Today I had the awesome experience of getting a tour of the Video Game Dev company, Zynga!
It was really fun and engaging. First, we got to play a bunch of arcade and video games (of course!),
but after that, I got to see an amazing presentation by Kasey McKenna, a senior software engineer at Zynga. She explained her problem-solving process for a part of the Zynga game, Farmville: Tropic Escape. The task was to animate a boat making a delivery, making sure that it hit certain key points on the way there. With simple code, the boat made sharp, jerky motions, awkwardly arriving at its destination.
However, after working through the problem, Kasey applied calculus and parametric curves to simulate the natural smooth curving of the boat’s path.
It was super interesting to see the calculus I learn in school applied in real-life in someone’s actual job! And here’s what the finished result looks like:
Overall, it was a lot of fun and definitely an eye-opener. We were fortunate enough to get a chance to sit down and chat with some of the actual engineers and managers there, and they gave some great advice. Mainly, they said to always be involved and enjoy college life. After all, it’s a precious time in your life where you get to focus on education and learning as your primary goal, as opposed to when you get older and focus on jobs.