My family all chipped together to buy me a ticket home for Xmas! Train ride, gunna be loooonnnngggg… The return trip is almost 24 hours… I doubt I’ll get any 3G coverage on my iPhone, so no internet… Gunna it with tons of tv-shows, movies and music, and annoy anyone I can think of with text messages to try to keep myself entertained along the way. I can’t wait to come home, see my family and friends again, and just be in the city I used to call my home after a year’s absence!
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
I found a great store online for buying designer glasses for cheap. I broke my glasses a few months ago. They are still wearable but one side is all supported by a single screw, and it’s only a matter of time before it breaks, so finding this site was good timing. I bought a really nice pair of designer glasses for 120$, after tax, shipping, lenses, everything. I don’t even have to pay till I get the glasses, so no risk. I should get them in about 3 weeks, since it takes time to cut the lenses, put them in the glasses and ship them. Since they’re so cheap, I may get a different pair in a while, and start having different stylish glasses I can pick depending on my mood! So here’s the pair I ordered today:
It’s got a cool cityscape design in black and red along the sides. I’m excited to get them, and in another month or two, like I said, I’ll probably order a different pair!
Friday, September 25, 2009
After work I ended up passing out on the couch with the kittens. Sounds pleasant right? Wrong. I had a very vivid dream that left me in a weird mood. I dreamt Mel Gibson was on a road-trip in an old beat-up truck and he picked up David Spade who was hitch-hiking. They stopped at an old diner to eat and David Spade ended up killing everyone. They got back in the truck and were driving on an impossibly long bridge and David Spade was sitting in the back seat, and kept bursting out crying… Then suddenly I woke up on the couch with the kittens. Suddenly Bill and Tia’s 2 giant pet ostriches ran down the stairs and started attacking me. I tried to fight them off but they were incredibly strong and I realized they were probably going to kill me. Then I woke up for REAL, suddenly and in a cold-sweat. Really disturbing dream that left me feelings very out of it…
My buddy Shea back in Winnipeg has been steadily furthering his musical aspirations since he would freestyle while we were high in his apartment and now he is starting to make a name for himself in the Canadian hip hop scene. This is his latest song, and greatest video yet, which will be seeing some radio-play! He goes by the name Abstract Artform, or Kid A for short. Check his site out!
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Was my Birthday yesterday. Went out the night before and hung out at Dann and Melissa’s, eating Tacos made by Melissa, watching the 2 hour House season premier. It was fun. So my bday itself was great, except for a speeding ticket :P. When I got to work I had a cupcake with a candle in it waiting for me! Kinda weird though, I’m closer to 30 than I am to 20…
Got a really nice email from my parents, talked to them on the phone, and also my brother and uncle. Organized my trip to Winnipeg this Xmas. I can’t wait to go home again. It’ll have been a full year, and I miss my family and friends there.
Also, it’s unseasonably warm for late September!
So Aion is doing really well, and it’s no surprise that because of the similarities it gets compared to WoW a lot. The people that jumped over to Aion say WoW is for kiddies, and the people who stuck with WoW call Aion another wannabe flash in the pan. I’m not that polarized, WoW was great but I just got sick of it, and I’m loving Aion now. But any time someone tells me Aion sucks and WoW is amazing, I’m sending them this video. You’ve probably seen the original video by now. This is the same video, just made 1000 times more epic.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Servers went up at 1:00 today, and I logged in the second they did. I didn’t stay on cause I promised Chad him and I would start together and he was at work, but while I was on I watched the flood of players log in all at once. It was quite the sight.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Pre-ordered Aion and pre-selection went live today.
After a bit of a bumpy start I preselected my characters names during my break and made their looks:
Fezzik, my main:
Indigo, my alt:
Anyone cool enough to understand where I got the names from will understand why the first thing I’m doing is making a macro for Fezzik: “Anybody want a peanut?”
Page 3 from the Dragon Age comic the guys over at Penny Arcade are doing. Click the pic to get the full page.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Furutani, Dale says:
James is gunna come too
Berkes, Dave says:
Furutani, Dale says:
Dang, asian dude, lol
he's Reid's friend that was starting
he pretty much is an Asian Reid, lol
Berkes, Dave says:
well then that's two strikes against him.
I was playing Aion last night, and a conversation popped up unprovoked about Dragon Age. I found a safe spot to camp out and just watched the people chat about Dragon Age. They talked about what origin there were gunna choose, what class, how they were going to play, rumors they heard about the game, and how long ago they pre-ordered. It was hard for me not to mention that I worked at Bioware, because I knew if I did they’d all be pressuring me to tell them things I can’t, but it was definitely one of the coolest moments in my young career!
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Check it out! The New York Times wrote an article on the top 10 games you can count on this Holiday Season, and Dragon Age is in there! Also, Aion, the game Chad and I, and many people at work have started playing, is also on the list! A good read!
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Bill & Tia have had family over all week. On the long weekend Tia’s family came out and her Dad and brother slept in the basement, which was a bit awkward. Then Bill’s parents and brother (my aunt, uncle and other cousin) came to visit, and have been here since. I’ve been eating some nice suppers! My cousin Rick is sleeping in the basement now. He’s a cool guy and I haven’t seen him in a while, since he’s been in Europe having adventures.
Chad and I continue to play Aion. I’m absolutely loving the game. Very addictive.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
At work today Devon told me he got into the open beta for Aion and let me watch him play during lunch. It looks very awesome. Then Chad called me up tonight and told me he got us some open beta keys... I had been planning on holding off until release, but I caved. This game is amazing. I’ve been dying for an MMO to play since WoW, but was just burnt out on WoW itself. I tried Champions Online, and it was fun for a bit but didn’t have enough content. It was too casual an MMO for me, I wanted something a bit more involved. Aion is similar to WoW in all the right ways, and different enough to be its own game, with a gorgeous world to explore and a lot of depth and balance. Goodbye life.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Well, true to my word, I put a lot of effort into simplifying my life this weekend. I got a haircut, spent an entire day cleaning and slightly reorganizing my room, did my laundry, went grocery shopping and did a budget. This really helped make me feel on top of things again. I was really stressed out there for a bit, but I have everything under control again. Making a budget helped put my mind at ease as well. With a bit of discipline I can live quite comfortably. My 2 big mistakes were eating at restaurants too often, and paying bills as they came. With my budget I now spread all my expenses evenly over both checks so there’s no surprises. I guess the 3rd thing I could do is quit smoking (again). Whenever I get super stressed I end up smoking, which is a bad habit because then trying to quit is near-impossible. Trying to quit smoking when you’re stressed, just stresses you out more, and then you want that smoke that much more. So that last one is on my to do list. I’ve managed to quit every time, eventually, so I’m sure I will again.
I was thinking about it earlier today; I won’t be able to go home until at least Christmas, and even then it’s quite iffy. By then it will have been a year since my last visit. I can’t believe it! It’ll have been over a year since I’ve seen my Dad… I don’t like that, so I can’t wait to see him again, and of course the rest of my family! By then Dragon Age will be out and I can show my family what it is I’ve been working on the past year. I’ll definitely get a PS3 copy for my brother for Xmas. And of course a 360 copy for Chad!
And that got me thinking about how it’s been 8 months since I had my falling out with a few of my old friends from Winnipeg. People I’d had in my life for decades, now completely gone. I hear their lives are going well for the most part, which makes me happy. But I’m glad we went our separate ways. I know that, at least on my part, it was what I needed.
Life feels like it’s getting back on track out here. There was a few weeks there where I lost my way, got really stressed out, and felt like it’d all been for nothing. But I’m back on top of things, despite the setbacks. My focus is back on the goal, and I’m enjoying the journey once again :)
Monday, September 7, 2009
Chad and I are eagerly awaiting the Aion release. We have installed the clients on our computers, and just have to wait for the official release. Technically, since we’re pre-ordering, we could get into the open beta, but we'd prefer to wait for the actual release. Though we do get a head start by 2 days! Until then, I will continue to stare at the login screen and salivate!
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Even with his crazy PAX schedule looming we managed to spend time with Penny-Arcade’s Tycho to get his first impressions on our latest game Dragon Age: Origins. We are still swooning from the timbre of his voice and perfect diction.
[BW] What attracted you to working with BioWare on Dragon Age: Origins?
[Tycho] I felt certain that, as part of my work on the project, I would be
given a playable copy!
[BW] And what did you think of the Dragon Age setting?
[Tycho] I have to admit that I read The Stolen Throne in advance of playing
it, so between that and the official site I had a pretty strong
primer. The world-building is much stronger than you’d guess from the
existing videos – the Chantry in particular, but also the relationship
between the Templars, the Circle of Magi, and the unauthorized gutter
magic of the wilderfolk. For lore nerds, the game’s Tome of Knowledge
is something you can easily get lost in.
[BW] BioWare has called this a “spiritual successor” to its previous fantasy titles. Do you think Dragon Age lives up to that heritage?
[Tycho] It was clearly designed to evoke that heritage, so if you’re already
weak to those kinds of attacks I’d say you’re in pretty big trouble.
[BW] Who is your favorite party NPC?
[BW] Do either of you have a favorite origin story?
[Tycho] Not especially, other than to say that playing more than one before
you settle in is a good idea, because they’re not completely inert,
story-wise. I saw people in his origin that popped up in my main
campaign, for example.
[BW] What class did you choose?
[Tycho] I went with a Human Noble Rogue for my “main,” if that terminology
even means anything in a single player game. I’d read the book, and I
figured Rogue would be my path to Bard. I was not wrong!
[BW] Can you give us a favorite moment that doesn’t spoil too much?
[Tycho] Killing my dad was kind of a jerk move, guys.
Don’t worry, that last part isn’t as big a spoiler as it sounds. It’s one of the many origins, and occurs in the first few hours (hence it being an origin).
Spent all day making test-plans which was cool. I use this program called Test-Plan Manager to make detailed guides on how to test certain elements of different things (certain plots, tools, etc, sometimes even things that aren’t the game itself). I volunteered to take a few off other people’s hands to work on.
At 4:00 it was Cake Day so we all went down to the lunch room for cake and I socialized with James, Terrance, Nathan, Dave, Jason and even Homan (he’s awesome). After work I met up with Nathan, Dieter, Mike, James and a new guy at the pub downstairs for drinks. That was fun. Afterwards I went over to Nathan’s and played some Turtles In Time Reshelled with him. It was a major blast of nostalgia, it was one of the first SNES games I owned.
As you may know, I have been pretty stressed out lately. I don’t want to get into specifics, but many things haven’t gone quite according to plan lately. Financially things have been getting really tight, and the chances of me getting a fulltime salary position at Bioware any time this year (before my contract runs out and I have to take 3 months off) are becoming painfully clear to be near non-existent. It doesn’t change the fact that I know this is the industry I will make a career in, but it was a hard pill to swallow, coming to terms with the reality of the economic times and the concept that no amount of hard work can earn something that isn’t available. When my boss told me all the right people were fighting to get me hired, and that it didn’t change the fact that it was extremely unlikely, it finally sunk in.
This weekend I want to be productive in making things a bit more bearable, so I’m planning on cleaning my room, getting a haircut, doing laundry and then sitting down and making a real budget to live by. I think I’ll feel a lot better about things once my living area is organized, I feel cleaned up and I have an actual plan. Might go for a walk with my headphones on and try to get some perspective. If I can get my current life back to a comfortable place, settling in for the long haul in making this a career won’t be such a daunting task.
Friday, September 4, 2009
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Mass Effect apparel is now available for your Xbox Live avatar! I bought some of it, because, and I think this is awesome, I actually own it in real life. I own the shirt my avatar is wearing. Bioware gave them out before they hit stores, and I managed to snag the last medium. So go on Live and pick up the digital version!
Furutani, Dale says:
I'm so pumped for Aion
you should get it!
Dang, James says:
yea i need to make a semi-gaming PC
probably near the end of this month
Furutani, Dale says:
it's really scalable, I bet it'd run on whatever you have now
though you would be missing out on the gorgeousness
Dang, James says:
i am not going to play a beautiful game and not get it looking good. it's like playing CoD4 wii version.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
I’ve been having some financial trouble as of late. It’s no secret I accrued some debt in my youth.
Over the past year I’ve changed more than I ever have before. Finding a passion in life, realizing I’m good at something, and having the courage to follow it really brought out who I’ve always felt I was. When I think of the aimless bum I used to be, overwhelmed with restlessness and ennui, it makes me so thankful to be out here.
But it’s frustrating that while I’ve finally gotten my shit together, pursuing a well-paying career I love, making new friends and building a life I can call my own, I still live in the shadow of the stupid decisions I made in my past. There was a time when my life was just a void I tried to fill any way possible. From one destructive thing to another I looked for distractions and ways to keep myself from having to focus on the fact that my life really had no purpose or goal. Now that I’ve found a goal, ironically, life has become looking for ways to keep the repercussions of those days from becoming distractions themselves, from the future I’m trying to build.
That said, I don’t let myself feel too bad for too long. An amazingly intricate series of events, coincidences and mistakes led me here, and I am incredibly lucky they did. If it weren’t for my mistakes as a teen I never would have fallen off the beaten path, I never would have searched for more out of life, I wouldn't have gone on a roadtrip I couldn’t afford looking for it. Without that roadtrip I never would have had the courage (or debt) to consider coming out here in search of something more lucrative and rewarding, and never would have stumbled into the life I had been looking for all along. I’ve never seen the potential for the kind of happiness this path offers, ever before in my life. I don’t know anyone who loves their job like I do (except the other people I work with). I love going into the office, I’m good at the work I do, I love the people I work with, I can take pride in the work I do and the products that will have my name on them. It’s work I can get excited about.
And it’s a company that treats their employees fantastically. Where else offers things like Cake Day, Beer Day, Board Game Day, Free Sundae Day, free breakfasts and snacks? Where else can a Nerf war break out at any moment? Where else can you swing by a buddies office and take a 15 minute Soul Caliber break? It’s not just fun and games though, I work hard, meet deadlines, take on responsibilities, etc, and I love it. I’ve never felt productive or useful the way I do here. Even if I don’t get a permanent position this year, next year or even the year after that… I can’t feel anything but humble and grateful that I have this kind of opportunity at all, and I won’t squander it.
I’ll just have to look at these tougher times as a test. And I promise you I will pass. I’ve never before had such a burning passion, such narrow tunnel vision, such determination. I’ve never wanted something more. And more importantly, I’ve never been good at something like this before. I will put in as much time as it takes, I will rough out the storm no matter how hard it pours, and I will EARN the future that will make it all worth it.
“There is no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love; there's only scarcity of resolve to make it happen.”