Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Family / Work


I had a great weekend.  My Mom visited so I spent it with her.  Gave her the Bioware tour, went to nice restaurants, saw Transformers 2 and UP.  Spent a lot of time with Bill and Tia.  It was great seeing her again; I hadn’t seen her since Christmas.  She was happy for me and my new life.

We went to the Muttart Conservatory, and then spent the afternoon on Whyte Ave.  We visited the Chapters and I bought a book that I’ve heard is very useful in the QA Design field, The Hero With A Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell.  An amazing read so far, all about how there is an age old story structure pattern that appears in all myths and fictions of our past and even in current movies, games and books.  This “monomyth” shows up everywhere because it is our internal story, the common narrative which guides us from birth, through adolescence and finally to death.  This internal story finds its way into all our stories.  Very cool stuff, and I can see how it’s so useful to QA Design.

Yesterday was my Mom’s last day in Edmonton.  Sad to see her go again.  I’m going to try to visit Winnipeg in October.  Either I’ll have 3 months I need to take off between terms, or I’ll be full time with 3 weeks paid vacation and can afford it.  We’ll see.

On that topic, over the past few months I’ve been looking for QA Design work I could volunteer for to prove myself, but unfortunately it’s very hard to find that kind of work at this stage because most Design work has been completed for some time.  I can’t get in to specifics, but I took some initiative and pulled a bit of a power-play that really paid off.  All the right people seem to be impressed, and that can’t be a bad thing.  So now I’m doing some QA Design work, and I love it.  I’ve already received some great feedback.  I really feel like this is something I’m good at and could make a career out of.

And that may be sooner than I expected.  A QA Design Analyst position at Bioware was just posted.  I spent hours working on a new resume, custom made for this position.  I had it proof read by several people, and took their input.  In the end it went through 4 iterations.  It looks really professional.  The only official way to apply is online, but I also printed a copy and booked a small meeting with the Quality Assurance Lead at Bioware and personally handed him my resume so he knew I was serious about it.  And now he can put a face to the name.  Couldn’t hurt.  He seemed to appreciate it. 

This one is a bit of a long shot, I admit, but I’m trying my hardest to get it.  But even if I don’t, it looks good for the next time a position opens up.  By then I’ll have QA Design experience from this new assignment I volunteered for, and hopefully some references from that team.  And they’ll see I’ve applied before and am clearly determined on getting the position and increasing my knowledge in the area. 

But I am still secretly hoping, despite the odds, that I get the position first time around.  That would be just swell.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Another Cake Day!

Today is Cake Day!  For the last 2 hours of work we all head to the lunch room and eat cake and mingle, aka play Soul Calibur 4.  My Mom got in town yesterday.  Went for supper with her and caught up, it was good.  Today she’s spending the day at Ikea and then I’m picking her up and giving her a tour of Bioware during Cake Day.  She’s gunna think we don’t do any work here, lol.

On the subject of work, it’s old news that I’ve decided I want to take the QA Design path, and I’ve started doing research to make myself as knowledgeable as possible on the subject.  There are several books I’ve had recommended to me, including the classic The Hero’s Journey by Joseph Campbell, which I will be picking up soon.  I’ve also been reading QA Design related articles on Gamasutra.  It’s such an interesting field I’m looking forward to exposing myself to it.  Done right, videogames could be the future of story-telling.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Mass Effect On iPhone

Go get it, it’s really fun!  Already available on app store with a 4/5 star rating!  I got to test it a few weeks ago, and it’s cool!


Lately I’ve been getting really anxious about getting a fulltime position with Bioware.  I know it’s somewhat unlikely due to the economy and hiring freeze, but at the same time I’ve been getting a good feeling from my boss, and been hearing a few good things about my chances.  But at the end of the day it could go either way.  And I have so much riding on this.  I don’t have much of a life in Winnipeg anymore, but the only reason I moved to Edmonton was for this job.  I’ve made a great life here now, and want to keep it.  And I probably won’t know anything about a full-time position until the last minute, in October.

It’s really stressing me out some nights, when the reality of what’s at stake hits me.  If this doesn’t pan out, I can either get a crap job for 3 months until I can return to Bioware for another year and try my hand again at fulltime in a better economic climate and hopefully no hiring freeze, or I can apply at studios in Vancouver or Montreal, or even the U.S.  But I’d so much rather stay at Bioware, a company I LOVE being a part of.

Anyway, that aside, we had a meeting today and I got to see some really cool company secrets.  Also got to hear about the guys at Penny Arcade who got a full build of the game and what they thought of it.  Good stuff.

At 5:00 today there’s a company picnic I’m looking forward to.  It goes until 8:00 at which point I’m picking up my Mom who’s visiting me for the weekend!  It’ll be great, I haven’t seen her since Christmas, and I’m really excited to give her the Bioware tour and show her where I’ve been working and what I’ve become so passionate about.  So I’ll be hanging out with her all weekend. 

Also, next month my good friend Andi will be in town.  Also haven’t seen her since Xmas, and she’s since moved to Vancouver.  Now we’re 2 people who left their hometown to chase dreams and evolve, and I’m really looking forward to hanging out with her again.

Also, been getting in to Soul Calibur 4 lately with the guys at work.  Every break we head down to the lunch room and play winner goes on.  Good times.  I bought the game, and after a bit of training I’m a force to be reckoned with.  Though lately Reid has my number.  But I’ll figure his moves out and put him where he belongs :P

Sunday, June 21, 2009

iPhone OS 3.0!

Now with MMS!

Soundtrack To Life


In honor of my recent entry, and of my one year anniversary since my roadtrip, which set in motion events that would eventually lead me out here, I’ve decided to upload the very long, very awesome playlist I made for the long drive out.  I’ve updated it a bit, but these were the songs I was listening to while driving from Winnipeg to start a new life in Edmonton.  I was excited and scared at the same time so I needed some music as a soundtrack.  So here’s over 2 hours of great “life” songs.  If you find yourself currently at a similar type of crossroads, I strongly suggest hitting play on the playlist on the right, and get reflectin’!

Hittin’ the Road

1. Snow Patrol – Chocolate
2. Fort Minor – Where’d You Go?
3. Eddie Vedder – Hard Sun
4. John Mayer – Free Fallin’
5. Mika – Happy Ending
6. Sigur Ros – Hoppipolla

Alone With My Thoughts

7. Bon Iver – Big Red Machine
8. Switchfoot – 24
9. Collective Soul – Crown
10. Sia – Breathe Me
11. Moby – Everloving
12. The Rosenbergs – Overboard
13. Live – Overcome
14. Johnny Cash – Hurt
15. Nine Inch Nails – Right Where It Belongs
16. Bon Iver – Blindsided
17. Porcupine Tree – Heart Attack In A Layby
18. Devin Townsend Project - Terminal
19. Matthew Good Band – Running For Home
20. Nine Inch Nails – Lights In The Sky
21. Oasis – Stop Crying Your Heart Out

A New Beginning

22. Aimee Mann – Wise Up
23. Porcupine Tree – Collapse The Light Into Earth
24. Mika – Any Other World
25. Dredg – Matroshka (The Ornament)
26. Stars – In Our Bedroom After The War
27. Annie Lennox – Into The West
28. Vast - You

Friday, June 19, 2009

Far Beyond Metal

Listening to that Devin Townsend Project has started to get me back into Metal.  And I stumbled across a great metal band, Amorphis.

Gotta love the cheese.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


“Remember, the brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don't want it badly enough…” - Dr. Randy Pausch

A year ago today I woke up in a cheap hotel in Thunder Bay.  I was 24, had about 170,000 km on my car, 13 grand in debt and a sneaking suspicion that I still hadn’t quite found what I was looking for.  I had been stuck in a rut in Winnipeg.  Too much history, too many poor decisions and missed opportunities.  I had built up too much momentum in the wrong direction, and almost every facet of my life was a reflection of someone I didn’t want to be, someone I didn’t believe I was.

After 2 weeks on the road, 2 weeks of solitude and new experiences, and of independence, I knew my life was no longer indicative of who I was becoming and what I wanted to do with myself, even if I didn’t quite know what that was yet.  I’d walked the crowded streets of downtown Chicago, ate at a rooftop bistro in Old Montreal, followed the riverbank in Ottawa, and navigated Chinatown in Toronto.  Nothing tied those experiences together other than my experience of them.  I was completely on my own out there, and learned what I was capable of.  And suddenly the life I had didn’t feel like enough.  I wanted more, I always had.  And I finally believed I was capable of it.

To say I was restless when I returned to Winnipeg would be an understatement.  Rogers Video just didn’t feel that rewarding anymore.  My apartment felt like a coffin, and driving down the same streets I’d known my whole life, the only streets I’d ever know, lacked any sense of adventure.  Winnipeg was a great city, and had great people in it.  This was no one’s fault but my own.  Through excuses and denial I’d painted myself into a corner, and it was time to decide who it was I wanted to be, and I just couldn’t evolve any further in Winnipeg.

I decided to move to Edmonton to work off some of the debt I’d accumulated on my roadtrip and search for that adventure and evolution I was so lacking.  When my cousin offered to help me get a job at Bioware I was ecstatic.  Already I was learning opportunities don’t come to you, you have to reach out.

With my new attitude new opportunities were even springing up in Winnipeg.  I started to learn I didn’t need to run from Winnipeg to get my life back on track, but by this point Bioware was a real opportunity, and to turn it down now would in fact be running from the very thing I was trying to build.  So I went through with it, said goodbye to everyone and moved away from the city I’d lived in my whole life.

Some aspects went smoother than others.  Some people were hurt, some were supportive, and every relationship of every form in my life changed to some degree.  Literally everything I ever knew changed.  I’d always been very proud of the life I’d built for myself in Winnipeg, the people I surrounded myself with, and in recent times the many new friends I’d made.  Now I was alone in a new city for the first time.  I had no social life, and spent most nights talking to friends from Winnipeg, and Kyra, with whom I had somehow deluded myself into believing I could work out a long distance…  thing…

As the months passed my life in Winnipeg began to dissipate, which is only natural since I wasn’t there anymore.  Things with Kyra understandably didn’t work out.  Some long standing issues with my oldest friends finally came to the surface and resulted in even fewer Winnipeg connections.  And for a while, times were dark.

I felt betrayed by many of the people in Winnipeg, missed my family, didn’t know anyone that well in Edmonton yet, was in the darkest months of an Albertan winter and was in an unfamiliar city where I just barely knew how to get to even get to work.  I was alone and lost.  At times I wondered what the hell I was doing.  Had I thrown away everything I’d ever known due to some adolescent longing for adventure?

Maybe.  But it was a longing I couldn’t silence.  It was the same longing that had drove me deep in to debt for a roadtrip I couldn’t afford.  The same longing that had made me grow bitter towards the life that confined me in Winnipeg, the same longing that I’d been trying to silence for years.  I would never be able to shut it up, so finally I decided to follow it as far as it’d take me.

And you know what they say, always darkest before the dawn.  Through the fallout of it all some of my Winnipeg friends really proved to me they were true friends; I began to find my stride at work and realize this was something I wanted to do with the rest of my life and was a real possibility, I began to make true friends in Edmonton and go out on weekends, having a blast every time I did.  I began to learn my new city.  The snow began to melt and the sun came out.  I walked down Whyte Ave in my t-shirt after a night of partying with new friends.  I began to form a new life.  And this one felt like mine.  I love my friends, I love my job, I love this city.


I proved to myself and everyone that you can take it all away from me, and I’ll just build it all again.  When the darkest days come and I lose sight of the light at the end of the tunnel, I will march forward until I find it again.  I proved once and for all I do know how to be happy.  I am capable of defining myself.  And I finally managed to silence the longing, to fill the void I’d been feeling for almost a decade.

It’s been liberating.  I finally feel worthy of the things I’ve wanted my whole life.  I’m willing to earn the things I’m after.  I’ve let go of any grudges, made peace with any demons, and am not only ready to move forward to a new future, but am already living it.  And the future is bright.

A year ago today I woke up in a cheap hotel in Thunder Bay with a sneaking suspicion I still hadn’t found what I was looking for.  Better late than never.

Mass Effect


On Friday I bought a copy of Mass Effect.  I could have received a free copy from work, but wanted to support the company by picking up a retail copy (and so should you!).  I figured I should probably get around to playing the flagship game of the company I work for.  I remember a friend of mine renting it back in Winnipeg, but I never got a chance to get into it.  But this time I am.  I’m still early in the game, and moving really slowly because I’m finding the back story so interesting I talk to every person and read every Codex entry.

The game is not perfect, and without giving away any company secrets I can say they’ve learned a thing or two for Mass Effect 2.  I’m hoping playing through this game will make me more helpful to the Mass Effect team the odd time they ask for my help with something, and also that this will ensure that happens more often.


Towards the second half of the vid Ray and Greg talk about how Dragon Age has gone through a lot of end-production polish.  Ahem…  :)

These guys are awesome, they’re the heads of Bioware, and were doctors first!  I’ve had the pleasure of talking to both of them, really down to earth guys, but accomplish so much!  Which is more than I can say for the announcer, who is so stereotypically American he insults Canada!  But not before Ray and Greg give Edmonton some love!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sims 3

I’m an addict.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Pet Peeve

Ok, this is a pet peeve of mine, and I just saw it on the blogs of 3 people I follow (I’m sorry if you were one of those people):

Dear Everyone:
Writing everyday normal sentences in the form of a formal letter isn’t hip anymore, I’m sorry.
Love,  Dale.

Friday, June 12, 2009

I <3 Bioware

The other day some new terms started.  It’s standard protocol to have a nerf raid on them during their orientation, where we lay into them while they have no weapons to fire back.  It’s an initiation of sorts, and I took my shots my first week.

I’ve been put in charge of mentoring and training the new term in our office.  I’m basically doing what my trainers did when I first started.  Very cool feeling to suddenly be the old hat, seeing the fresh new terms.

Today was a company wide meeting where we got inside information on tons of awesome Bioware games, etc.  Of course nothing I can write about here.  After the meeting the entire company was treated to free BBQ hotdogs and burgers.  We grabbed our free food and played some Soul Calibur in the lunch room, which drew a crowd.  This has become a bit of a tradition.

Bioware is an amazing company to work for, and I’m very proud to be a part of this team.  They know how to treat their employees too.  They’re actually one of the top employers in Canada.  Last year they made it in the top 10, of the entire country.  Check it out!

Dragon Age In Comics

Click to enlarge.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Things I’m Looking Forward To

  • iPhone OS 3.0 on June 17th!
  • My free copy of Sims 3 I get through work in a week.
  • My Mom visiting and giving her the tour of Bioware.
  • The company picnic!
  • The rest of the Devin Townsend Project, 3 more albums within a year!
  • Many awesome games including Bioshock 2, Splinter Cell Conviction, Just Cause 2, Alan Wake and so many more!
  • All the awesome social additions to Xbox Live.
  • My free Dragon Age shirt.
  • Scribblenauts for DS
  • Folk Fest
  • Seeing the movie Moon.
  • The final season of Lost!!!
  • Beating Chad’s Gamerscore.
  • Toy Story 3!
  • My next visit to Winnipeg, probably in October.
  • Hopefully getting a fulltime permanent position at Bioware!  Fingers crossed!
  • Kicking Dave’s ass at Soul Calibur 4.  It’s coming Dave, be ready for it!
  • Dragon Age’s release, showing friends back home my name in the credits!!
  • Possibly going to the lake with Dann and Melissa.
  • Much more!

Monday, June 8, 2009

A Few Things

First of all, I created a LinkedIn account.  Many people in the industry have one, so I figured it couldn’t hurt to have one, even if I’m entry level.  Check my page here.  If we’ve worked together and you have an account, add me as a connection!

Also, the new iPhone OS, 3.0, was announced as coming out June 17th!  9 days away.  I can’t wait!

Bill and Tia got a new cat!  It’s so cute, about a year old.  I really missed living with an animal, so it’s great to have a cat in the house.  Her name is Isabella, and I’ll be calling her Izzy, lol.


And last, but certainly not least, my Mom is coming out to visit for a few days later this month, and I’m really excited!  I haven’t seen her since Christmas.  I haven’t seen my Dad in almost 9 months…  That sucks.  If I get a fulltime position I’ll be making a lot more money, and the position starts with 3 weeks paid vacation, so I’ll be able to visit Winnipeg more often and see more of my family.  Just another reason to work towards a permanent position!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Career Path

The more time goes by, the closer October gets.  And the closer October gets the more anxious I get.  When I first started this job I had a very “see what happens” attitude.  I figured if things didn’t pan out I’d just move back to Winnipeg and continue with my life.  But I wasn’t expecting to like this job as much as I do.

It’s more than just “sweet I get to browse the net at work!” or “I get paid to play videogames!”, it’s being a part of a team that works on a product I love and can really invest in.  It lit a fire under my ass, and I became ambitious.  I had found something I loved doing, I was good at, and paid good money.  I HAD to get a permanent position!

I try to be be ambitious.  Recently I volunteered to train some of the new terms coming in.  It’ll be weird being in the position of my trainers, training some new terms who are in the position I was in 6 months ago.

But as October gets closer, I realize how much I have riding on this now.  It’s not like when I started.  “See what happens” just doesn’t cut it anymore.  I don’t have a life in Winnipeg anymore, my life is here now, and I really love it here.  Plus I could never go back to having a job just for paying the bills.

With the headcount limit, the one year max on terms, and the fact that there are dozens of terms fighting for a permanent position, many of whom I feel are higher on the list than me, I began to get pretty pessimistic about my chances.  But I couldn’t know for sure.

I emailed my boss telling him that even though terms normally don’t get performance reviews, I’d really appreciate getting one.  I wanted some feedback to know where I stood, to know what I could improve on and what my strong qualities I could cultivate were.  He told me he’d be glad to and to organize a meeting with him through Outlook, which I did for 3:00.

3:00 came and we went to one of the break-out rooms.  I can’t go in to too much detail due to NDA stuff, just playing it safe, but he had a lot of good stuff to say!  Told me I was very adaptable, which is a huge quality to have in QA, and that he always kept me in mind when the shit hit the fan, because of that.  He really didn’t have anything bad to say.  I then asked him about career paths, because I’ve never made it a secret that I wanted to make a career out of this, and was hoping for a permanent position.

This is where I got some really good news.  Again, I can’t go in to much detail at all, but he told me he saw a lot of potential in me for QA Design, which is definitely where I wanted to go!  It sounded like he’d had this in mind for me for a while!  We discussed this for a while, and while I can’t get in to specifics, there is a good chance I’ll have an opportunity to get a permanent position before my contract is up in October!  And if that doesn’t pan out, I take my 3 months off, and come back after for another year term.  If this is the case, he made it sound like the chances of me getting fulltime in the second year are quite high, and that’s only if I don’t get it sooner!

This put me in a very good mood!  I’m not taking anything for granted, because the talk was only about potential opportunities, and even though he seemed to have a lot of faith in me, I have to continue to work hard, and not count any eggs until they’ve hatched.

I really do hope I get it though.  QA Design seems like the perfect career path for me.  It’s like I was meant to do it.  And it starts at 45-50k a year! 

There are 2 branches to QA.  QA Tech and QA Design.  QA Tech is more what I do right now, what all terms do.  You play through the game, looking for technical bugs, and file them accordingly.  Requires minimal training and only an elementary understanding of video games.  QA Design is more about, well, the design of the game.  If I got it, I’d have a much more involved role in the creative process of the game, especially the beginning drawing board stages.  QA Design’s roll is to test the game from a different angle.  You’re not looking for technical bugs, you’re testing its subjective design elements, like how FUN it is, and how emotionally impactful the story, cinematography, etc, is.  Once you have an opinion, you have to make it as objective as possible with research, you have to be able to stick to your guns and make your case, because the other half of your job is essentially to change the mind of the creators.  And that’s no easy task.  When someone makes something, they tend to be very attached to it, and you need to show them why it needs changing.

And that’s something I didn’t think of.  My boss, during our conversation, corrected my assumption that I was competing with the rest of QA for a fulltime position.  QA Terms are sort of the hiring pool, and there are many career paths from there.  So even though I know of a lot of terms who had been there longer than me, and who had proven themselves, the path they were walking down, wasn’t the same as mine.  So I’m on a much shorter list than I thought, and from the sounds of it, I’m relatively high on that short list!

Sometimes in the office my co-workers and I get in to debates, usually game-related.  Anyone who knows me knows I love to debate, am quite fluent at it, and definitely stick to my guns.  The thing I find funny is my boss brought this up during the career path section of my performance review.  “You know those debates you always have in the office?  That’s a major part of QA Design, the part you either have or you don’t.  Can’t really teach that side of it.  And you have it!  You always back up your opinions, you’re not stubborn but you will stick to your guns, and you make your point without insulting anyone.  That is a rare quality!

When I think of 6 months ago, in Winnipeg, right before I moved out here…  I was so unsure of myself, of this path.  But I knew I needed a change.  I’m so proud I ignored my doubts and followed my instinct.  It’s already changed my life completely.  I’ve learned so much about myself through having this job, living in a new city, making a whole new group of great friends, etc.  And now it’s looking like I’ll get a career out of this, and spend my life doing what I love.  I feel so lucky.  Every day I smile thinking about how lucky I am.

Friday, June 5, 2009

3 Awards For Dragon Age @ E3


Stolen picture from Mike Avery, who was lucky enough to get down there for E3!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

E3 Impressions

So we got to watch live feeds of the E3 conferences at work.  I was quite impressed, all 3 consoles really brought their A-game.  It made me feel the days of having one console and “picking a camp” are over for me.  If I ever have the money for it, I’ll definitely get a PS3 and a Wii, because even if 360 is my first choice, it doesn’t mean Wii and PS3 don’t have a lot to offer.

Microsoft went first, and had some very impressive things to show off.  Saw footage of games that had been long forgotten like Splinter Cell Conviction, which looks seriously badass, and new gameplay footage of a game I’ve been looking forward to for some time, Alan Wake, from Remedy, creators of Max Payne.

They also showed off Halo ODST and announced Halo Reach, but I’m not much of a Halo fan so that didn’t mean much to me.  I did think the social elements being added to Xbox Live are awesome though.  Facebook, Twitter and even Last.fm are being integrated in to Xbox Live Arcade, free for Gold members, such as myself.  For Facebook you’ll be able to publish gaming moments, screenshots, etc.  I think that’s cool, as I make no effort to hide the fact that I’m a gamer.  I’m also somewhat embarrassed to admit I’m excited for the Avatar marketplace…  And watching movies with friends online could be a cool way for me to keep in touch with friends in Winnipeg!

They also revealed Xbox’s answer to the Wii.  A “new way to play videogames”, it uses a camera and you can play games with no controllers whatsoever.  While the technology definitely looked impressive, I’m not sold on how it will translate in to fun gaming.  And I’m not a huge fan of the name they chose for it, Natal.

And then they showed off Milo.  Using their Natal technology, and the promise of the most complex AI ever created, they showed off a pre-recorded video of a woman standing in front of a tv.  On the screen was a 3d rendered little boy.  They proceeded to have a real conversation, “unscripted”.  Then she drew something on a piece of paper and “handed” it to Milo through the camera.  The whole thing struck me as an elaborate rouse.  Especially since it was presented by Peter Molyneux, a man known by the industry as a big fat liar!  I’m sorry, but AI is only now really beginning to get the hang of taking cover and flanking properly, and even then it only works correctly sometimes.  And he expects us to believe Milo can suddenly LOVE!?  The R&D on something like that would be in the billions.  And even IF they could pull something like that off, is that something we want?  If it is real, which I seriously doubt, but if it is then we’re getting dangerously close to the time when we can’t tell AI from human consciousness.  When I turn off my Xbox I don’t want to have to wonder if I just killed a sentient being.  And don’t get me started on the field day pedophiles would have with something like this…

Next up, Nintendo!  Nintendo stuck to what they know.  Weird peripherals, the Wii Vitality Sensor, which looks retarded to me.  But the flagship franchises are all getting updates.  Wii has a new classic Mario Bros sidescroller coming, which I’m psyched about because I LOVED the New Mario Bros on DS.  And they have 2 games coming out focusing on user created content, a WarioWare game where you make your own minigames, and a Mario vs Donkey Kong game where you can make your own puzzles for the mini-marios to navigate.  And the really exciting thing coming from Nintendo is a new 3rd person Metroid action game being co-developed with Team Ninja, creators on Ninja Gaiden!  And Mario Galaxy 2, the first time a system has had 2 Mario games!  Also, I’m buying Scribblenauts for DS the day it comes out!

Sony was last up, and focused a lot on PSP, which I don’t really care about.  A new Metal Gear Solid which is the true sequel in the franchise, exclusive to PSP.  Final Fantasy 14 was announced, looks to be a new MMO much like FF11.  Yawn.  God Of War 3, Uncharted 2, Heavy Rain, Last Guardian, which all look amazing.  They also had their answer to the Wii, which was a rod with a light on it that a camera captures, much like motion capture works.  I was actually more impressed with this than Natal, because it has millimeter precision.  They showed some real game applications of it, very Wii-like in style.  Bow and Arrows, baseball type stuff, etc.  But the 1:1 precision of it was amazing.  All in all I’m not a big fan of motion controls, but even though they’re blatantly ripping off the Wii, they seem to have done it the best.

One thing about PS3 that impressed me was their new “Play, Create, Share” approach, which is a continuation of Little Big Planet’s success.  The user created content of LBP is what made it such a huge success, and now they’re creating a kart racer, which looks like a lot of fun, that comes with a kart creator, character creator and track editor.  I’ve long been a huge advocate of user created content, and feel that giving players the ability to create is something that is missing from games too often.

So all in all, Xbox definitely took the cake on social networking, which they were already in the lead with Xbox Live.  Facebook, Twitter and Last.fm are all great additions.  I was really impressed with Nintendo and Sony’s approach to allowing more user created content.  All in all a great E3.

There were also many non-exclusive titles shown that looked great, like Assassins Creed 2, Final Fantasy 13 (Yawn), Bioshock 2, Left 4 Dead 2, not to mention Dragon Age!

Bioware really brought EA’s conference up a notch with a new Mass Effect Trailer (or extended one anyway), Dragon Age trailer, and what was the talk of the show, the new Star Wars: The Old Republic trailer!

Everyone at the office has had a lot to talk about lately with all this gaming news, and I know I now have many many games on my list that I want to play.  If only I also had a Wii and PS3.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Just saw this trailer for a new sci-fi movie coming out starring Bruce Willis. Really cool concept for a sci-fi, could be entertaining!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Dragon Age Homepage!

New website design for Dragon Age went live today, check it out!

More From E3

This cinematic from the upcoming Bioware Star Wars MMO is better than Episodes I-III combined.

”Did I just have sex?” - Andrew Gauthier