Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Bug’s Life

An interesting article that gives some insight into what it is I do!

A Bug’s Life - GamePro


Saturday, November 27, 2010


I’m on the Longtail website!  Check it out!

On the main page it shows one of 7 people that work at the studio, so mine shows up sometimes.

Main Page

From there if you click the Mission link at the top it takes you to this page, where I’m on the first row of people, including a testimonial I wrote!

Mission Screen

I just thought that was kind of cool!  Fun fact: I took the pictures of everyone!  Dale Furutani: Longtail’s resident photographer!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Where You’re Coming From

Made this playlist last week but forgot to post it.

Photo Nov 19, 2 02 36 PM

  1. Phantogram – Futuristic Casket
  2. Matt & Kim – Block After Block
  3. Le Tigre – After Dark
  4. The Egg – Nothing
  5. Wintersleep – Weighty Ghost
  6. Finger Eleven – Stone Soul
  7. Collide – Razor Sharp
  8. Lady Danville – Kids
  9. Matt & Kim – Where You’re Coming From
  10. Wintersleep – Laser Beams
  11. Sunday Radio – The Things We’ll Miss The Most
  12. fun. – Walking The Dog
  13. Matt & Kim – Wires
  14. Wintersleep – Mausoleum
  15. Volcano Choir – Still
  16. Jonsi – Boy Lilikoi
  17. Phantogram – Voices

As always, available on Grooveshark!

Interview With AJ & Sandeep

An interview with 2 of the guys I work with at Longtail Studios!

AJ and Sandeep do their thing!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Finally Here

I moved in to the new place on Thursday!  The move was pretty painless, Ryan, my new roommate, helped.  The new place is SO much nicer.  And the area is waaaay better too.  The first night after moving in we ordered some pizza and rented videogames.  Life finally feels real here.  I’m not some shadow of myself trying to survive.  I actually had fun, and felt like myself.  Maybe it’s because until now my weekends were sitting alone in my apartment, not speaking a work until I was back at work on Monday.  Making a new friend and living with someone is 2 birds with one stone!  Over the weekend we caught a movie, and Ryan still hadn’t checked out downtown so we did that as well.

While we were downtown I did some window shopping and found some nice clothes I want get, namely a really nice jacket.  And now that money is freed up, I’m looking into joining the gym down the street from work.

I seem to be caught up on all my expenses as well, so I FINALLY have money again.  It was pretty bad for a while with all the initial moving costs (remember I moved TWICE).  But money is freeing up and I have actually quite a bit of spending money left over on each check now.  I finally get to see the money of my new job.  And I’ve decided I’m going to park my car.  I finally got around to calling to switch my car insurance to Nova Scotia and they wanted to charge me 250$ a month!  I paid 150$ in Alberta.  I rarely use it as it is, like maybe three times a month.  And that’s usually for grocery shopping, and Ryan said I can just tag along with him when he does his grocery shopping.  The odd time I do need a car I can just pay for a cab.  There’s no way I’ll use 250$ a month in cabs, so I’m still saving money.  Still, I love driving, never thought the day would come when I voluntarily gave up the right.  We’ll see though, I can always change my mind and insure it later. 

In the meantime I don’t mind taking the bus.  The view from the bus stop outside our place is amazing!  We living up on a big hill so we get an amazing view of Halifax.  Especially at night when all the city lights are glimmering below.

The one downside of not driving is no road-trips.  But I suppose I can rent a car, it’s not too expensive.  Next Spring I’ll probably do that so I can go on a mini-roadtrip to Prince Edward Island, it’s only about 4 hours away.  I’ve always wanted to drive across the Confederation Bridge.

But ya, life is feeling so much better out here.  Having a friend and roommate, living in a nice place in a nice area, and having spending money again all add up to make things much more manageable.  Life was pretty dark for a while, but I’m really beginning to enjoy life out here.

So on that note, I leave you with a video tour of the new place!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Transient

“There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth...not going all the way, and not starting.”

The week before I left Edmonton I remember sitting on the apartment balcony with Chad discussing the coming changes.  I was expressing my conflicted feelings.  While I was extremely excited to be moving up in the industry, getting a salary position at much higher pay with much more responsibility and the adventure of starting over in a new city again, I also had to admit I was very apprehensive about the first few months.

I recounted the story of my first few months in Edmonton and how alone I was, and filled with doubt I felt.  The doubt was the worst part.  To leave behind a perfectly good life for hope of a better one is a risky trade off.  To let go of something, hoping for a greater return in the future is a romantic concept, but doesn’t always end that way.  And to be haunted by these thoughts for months, while you sit alone, night after night, missing the family, friends and life you left behind…  It’s not easy.

He assured me it would all be ok, and I knew he was probably right.  But I’d been through this trial before, and barely made it out with my conviction.  By the time Chad moved to Edmonton I’d already formed a life waiting to welcome him.  My friends were looking forward to meeting him, and he had an apartment to live with me in waiting for him.  There were no dark lonely nights for him, just staying up playing Uncharted in our living room, and having house-warming parties with all my friends.  And Olga would be moving out to join him in 2 months.  He realized this, but stood firm that I’d get through it, like I had before. A good friend.

So here I sit in Halifax.  Alone in a dark apartment, desperately missing something as simple as sitting on a balcony with my friend.  This trial isn’t any easier the second time around, in fact in many ways it’s harder.  When I moved to Edmonton it wasn’t so much going to Edmonton but escaping Winnipeg.  I loved my family and friends, but my life had stalled out, and I needed a total change of scenery to grow.  Moving here was not escaping Edmonton.  It actually felt more like being exiled, what with my final contract at BioWare coming to an end.

The past 2 months have been some of the darkest of my life.  It’s been incredibly lonely.  The city feels very unwelcoming.  I live in one of the absolute worst areas in Halifax where I fear for my safety.  While I like the job and the people I work with, it’s been difficult to make friends even there, and sometimes I’m overcome with self-doubt about my work performance.  The city layout forces me to bus to work.  The costs of moving twice in 3 months including a cross-country move have left me feeling the poorest I’ve even been, despite making the most I ever have.  My nights are filled with the doubt that this was a bad decision, and everything I let go of is not coming back.

And this move feels different.  When I moved to Edmonton, Winnipeg felt “next door”.  It was where I just came from.  Now I’m twice removed from the city I grew up in.  I moved to Halifax from Edmonton, but I’m from Winnipeg.  Sometimes I feel so lost, like a transient with no home.  Home is beginning to feel like a foreign concept.  I knew what it meant once to have history somewhere.  A place where people knew you, where you came from, and how you became the man you are now.  Now I feel like I’m always the new guy.  I have no history, and I’m just passing through.

But I’m reminded of Chad’s words.  That I would make it through this, I have before.  And I’m beginning to realize he was right.

Things are finally getting better, and I’m feeling hope again.  I’m getting good feedback at work and I’ve made a few friends there.  I’ve made some friends outside of work as well.  I met a girl on the bus and have hung out with her a few times for coffee.  A friend of a friend just moved to the city as well, and we have hung out a few times, and I move in with him tomorrow!  Living with a new friend will go far in making this city feel more like home.  It’s a nicer place in a nicer area as well.  And on the next check I should be all caught up on moving costs and I should finally start seeing all the extra money that brought me here in the first place.  Having some spending money will also make this feel a bit more like home.

I’m finally beginning to be able to picture a future in this city.  And that’s a major turning point.  It was after 2 months of desperation that things finally started to fall into place in Edmonton, and in the end Edmonton was the best period of my life thus far! 

I think this trial is ending, and just like last time the only thing I managed to carry through it was my conviction.  And now I’m beginning to see the rewards.  The sense of adventure has returned.  I just moved to the East Coast!  To run a department and earn a salary!  I work by the ocean!  I WALKED THE OCEAN SIDE DURING A HURRICANE!  Yes, leaving Winnipeg set me on a path that has been harder than I anticipated, but it’s also been more rewarding than I ever could have imagined.

I remember as I packed the last of my things into my car in Edmonton, Chad and I had our manly handshake and did our best to hide our emotions.  It was all very Joey & Chandler.  “Enjoy your life here, Chad.  Edmonton’s been good to me” I told him.  And as I drove off I watched Chad waving goodbye, leaving him to the life I’d made in Edmonton, the life I never expected to blossom.  And yet it had become my home.  And while I knew it was Chad’s home now, and that he would have his own adventures there, I was off to start a new one of my own.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Natural Philosophy

A new playlist for those who like new music!


  1. Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross – Painted Sun In Abstract
  2. Hooray For Earth – Comfortable, Comparable
  3. Penguin Prison – A Funny Thing
  4. Penguin Prison – Something I’m Not (BretonLABS remix)
  5. Broken Bells – Trap Doors
  6. Dumas – Passer A L’Ouest (au-dela des frontieres)
  7. Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross – Intriguing Possibilities
  8. Kings Of Leon – Radioactive
  9. The Courteeners – You Overdid It Doll
  10. Pyramiddd – Boy Toy
  11. Pyramiddd – Medicine
  12. Big Spider’s Back – Perfect Machine
  13. Broken Bells – The High Road
  14. Broken Bells – The Mall And Misery
  15. Kings Of Leon – Pickup Truck
  16. The Courteeners – Cross My Heart & Hope To Fly
  17. Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross – Complication With Optimistic Outcome
  18. Robbie Robertson – This Bitter Earth

New Place Soon!

So this weekend Ryan moved into the new place.  The plan is for me to move in mid-to-late November because I’m paying rent at the current place until December.  Ryan moved from Fredricton, which is about a 4 hour drive.  His Dad came as well to help move all his stuff.  He very generously offered to help me move the big things from my apartment to save me moving costs.  So we moved my couch, computer desk and bed frame.  It was really nice of them to help with that, and saved me a LOT of trouble.  It does mean for the next few weeks I’m back to living without a couch or desk though.

When I’d last seen the place before signing the lease it was having a lot of work done it.  The landlords promised us it was going to look really nice, and they weren’t lying!  It looks great!  Hardwood floors in our rooms and living room, new vinyl tiles in the kitchen, bathroom, etc.  They put in new windows that are huge and let a lot more light in, which was one of my only complaints about the place before.  I’m really psyched to move in, the place looks great!

After his parents left, Ryan and I hung out in the new place for a while.  He’s a really down to earth guy, and easy to talk to.  I have no doubt we’ll be great friends in no time, which is great cause I needed some friends here!

I took a few pics of the outside, but pics of the inside will have to wait till I officially move in!



Gundead Defense

One of the games Longtail Studios made before I started here.  It’s free on the app store.  It’s really fun!  It’s a tower defense game, with a bit of a story and multiplayer!  I don’t know of any other multiplayer tower defense games.  And it’s FREE!  So go download it and give it a shot!