• The Lazy Designer

    Design Document Traps (Intentional)

    Not sure if I’ve mentioned this insidious design trick before but if so, permit me to repeat myself as I have had recent cause to use it again. Game design is a busy business and it is often hard to get people to meet for approval on features. Even when a meeting happens there are many unanswered questions that fall to the design lead to fill in. The design document the lead writes is then a contract, so to speak, between the various groups involved in the features being discussed. Implementors need to approve of the feature and management needs to sign off on it. A problem I ran into…

  • Game Reviews

    Indy Alpha

    Just a quick post to direct your attention to Mark Barazzuol’s blog. Indy Alpha Mark is a former BioWare designer who’s now forging ahead into indie game development. He has a lot of experience (we worked together on Dragon Age) and I’m curious to see what he’ll be working on. His latest post is looking at some of the setup costs for an Indy developer. Check it out.

  • Writing Resources

    Stories and Amazon Sales

    So something strange happened this week… one of my stories was priced ‘free’ on Amazon (I mentioned it briefly last post). So far my publishing short story reprints to Amazon… Smashwords… AnthologyBuilder has been mostly an experiment in ePublishing, testing the waters so to speak. Sales have been far from brisk :) But with ‘The Prophet‘ being free several thousand readers downloaded it in the span of a few days. And in those same two days I’ve had more sales of other stories than in the couple years I’ve been on Amazon. No, please, don’t be too happy for me. The sales are still rather puny and I wouldn’t be…

  • My Life,  Writing Resources

    People Like Free Stuff

    My story reprint ‘The Prophet’ is now free through Amazon-Kindle and it pleases me to see it at the top of the free charts, though I suspect this will only last a day or so. I don’t think I’m quite at the point where I’m ready to self-pub original work (so far everything I have available online has been previously published) I am starting to think about it. The sheer number of readers, and the resulting correspondence with several of them, has been more significant than any of my print appearances. Things to think about at any rate.

  • Writing Resources

    Eric James Stone wins the Nebula

    Congratulations to Eric James Stone for winning the Nebula Award for his novelette ‘That Leviathan Whom Thou Hast Made’ (Analog 9/10)! I’ve been a fan of Eric’s stories for a few years now since stumbling across his work in an earlier Writers of the Future volume and I’m glad to see his writing receiving well deserved recognition.

  • Writing Resources

    Stepping Away from the Web

    While it has been fun interacting on various social networks for the last year and a bit I am now faced with the reality that I am approaching the ‘drop dead’ date for several of my writing milestones. So I’m going to significantly cut back on my online time. Basically I need to focus on the writing, both on the quantity and the quality and the time I’ve been spending online I think would be better spent attending a few workshops. So — fair warning not to expect to see me around too much. I doubt I’ll be posting more than once a week for the foreseeable future. In the…

  • Writing Resources

    Sacred Legends

    My upcoming On Spec story ‘Touch the Dead’ as well as the novel I recently completed both incorporate some aspects of Cree mythology. I had previously found a few Cree myths online but to better understand the tales which were influencing my ‘fictional world’ I bought a copy of Sacred Legends By Carl Ray and James R Stevens. This is an interesting collection of stories told by the Sandy Lake Cree in Canada and interesting artwork accompanies the stories. The book itself was compiled in the 70s and then updated in the 90s. I’ve read some of the myths elsewhere but most were tales I had never encountered before. At…

  • Game Reviews

    Game Design Interview

    Had the opportunity for another interview last week. Mostly this one focuses on game design topics, mainly how I stumbled upon a career in the industry and my thoughts on how somebody might go about doing that now. If you would like to check the article out, you can find it here: http://www.squidoo.com/careers-in-the-gaming-industry

  • Writing Resources


    I’ve picked up a couple awesome reader reviews over the last few days. My story, ‘The Prophet’ received a 4-star Amazon review and ‘Digital Rights’ (my Writers of the Future winning story) has two 5-star reviews over at Smashwords. Always pleased when readers enjoy the stories I’ve written! Links: – The Prophet – Digital Rights

  • Game Reviews,  The Lazy Designer

    How the story began

    Getting some new readers to the blog curious about my time with BioWare. I wrote a series of blog posts, one for each year I spent with BioWare, and I think they are probably the best place to start: This is the first: http://blog.brentknowles.com/2009/08/25/bioware-brent-year-1-1999/ After reading the series I’d encourage you to check out the Lazy Designer posts, which are the beginnings of a book on game design I’m in the process of writing.