All posts by Brittany Abad

Final(?) Rambles

Here we go, final (required) blog post for the Capstone course! I can’t believe how quickly this quarter passed. I’ve been talking to my therapist quite a bit about this class (mental health is important, y’all!) and apparently, she thinks I’ve been in this state that she called “the edge of overwhelm” for the last few weeks. I feel that’s an understatement (haha). I’m very confident that we’ll complete all our main goals for this project, but there are a lot of little things we discussed throughout this process that we thought would be cool to have, and I’m a bit disappointed that we might not have time to include all the things we wanted. It’s hard to visualize the game without those little bonuses (like being able to actually grab the items, audio cues for completing each task, etc.) because we talked about it so often, but there’s nothing stopping us from adding fun stuff like that after we’re done with this class! Ryan, Angel, and I briefly joked at the beginning of the course that we’d work together in the future to create some of the other project ideas we had when we were first brainstorming… I know it was just a joke back then, but honestly, now I’m really hoping they’d be open to working together in the future.

I’m really glad Ryan and Angel were my teammates for Hablo Gato. I couldn’t have asked for a better team. It’s been such a fantastic experience working with them. Communication has been so easy – if there were any issues, we were able to get them sorted out right away. It’s been really nice to feel comfortable with reaching out if I’m struggling with something and they’ve been so helpful and supportive throughout this entire process. We’ve been learning together, which I feel is one of the best bonding experiences. Plus, we’ve been meme-posting together, and I think that’s an even better bonding experience! (:P)

Before working on this project (which now has a title – Hablo Gato! [or, the rough translation, “I Speak Cat”]), I wasn’t really sure about my path post-graduation. I entertained the idea of continuing with a bit more schooling via completing the cybersecurity certificate… I’m still interested but I’m still not certain I’ll be satisfied with that in the long run. It would be very useful to learn though, so it is still on the table. When I first started this program, I intended on pursuing a career in game development. That mostly faded into the background over the last few years, especially after I heard some people’s experiences and other events that came to light recently. However, Hablo Gato has been such an entertaining and great experience that I’ve been considering it again – more specifically, VR game development. While I’m not completely sold on it yet, it wouldn’t hurt to add a few more personal game projects to my portfolio and see if I still find it fun. I suppose it could just be that I’m riding the high of the working on my first proper game, but I think it’s worth exploring.

But that’s for future me to worry about! I still have a game to finish working on! I’m really excited to see our final product. I hope it’s everything we’ve hoped for! If we’re not scrambling to complete everything, maybe I’ll come back here to post some pictures, just for closure’s sake…


One of my friends recently got sucked into a game and, of course, if one person in our immediate friend group gets addicted to a game, the rest of us end up following. So I’ve unfortunately started Genshin Impact… I tired to put if off for as long as possible, but I had massive FOMO (fear of missing out) whenever I listened to my friends talk about it. I hate starting new games in the middle of classes because I get easily distracted. Why are RPGs so addicting? I’ve been trying to use it as incentive to finish my weekly goals and stay on track, but it’s become more of a detriment since I have no self-control when it comes to video games and I end up playing longer than intended. (I’m yelling at myself, on the inside! :P)

Angel requested that we have a group meeting today, and while I know our deadline is approaching quickly, actually discussing really brought it to the forefront of my mind. It’s on it’s way and it’s going to be here sooner than we know it! Plus, we have a lot more smaller things to finish up than we thought. I know we’re going to finish it, but I am a little worried that we won’t be able to do all the cool things that we planned. Such is the course of game development though, right? This is real world experience right here! But no, we have a general plan to guarantee that we at least get the more important goals completed next week so that we can still add some of the nicer ideas. I might actually need to uninstall Genshin Impact until we finish this project… I just need to tell myself that I can always catch up to my friends after I’ve completed this course. I miss when we were all in school at the same time (haha).

The one thing that I am extremely grateful for, though, is that I’ve been getting along with my project teammates. I have to admit, one of my main fears for this class was getting stuck in a group that couldn’t figure out how to work well together. So I’m really glad that we haven’t had any massive disagreements thus far. Or at least, we’ve been really good at working out our issues and finding common ground. Oops… I hope I didn’t jinx us now…

My brain’s kind of been all over the place lately, and I feel like I’m just in straight chaos mode. Here’s hoping I can use that to my advantage and channel that energy into working on the game! Thanks for hanging around to listen to me ramble.

Making Motivation

This week was a bit of a doozy! Now that we’re in the second half of the quarter, I feel like time is really going to start flying by. We got the very basics of our introductory scene up and running, and I gotta tell you – whenever I finish a really difficult section of a project, I’ve always felt that little boost of confidence and pride. I’m sure you’re familiar with the feeling: you’ve spent a decent chunk of time barely making any headway, and eventually you get some sort of burst of inspiration or something just clicks in your head and you’re like, oh dang I got it! That is definitely how I felt this week! But seeing our game come together in a proper scene was a new kind of confidence booster.

Hello, Ghost Peppurr Parental Figure!

I definitely think part of it is because somewhere deep down, I didn’t think I’d be able to contribute anything to a project like this. My goal last week was to figure out how to set up this dialogue system, and I was really stressing out. My group wanted to have at least a portion of the introductory scene with the mom functioning properly, so that we could demonstrate a bit of the voice recognition part of our project. I knew I had to get it done as soon as possible, but towards the end of last week, I was still only watching tutorials and getting worried about not figuring it out in time. I found it really hard to motivate myself (which I discussed in my last post), but at a certain point, I said “screw it” and sat down and actually tried to make some progress. It took a good day or so, but lo and behold, after following a handful of videos and testing out a couple of different examples, I was able to get it working the way I wanted it to!

So by the time I met with my team on Monday, I had the entire intro conversation working, and it turns out that they really only expected me to complete one voice recognition exchange (whoops haha), but they were impressed with how quickly I was able to get most of it working (yay!). My only issue was getting the voice recorder to wait for a response before continuing onto the next sentence. I originally used a while loop to call the voice recorder function so that the player could keep trying until they answered with the correct word/phrase. The first time I tried it, it wouldn’t stop recording. After making use of some other helper functions, I tried again and the dialogue would continue onto the next sentence without waiting for the voice recorder to finish recording, then the game would freeze. Luckily, Angel was able to figure out that we needed to put the voice recognition function directly into our dialogue script instead of our NPC script. Thank goodness for teammates!

All of this was to say that I really surprised myself this week when I came through for my team. I know a lot of us struggle with imposter syndrome and sometimes that keeps us from trying something even just once. However, that first try might just be the motivation you need to keep going. I didn’t really think about it like this before this week, but now I feel like the only way I’ll truly conquer the whole imposter syndrome thing is if I continue to try new things and test my limits. I had my doubts about being able to contribute enough to my team, but getting over this week’s hurdle made me feel a little better regarding that.

Debugging My Brain

a.k.a. Dealing with ADHD

I hate it when I can’t make myself start the important tasks that need to be completed as soon as possible, but I’ll end up cleaning up things that can be done later instead. To give you a little backstory – last weekend, I had a bit of a mini vacation. I got to meet up with some friends that I haven’t seen since the beginning of the pandemic (2020), went to a concert with them, and spent an extra day just hanging out together. It was great, of course! I felt a little less burned out, got my fill of social time for the next month or so… Just overall felt a bit lighter. However, coming back home just to jump straight back into work and classwork was more difficult than usual this time around. I knew I had to start working on setting up our game’s dialogue system and implementing the scripts for our player HUD immediately if I wanted to keep up with my schedule. But I could not bring myself to just sit down and focus. I kept needing to walk around, I started some chores, and I even put away everything I had packed for my trip. I was getting so irritated with my restlessness – why couldn’t I just sit still and be productive??? I was venting my frustration to a friend that ended up reminding me that I actually was being productive, but my priorities were just a little wonky, and that pretty much blew my mind. More backstory – my friend and I were both recently diagnosed with ADHD, and we’ve been grappling with finding our respective ways of managing our symptoms. So today, I’d like to share some things that help me deal with ADHD (in relation to school and work).


I’ve found that the most important thing for me to do is to make a list of the tasks I need to complete. Then, I organize it in order of importance. Organization in general can be very difficult for me. If I know I have a lot to do, I get overwhelmed and end up tackling several different things simultaneously, leading to most tasks never being fully completed. I also tend to forget what I need to do if I don’t write it down. (There’s also the issue of sometimes forgetting where I wrote something down, but I digress.) Having a list makes it easier for me to see what my goals are so that I can set out to complete them, starting with the most important tasks first. I also like being able to cross items off the list, which helps motivate me to properly finish a task.

Set Small Goals/Deadlines

This one kind of goes hand in hand with the lists. I usually struggle with getting started on things that I know are going to take up a lot of my attention – which is pretty much everything now, as an adult. This often leads to me procrastinating and prioritizing less important tasks because somewhere in the back of my mind, I know that those smaller tasks take less attention and energy. Sometimes I can use that to my advantage by setting smaller goals or deadlines for myself. I’ll tell myself that I need to sit down and work for at least 15-25 minutes, then I’ll stop for a quick break to stretch or walk around the room, and repeat until I’m done. Most of the time, it gets a little easier to do a little more work each time. Other times, time is a good enough motivator so I’ll tell myself I need to finish X Task by Y time. The lists can also help with that, because I can divide my work time for each item on the list to give a bit more structure to my day.

Breaks and Rewards

Breaks are extremely important for me. I get very restless, especially if I’m overwhelmed or frustrated with something. I can use breaks as a reward for completing the aforementioned small goals and deadlines, but I can also give myself space away from my work area if I’m feeling burnt out. When I’m stuck on some problems, I tend to pace somewhat furiously in the hallway. Sometimes it helps me figure out the issue because I’ll be talking to myself while moving around and that somehow makes things click in my brain. Other times I just need to not be looking at my work and simply need an outlet for that frustration.

Most of the time, I’ll use breaks as rewards for smaller goals because moving around does make me feel better. If I complete the larger goals (i.e., crossing off an entire task on the list), then I’ll give myself something more fun, like going outside to play with my dog for 30 min or playing a quick round of a video game. I’ll admit that I’ll occasionally get sucked into those other activities, but I’ve been doing a lot better with managing that time with some practice, too.

I’d say that those three things have been the most helpful things in managing my struggles with ADHD. If I’m being honest, these tips don’t always work. It’s definitely been a constant work in progress in discovering what works best for me, and I really do wish I had figured these things out earlier. However, I’m learning more and more as I go and I can say with 100% confidence (okay okay, maybe like 80% confidence) that I’m having an easier time dealing with my time management and procrastination problems now. So hey, let’s keep moving!

Stacking Menus

Seriously, where would I be without Unity Learn. There’s been a fairly detailed introductory lesson (with pictures!!! because that’s the important part) for every project goal I’ve set out to complete so far and I could not be more grateful. I’m sure I would have taken twice as long to figure things out otherwise.

This week’s focus was on creating our game’s menus – not anything terribly complex, but definitely a bit more time consuming than I anticipated. It was a lot of little things that slowed me down though, like figuring out why one button looked pixelated in game view while the others didn’t (scaling and text size difference) or altering the overall sizes of the Canvas areas little by little until I deemed it a decent size. Plus, it’s not even fully completed yet. Even though everything I’ve set up so far is working as expected, I’m still not satisfied with how it looks. I’m going to have to let that be for now though. As Ryan told me, the polish can always come later, and we won’t be adding the UI art until later on anyway.

Menus on top of menus on top of menus…

I knew developing a game takes a good deal of time and effort, but now I have a more accurate idea of how much and just, wow. Solo developers are very dedicated souls. If I didn’t respect the developer for Stardew Valley before, I absolutely do now!

Try, try, and try again

I think at this point, I’ve watched almost all the somewhat current videos covering common intro Unity topics. This is most definitely an exaggeration but that is honestly what it feels like. I wanted to take advantage of this time to practice working in the Unity environment, while still pushing forward with developing our project. So I thought, adding the VR rig shouldn’t be too difficult… I knew Ryan put in a good chunk of work already in setting up our VR environment, but for some reason, I had a lot of trouble interacting with an object I created – a sphere.

My enemy of the week

The funny thing is that I went into this thinking the most difficult thing would be adding the ability to move and turn around the scene I created – only because that had a few different options! As in, do I want the player to teleport, should the controllers project the player’s potential movement, etc. (which, in the end, we decided it would be more immersive to have continuous movement, but I digress). However, as it turns out, that was as easy as adding a couple of components. Grabbing an item, on the other hand, had me struggling.

I wish I had thought to record what it looked like from the player’s perspective because I’m sure it looked ridiculous – like when you glitch through a map and end up in unknown areas in video games. Basically, every time I tried to pick up the sphere, I would try to move the left joystick to walk around while holding the ball, but then I would immediately get launched off the plane object. At first I thought it was a gravity issue. So first, I tested it by turning off the gravity for the sphere – the only difference being that the ball floated up once I let go of it instead of it falling. (Hindsight thought: well, duh!) I won’t bore you with the rest of the details, but after trying a bunch of different settings on several components on both the sphere and the player objects and many thorough readings of the properties of those components, I finally got it. To be honest, the Movement Type property of the XR Grab Interactable component should have been one of the first things I checked. It was set to “Instantaneous” so I’m thinking that the movement of the sphere was being transferred to the cube objects I set as controller placeholders. But hey, I’m learning, right? Now I’ll never forget it.

Note to self: Read all properties carefully

I have to admit, I did celebrate a bit once the scene was working as expected at that point. It might have been a tiny problem in the grand scheme of things, but considering the fact that I had no experience with Unity at all just last week, I’m feeling pretty dang good about it. Small victories can still be important ones, and for once, I’m not dreading trying again.

Here we go…

Oh man. This week seriously went by so quickly – I feel like I’ve completed so many things, but at the same time, it feels like I’ve done nothing. On the personal side, I’d say it’s been a win. I was finally able to complete some goals regarding my anxiety issues, I felt I was properly able to communicate things I’ve been holding back with some friends, and I didn’t completely freak out while discussing the project with my new group members. Yay for personal progress!

Speaking of my teammates (Ryan and Angel), they’ve been fantastic so far. We got together on Monday and Tuesday to flesh out more details for our VR Simulation Challenge and as of right now, I’m pretty pleased with what we have so far! Brainstorming ideas with them was easier than expected – it’s been nice to have such good energy between us. We’ve officially decided on creating an immersive language learning simulation, with a bit of an RPG twist to it. As a friend said when I was explaining it to her – it’s education inside education! Exciting stuff!

My only issue right now is that we’ve sort of divided general responsibilities, but I’ve gone and volunteered myself for something that I have no clue of where to start! However!!! This is pretty much what I told myself I’d do for this class. I went into this course knowing I wanted to take this opportunity to properly figure out Unity and C# because I was curious about game development. I’ve gone back and forth about fields I’d like to explore further, but game dev has been on that list consistently. So even though it’s absolutely terrifying now, I can’t afford to let my team or myself down! I just need to keep telling myself it’s okay to ask for help. After all, I know my teammates want our project to go well so obviously it’ll be in everyone’s best interests to push me in the correct direction.

And so my goal for tomorrow and this weekend will be to ask all the questions I’ve been thinking are too stupid to ask during our group meeting on Friday. I’m hoping that it’ll at least help us paint a better picture of the mini world we’re trying to build. We’re slightly ahead of schedule for our project plan – even though we were constantly joking around during our first two meetings, but hey, that’s what makes for good team morale, right? What’s life without discussions about a Furby seance? (I realize this makes no sense right now, but all will be clear if we accomplish what we want to in our game.) Am I joking? Maybe. Guess you’ll have to wait and see?

Let’s Review

Hello there and welcome! I haven’t really blogged since Xanga was the Cool New Thing so I’m a little rusty. Let’s see… I’m Brittany, and I started my journey with OSU about five years ago. It’s funny how it feels like I’ve been in this Postbacc program for twice that amount of time, but it also feels like no time has passed at all. I’d guess that those feelings are most likely because I didn’t actually believe I had proper knowledge of anything CS-related until a couple of months ago, which was when I was in the middle of CS 325. I should’ve listened to everyone that suggested that I take it earlier – it might’ve saved me some of the time I spent agonizing over whether or not I made the right decision to try and switch careers.

Now that I’m nearing the end of this program, I’m more confident than ever that I chose a better path for myself. While there were plenty of moments where I didn’t think I was going to be able to follow through, just being in these classes felt significantly more fulfilling than my current job as an accountant. I’m confident that the capstone project will continue to push me forward in the same way.

I am terribly excited about this course. I honestly have no idea where to start, but I’m ready to figure it out! Not too bad for someone who was pretty much completely paralyzed by imposter syndrome a few months ago. I mean, I definitely still have plenty of those moments, but now it’s a little easier to power through – which is more than I could say for myself before! Remember folks, be kind to yourselves. If you’ve put in the work, you know a lot more than you think you do. It’s okay to have a brain fart every now and then, too!

Hmm… I’m going to stick with my little Xanga theme for this post and throw out a few fun facts about myself:

  • I recently bought a Quest 2, so I’m extremely excited to work on a VR project with my team for this course.
  • I could talk all day, every day about the animated series, The Legend of Korra.
  • My dog, Titan, is named after my favorite character class from the video game, Destiny.
  • I spend entirely too much money on building mechanical keyboards and Lego sets.