Sebastian Carbajal

This edition’s star of Humans of ICS is Sebastian Carbajal!

Welcome back to Humans of ICS! Today we have Sebastian Carbajal! We hope you enjoy reading about Sebastian and his experience as an upcoming video game developer, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu debut, and epic Minecraft speed-bridging skills!

Year: 3rd
Major: Game Design and Interactive Media

Emily Doan: So hello everyone, welcome back to another episode of Humans of ICS. Today we have Sebastian! Sebastian, can you start off by introducing yourself– your name, major, year, and pronouns?

Sebastian Carbajal: Yeah definitely sure. Hello, my name is Sebastian. I'm a third year game design and interactive media major at UCI and my pronouns are he/him.

E: So the first question is, why did you choose game design and interactive media as your major?

S: It's always just been a big passion of mine like growing up. I was just fascinated with video games, especially how it served as an escape. Mainly the idea that you could just get pulled away from your real life, environment and just get sucked into a digital media and just be so invested with it. Obviously growing up in a very impoverished community I didn't really get the opportunity to become a game developer, and so when I entered UCI, it always seemed like it was almost impossible, like I never really came to think of the people making the games that I played as a job.

E: You actually answered the next question I was going to ask you: what you're passionate about, where did you develop it, but yeah so I guess you can talk about anything else you're passionate about?

S: Oh what's up, what was the question?

E: Is there anything besides just the main coursework you do at UCI that you are passionate about?

S: So some of my interests outside of like, the academic view?

E: Yeah!

S: Yeah, I really love the ocean and swimming a lot. So much that a lot of my game development ideas usually have to do with nautical themes and it's just like me being raised in SoCal and always going to the beach. Something I always used to do is challenge myself to swim deeper out into the ocean like each time I go to the beach. I get very disappointed if I go without getting into the water and every time I get in the water, you always try to go farther and farther out safely and then get back.

E: I cannot swim, so I envy you. Anyways, what is one piece of advice you would give yourself before coming to UCI?

S: Just be open to new experiences, I think the biggest thing about college is definitely meeting new people and being exposed to a different group of people in general, so, for example, back in high school, I was raised in a very Latino community, so I was like only used to a very distinct experience. And entering UCI you meet all these different kinds of people and with them, you come with different personalities, you know. Things that you might not be used to at home so you're going to be a lot more sheltered and shy. Don't miss out on any opportunity to be like a new person or anything like that, whether it's joining a club. Just don't be shy, be open to new experiences.

E: Yeah definitely! I feel like my mindset has definitely expanded upon entering UCI, and I’m so grateful for that. Now onto the personalized questions: the first one, what is your favorite game development piece that you have so far?

S: It has to be this one game jam that we did over the summer, where we made a very funny fps game. I wasn't even aware of the game jam, my friend just hit me up one day and was like “Hey, you're enjoying this month-long game jam that we're guaranteed to get $1,000 if we turn in at least one game,” and I was like “Oh, how cool.” I didn't realize just how a little silly thing that I thought it was, became much more. It really hit me a lot, and I mean realized that this is really what I wanted to do because, as we began development, the game transformed from an Among-Us styled game, where you try to find who's a ____, and higher evolved into an FPS team shooter game where you control a rolling ball that sticks guns onto it and you have to like try to roll into the right position to be able to get a good shot on someone. And it was definitely a very, very experimental game that I made and I know it was just like a really fun experience, like how much games change as you've been developing like the concept as a whole is just going to completely change– you won't even realize it.

E: A whole month?

S: Yeah, yeah. Kind of. It was a month-long game jam held by this game called Core, basically just Roblox with Fortnite graphics. All the games on there are made by people, not by the developers themselves.

E: Oh, I see. What would you recommend to folks that want to go into Game Design? Have there been any resources for this that are useful for you?

S: Yeah honestly game development is hard, because when I first joined UCI despite me being a game programming major, we get any actual game dev experience until like this year, and even then it was mostly just honestly learning off of YouTube. Don't underestimate random game engine forums. They're extremely useful. They're fantastic resources that I wish I had learned about before, especially back in the early classes, where you just kind of depend on yourself to learn a lot of programming.

E: Yeah I feel like in classes, you mostly learn the theoretical side of things, and students have to depend on themselves to expand on that knowledge and find what is best for them, so I definitely agree with that. To the next question, I saw that one of your hobbies is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. How long have you been doing this for, and how do you like it?

S: I just started actually back in May and I've always wanted to do martial arts. This is probably going to be a very common subject, but because of my background, I never really had the money to be able to do extracurricular programs like that around my community. And it wasn't really until I got a job, where I was like you know I could probably try one of the things I've always been wanting to do, which is martial arts. I gave jujitsu a try because it seems like a lot of fun and I'm afraid of getting hit. It's just all breaking arms and choking before, so I was like yeah, this seems better. And it's been a ton of fun. I love it so much in fact I really want to join the jujitsu club at uci but I messed up my toe and haven't been able to do much regular stuff. So hopefully soon.

E: Next question: also noticed that one of your nifty skills is speedbridging on Minecraft. Can you explain what that is to anyone that's probably reading this? Where would you say that your level of skill is at?

S: Haha, so I completely forgot to put that as one of my skills, but speedbriding on Minecraft is when you are over an open pit and you try to create a bridge as quick as possible to get to the other side, or to whatever destination you're trying to be go to, but what makes it so difficult is that you have to like get into the rhythm of crouching and placing a blog as quick as possible. And then obviously you know you got to place a block to match that rhythm. So, as you keep doing it and getting better, you end up adapting this really great rhythm of creating bridges as quickly as possible to get to, let's say, a floating island from your floating island that you're at. Yeah it's very tricky and honestly I wouldn't say I'm even that good. I just got the fundamentals of it down, for example, there will be people who are dedicated to it so incredibly well that they'll be able to do this thing called… I forget what's the word for it but it involves basically speed bridging but also making a staircase at the same time, so your speed bridging into a diagonal pattern is very tricky and very cool.

E: Is this what they’d do on a Minecraft game of SkyWars?

S: Yeah exactly! It's usually played on SkyWars.

E: So the next set of questions will be rapid fire questions, starting off with early riser or night owl?
S: Definitely night owl. I'm going to be up until maybe 2am but I'm trying to fix that.

E: Spicy or sweet?
S: I'm gonna say sweet even though I'm Mexican.

E: Xbox or Playstation?
S: Playstation easily. Better exclusives.

E: Twitch or YouTube?
S: YouTube. Honestly, Twitch has a very weird personality culture.

E: Talking or texting?
S: Texting. Honestly I’m too scared to talk, dude.

E: Yes, even I’m freaking out here, haha. RPG or FPS?
S: That honestly depends. I’m going to say RPG.

E: iOS or Android?
S: iOS.

E: Summer or winter?
S: Summer.

E: Coffee or boba?
S: Coffee.

E: Staying in or going out?
S: Honestly, going out.

E: And that concludes our interview together! Thank you so much for letting me interview you!
S: No problem.

Thanks to Sebastian for being a part of Humans of ICS and thank you for reading this edition of Humans of ICS! Remember to follow Sebastian (@quantum_ramen) and ICSSC (@icssc.uci) on Instagram!

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