Fall Life Update

I'm well aware that I haven't done much in the way of updating this site for some time now. I've been keeping fairly busy, but a big part of that is simply that I didn't feel all that motivated to write a new entry, despite having several drafts sitting around to finish up. But now that September has hit and a few major events have transpired, it seems like as good a time as any to pick things up again, and cover some of the ideas I've been working on during the hiatus.

Job Hunt

I more or less stopped looking for a job after confirming my entry into the University of Montreal's Game Design program. That isn't to say I haven't been looking at all; I'm still keeping tabs on new postings and the like. But I more or less became convinced that my current method wasn't working. I either need to get more connections or improve my portfolio before I can really get my foot in the door. Most likely both. I'm confident that I have what it takes to make it, but without a good outlet to enable and motivate me in both of these aspects I wasn't making much progress. Instead, I took the time waiting for school to start to enjoy my free time a little. I played some games, experimented with some ideas, and worked on some projects. I have also been keeping up with the testing work. It's helping to make sure I keep productive in a work context as well (and paying for the groceries), so I wasn't about to drop it. But in terms of finding a full-time job in game design, I've essentially put it on hold until April.

Tabletop

Is name Vladimir Yevgeny Borishof. Is live in Irrisen with Babushka from Old Country.  Babushka come Golarion for get potato (is not knowing how), but niet many potato in Irrisen. Is very malnourish. Babushka say is like Old Country.  Vladimir grow big strong like ox, but hungry and is not have vodka for pass time. Is go to Taldor to get bread and potato so not malnourish and make vodka for happy Babushka.

Is name Vladimir Yevgeny Borishof.
Is live in Irrisen with Babushka from Old Country.

Babushka come Golarion for get potato (is not knowing how), but niet many potato in Irrisen. Is very malnourish. Babushka say is like Old Country.

Vladimir grow big strong like ox, but hungry and is not have vodka for pass time. Is go to Taldor to get bread and potato so not malnourish and make vodka for happy Babushka.

One thing I've been more active with than anything else is tabletop RPG stuff. After the Mummy's Mask game, the same group started a Reign of Winter campaign on Fridays, which has easily become the most hilarious campaign I've been in. I play a crazy Russian alchemist (as in an actual Russian who's babushka ended up in Golarion somehow) named Vladimir Yevgeny Borishof who is searching for potatoes in order to make food and vodka. He's accompanied by his younger brother Ivan and a jadwigan frost oracle with perpetual frostbite. Already the fact that we're decked to the nines in anti-cold chicanery has rendered a lot of the challenges in the campaign null and void, and our persistent insanity (which I refer to as "Chaotic Russian"), paranoia (Vladimir refers to everything as traps, and he's usually right), and moral dubiousness (we caught a pixie who was trying to ambush us and stuck it in a tanglefoot bag; that bag eventually became our go-to pixie prison, and now it's become an intelligent item that hungers for the souls of pixies) has made it feel a bit like Guardians of the Galaxy, in that we're completely refusing to take anything about the campaign seriously.

Aside from that one, the Wrath Campaign marches on (Astrea has finally reached a stage where her Dispelling magic is rendering her a little overpowered). On Wednesdays I now play a 5e game with some friends in person. That one is only just starting up, but the GM's style is interesting in that it's focused a lot more on puzzles and brain teasers than your average campaign. It's actually quite interesting to compare his GMing technique to my own, which is much more narrative focused. I might write about that as a retrospective once we get further into the game.

And speaking of my GMing style, Hell's Rebels continues. As a matter of fact now that we've gone through one of my most anticipated missions (the Vyre dinner of book 3), I came to find a new project. You see, I reworked a lot of how that mission progresses. I used a fusion of combat and social encounter mechanics to gamify the dinner beyond a few simple skill checks. Given all my modifications, it occurred to me that there are a few instances where I modified sections of the book, and I think what I'm going to do is write out more formalised versions of these reworks as well as my analysis from a game design perspective. Considering I fully intend to run Hell's Rebels again in the future, it will be a useful resource for myself, but also a potential tool that others might have an interest in. What's more, I can certainly think of some other games that I would have minor revisions for. I'll likely format all these thoughts in a separate blog within its own project section dedicated to "Game Mechanic Reworks" or something like that.

FateWeaver

I've been working on FateWeaver (my adaptation of the Fate tabletop RPG system) for quite a while now, adding a new section or revising one here and there every so often. The core rulebook is nearly done, as is my primer on the lore of the setting of Infernia. I planned out several other primers that cover things like equipment, psychic powers, skills, stunts, etc. but most of those are still in the early stages. Nonetheless, I'm rapidly approaching the stage where the written version of version 1.0 is about ready. I'm hoping to have it done and up on this site before the end of school. I'm also really looking forward to testing it out.

Video Games & Art Projects

I did mention I've been playing some games. By that, really I mean Overwatch. I've been playing a fair bit of Overwatch. It's a solid game that has filled my long unsated need for a god team-based FPS. I haven't really played one since Call of Duty Black Ops, which when I think about it is fairly surprising. In any case, I've been enjoying it greatly, both as a diversion and as a study in asymmetrical competitive play. I was at one point working on a blog post about it, and doing a little study in the game's mechanics and balance, but I happened to start writing it around the time of one of the major patches, and so several of the character critiques I presented had been invalidated by buffs and nerfs. Do feel free to ask me about why I think Mei seriously needs a debuff though. I have some fairly strong opinions about that.

Aside from Overwatch, I have still kept Warframe on the back-burner. I don't play it nearly as much as I used to, but every once in a while I still show up. That game has seen a lot of changes in the last few months, and I'm enjoying them a fair bit. It's another topic I've wanted to broach, along with the notion of perpetual evolution of games through content patches being part of the new landscape of games, but it's another subject that I felt I needed to consider and structure my thoughts on more effectively before making a post about it. The short answer is that my opinions are mixed. I like that it allows for games to improve over time through feedback without having to go through the costly iterative process of new titles, but it also worries me in a sense that it might lead to some developers spending more time focusing on old games rather than coming up with new IPs and innovations. I know the perfectionist in me could easily work in perpetuity on a title I didn't think I had gotten just right. I had to learn to let go sometimes and start something new. As such, this new paradigm seems like an easy way to regress back to that sort of behaviour. It's a bit more complicated than that, and I certainly can't evoke all my thoughts in a single paragraph, so moving on.

The city of Degwoch, in its current state of drawing progress.

There is one other game I tried to play, and that's the new Doom. Sadly, I discovered that my computer can't seem to handle it. At all. Like I was getting a perpetual 5 fps when I tried to run it, even on low settings. I'm not sure why the game was so demanding, but needless to say I can't exactly play it in that state, so I'm just going to have to wait until I get a new system or replace the graphics card on my other PC so that it can run games without crashing. Oh, and there's also Deus Ex Mankind Divided. I haven't bought that one yet. I was thinking of asking for it for my birthday, but it occurs to me that I likely won't be playing it for a while and by the time I get around to it I'd be better off getting the Game of the Year edition whenever that comes out. I am very eager to try it though, since I've heard very good things.

Sir Neddus, a true follower of the glorious light of Iomedae, and lacker of an inside voice.

I did say video games AND art, didn't I? Well, on the art side I haven't stopped doodling. I do it much less frequently, partly because I preoccupy myself with other things but also because the humidity here has been absolutely oppressive and it positively ruins my drawing paper. I have done two pieces worthy of mention. One is a new city sketch that is still a work in progress, and the other is one of my tabletop characters: the gallant Sir Neddus Arterius Adfer. I'm pleased that my sketching skills haven't completely left me, even if I know I'm not quite where I want to be with them.

Videos, Shows, and Books

I've also been doing a fair bit of show watching. The new seasons of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, Shokugeki No Soma, Steven Universe, My Little Pony (I swear the animators are going crazy this season), and Star vs the Forces of Evil have all remained on my radar. As well as that, No Country for Old Men, Starship Troopers, Sicario, Imperium, Noragami, Erased, Your Lie In April, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (I know it's about time I watched that one), Mirai Nikki, The Devil is a Part Timer, The Irregular In Magic High School, and Stranger Things have been added to my "watched" pile, while a few other notable shows have gone into my "watching" one. That and while I've been trying desperately to shrink my Youtube Watch Later list, it seems to be perpetually stuck in the 300s. Ah well, eventually I'll figure that one out (probably when I realise I don't actually need to watch every little thing). On the book front, I finished Plato's The Republic, Tales of Cu Chulaind, and started Steve Erikson's Gardens of the Moon. I won't go into too much detail on all these things (and I've certainly forgotten a few), and instead just say that they've almost universally been interesting (or at least informative), and it's helping to broaden my media appreciation.

Trips & Conventions

As I recall, my last blog post was shortly before my trip to Toronto. Well I did that, and met with my friend Andrew. We had a good time, watched some movies, explored Toronto (which I hadn't done in a very long time), and even met Denis Dyack (he gave me some useful pointers and also some book recommendations; Gardens of the Moon was one of them). All in all it was a pretty great experience that probably merits more talking about than this little mention, but for now I'll leave it at that because I can tell this is already going on longer than it should.

What was that noise? Oh, it's just a box.

After that, the next most notable events were Comiccon and Otakuthon. The former I only spent a day on, and mostly wandered around admiring the cosplays and sights. I did sit in on a panel with the Deus Ex voice actors, and got a few autographs. I did also buy a bunch of Jojo books (in case it wasn't clear, I really like Jojo). Otakuthon meanwhile I was much more involved in. After just missing it last year (since it was literally the same weekend as my move into the Montreal condo), I wanted to go in full force. And so I brought back the old Snake/Big Boss cosplay.

The actual costume under the box.

I was more careful about not ruining my legs with all the crouch walking this time. The box is still absolute hell to sit in for extended periods of time (it becomes a literal hot box, and I was already hot in my costume), but the reactions I was getting made it very much worth it. I never did find any pictures of myself online though, which admittedly is a little disappointing. Call me a narcissist, but I was hoping for a tiny bit of internet recognition. Ah well. Really it's just about being entertaining, and that I most certainly was.

The last major trip was this past labour day weekend. Given that classes were supposed to start on the 1st (according to my initial schedule that is; this changed about a week before), I wouldn't be able to go home for my birthday. Instead the folks came over and we celebrated with dinner at the Bremner, then I went back with them to the cottage (which is now officially their place of residence. Feels weird knowing that the old house is sold) and later to my grandmother's house to spend time with my aunt and uncle. There was also a ceremony at the gurdwara in honour of 11 months since my grandmother's passing, which my uncle and I are hoping will allow my aunt to start moving on (she's been taking it quite hard). It's all very strange and certainly punctuates the fact that this is a time of transition. I've already written what I had to say about my grandmother, so I won't repeat myself, but I'll just say that I do miss her dearly. It was good to see many of the family friends again though.

Anyway, with that finished I came back to Montreal on Monday, and classes started right back up the day after, so that's what I'll talk about next.

Back To School

So yes, school has started up again. As I think I've mentioned before, it wasn't my first choice to return, but I can't deny that this represents probably my best chance to make connections and build my portfolio in a way that might secure me the position in game design I moved here to find in the first place. So far, the program is an interesting one. The group is small (12 people, 18 with those that took the intro course as an elective) and entirely male (which is funny given that last year was apparently a 50% split). Half of my classmates are from France, and about a third have backgrounds in history. Honestly I couldn't say if the demographics are what I expected. The main part being that only a small handful of us actually come from a design background. But, everyone seems like decent fellows and they appear to at least know the basics, so I think that should work out fine.

Some of us at a pub after the first day. Apparently I just happened to be looking at my phone the moment they snapped this (I swear I was socialising the grand majority of the time).

All our classes are in a single lab only slightly larger than my condo. It's a little cramped, but honestly I kind of like it. It feels cozy. That, and there's plenty of equipment around: computers, game systems, a bookshelf full of video games, board games, and books on game design. It's got everything one might need to do some serious game design work, and I for one am pretty eager to give that bookshelf a good and proper inspection.

Our professors definitely seem to know their stuff. They all seem to have relevant backgrounds, and the lessons I've listened to have been quite informative. Part of me was worried that there would be a lot of rehashing of stuff I learned in BIT. There certainly is a fair bit of repetition in some ways, but there's also a lot more insight that relates to the industry, specifically Quebec's industry, that one would only get from someone who knows that industry well. What's more, one of our classes will feature speakers from various companies and backgrounds to tell us about their experiences as game designers in various domains. I'm particularly looking forward to that, since I love hearing people's stories and the insight they've gained.

And the networking... I have to admit yesterday I made more headway networking-wise than I have in a very long time. And unlike many of the connections I've made in the past, I feel like I'm actually getting into an active community in which my presence might be noticed more readily. It's a position from which I think I'll get to be a lot more comfortable building connections that might actually bring fruit.

There is one challenge to all this though, and that's the language barrier. In case I haven't mentioned it, the "DESS en design de jeux" is entirely in French, and as far as I can tell, I'm most likely the best English speaker in the room (if not the only one on some occasions). I am a native French speaker mind you, but that French is distinctly Ontarian. My writing is solid, but fairly formal, and my speech is peppered liberally with bad grammar (that's more a fault of me occasionally tripping over my words in conversation rather than any actual failure of understanding French grammar; I do it in English as well) and English words (there are a lot of words I just don't know in French). Mind you, Quebec French has plenty of English words too, but they're not always the same ones. And the France French speakers are in a whole other category. My comprehension fortunately is still excellent, so listening is still quite easy, but I'm going to really have to work to improve the speaking portion. Fortunately, I've been steadily improving through practice by going out and communicating with people (I'd say I'm about at the same level I was when I graduated high school, which is good considering I nearly lost it during my first year at Carleton). I've never been a particularly strong French orator, but I've never been too bad either, so I think I can work myself up to par easily enough with some practice.

Conclusion (Finally)

So, all that is to say, life has been keeping me busy, even if I haven't been posting much on my social media venues. Now that school has started, I'm going to be busy in a different way, but at the same time, I'm going to make an effort to put some of what goes on in the program up here as well: projects, thoughts, etc.

And to start that off, as soon as I finish this post, I'm going to be working on my first assignment. It's a little 2-5 page introspection on my past, present, and future as a game designer. What I'll do is I'll post it here once it's done and submitted. It will be in French, of course, but really I should probably start showing off my bilingualism more sooner or later (I've had a blog post about my relationship with the French language sitting in my drafts for over a year now...) So, until next time!

Winter Update

It's been quite some time since I've posted here. It certainly isn't for a lack of things to talk about or of desire to do so. In fact I have several posts I've been meaning to put up. However, life has kept me busy on most days and exhausted on others. It's left me in a state where I've been so preoccupied with clearing up the various items on my to-do list that sitting down to focus on a single item seems inefficient. But, for the most part that's been addressed, so I'll gradually start bringing myself back into a state of normalcy, at which point I'll eventually get around to writing out more of my thoughts in a formalised manner. For now, this will be a brief summary of how things have been going since my post in November.

Travel

The primary reason my backlog became so full had to do with the fact that I spent the bulk of December out of town. For most of that, I was in Florida visiting my parents (who now habitually spend winter there). I have to admit that while it was very jarring to be so warm at that time of the year, it was even stranger when I went back to Montreal to find that there still wasn't any snow. As for my actual time spent there, a lot of it was trying to mitigate the aforementioned backlog with my mom's laptop, but I was also working on several projects for this very site, which I'll get to later in this post.

I had all of one evening at home before heading off to Ottawa for New Years. It's become tradition that I spend that evening at my grandmothers. This however was the first year she was not there to spend it with us. However, I also found myself in a bit of a dilemma, since I was invited to meet up with some of my old high school friends for a New Years party. I ended up making a compromise and calling in to my aunt and uncle at midnight. The party itself was fairly fun, though admittedly most of us were far too inebriated to have any business going out into town as we did. Without getting too detailed, I spent the last half hour of 2015 cleaning up a friend's rather unfortunate mess. Still a fun night though.

Employment/Education

Sadly, I've yet to snag a job. It certainly isn't for lack of trying, but some of the conversations I had at and following MIGS made it pretty clear that I had my work cut out for me. One factor I had considered but largely ignored was that apparently there's a preference towards hiring from the local schools. It's understandable and very logical: there's a certain familiarity that breeds trust in reliable candidates. It also means that they're already somewhat attuned to the culture.

Let me be clear I'm not stating in an accusatory manner, nor am I blaming hiring bias for my lack of employment. Primarily I believe the main factor against me right now is the fact that my portfolio is for the most part mediocre. I know I could do better than a lot of what my projects show. But I cannot expect others to assume my competence. I directly plan on addressing that with some of my plans for the site (I'll get to that), but there is one other venue I am attempting.

While in Florida, I made the unfortunate discovery that Ubisoft's Graduate program, which I was hoping might serve as a good chance to get into the company, would not work. It didn't include design positions, and the domains it required education for were not those that I had studied in. But the mention of master's degrees made me think about additional studies.

I'll readily admit that I am not a fan of school. It lacks the consistent directed structure and "real life impact" factors that I really enjoy when doing work. However, I can't deny that it's a great venue through which to practice your skills and make connections. I had looked for game design post-grad studies in the past and found none, but this time I did find a single one at the University of Montréal. The single year duration was icing on the cake. I've sent in the application in the hopes that this might be the foot in the door I so clearly need, but it will be some time before I know what is to become of that.

There is one last thing to mention on the subject of employment. Though I'm still looking for a job to at the very least sustain me for the summer, in the meantime I've joined into a crowdtesting service. I've done plenty of testing in the past, and unlike some people I don't mind the challenge and monotony it involves. I'm hoping it will give me a chance to keep my skills in that domain sharp and provide at least some income while I continue my job hunt.

Tabletop Gaming

One thing that I have been engaged in since last year is tabletop gaming. Specifically Pathfinder. However, as of late it's taken up much more of my time. A big reason for this is that I took the leap and actually started running a game myself. I'll be reserving most of my thoughts on the subject in another post, but the short of it is that I've come to greatly appreciate the value that running a tabletop RPG has to a game designer.

Website

So after all that, what about this website? The truth is, while there are several things I would like to put on the site, I feel as though I have to clean them up further before I can justify doing so. However, I am also self conscious enough to realise that if I submit to my perfectionist tendencies then I'll never put up anything and as a result none of that content will ever be seen. So, I'm going to steadily resume working on some new content I have in mind for the site.

The biggest additions I have planned are documentation and more blog posts. I have a lot of documentation templates I've created over the years that I think show my skills at organising as well as my initiative when it comes to doing so. The blog posts (though I know they are likely not going to be read for the most part), I hope to use as a way of further communicating myself as an individual. They serve as a record in the event that I am scrutinised, and also give me a way to flesh out the thoughts in my head. Who knows, someday maybe one of them will actually be useful to someone.

Aside from these, I do have some more minor things I might add, such as some photography and other projects I do for recreational purposes. They likely won't show off my professional skills much (I'm not a bad photographer, but most of the shots I take are spur of the moment shots with no consideration for composition or quality; rather, just the subject).

As soon as I post this, I'll be starting on my post about tabletop, after which I'll be looking over a draft I had done for a post about my French heritage. There should be several additions to the site in the next little while.

MIGS15 And Future Plans

MIGS

I spent the last three days at MIGS, the Montreal International Games Summit. It was my first time at the conference, though from my four times at OIGC (the much newer Ottawa equivalent), the whole thing felt fairly familiar.

Admittedly, MIGS was not nearly as impressive as I expected it to be. Perhaps that was simply an effect of my expectations being that it would be proportionally larger than OIGC based on their respective industry presence (with Ottawa being minuscule compared to the juggernaut that is Montreal in the game industry). It might have also had to do with the fact that I attended at the lowest tier, and therefore didn't have access to the master classes. I think a lot of my impression simply had to do with the fact that so little of the event was geared towards design. There were plenty of talks about business, audio, and mobile development, but I didn't see all that much that really prompted me to think about video game design itself. I had also been told by some friends that had attended previous years that it felt more sparse and less organised this time around (and also more expensive; I won't deny that was a big hit to my funds, especially without a steady income as of yet), but I have no direct experience to gauge that myself.

That said however, it was still a very worthwhile experience. I did learn a few things from some of the talks, and others were just interesting to attend. The recruitment zone was also very useful to me, seeing as I'm still looking for a job. Several notable companies were there and I did manage to make some connections. I've been spending the last couple days following up, so hopefully it will result in something. As much as I've loved all this time for myself, I would really like to actually get into the workforce. I feel like a bit of routine and direction could go a long way towards motivating me, not to mention I've been eager for a very long time to get real industry experience.

Besides the job search, MIGS also turned out to be a great socialising event. I ran into several people I knew, including friends I had made at OIGC and other events. I even ran into some folks from the old Ottawa gaming scene as well as some old classmates. Later on during the after party I got to catch up with some of them which was nice. Additionally I got to see a fairly prominent figure in gaming slap his drinking buddy (who was also a significant figure in gaming) for fun. I get the impression that witnessing that taught me something profound about our industry, but I'm not sure what that is as of yet...

There was one last thing I found very worthwhile about this whole thing, and that can be encompassed in this photograph:

That right there is me awkwardly standing in between Amy Hennig and Warren Spector. Their names are easy enough to look up, but Hennig is of Jak and Daxter, Uncharted, and Last of Us fame, while Spector is known for the original Deus Ex. They are respectively icons of the cinematic and choice schools of games. They are also two of my personal idols as a game designer. It is my dream to some day achieve their caliber. My own ideas and aspirations for what I would like to make draw heavily from them. In fact, my ideal game would build off of the work both of them have done. Later on in the day, I was able to speak to Mr. Spector briefly and bounce one of my ideas off of him, and he gave me some brief but compelling advice. That alone made this entire thing worth it in my opinion...

What Now?

MIGS is done, and I must get back to my "work". In the last few months, things have been pretty crazy for me. The move, reorienting myself in a new city, my grandmother's passing, and the frequent visits to Ottawa that resulted in have all eaten away at my time. I haven't had all that much of a chance to build up from where I left off with my studies. My backlogs of to do lists swelled pretty intensely, and they're only now starting to get back down to modest levels.

Making Games

Aside from actively applying to jobs, the first and most important thing for me to do (at least according to the various professionals I've spoken to) is to start making games. Admittedly while I do have the skills to make games on my own, and with enough work I know I could make things that are superior to what I have in my portfolio right now, the truth is I prefer not doing everything on my own. Honestly it just feels incredibly lonely doing so. That, and it takes time to make games. It could be a while before I really have something polished to show off.

However, one thing I know I can do well is documentation. I'll be doing a lot of writing. Concepts, design documents, design experiments... I'll be writing all of them and putting them on this site. I have at least one game concept I'm prepared to create on my own, and a design doc will be the place to start with it anyway. Who knows, if my ideas are particularly compelling I might be able to attract someone to come and collaborate with me on a project. Time will tell, I suppose.

Playing Games

I've got a lot of games on my (mostly digital) shelf that have yet to be touched. I recently beat Undertale, but Dragon Age 2 and Metal Gear Solid 5 have been sitting in my "In Progress" section for quite some time, not to mention the scores of other games still waiting. I consider each game I play to be both for fun and education, so I tend to take my time on them, but now that I have a stretch of uninterrupted time, I think I'll be able to actually make some progress there. It would be nice to be up to speed with current gaming culture.

Aside from video games, I've also recently starting running a Pathfinder tabletop game over the internet with some friends of mine. I've been playing a lot of tabletop in the past year and I've really taken a liking to it. Running this game (Hell's Rebels is the campaign) is something I've wanted to do for quite some time now, and it strikes me as an excellent practice in game design (especially when I've been making my own campaign separately). Already my little party of murder-hobos have subverted expectations laid out by the book, and I've had to find ways to adapt it to them, which is proving to be really challenging, but also really fun. I'll likely do a post mortem of my experience on this blog eventually.

Tl;dr

So, in short, MIGS was fun and I got to meet a lot of really swell people, and now I'll be spending the next several weeks working on building up my portfolio and playing some games. I'm eager to get started!

Starting Content Complete

I'm proud to say that as of now, I've added all the content I can think to add at the moment for this site. Barring a couple small exceptions, I've included just about every worthwhile piece of content I've produced in recent memory. Those few exceptions I'll be looking into at a later date. For all intents and purposes, this site is on its gold release.

Now I can go back to making new things to add to it. Or at least, I will after my trip to Montreal.

New Beginnings

As of yesterday, I have officially graduated from BIT (the Bachelor of Information Technology, more specifically, the Interactive Multimedia and Design stream). It was five years of difficult work and many challenging projects, but it was greatly valuable for me as a designer. I left high school with very little design training; all I had was some artistic skill and a whole lot of ideas. Now I've also come to appreciate how difficult bringing ideas into reality can be. That said, I also know that it's well within my ability.

And so, with school done, I can begin the pursuit of my dream: to become a video game designer. I've already begun the job hunt, and am seriously pursuing a move to Montreal. As much as I love Ottawa, it's much too quiet for my tastes, and Montreal has the big studios and international recognition I want to tap into as I start making a name for myself in the industry. I have the skills and the knowledge, so now it's just a matter of getting the experience.

That makes this the perfect time for me to start this site. It will serve as a record of my quest. I have no illusions that it won't be difficult, and I can't pretend to know where it might take me. Will I achieve the dream of becoming the creative director for a major franchise I came up with? Will my ideas be the source of inspiration for future generations? Will I make games that people around the world enjoy? Or will my life take me somewhere else? Perhaps I'll find fulfillment in something I've never considered. Who knows. But some day, I'll be able to look back through this site and be able to answer those questions.

I invite you to follow me on that journey. As I go, I'll update this site with my work, the major events of my life, and whatever thoughts I might think pertinent enough to write about. Hopefully, it will be inspirational, thought-provoking, and entertaining. With any luck, all three at once. But, as with everything else in life, only time will tell.