Keep busy!

Posted in Uncategorized on August 26, 2014 by George B

Working while looking for work is a bit of a challenge.  Thankfully I been able to keep busy during this time and have been able to accomplish quite a bit.  Being laid off can feel like you just hit a red light, and you have, but instead of idling at the red light I’m running in place, keeping my heart rate up while I wait for the green that’s sure to come next.

 

I’ve been playing and making games, for sure, but also I’ve used this time to return to the drawing board – literally, as I began to work on illustrating a kids book written by a good friend.  I’m taking some online courses and following tutorials, for example learning more about Unity and also some interesting Japanese calligraphic techniques.

 

I can’t wait to get back to work, but this time off has been less of a holiday and more a training regimen.  Taking these kinds of changes as opportunities rather than setbacks has been a very positive move for me.  I recommend it! ;) 

laid off

Posted in Uncategorized on June 20, 2014 by George B

Well, one chapter of my career in the games industry has ended. I am no longer a Game Designer at Gameloft after a failed project led to layoffs across several departments.

Not sure what’s next. I have a few options but for now I am treating the next week or so as a somewhat deserved vacation. I hope to keep the blog up to date with progress reports so stay tuned.

League is the best!

Posted in Uncategorized on March 4, 2013 by George B

Really enjoying the League of Legends championship series so far.  This match between Copenhagen Wolves and Fnatic is one of the best: (draft starts at 46mins in)

Also the game allows you to make powerful metaphors such as this one on economic theory:

“Mercantilism was essentially equipping the government with several GP/10 items as well as a sightstone, allowing an overall positive balance of trade while maintaining clear access to global objectives and maximization of the use of domestic resources. (see: Chauster’s doctrine of Blue Side)

Netting multiple Drake kills in essence bolstered non-tariff based routes for capital generation without the export subsidies needed in Twisted Fate team comps that instead looked to increase capital output per fiscal interaction.”

League and life lessons – a post-aram rant.

Posted in Design Koans, Difficulty, emotion modification on January 17, 2013 by George B

There’s a zen approach to most things in video games, though it often has to do with turning off the game and doing something of a more immediate and present nature – like sweeping your floors or tending to your garden (aka. dirty dish ecosystem).  There are some games that bring the player to a certain state of mind that is not unlike meditating.  Tetris or Cave Shooters are a great examples.  Then there are games we can play that are exercises in frustration. Continue reading

You see, Dark Souls is a feeling.

Posted in emotion modification, GAMES!, lulz on December 6, 2012 by George B

I’m in love with Dark Souls.

I could put it in more words I suppose, but I am late to the game and many many great things have been written about it already.  So, instead of explaining it with words, I did it with music.  Like many a crushing high schooler I painstakingly put together a mixtape for the object of my affection.

Continue reading

Stream Age: Origins

Posted in Blogs of the Round Table on November 15, 2012 by George B

Critical Distance  run a monthly Blogs of the Round Table thing where people with blogs write about games on a central theme.  This month’s topic?  Origins. 

“Character develops itself in the stream of life” – Goethe

It was the summer of 1998, I was hanging out in the dingy basement apartment of a small time drug dealer, watching him smoke something off a piece of tinfoil.  I wasn’t there for the drugs, but while sitting on the grubby couch I was getting excited. Things were about to get scary – we were about to play some Resident Evil 2.   Continue reading

Akira Committee

Posted in GAMES! on November 9, 2012 by George B

I’ve been thinking about the two English language versions of Akira and why I like the “better” one less. It’s fascinating stuff really. In revisiting this movie I remembered something that always struck me as a kid. The name of the studio that made it as listed in the opening credits: “Akira Committee”. As a kid the idea of a company being like a committee appealed to me. I’m not sure why exactly. I would definitely consider myself a team player, and a person who appreciates fair play. ____ by Committee, though often used disparagingly, has an appeal to me.

The other thing is the idea that this committee got together for this specific project alone… So much so that they named themselves after their project!

Whenever I’m working with a team I like to think of this model, the committee brought together with a common goal, a mission statement, a deadline, a shared responsibility for the success of our project. I worked as a test lead at VMC here in Montreal towards the beginning of my career in games and it was that kind of spirit I tried to bring to my team. It worked wonders.

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