• MFA Thesis (1995)

    September 3, 2004

    The MFA for Computer Graphics Design Program at RIT required a thesis to graduate. I’d always wanted to make a game, so I thought maybe I could put together something about a favorite topic: Space Travel! I wanted to get the feeling of early aviation prior from around 1920 to 1935, when travel was an adventure.


    I created a number of renders using 3D Studio R3. This Moon Base was the final destination. I created a bump-map source using a bunch of tools, then brought it into 3DS R3 (that’s the DOS version, sonny).

    One nice trick was to use a touch of the layered fog feature of 3DS R3…just a tiny bit above the floor. It adds to the dusty effect in the shadow of the crater rim. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough memory to really get the high-resolution cratering I wanted; this angle is the only direction that hides the edge of the world. This was a 32MB 486 running at 66MHz.

    User Interface

    The central theme of my Thesis work was multiplayer interactive tile-based adventuring, using Director 4.0. Two Macs (PPC 7200 machines) were connected via a serial cable, and two people could explore and chat at the same time. You can see the elements of the screen here… it borrows much from Ultima I and Internet Relay Chat (IRC). In fact, it worked like you’d expect such a hybrid to work.

    The map is actually tiled graphics. I wrote a Director XObject to do fast screen scrolling using QuickDraw calls, which gave the game acceptable performance. By using a tile as an “stamp sprite”, I could both overcome the 24 sprite limit and have a dynamic, fast display. It was quite a trick back then. I also wrote a map editor in Director that would load/save maps as you walked from location to location. Alas, I spent more time programming than drawing, so the tile graphics were rather rushed.

    Although my MFA Thesis focused largely on the 2D tile-based adventure experience, I created some animated “cut scenes” to enhance the sense of place. There were four stylistically-simple animations, done in about a week. All were created and animated with 3D Studio R4 (free upgrade!) and an additional 32MB of memory for a whopping total of 64MB! Wow!

    If you’re really curious about the details, I tracked down and converted the thesis into PDF from the original Quark doc. It’s at least fun for the pictures.

    » Read Dave’s MFA Thesis (PDF) must…resist…editing…thesis…

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    DSri Seah
  • Idle Thoughts

    September 2, 2004

    Related to the pickle jar is my Queue of Inquiry. After I lost my real pickle jar, I used to keep both project ideas and questions in a journal named “ideabox” on my PC, with convenient shortcuts scattered on my desktop and quick-access toolbars. The big idea was that I’d be able to look back at it someday and see what general fields of inquiry I kept coming back to, and this would be a Good Thing.


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    DSri Seah
  • About Dave Seah

    September 2, 2004

    Dave at SXSW 2006I like writing about things that empower and inspire people, covering topics such as design, development, becoming productive, and the business of being a freelancer.

    To get the third-party perspective, you can check out the following interviews:

    You can also check out the list of favorite posts in the right sidebar for a small sampling of what I’ve written…that’s a pretty good way to get a sense of what I’m into. Or just browse the site!

    Enjoy your visit to the site! :-)


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    DSri Seah
  • Working With Dave Seah

    September 1, 2004

    Please visit my design website for more up-to-date information.

    Who is Dave Seah?

    I’m an investigative designer based in the Southern New Hampshire / Metro Boston North area. I specialize in clarifying information and ideas. I’m also interested in networking with experienced, talented, and conscientious freelancers.

    But enough about what I want…

    What Kind of Work Have I Done?

    • Lots of Writing — Here on the blog, I cover topics related to productivity, design, technology, and personal interest. I’m open to any new writing opportunities. And this is freaky: I like writing documentation and proposals.
    • Interactive Design — Development of Kiosks, CD-ROMs, Web Interactives, Online Training, and so on. Examples: The programming, design, and interface for kiosks at The Boston Museum of Science, show-floor interactives for tradeshows, and online web seminars. Flash and Director.
    • ActionScript 2.0 programming — I was the lead programmer and co-designer on Intel Education’s online thinking tool Showing Evidence.
    • User Interface Design. I favor designs that maximize context of information and continuity of workflow. The award-winning Sky & Telescope Sky Chart redefined online star gazing, and is my design. More recently I’ve done internal work for the United Nations Development Programme for the Office of Budgeting and Planning.

    • GUI Skin Graphics — Making something look interesting. Specializing in game-like metallic interfaces. Specialty: creating graphics elements for direct use by programmers.

    • Teaching and Training. I recently taught graphics for the web at the Center for Digital Imaging Arts in Waltham, MA. I like one-on-one training in particular, and developing curriculum materials.

    • I do a bit of motion graphics work, but find that I work best when teamed with another strong creative. I also like editing sound and video, but I don’t do this professionally.

    • I know my way around HTML / CSS / Javascript / PHP, in support of my own web site. I also make the occassional website template in Dreamweaver for clients who want to edit content themselves without a CMS

    Why Do People Like Working With Me?


    p>Hm, that’s a good question. Here are some plausible answers:

    • I am an innovative thinker who emphasizes building “real stuff”. The integration of theory, practice, communication, and storytelling are the four pillars supporting my work philosophy.
    • I have both a tech and a visual design background, so I can talk shop with engineers and designers. And I speak enough “Manager” and “Executive” to translate between all four disciplines.
    • I know a lot about digital media technology, production, and development because of my vg1 [game]vg2 [development]vg3 [background]vg4.
    • I’ll go through large quantities of data to extract the critical elements, so we can frame the challenge as clearly as possible. For example, absorbing the drug testing clinical trials process so we could animate the entire thing in Flash.
    • I am very good at deconstructing things down to the component level, so I can reconstruct my understanding from the ground up.
    • I know how to ask questions and get the answers I need. In the absense of answers, I can synthesize new guidelines and principles as needed. That’s the fun part.
    • I possess the arcane knowledge to find what I want on the Internet.
    • I love making diagrams and documenting processes. I type fast, too.
    • I love theory and perfection, but I’ve learned to love implementation more.
    • I’m a meticulous and conscientous project manager / client relationship contact / negotiator when I need be. I can self-manage, but prefer to maintain a close relationship with an working partner, manager, or other stakeholder directly involved with the project.
    • I’m a good listener and an objective counselor. I’m also an excellent teacher with a flair for analogy and demonstration. So I’ve been told, by almost everyone I spend time with.
    • I enjoy debugging, debugging tools, and the idiosyncracies of computer languages down to the machine language level.
    • I like good food. I won’t stop us from having that delicious lunch, and if the gig is going well it’ll even be on me.
    • I am generous with my knowledge and experience. I wouldn’t be here today if others had not been the same with me, so I pass it forward.
    • I am a student of leadership.
    • I am not afraid to say I don’t know.

    Want to Know More?

    flickr: * Send me an email!

    • …or Download My Resume (PDF, 80K)

    • …or [View my Portfolio Photoset][flickr] (on

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    DSri Seah
  • Calling All Collaborators

    September 1, 2004

    New Media Group Poster 1 As a freelancer, I love the freedom but miss the contact with other hu-mans who know their stuff.

    So, a number of us have established a creative organization that is less about business/networking and more about hanging out and sharing our work. It’s not so much a user group with formal presentations–we tried that once–it’s more about creative fellowship with your peers. That’s the direction we appear to be heading, anyway.

    Topics covered: Digital Media, Interactive Design, Theatre, Graphic Design, Music, The Arts, Flash, Photoshop, Video… we are an eclectic group of people.

    For lack of a better name, we call it the New Media Group New England. We’re mostly serving Southern New Hampshire and the Greater Boston Area / North, and meet regularly in locations convenient to I-93. The Barnes and Noble in Manchester, NH (right off exit 1 on I-293) has been one place we’ve been meeting, as it’s within a 30 minutes of Nashua, Concord and Portsmouth. It’s even easy to get to from Boston, about 45 minutes.


    The group has been in hiatus for a while, but will likely re-emerge in Spring 2007 Summer 2008 in a different form. If you’re interested in finding out more, shoot me an email!

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    DSri Seah