Tag Archives: friends

How to Spend your Summer/Podcast

After the chaos and excitement of freshman year, summertime seems to be a welcome change of pace. But loads of free time make me wonder about who I am outside of the structure of school, family obligations and work. Like many other bored college students, I want to do something fulfilling, exciting, fun, and worthwhile, but struggle to find the inspiration or motivation to start. Today I talked with a close friend who knows how to follow through his ideas with incredible results.
Tom Lum is a college student studying computer and cognitive science. This summer, he spends his time creating and coding his own indie computer game inspired in part by his novel, Gear. We discuss the influences of Nidhogg, The Stanley Parable, Super Smash Bros, and Hotline Miami on Tom’s project as well as the “artisnal” quality of indie games today.

For more information about Tom’s creative work (including music, movies, and more), visit http://www.thatbookbytom.com.

Interview Highlights:

On the process of making a video game:

“The coolest part about coding a game from the ground up is that you really can do anything, and at first that’s…the biggest problem… ’cause you can do anything.”

“It’s one of the longest, in terms of projects…like, a movie is great because you can really see the progress of it, a book is good, because…you can show someone a chapter of it. Music is perfect, because you can just show someone a song…that doesn’t take that long. Video games are really just a long-term effort…I get to show it to people a bit, but it’s going to be a long term thing…but, because of that, there’ll hopefully be a good reward.”

On breaking the video game “mold” and indie games today:

“There’s so much of an established basis of what to expect, that it’s really fun and really exciting to get something new…that’s what I would love to do.”

“In the flash game era, games were really just a boredom reducer…whereas [now] they’re really starting to go back to being an “art form”…something that someone makes.”

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What is this blog even for?

Right now the purpose of this blog is to organize the stuff I want to over spring break, which is this week! That includes: drawing comix, watching Jackie Chan and Miyazaki movies, reading 1950’s scifi books/short stories, going to the Art Spiegelman exhibit in the Jewish Museum, searching for summer internships, and doing homework for college…

That’s a lot of stuff.  If I include maybe running, walking in the park, going on a trip  Wednesday, hanging out with family and boyf, that’s even more.  Sometimes I get so excited about unscheduled free time with no looming deadlines that I schedule in everything I want to do, instead of scheduling what I’m likely to do.

I highly recommend “The Exquisite Corpse Project.”  It has some good lines, especially at the end, and it’s really funny.

Sleepovers can be so intimate.  You climb into bed only after being too tired to hang out anymore, after falling asleep on the floor or during a late-night movie or next to each other on the couch, or back from a party.  But once both of you climb under the covers, under the dark, you start talking and talking in that magic hour where you forget that you were (two) separate people during the day.  We lower our inhibitions while falling asleep in order to stay awake.  We know that we must (immediately) pour out our thoughts  from our stream of consciousness in a (constant,) breathy whisper.  Or else we’d fall into sleep, and drown out the other in a sea of our dreams/of our musings.  I highly recommend having a sleepover with a close friend.

I also recommend “The City and the Stars.”

I also recommend carrying a little sketchbook to doodle in and draw people if you feel like it.