Roy Tang

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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:: 399 words

limited magic-the-gathering

As any Filipino player can tell you, local prereleases had to be postponed due to some problems with customs. Since NG had already rented out the space for the prerelease at Galleria, they went ahead and held some constructed events + drafts for people who came, and graciously gave out freebies to those disappointed would-be prereleasers. Kudos to NG for handling the situation well. I lent out my 5cc deck for a friend to play, and went SSC drafting instead.

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:: 491 words

magic-the-gathering

Most probably my last tournament playing 5cc this season, the local City Champs was last Saturday, Apr 18 at Robinson’s Galleria. I slightly tweaked the decklist I’ve been using for the past month. I was able to borrow 2 [Exotic Orchard][1] to improve my mana base, and I put the fourth [Volcanic Fallout][2] in the board to improve the difficult Faeries matchup, plus an additional Terror to help with [Mistbind Clique][4].

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:: 362 words

magic-the-gathering

I went to NG Galleria hoping for more practice with the 5cc deck from last week. I made some minor modifications: Maindeck -1 Plumeveil +1 Mulldrifter, Sideboard -1 Mulldrifter +1 Scourglass. The aggro matchup seemed very solid already so I felt I could afford to lose the fourth Plumeveil. The fourth Mulldrifter would have been a land if I had any [Exotic Orchard][5]. The tournament was small (barely twenty people), since the TO had split the usual Saturday tournament into one flight for people who arrived on time, and one flight for people who arrived late.

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:: 1930 words

magic-the-gathering

Finally getting back into constructed play, I assembled the following 5-color control deck to bring to battle this weekend: Hide DecklistShow Decklist -- Lands 3 Sunken Ruins 4 Reflecting Pool 4 Vivid Creek 3 Vivid Meadow 3 Vivid Marsh 2 Cascade Bluffs 2 Mystic Gate 1 Fetid Heath 1 Vivid Crag 3 Island Spells 1 Celestial Purge 1 Terror 3 Volcanic Fallout 1 Wrath of God 1 Pithing Needle 2 Broken Ambitions 1 Remove Soul 1 Negate 2 Cruel Ultimatum 4 Cryptic Command 4 Esper Charm 1 Liliana Vess 1 Jace Beleren 1 Obelisk of Alara Creatures 3 Mulldrifter 4 Plumeveil 2 Wall of Reverence 1 Broodmate Dragon Sideboard 1 Negate 1 Remove Soul 2 Celestial Purge 2 Wrath of God 2 infest 1 Scourglass 1 Wydwen 2 Kitchen Finks 2 Jace Beleren 1 Mulldrifter Obviously based on Nassif’s deck, but tweaked with some singletons that I like.

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:: 480 words

magic-the-gathering

For the record: I hate trading. I realize it’s necessary to the way Magic’s business model works, and I realize it’s part of what makes opening booster packs fun, but make no mistakes about it: I hate trading. Don’t get me wrong, I love Magic. More precisely, I love playing Magic. I want to play spells, to match wits with my opponents, to recover from mana screw, to win from one life, to make bad plays then learn from them.

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:: 1658 words

travels

It’s 8:30 pm on Friday. I step out of Maxim’s, a fastfood place near the office in Hong Kong. I flew in to HK the morning of the day before, and had given a presentation over a conference call on Thursday night. This was the only free time I had during the entire trip since I had to fly back the next morning. I decided to take a walk for maybe an hour or 30 minutes, to savor the cool night’s weather before going back to hot and humid Manila the next day.

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:: 208 words

movies review pop-culture

I had actually read the much-acclaimed graphic novel only last year. And while I found the story decent enough, I wasn’t sure whether to like it or hate it. Undoubtedly it was an important point in the history of “superhero” comics, but I was never entirely sure about it’s point. So of course I saw the movie, and it had remained roughly 85-90% loyal to the source material, which made it a bit boring for me since I generally knew what was going to happen most of the time (except for you know, that thing about the bad guy’s master plan… ).

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:: 375 words

gaming

For the record, I purchased an original R1 copy of Street Fighter IV for the PS3 last Tuesday, and we’ve been pretty much playing it whenever we had free time at home. The one time I came in late to work during the month of February was because of Street Fighter IV. Street Fighter IV came in with ridiculously high reviews for both the XBox 360 and PS3 versions, the PS3 version garnering a 94 (universal acclaim) on Metacritic It can’t be denied that it’s an awesome game, although not everyone agrees.

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:: 769 words

magic-the-gathering

I reinstalled MTGO3 last week because I figured I could get some casual play out of it at least. After installation I found out that Conflux release events were this weekend so I might as well play, since I was not able to play IRL at this time. I was hoping MTGO3 had improved by now, and that they had sufficient server loading, etc. to handle the number of players without the servers being crashy and laggy and whatnot.

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:: 336 words

movies review pop-culture

I had time to kill before going to see my brother’s art exhibit at megamall, so I went and watched Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li. It was so bad. I could’ve been able to forgive the fact that they roughly 80% of the story shied away from Street Fighter canon, had the movie’s storyline actually been good. As it is, you can expect short, unsatisfying fight scenes, ridiculous background stories, disjointed plot/scenes (reminds me of Smallville and/or Heroes writing =/), terrible wigs and the ridiculous sight of Michael Clark Duncan getting beaned by a pineapple.

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:: 451 words

royondjango software-development

You may have noticed the new color scheme and new “Theme Switcher” widget in the sidebar. I had done some CSS work during the past month in the office and it made me want to tweak the stylesheets on this site a bit. I figured I might as well make it easy to switch stylesheets, so I wrote a small Theme Switcher django app. (Well, it’s more of a stylesheet switcher I guess)

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:: 34 words

gaming

Fun little widget from Capcom allows you to put yourself into an SFIV battle video. Here’s me as Ryu! Street Fighter IV is out next week, hopefully we’ll be slinging fireballs by next weekend!

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software-development

Excellent talk given at the Canadian University Software Engineering Conference (CUSEC) last year (2008). The presenter is Zed Shaw who’s a famous Ruby guy or something. The video is around 70 minutes long. The first part of the talk is mostly about a Document Management System he worked on, kinda interesting, but the second part is better where he talks about people who program cool things as a hobby and how to avoid becoming just another corporate code.

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:: 337 words

gaming

Amazingly, despite my work schedule I still managed to finish a rather old-school RPG. I finished Star ocean: Second Evolution for the PSP today, clocking in 30 hours of playtime. I have to say I quite enjoy playing RPGs on handhelds. RPGs are usually rather long games so it’s nice being able to handle them in bite-sized chunks while commuting, et cetera. Star Ocean: The Second Story was probably one of the best Japanese RPGs to come out of the Playstation era, despite the lackluster translations of that time (hey, it was pre-year 2000, all translations were pretty bad then!

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:: 130 words

magic-the-gathering

At the Conflux release event, we were given posters of the four planeswalkers fighting againt big, bad Nicol Bolas. It got a friend and I talking: could Nicol Bolas actually win against the four planeswalkers? The situation is: Player A controls [Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker][1], at starting loyalty. Player B controls [Ajani Vengeant][2], [Tezzeret the Seeker][3], [Elspeth, Knight-Errant][4] and [Sarkhan Vol][5], all at starting loyalty. Assuming each player has no other permanents and they cannot play any other spells.

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:: 664 words

magic-the-gathering

I decided to attend the Conflux release event last Saturday, Feb 7 at Neutral Grounds Galleria. As usual, I still had to go to work first so I didn’t make it in time for the first 32-man flight and had to wait for NG to restock on product for the second flight. Unfortunately, they were short on SoA boosters, so we would be playing sealed with 6 boosters of Conflux. Yes, six.

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:: 562 words

software-development

I was doing code reviews on an interface file-processing framework to be used in one of our projects. The code was workable and already being used by several programs, and I didn’t see any major functional flaws. But design-wise I felt that it could stand for some improvements/refactoring to be “better object-oriented code” or “easier to maintain”. The current design required a lot of inheritance – the usual way of doing things in older Java code at work.

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:: 1412 words

magic-the-gathering

It’s my first Magic outing after more than a month of hibernation. Hopefully Conflux shakes up standard and makes Magic more fun again. Let’s go! Usually I have to register an awesome pool and then get passed a mediocre one. I knew it was different this time around when the guy two seats to my right announced he was able to form a good Naya deck from the Shards of Alara packs alone!

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:: 13 words

meta

Django admin works! I would write more but this input method is tedious.

:: 378 words

gaming

Finally finished Valkyria Chronicles last Saturday, clocking in at around 25 hours. Quick Review: Beautiful, beautiful game, even on my SD TV; it’s like watching a flowing watercolor painting When you start the game, all the dialogue/cutscenes seems a bit draggy but eventually you get used to the pacing and then you don’t mind because the battles are really engaging. Speaking of battles; I’m not sure if it would be good for beginners to tactical games.

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Roy Tang is a:

roytang.net is a personal site; I post about a random assortment of topics that interest me including software development, Magic the Gathering, pop culture, gaming, and tech life. This site is perpetually under renovation.