Saturday, June 23, 2012

June 23, 2012 - The Office

Israel has finally finished it's holiday extravaganza, the winter has officially diminished, and the sun has become more brutal. So much so that if I sit in the sun for an hour, I'm guaranteed a sun burn of ungodly proportions and coming back from the local AM:PM is like coming back from swimming in the ocean. Soon jelly fish season will start and I will be unable to swim in the ocean (which I have learned, no body in Israel sees the beach as a swimming place and more of a mating place. Go figure.) so that leaves me the option of finding the pool, my goal is now to find the local Gordon Pool... in the sun... joy.

Life In The Office

Avenging Madonna
May 31, 2012
The fun thing about my work place is it's location. It's right across the street from the soccer stadium (where a few weeks ago was a soccer match between Tel Aviv and Haifa), and right next to the stadium is the Ayalon Mall. So when news of The Avengers came out, I had to go see it... of course waiting almost two weeks after it's initial launch in the States. Desperate to see the movie once it was released in the states, I asked around if people were willing to see it. Either they saw it already (via bootleg) or don't care. Luckily, my work place is filled with geeks. So I asked around and the programmer of the company agreed to see it with me because neither of us saw it while everyone else in the office have. We agreed on May 31 to see it together, completely forgetting that at the same time, there was to be a Madonna concert.

On the day of the movie date (honestly, we were seeing it as friends and nothing more, so don't get any ideas) while waiting for the clock to move forward, we heard her. Madonna, right across the street from us, was rehearsing one more time before her big show, and while I'm not a big fan of Madonna, I will say that it was beyond awesome to hear her and knowing that she was right across the street from me. The guys in the office groaned (apparently the last time they heard a singer rehearse was Justin Bieber, and that was brutal) but I found the amazingness of it all. Time passed, and I left for the mall, only having to wait for an hour for the programmer to come.

Once we bought our tickets (and him getting popcorn for the both of us), we took our spots they assigned us and enjoyed the movie for what it had to offer us (and yes, I was more excited for the movie then anything else. Also it was an amazing movie). Once it ended, he had things to do and I wanted to head home, we bid each other good night and left. Madonna made sure the block off the streets so I had to walk an extra fifteen minutes to the nearest bus stop when I heard her. And the shouts and cheers of her fans. I quickly took out my iPod and just recorded her song. What I FAILED at doing, was catching the end where she yells out to her adoring fans "SHALOM TEL AVIV!!"

We Made It Big
June 5, 2012

At my work place, we have officially launched the game I've been play testing. Meaning now I can state it's name, which is Mini Ninja Adventures for the Xbox Kinect (it's a download-only game). I was sitting in my space when one of the guys came in and was freaking out about the announcement. My boss, creative director (been having issues with him a bit), and my QA "boss" all flew out to L.A for E3 (a big event for video games) leaving a few amount of people. We all ran to the nearest computer (as for me, scooted my chair closer to my desk) to look at our website for the news and lo and behold; my website design was up and running. With big changes. I originally told them to lose the black and dark background in place of a brighter, cleaner, approach, all this basing off of the design of one website they really liked as well as telling them to put a video instead of a slideshow of pictures because people want something in their face, not something that requires them to sit and read.

What I got instead was almost a kick to the face.

We got their brighter background, as I instructed, and we got the moving graphics in the menu (again, something I instructed), but instead of a white, clean, and neutral color... I got a big fat graphic of the Mini Ninjas game. Okay, I showed them my design of a Mini Ninja-esque website to show at E3, but it was so in the face that I didn't know how to react. And the video... the video made me want to head desk so hard. When I asked who was the idiot that thought that the video was to be a slideshow of the pictures (which, by the way, COMPLETELY DEFEATS THE PURPOSE OF A VIDEO), one of the people in the office told me, in a very "obvious" tone, that it was the Creative Director.

I wanted to punch a wall.

Taking a deep breath and counting till 10 (a technique my aunt taught me when dealing with my uncle) I simply (really attempted) shrugged it off as a "heat of the moment" technical thing, we were already a month behind the deadline of the website so the day of E3 and needing a website, it made sense that the video was a complete pile of shit. When they came back two weeks later (after my own week off... that's in a video) we threw a huge party for the success of the game's launch and had sushi (to the disgust of one of the workers who helped me throughout the website ordeal... he was in China the whole week) and got some "swag". I got a huge T-shit, four buttons, and a sticker. To be perfectly honest, this is probably the closest I'll ever get to E3, and I cherish each item greatly. (Website Name Just In Case...)

The New Intern
June 2012-Present
Prior to my Boss leaving for E3, he told me that we would be getting a new intern who was also from the states and he was to help us with the website because he knows how to code and program websites.

About. Time.

If this meant that I didn't have to deal with those idiots back at the website company ever again, then I'll be happy forever. I will admit, at first I was a bit jealous that my Boss brought in someone new and probably more useful than an art student and will get the best out of this guy, but I shortly found out why he told me. It was because I was about to work and almost be this guy's boss. I did the creative design of the website, and I needed the tools... now comes this guy who knows the tools but not the design, meaning he will need me to tell him what I want to see on the website.

So now that the guy is here, I found out who he was and the one thing we had in common (aside from both of us being from the states and are only here because of a Jewish program) is that we both worked with UDK. And I can only say that when he brought it up, THAT felt like I was finally reunited with an old friend. Up until that point he would only come up to me and talk to me about how drunk he was and all the bars he goes to... something that is completely far from my interests. I already deal with drunks in my own program, I sure as hell didn't need it in my internship. So when he slipped that he worked once at UDK as an intern, I finally found something to talk to him about. And we would spend hours talking about it and how it's amazing.

I stated earlier in my entries that when I came to work and seeing everyone talking about Maya and Photoshop felt like home for me, having someone to talk to about UDK was walking through memory lane. Memory lane without the anger I felt when I got the e-mail from my professor. It was only the good times I had with it, the struggle of textures and such. Finally was someone I could talk to about and share stories about the time UDK crashed, or how much of a pain it was to transfer textures... but the end results was the same, and the sensation of joy that we created something with our own hands.

But all things must come to an end, cause every time I tried to bring back UDK, he would go back to talking about the arak, to my annoyance. I finally bit the bullet and asked how old he was (I know, I know, hypocrite move of me) because this was a conversation I needed to clear up to understand why he was so hell bent into talking about alcohol. Turns out he recently turned twenty, and the legal age in the states is twenty one where as in Israel it's I think sixteen.

Totally. Freaking. Sense.

It was his first time being "legal" and he's here until August, so why not take the most advantage of it? Once I understood why he was constantly insisting talking about bars, I broke the news to him that I simply do not care about the bars in Israel and would much rather focus my money on food and clothes as oppose to taxi rides, club fees, and alcohol.

Still, he's a brilliant guy and helped getting the website ready. I... did butt heads a lot with the Creative Director because I wanted certain things on the website where as he wanted to add more chaos into it. God bless my Boss for intervening and leaving the website's life in mine and the Intern's hands.

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