At a loss for words…

Posted in Uncategorized on April 22, 2015 by George B

Well here’s a little update on things.

Still looking for work. I have a very promising opportunity which I am waiting to hear about – should know by the end of the week.  If I get the job or not, this is still an opportunity to reflect on what I’ve been up to and what I expect to be up to next.

First of all a question: Why have I not been blogging at all?

I feel like that question almost answers itself.  I haven’t felt the need to sit down and share ideas in this format.  It is easy to write any old thing (see my twitter for that), and I guess having come up with this page (and it’s predecessor) during the ‘golden age of the game design blogosphere’, there is a standard which I hope to live up to and clearly recently haven’t felt up to.

Instead, new horizons.  Messing around with Streaming video games has been a passion recently.  One thoroughly bound by time limits, talent limits and most of all bandwidth limits.  I have some thoughts about Twitch and streaming in general that I would like to get into and perhaps that might lead to some more posts here.  Fundamentally streaming is a creative tool, one that has yet to be explored all that much by the twitch streamers I pay attention to.  There’s so much room to grow this form of broadcasting, it’s fun to have been involved for a while now as a viewer and now participant and I look forward to what’s after what’s next.

I’ve found myself in a bit of a gameplay rut where a few familiar titles have stifled my exploration of the billion titles on my pile of shame.  Pile of shame, of course, refers to games we own that we want to or should want to play.  The familiar is a powerful motivator, definitely for me.  Looking at my steam stats is jarring.  Over 500 games, with like 2-3 titles played for over 500 hours, 3-4 over 200 hours, and hundreds and hundreds with 15 minutes or less.  Sorry game creators!  Apparently I’d rather unlock every single thing in both Binding of Isaacs before I try your critically acclaimed title.

What’s next?  Who knows.  If I don’t get a game job soon I’ll be looking at alternate career options.  I have turned down some job offers from game studios who’s games don’t inspire me.  I look back on those decisions I made with pride, I just couldn’t do it.  Still… will I regret this when I’m flipping proverbial burgers?

Well, that wasn’t so hard was it?  A new blog post.

Check me out on twitter and check out my stream on twitch at when it occasionally goes live.  It would be fun to hang out 🙂

peace out!!

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.

Dear, All games I haven’t bought.

Posted in GAMES! on October 29, 2012 by George B

steam sale

Dear, All games I haven’t bought.

I’m sorry. I see you there with that sad puppy at the pound look in your eyes. I hear your soundtrack, see your youtube clips and rock paper shotgun review. I know how fun you all might be. Some of you I’ve been looking forward to meeting, others I know I’d like to get to know once I upgrade my digs a bit. Get that new graphic card I’ve been promising all my other games. All you ethically motivated “bundle” games, you triple A show-stoppers, you lil indie cuties I’ve been following on twitter.

Thing is I’ve got my hands full with the games I already own. They need the care and consideration that you demand. It’s time to lock up the gates. Money and time do not grow on trees. I’ve got a foster home filled to the rafters with the likes of you.

First things first, gotta beat Dark Souls… first things firster, gotta beat the Orstein and Smough boss fight. Then MassEffect 2 and 3. Then I’m going to plug in my consoles again and take down LA Noire, Bayonetta, maybe Ninja Blade.

Then… oh gosh, only 2 months til the steam Christmas sale…


Gut feelings: Grit, Violence, Video Games.

Posted in emotion modification, violence in games with tags , , , , on October 25, 2012 by George B

manhunt cover

Manhunt still haunts me, while taking an alley detour late at night, catching the sight of a security camera on a building’s side-wall.  A crackly voice heard in the distance.  Film grain.  Violence.  The ultra-violence.  I stopped playing Manhunt about halfway through and never looked back. Continue reading