• Review,  Writing Resources

    Review: Black Gate 13

    I have every issue of Black Gate… a fantastic magazine. I don’t think I’ve posted any reviews for it yet though, so I’ll start with the latest issue. (Note: I subscribe to the print issue, but there is now a digital copy available too). The Beautiful Corridor Jonathan L. Howard Good, fun adventure tale, with a thief daring to steal a relic inside of a trapped temple. The Good Sheriff David Wesley Hill I enjoyed this western-on-another-planet story. It was weird, but the weirdness worked well, against a more familiar background — the grizzled cowboy surviving on bravado and wits. The Face in the Sea John C Hocking A rescue…

  • Review,  Writing Resources

    Review: Tales of the Talisman Volume 4 Issue 4

    Dragon Offerings Janni Lee Simner Nice story about an alternative future world where Dragon’s exist and the consequences of their existence in relation to one teenager, in particular. Unicorn Chase Douglas Empringham A rather long fantasy story concerning the investigation of a witch’s death. Competently told, but I never really symphasized with any of the major characters in the story, possibly because I was a little confused by all the different characters and events in the story. It was perhaps a little ambitious and wasn’t able to build a solid enough foundation from which I could confidently experience the tale. Frost Andi Newton Clever story, saying much about it would…

  • Review,  Writing Resources

    Review: Murky Depths #8

    Peachy David Tallerman A cat sits outside, watching and waiting for the inevitable. A weird little short-short, it was effective. What the Tongue Will Taste Sam J Drain Ick. A strong story, but a disturbing one, the lengths a man will go to indulge every possible sexual urge he has. Collecting James Geoffrey Girard What if there were a physical way of capturing the ‘essence’ of a person by sawing part of their skull out? A good story, one that plays out differently than I was expecting; satisfying but not for the squeamish. Out of Time J Westlake A man’s world freezes and he is the only one able to…

  • Review,  Writing Resources

    Review: Murky Depths #5

    Realize this review is out of order from the other Murky Depths reviews, but figured later is better than never. The Nightrunner Christopher Hawkins More a vignette than a full story, it was okay, but did not really grab my attention. So this is Mi Allison Littlewood This story of a woman discovering a secret behind her brother’s new girlfriend was well-written, and interesting, though a bit predictable. Spoils of the Thirteen Valkyrie Liza Granville This is a very disturbing tale of a woman paying money to experience a brutal encounter, I had a general idea where the story was going, but the effectiveness of the writing still delivered a…

  • Game Reviews,  My Life,  The Lazy Designer

    BioWare-Brent Year 1 (1999)

    This will be the first of ten posts, one for each year that I worked for BioWare. Preamble After graduating the summer of 1999 from the University of Alberta I set out to look for a job. You know, to pay that massive student loan I had. I sent about fifty resumes out, mostly programming jobs. But one of the places I applied to had a kind of goofy name. BioWare. It just kind of rolls out of the mouth, eh? The job blurb stated that it was a gaming company. That sounded fun. I remembered applying to Sierra years ago (and getting rejected) and figured that it wouldn’t hurt…

  • Game Reviews

    Money and Videogames

    Occasionally I come across articles like this one from the Motley Fool where you see a rather negative forecast for the gaming industry despite a general and steady growth. Normally I disregard these naysayers and continue to invest in gaming stock but obviously with the recession and the massive drop most gaming stocks took, I find myself pondering things a bit more. Sure, most industries, most stocks were hit. But looking at the recovery rates of gaming stocks, I’m not really satisfied with their recovery compared to other stocks I hold. Are they recovering more slowly? Or is it just perception? I’m far from an expert in investing but I…

  • My Life

    The Rugrat Virus

    Want to get sick every couple weeks? Boy, do I have a tip for you! Have some kids. They are like balloons full of disease, if balloons liked to lick playground equipment, stick fingers up theirs (or anyones) noses, eat dirt, and then explode with sneezes full of egg-sized lumps of FTL snot. I really don’t understand why there isn’t a quarantine program for children. Just saying.

  • Game Reviews,  My Life,  Writing Resources

    Onto New Adventures

    “Former Lead Designer of Dragon Age to Leave BioWare” or more appropriately — “Has Brent taken some crazy pills?” The last year and a half has been a busy one for me — a second child, a new home, selling several short stories (finally!), and finishing up my work on Dragon Age. In February I took a sabbatical and really sat down and thought about what I wanted to be doing long-term. And though many things were yet undecided (and some still are) one thing was clear. After ten years, I could no longer work for BioWare. There are a many reasons for this, most are private, but ultimately I’m…