• The Lazy Designer

    Lazy Designer Update

    The Lazy Designer “How to Start a Career in Videogame Design” is almost ready to go. I should be posting it tomorrow (though I won’t be announcing anything about it until I’ve had it online for a bit… as I mentioned earlier the target audience isn’t for those reading this blog already). Anyways, I really wanted to hit the end-of-August deadline and despite some scheduling issues I’m pleased I’ve managed to do so. It was not without some costs however and I’ll have to reevaluate after the book has been available for a couple months whether I want to pull it and make some modifications. To meet the deadline I…

  • My Life

    Signing Stuff

    One of the fun experiences we had at the Writers of the Future event last year was to sign books. Several authors gave us tips on how to write good inscriptions. Nina Kiriki Hoffman was especially helpful, spending time with me at the bbq and giving me advice on writing something memorable. I won’t reveal all the advice I was given (go and enter the Contest for yourself!) but the key was to create a phrase that resonated with what the story was about. Some of the other winners came up with cool inscriptions but I wasn’t happy with mine (don’t even remember what I wrote now, to be honest).…

  • My Life

    Bring on the Food!

    This post has nothing to do with game design or writing. Just warning you. My oldest kid (now 6 years old) had a severe allergic reaction (choking, rashes) to milk when he was a baby and after testing we learned he was allergic to dairy (and eggs and peanuts). This prompted a radical change to our own eating habits, of course, but over the years we adjusted… learning to cook food differently and so on. But I used to love to eat out. And we stopped doing that. There were too few restaurants that offered anything for him to eat. Sadly McDonalds was one of the few where it was…

  • Empire Avenue

    Consulting and Me

    As many of you know I am a design consultant with Empire Avenue. I’ve also done some game consulting for other groups since I retired from BioWare and I have spoken to various companies about doing more consulting. In line with my last post about my three year plan I need to clarify my availability going forward. In an effort to focus time on my family and writing, I’m no longer looking for any new consulting opportunities. I want to focus on my current responsibilities and do them better. My focus includes Empire Avenue. You may have read about the recent growth at Empire Avenue and new funding. I want…

  • My Life,  Writing Resources

    Three Year Plan

    Being able to spend more time with my children was one of the major perks of my leaving my full-time position at BioWare. Certainly I appreciated having more time to write stories and novels but hanging out with my kids while they are young is also important to me. I think I’ve struck a reasonable balance and so for the past year my youngest has been going to a dayhome while my eldest attended kindergarten. Kindergarten in Alberta is only part-time… so for part of the day he would go to school (and I would write) and then would spend the rest of the day with me — fishing, biking,…

  • The Lazy Designer

    Lazy Designer Content… Update

    I’m still working towards releasing the first book in the Lazy Designer game design series. Things have slowed a bit though because I’ve hit a few snags. I had (foolishly) thought by releasing only the first book, I could get things written more quickly and have an eBook available soon. The problem I’ve ran into is that (and yes, this should have been obvious) I need to plan the full series out before I can release the first book. I need to do this to ensure that any material in my notes for later books that would be more appropriate in the first book actually ends up in the first…

  • Game Reviews

    Emissary of War

    Cedar Hill Games, founded by my former BioWare co-worker Tobyn Manthrope has released a new videogame “Emissary of War” for iOS devices. The first chapter is available for free. He is also writing a series for Gamasutra and so far it has been interesting and full of valuable information, especially to any of you out there looking to enter game development. Links Tobyn writes about his game development experiences at Gamasutra Splash page for Emissary of War (Today is a busy writing day for me but I’ll be downloading it this afternoon and checking it out.)

  • Writing Resources

    Darwin’s Evolutions – Short Stories for Digital Devices

    Just a reminder for those of you who are interested in short fiction for the Kindle and other devices to check out Darwin’s Evolutions blog where new story releases are announced. I’m not exactly sure when my story ‘Bone Dreaming’ (which I sold to Darwin’s not long ago) will be released but while you wait, why not check out some of the other great fiction! The latest story is “The Temple of Taak-Resh” by Nyki Blatchley

  • The Lazy Designer

    Lazy Designer – Book 1

    I’m about halfway through cleaning up my old blog posts for the first release of the Lazy Designer game design book. Most of this will be content already on the blog, but reorganized and edited and whatnot. I do intend on some new content though and I was wondering if there were topics some of you out there would like to know about that I’ve never covered on the blog. So far I have sections on education, applying for a job and interviewing as well as digging a bit into work environment expectations, managing task loads and improving efficiency. Any other stuff out there that as a newcomer to the…

  • Writing Resources

    Read This Week

    I recently finished reading issue #20 of the Canadian Science Fiction Magazine Neo-Opsis. A good read, in all, my favorite is probably “Botch’s Heretic” by Cheryl Wood Ruggiero, about a created troll in the service of an evil witch. The commentary in the magazine by editor Karl Johanson also lead me to fleshing out my ‘Designing Frustration‘ series of articles, which was a bonus. I also had the pleasure to read Tesseracts Twelve, which I bought almost a year ago at the Pure Spec festival here in Edmonton (where Randy McCharles signed his Aurora Award winning story “Ringing the Changes in Okotoks, Alberta” for me). All the stories in this…