Hey all. It's been a while. Life has been pretty busy, primarily with work and keeping up with my resolutions. I've been off my regular once-every-two-weeks pattern, unfortunately, and have gone back to the whole "let's wait two months for a new idea." I need to work on that.This entry is a little on the personal side, so apologies if my words start meandering. It's been a few days since I went to RTX (Rooster Teeth Expo), where I had gone to the ever-so-popular RWBY panel. To brief those who aren't familiar with RWBY, it's essentially a story focused on a group of girls who help fight evil surrounding the world of Remnant. Through the support of their friends and their experience at their academy Beacon, Ruby and her gang attempt to keep their world a place free of Grimm (bad guys).I'm a huge fan of the series; partly because of how much the universe of the story appeals to me, and partly because a few of my friends are involved in the creation of this series. The art style alludes to anime, but in three dimensions. Using motion capture, the characters come to life with realistic movements and crazy fighting scenes. If you haven't seen it, you should definitely give it a watch! This series was given life by Monty Oum, a guy who also brought life to Red vs. Blue when he introduced motion capture. It was something no one had done before, and truly gave both series a brand new and exciting dimension. Upon the arrival of the RWBY panel, I knew that it would be an emotional one. A chair was left empty on the panel, in honor of their (and our) lost friend.It was at that moment that I realized that life can be so short sometimes. It is truly difficult to fathom the notion of death, and it's just as hard to accept it. Sometimes we take life for granted, and assume we'll all live a long and prosperous life. For someone like Monty, who only lived to be 33, it was certainly not the case. It always seems like we, as people, never truly appreciate the people we care about until they're gone. It's human nature; we desire what doesn't exist.With that, I wanted to take a little bit of time to recognize those people that have had some kind of impact in my life.
"I believe that the human spirit is indomitable. If you endeavor to achieve, it will happen given enough resolve. It may not be immediate, and often your greater dreams is something you will not achieve within your own lifetime. The effort you put forth to anything transcends yourself, for there is no futility even in death."
The aforementioned guy who brought so much to some of my favorite series. I talked to him briefly at the first RTX in 2011, mainly about how he included motion capture technology to Red vs. Blue. It was pretty amazing just hearing his thought process and his ideas for the series. People knew him as a ridiculously hard worker. He'd spend countless hours working on animations into the wee hours of the night, and then fall asleep sometime within the next day. Crazy work ethics.As I mentioned, he brought life to RWBY. With his character designs, his trademark fighting animations, and Eastern art style, it's certainly a piece of work that has Monty's signature written all over it. He will always be remembered by the work that he masterfully crafted into his own style.
"It'll always be better tomorrow."
My grandpa was someone who taught me a lot of life lessons indirectly. I don't really recall the times that I visited when I was a child (other than the one time I went fishing and had no idea what I was really doing), but I had a startling realization when I visited with my dad in 2011. We had gone throughout Spring break, and I was still a junior in college. I was still at times fairly rebellious person to my parents, and that probably still stemmed on lots of events that happened when I was in high school. I guess needless-to-say, there were just times where I felt like I could do things my own way and have it work out (Spoiler alert: Said things usually didn't work out).It was our last day, and we were saying our goodbyes. I enjoyed the time seeing my family and grandpa, but I was also ready to finish up some things that I had to still work on for college. We took a few pictures, but I had figured we would also stop by sometime next year. As I was getting the car ready, my dad and grandpa were still hugging. It was around that time that I had realized how much of a complete asshole and idiot I had been at times. There's nothing quite like the love that you share with your family that can easily emit emotions. And I think it was something that deep down, was hurting my parents. It was that moment that changed how I felt around my parents. When things didn't work out my way, it was wrong, even if my parents may have helped me guide me through their way. They gave me the world, and I gave nothing back. It must have been terrible feeling that, and to my parents...words cannot express my apologies for that. It's something that can't be changed by words, but actions. I still sometimes get frustrated because of having differing opinions with my parents, but I also know that our lifestyles are just different. I've accepted that, and I think my relationship with them is stronger than ever. I love you, Mom and Dad.And I'll never forget the last moment I had with my grandpa few years ago. We were at the nursing home, and we were going to say our goodbyes. I think we all knew that this could very well be the last time we saw him, and so we took our time and prolonging when we needed to leave. I remember having difficulty just containing my feelings and taking pictures. My phone had died earlier, so I made up an excuse to grab something out of the car, when in reality, I was charging my phone so I could take said pictures.As soon as I told him that I loved him, and heard him reply back, I had to step out for a second. Tears had burst from my eyes, knowing that this truly was going to be the last time I saw him. I didn't want to show that side of me though, and have me crying be the last thing my grandpa saw. After about a minute, I felt a gentle hand press against my shoulder, and immediately knew it was him. After a while, he told me, "it'll always be better tomorrow."Those words echoed into my mind, and they resonate with me to this day. It's such a simple phrase, but it has helped me think of things in a more positive light. When life brings you down because of something tragic or something perhaps incredibly minute, just know that tomorrow is a new day. You're given a chance to make tomorrow better than today, so don't worry about it.I miss and love you, grandpa. Thank you for everything.
"On my business card, I am a corporate president. In my mind, I am a game developer. But in my heart, I am a gamer."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYcBq8TN0ggIwata-san was the CEO of Nintendo in Japan, and was responsible for pushing Nintendo in the direction it's been going these past few years. He started off as a software developer for Nintendo, and then slowly climbed his way to being CEO; something that hardly happens these days. He was responsible for helping out with a lot of games in his youth, and helped push out games to their deadlines when they looked like they weren't going to make it. Some examples of some of his incredible feats include:
- Creating a compression utility to put the whole world of Kanto into Pokemon Silver/Gold in just one week (Note: Game boy games had a max size of 4MB, to put things in perspective)
- Helping becoming a QA tester and finding bugs in Smash Bros. Melee, so it could be released on time
- Created the combat code in Pokemon Stadium by himself, also in just one week
- Took a 50% pay cut when Nintendo faced financial hardships in 2014. How many CEOs do that?
Unlike most game companies though, he wasn't about trying to create sequels upon sequels just to reel in money. Rather, he was about innovating and finding new ways to bring people into playing games. He wanted to make games that were fun for everybody, and could still provide a challenge for veteran gamers. As he stated, "We do not run from risk. We run to it. We are taking the risk to move beyond the boundaries of the game industry to reach new players and current players."That was the approach for the Wii: appeal to both non-gamers and gamers. It turned out to be successful, with the Wii being their third best selling console of all time. He was loved by everyone in the gaming industry as an iconic figure for bring gaming back to its roots with one idea: just have fun. It must have been fate when Nintendo HQ at Kyoto had a rainbow above it after the day he passed away. Truly memorable.
Fletcha (real name: Philip, but everyone called him Fletcha) was a good friend of mine who passed a way in 2012. He was involved in a motorcycle accident. I was in complete disbelief when I heard the news. I've been used to hearing about people I didn't know dying, and that never really fazed me. The news about Fletcha was probably the first time my mind just went blank thinking about it. I couldn't accept the fact that he wasn't here anymore.It's one of those things too, where when someone you're close with isn't near you anymore, you tend to have regrets. I try to live life without them, but sometimes they feel inevitable. For Fletcha, my biggest regret was not hanging out with him throughout our college days. I recall him talking to me on a random day on Facebook about how he was going to transfer to UT to do mechanical engineering, after doing a few years at a community college. I was excited for him! I thought it would be awesome to actually have someone who graduated from my high school to go to UT (note: There were four of us in my graduating class, but three ended up transferring/dropping out, leaving just me). Then maybe we could have done drumline together, take some basic engineering courses, and just hang out. I wish those days could have happened. He was a great and funny guy, passionate about what he wanted to do, and was always down for hanging out or talking.I miss you, buddy. Turns off waterworksMy apologies for the personal entry. With some notable icons that passed away this year, I wanted to recognize them in any way I could, along with some other amazing and close people in my life. As per tradition, I leave you with this song, which I feel is an appropriate one to end this post. The title is "Kimi ga Iru," which translates to "You Exist." This comes off of an album from Your Lie in April, an anime. A brief synopsis:Kousei, a child prodigy at the piano, accels early on to try and become the best pianist. However, after his mother passes away, he can't bother touching a piano due to mental breakdowns. Being unable to play the piano, he views the world as flat and in grayscale. However, once he meets a girl named Kaori, a vibrant and active violinist of the same age, his life begins to change. She helps Kousei bring him back to life by showing that music doesn't always need to be rigid, like the way he was taught.Truly a beautiful series to watch if you're into music. The entire soundtrack is moving, and it's a treat to listen to when I'm working or it's late at night. Please have a listen.[audio mp3="http://coreyjustinroberts.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/1-31-Kimi-ga-Iru.mp3"][/audio] Until next time,Corey