Lego,  My Life,  Writing Resources

Not Another Lego Picture

Still no real news to report so here’s a bit of a status update.

First, progress on the Lazy Designer Book 3 is slow. And it has decided to reproduce.

This is the book on gameplay and it seems that I have more to say on the subject than I initially imagined. I have almost reached the 80 000 word mark on it (book 2 was about 50 000). Given the size of this book I am going to split off the section on story/character (which was intended to be part of this volume) into its own book (becoming book 4 of the Lazy Designer series). My intent is to write the rough draft of that and of the fifth book (being a manager in the games industry) before going back and writing the final draft for book 3.

Along with all of this I need to start writing novel #6 (which is the second part in the series I’ve started with Book #5). So I’m ultra busy.

Anyways, in the next week or so I’ll post a section from Lazy 3. Also, I have a couple more Lego pictures I’ll post.

Former lead designer at BioWare (Dragon Age: Origins, Neverwinter Nights). Creator of Raiders of the Serpent Sea.


  • Mordi

    Me and my daughter did some LOTR legos. The first one Shelob and then a section of the Helms Deep battle. 

    I’m interested to read your take on gameplay because there are a lot of cases where I play a game and I wonder why the developers did things in a¬†certain¬†way. For example: up until DAO you did RPG’s based on the D&D model which pretty much set your combat rules according to the D&D version the game was using. For DAO not only did you have to invent your own combat rules but also had to refine them. ¬†However, it did give you more freedome as you were the one setting the rules. Did you find working on DAO combat rule set easier or harder compared to working with the D$D system?¬†

    Are you also gonna do a section dedicated to community mods? 

  • Brent Knowles


    I don’t think there will be a community mod section in the newest book. I briefly delved into it in book 2 (when I talked about building flexible toolsets). Not sure if I have more to say on the subject than I did there, but we’ll see.

    As for DAO versus D&D, I’ll answer by plagiarize myself, with a comment I made in the first Lazy Designer book:

    working on Baldur’s Gate 2 we had a master item list but it was possible for
    any designer to create a magical item and basically insert it (generally, but
    not always, with some approval from the manager). This process worked
    reasonably well because Baldur’s Gate 2 was based on the Dungeons and Dragons
    (D&D) license; most designers understood D&D well and knew how to
    construct a properly balanced item for that game system.

    developing Dragon Age: Origins a more technical approach to building and
    maintaining the master item list was created. This was done mostly because this
    was a new rules system and no designer truly understood how it all worked
    (unlike a Dungeons and Dragons title). Individual designers were unable to
    tweak items to the same extent as they could have an item from Baldur’s Gate 2,¬† whereas a manager, by modifying some data
    tables, could make sweeping changes to balance with a few tweaks. Something
    that could not have been done on the D&D title.

    the other hand, when working with your own IP, there are several benefits that
    do override the negatives of working with an unfamiliar rule system and game
    world. During the planning phase of Dragon Age: Origins, for example, designers
    were free to dream up anything they wanted for the item system. We would not
    have had this enhanced creative ownership when working within the framework of
    an existing IP.

    The answer is not specific to combat rules but the general gist holds. It was easier for more people to understand D&D versus DAO. But DAO gave us more flexibility (at the cost of a loss in understanding among the team).

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