• My Life,  The Lazy Designer

    Pirating Product

    Pirates To be clear up front I don’t agree with pirating (copying and consuming commercial creative content without providing monetary compensation to the creator). But this post is a bit of a clarification on *what* exactly I do feel is appropriate. Creators (whether they be musicians, writers or game developers) spend a lot of time creating the content that the rest of us love to devour. I don’t know if pirating is making much of a financial impact on most industries (I’ll talk later about the impact it does have on videogames, an industry I recently retired from) but there are people in my social circles that do pirate content…

  • My Life

    Reminder – Lazy Designer on Game Design

    For those new to the blog be sure to check the menu link that brings you to an index of Lazy Designer entries. After retiring from the videogame industry (BioWare) I occasionally put some of my wisdom :) to words in the hope of helping newcomers develop the skills they need. Eventually it will be a published book. Really encourage feedback on what I’ve written already and suggestions for new content. And if you don’t want to look up at the menu, here’s a link for you. http://blog.brentknowles.com/lazy-designer/

  • My Life

    How (Not) To Parent

    This is a don’t do what I did post. So I have a bad habit of cajoling my two year old to eat by saying things like, “Oh, you won’t like that. Don’t you dare eat it.” And (with a big smile) he eats it. And this worked well for several months. But now we have the following problem which if I had spent one second thinking about this strategy would have been evident: Me: Don’t jump off that deck, its too high! 2yrold: (Big smile… jumps). Me: Put that fork down! Don’t stab your brother! 2yrold: (Big smile… stabs). See a pattern? I have.

  • The Lazy Designer

    Making a product

    One of the reasons I choose to go into the games industry versus the more conventional jobs I was considering after graduating from University was that I was very keen on making a product. Something physical that people could buy and bring into their homes. This is one of my motivations for writing too. I like to create things, tangible things. So I take pride in looking at the magazines that I’ve been published in. Here’s the current collection so far: As well these are two of the games I worked on (Dragon Age is absent since I’ve never picked up a copy of it; I had played it a…

  • Empire Avenue

    Life After the Sell Out

    So I’ve been an influencer on Empire Avenue since it started and last week I finally sold out, introducing me to the next phase of the game. (To put this sell out in context many people who hit the leaderboards sell out in a few weeks or less, took me a few months to reach this milestone). In Empire Avenue you start out with 10 000 shares that other people can buy. Once they are sold, no one else can buy you until you purchase an upgrade to release more shares (2500 additional shares at at time). I had always assumed that once I sold out that would be it,…

  • Politics

    Inevitable post about G20

    Like many Canadians I watched the news last night and was horrified by the vandalism during the G20. The Canadian government really failed Toronto. I’ve heard quotes of over a billion dollars spent in preparation for this day and a half summit and none of the preparations were able to stop the destruction. It is embarrassing. It makes our politicians look even more incompetent. What would I have done instead? Arrest everyone wearing or carrying a mask. End of the day no one should be allowed to wear masks that make them anonymous. Anonymous people are more willing to cause property damage or injure others. Don’t allow them to be…

  • Writing Resources

    The Kol Effect

    My latest story in print, ‘The Kol Effect’ has shown up at my door. Well, not my door specifically, like by itself. Cause that would be weird. It is included however in Neo-Opsis #19, which arrived yesterday and has now made its way to the top of my to-read stack. Still waiting for my contributor’s copies for Northern Frights War of the Worlds – Frontlines anthology and then I’ll have a copy of everything in print that I’ve had stories make it into to this point. Yay.

  • Brent's Toys,  My Life

    Reading PDFs with iBooks on an iPad

    With the latest version of iTunes and iBooks I can now read pdfs through the iBooks app on my iPad… this makes me quite happy as the other PDF reader I was using didn’t have bookmark support (and iBooks does). And it means one less app I have cluttering my screen real estate. I do like that Apple continues improving the usefulness of their myriad of portable devices. Yeah, I know its just to wring more money from us in the future, but still, I like seeing things improve. On the iPad I’m now currently reading the latest issue of Black Gate and a sample copy of Realms of Fantasy…

  • Writing Resources

    Finishing the first Novel

    Well I am nearing the finish line on the novel! The last third is going a lot faster than the previous sections though I suspect that has more to do with these chapters being more complete after the first draft than any newfound skill on my part. See, when I wrote the first draft I didn’t really know where everything was going until I hit the last third of the novel. At the point I really understood what was going on and of course this realization meant that much of what I had written in the first twenty chapters had to be changed. And heavily. So it looks like I…

  • My Life,  Politics

    James Moore insults Canadians… not cool

    Lots of discussion around C-32, a copyright bill here in Canada. A couple videos with Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore belittling Canadians who oppose the bill. One at itworld and another on youtube. I’m very unhappy with his use of language as if disagreeing with a bill somehow makes the citizens disagreeing ‘bad people’. Every bill needs discussion, needs people — not just politicians — debating its merits. If James Moore can’t handle that he’s in the wrong business. Labeling dissenters as radical extremists is a frightening choice of words for a Canadian politician. Other useful links to check out: Cory Doctorow giving a good summary of the issue with…