• Writing Resources

    Lazy Designer

    Work is progressing well on the second volume of the Lazy Designer, my series of books on working in the videogame industry. If you have not read the first book and are curious about a career in game design check it out on Amazon. And if you want to be notified when the second book is complete I’ve added a form here.

  • The Lazy Designer

    The Lazy Designer Book 2 – Update

    When I released book 1 of the Lazy Designer I had said that if it met certain financial goals I’d take some time away from my fiction writing to write a second game design book. Now that I’ve met the goals (thank you to everybody who has bought a copy!) I’m revisiting the outline I constructed earlier. The second book looks to be comprised of the following sections: Designing Experience – general design principles to construct an enjoyable game while balancing this against building a game an actual development team can complete in a timely manner. Will go into prototyping, iterative development. Data Management – team structure, a high level…

  • Game Reviews

    Dragon Age Redemption

    I’ve finally gotten around to watching the six episodes in the web series “Dragon Age Redemption” starring Felicia Day. What did I think? Well I’ll qualify what follows with two points: I don’t like web series. I find they have too much preamble and postamble for a few minutes of entertainment. I don’t generally go out of my way to watch them. Having been involved with the development of Dragon Age Origins I cringe a bit when I see the Dragon Age world used by outsiders. But… Overall I enjoyed it. It was less campy than I feared (though still somewhat campy). The production values were higher than I had…

  • My Life,  Writing Resources

    The Curse of BioWare

    So, I’m not a superstitious person. Absolutely and completely not. Except over the past couple years, since I’ve left BioWare, I have started wondering if somehow my leaving BioWare had brought down the wrath of some foul and overly vengeful Writing deity upon my head. I had even begun to think of it as the ‘Curse of BioWare’. “What are you talking about Brent?” See, I’m about to reveal a terrible secret. One that had made me start to doubt my ability to write. As the months passed, after I had left BioWare, I was fortunate to start selling a fair number of stories. That should have been cause for…

  • Game Reviews,  The Lazy Designer

    My Years at BioWare

    Somebody came by today asking to read the little write ups I did for each year I had worked at BioWare. I had assumed I had created a functional table of contents somewhere but could not find it (talk about Lazy…) Anyways I’ve modified the first journal entry, the one describing my first year with BioWare working on Baldur’s Gate 2 and I’ve included links to the other journal entries. You can find it here: http://blog.brentknowles.com/2009/08/25/bioware-brent-year-1-1999/ Let me know if its not working correctly.

  • My Life

    Things You Might Not Know

    For those of you who are interested in such things I thought it might be worthwhile to list a variety of facts about me. Some true, some not so much. TRUE FACTS I write short stories and novels I won first place in the third quarter of the Writers of the Future Contest (2009) for my short story ‘Digital Rights‘ I have story reprints available on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, and the Nook I am a game design consultant with Empire Avenue, the Social Stock Market The most recent game I played was Emissary of War My first writing sale was an article on role-playing with different languages in Dragon Magazine.…

  • Empire Avenue,  Game Reviews,  Writing Resources

    Hathead

    So I’ve come to recognize that I wear many hats. I’m a retired game designer, a writer, a software developer, and a consultant. I also blog and I’m (somewhat) active on various social media sites. While wearing the vast majority of my hats I truly want to encourage others to connect with me. I enjoy talking about writing, or engaging with other users on Empire Avenue, or passing on game design advice. However many people seem interested in only one thing: for me to talk about my time at BioWare! Again, I like taking my experiences and generalizing them to pull out useful bits of game design advice. And in…

  • Game Reviews

    Recently Played – Emissary of War

    As I noted a few days ago former BioWare co-worker Tobyn Manthrope recently released a new videogame ÔÇťEmissary of WarÔÇŁ for iOS devices. Well I finally squeezed some time in to play through the free first chapter. It was fun. Regular readers know I’m a fan of tactical RPGs and though Emissary doesn’t have a huge range of character types or special abilities what it does have is engaging and interesting. The combat was difficult enough that I died several times and had to rethink the tactics I used to get through the situation. Players control two characters — a warrior and a potion throwing sidekick. They have direct control…

  • My Life

    A Box of BioWare

    In this box… all the ‘written stuff’ I accumulated during my years with BioWare. While most of the paper is related to the two sales that occurred while I was with BioWare (selling a company generates a lot of paperwork!) there is some interesting stuff in here too. The black notebooks are full of ‘to do’ lists, daily roll-call for the designers, and design plans. I also have books full of initial Dragon Age ideas, including one of James Ohlen’s early design books for Dragon Age. Anyways, I have no idea what to do with all this stuff. I’ll hang onto the business paper and contracts and whatnot for a…

  • 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.