 sound designer.  Based on the theme of 'repair', we made a Nintendo DS inspired minigame-game (Warioware, Cooking Mama), where you repair a Mecha as it fights the Kaiju. 

I got to sneak in some time towards the end to write a battle theme song for the game.  This marks my first official song!  Listen here: 
https://soundcloud.com/kisaragis/steel-samurai-on-fire-battle-gamejam-ver





Check out the game here on the GGJ site:
https://globalgamejam.org/2020/games/steel-samurai-6

Ludum Dare 44 - The Price is Blood

This year's Ludum Dare Team Jam!  Got to pixel make some ghastly vampires and wolves.  Though my wolf is more on the cute side.

https://ldjam.com/events/ludum-dare/44/the-price-is-blood

Ignite Conference

The highlight of March in the middle of an endless winter quarter was the Ignite Conference co-hosted by Rice University and UC Davis.  This is just a preview of the first Bay Area tour day, which was followed by two days of speakers.  


Each founder had very different reasons and motivations for building their company but they all faced and surmounted relentless amounts of challenges.  I especially learned a lot from Nicholas Seet and Mark Randall's talks, and how a technology first approach could have drawbacks.


Best part of the entire experience was meeting like-minded and passionately bright students from Davis, Rice, Lamar, Baylor.









HackDavis at Davis and VCIC at Yale!


I got to partake in a ton of awesome activities this February.  Starting with volunteering at my first hackathon at HackDavis on the 9th, I got to meet with many talented student developers.  They all had fantastic ideas like matching students to laboratories, detecting falling injuries, tracking groceries and incentivising recycling.  Hearing about their projects and getting the opportunity to give feedback was the highlight of the weekend.  Unfortunately, I didn't get to stay the entire event.  All the finished projects are on Devpost here: https://hackdavis2019.devpost.com/submissions

Mid-February our Venture Capital team flew out to New Haven for the VCIC competition!  We learned a lot about the challenges of evaluating companies as potential investors, and got a taste of East Coast pizza.  My biggest takeaway from the competition is that investing is not as clear cut as black and white.  There are so many unknowns when creating a new venture that you really have to focus on the business relationship, the potentials, and the industry numbers.





Ghost House - Global Game Jam 2019

Hi all!  

The game I worked on this year is Ghost House.  Check it out here!
https://globalgamejam.org/2019/games/ghost-house

For this year's global game jam I traveled back home to San Jose to the Cogswell location.  The event this year was more chill and I got to work with a team of hardworking developers.



Cogswell's location was a bit of a surprise.  It was a few blocks from where I used to work, in North San Jose.  If I'd known I would definitely have tried out a few classes there to learn some music or 3d skills.  During the jam I toured around their facilities.  Most interesting place was the historical archives, showing the founding of the school a hundred years ago.  It really puts things into perspective seeing the old technical measurement tools in contrast with the modern game development studios.  


























Presently Presenting Presentable Presents - Extra Credits Holiday Game Jam 2018

I've been on winter break now and enjoying restful times at home.  This year the holiday spirit was celebrated with gamejamming!  I had some good fun drawing elves, and elven ears may become a favourite.  Check out the finished project here on itch.io: https://flee135.itch.io/presently-presenting-presentable-presents

This also marks 10 years since starting to blog!  2019 is going to be even more amazing, looking forward to it!



Paths around UC Davis


Since beginning my MBA studies at UC Davis, I've found and been shown a few places that are great for the occasional stroll away from work.  The first two here are just near Gallagher Hall, where all the graduate business classes are held.  

(above) A crossing looking away from the greenhouses.  It's a great shortcut off the Arboretum that leads to the school's patio and backdoor.  (below) A winding path behind the Alumni Center surrounded by greenery on all four sides.  It overlooks the greenhouses and costs only a bit of extra time for a quiet scene.


I'm glad that I got the chance to put my bike (picked up used for 25$) to good use!  This is my bike before parking at the library.  There's a ton of bikes on the Davis campus and sometimes it's tough to find parking.  When I do bike from home to campus, it's a good workout at about 20+ minutes.


This last photo is from the student farm on the west side of campus.  They're doing some amazing work here breeding everything from tomatoes to peppers.  My guide showed me around the field and let me pick a whole bag of green and red peppers, of every variety!







Professor LaBait

Created in collaboration with Alex Wilson and Felix Lee for the Game Maker's Toolkit Game Jam 2018!  Prof. LaBait is a metroidvania without attacking.

Download here: https://flee135.itch.io/professor-labait





Lina

This is how Lina naps on the carpet.


Kate


GDC 2018

A few photos from this year's GDC in San Francisco.  I focused on learning from lots of talks, the most memorable being by: 
Jason Rohrer, Zach Barth, Yoko Taro, and Sam Coster

Didn't get to demo as many games, but snapped a bunch of the cool-looking ones!  Not pictured here: Baba is You, definitely my favourite game of the show.









Jane