The game I’m working on isn’t really done yet but people are starting to leave the team already in great numbers. A large portion of the team, myself included, are on contract so these contracts are starting to end. One guy finished his last week. Another guy is finishes his contract this week but is then moving onto a different team in the studio. One other dude is leaving the company at the end of the week. By the end of this week, more than 30% of the team will be gone in one form or the other. The interesting thing is, I still think we have a ton of work to do and now we have fewer people to do it with!

As for me, I’m gone on the 10th and by then I believe there will be only four or five people left on the team. I’m almost certain there will still be a considerable amount of work left to complete by that date. At that point, it won’t be my problem anymore though. This has been a most different project and I hope to write about it candidly some day.


Like many people in this country, my mother has a cell phone contract and thankfully that contract will expire this October. She’s been with Telus for the last three years and like the other two big cell providers in the country, she gets very little for what she pays for. She gets no data, no long distance, and nothing of value for the price she pays. I arranged for her to switch over to Wind Mobile when her contract ends. Since my mother rarely travels outside of the coverage zone for Wind, it’s an ideal solution for her. She gets way more value and services but pays less per month.

The plan is to port her number over to the her Wind account once her Telus contract ends in October. To ensure there were no surprises once that day arrived, I suggested she give Telus a heads-up that she would be letting her contract expire and that she would porting her number to a new carrier. She went to a Telus store at her local mall to figure out if she was missing any steps. The representative there listened to her intentions for that day in October. He replied that there was no way for her to keep her number if she went to another carrier and that her only recourse if she wanted to keep her number was to continue have Telus as her cell provider. This was a blatant lie. Cell number portability is well within her rights as a consumer. She clearly meets all the conditions of porting as she is not leaving the general area or moving to another city.

I didn’t call the store she went to but I did call their corporate number to inquire about anything in her account that would prevent number porting. I was told that nothing in her account currently would prevent her from taking her number elsewhere. The only condition was that she still needed to be a Telus customer on her last day of the contract when the porting would be done.

I get that cell phone providers will try to retain their customers. What I don’t like is when they outright lie to people in an attempt to keep their business. I’m sure this guy wanted to pull the wool over my mother’s eyes and then she’d sign another contract with him so he could get the commission. What a smarmy way to do business. I’m going to call the actual store she went to this week to find out why they decided to tell her the lies they did. I am sure they will have a good answer.


Last night, like many nights, I crawled into bed, grabbed my tablet and looked at non-porn things for a few minutes before I got really sleepy. I proceeded to put my tablet on my nightstand, closed my eyes, and fell asleep. Some time later, I snapped awake because of what I perceived to be sound near my head. Previously, I’ve had cases where I’ve woken myself through snoring or even possibly farting. So I wasn’t sure if I had caused the noise myself or if I had imagined the noise since I was half-asleep still. It really sounded like the noise had come from a corner of the bed near the wall though. To satisfy my curiosity, I got up, turned on the lights, and looked for what could have caused the noise. I looked on the bed and under the bed but couldn’t see anything. Whatever had caused the noise, if it had even been a real noise, was not in sight.

I turned off the lights and went back to bed. Unfortunately, I was now wide awake and I had probably slept less than 30 minutes. I briefly thought about taking a sleep pill but I’ve been trying real hard not to rely on drugs to get me to sleep. So I stubbornly just waited for sleep to come. Ten minutes of tossing and turning didn’t do anything so I got up, urinated, got a drink of water, and grabbed my tablet again. I turned the brightness all the way down as to not trick my brain into thinking it was daylight. I even made sure the Kindle app I was using had a black background on white text.

So there I was reading All You Need Is Kill, hoping that fatigue would wash over me again like it had only an hour ago. It didn’t however and the book got very interesting, so I kept on reading. By now I knew that I had cut into my sleeping time enough that I would be tired tomorrow. The words kept on flowing though and one chapter became the next. I looked outside and it was still dark but that would probably not be the case for much longer. I had to do something. I got up, urinated, drank some water, and broke a sleeping pill in half and swallowed that. It was a compromise I had to take. I retreated back to bed and kept on reading. Soon, the words came slower and the fatigue I wished to feel earlier came back. I put down my tablet again and feel asleep.

When my alarm went off in the morning, getting up and going to work was something my body really did not want to do. I laid in bed and I briefly considering going in later and getting more sleep. I sucked it up though and hauled my sorry ass to work. I was fine for most of the day until around 4pm when my body decided it had enough. I was forced to make a coffee, French vanilla for those scoring at home, which allowed me cross the finish line.

I’m not sure what the lesson is to be learned here. Sleeping pills are the way to go? Don’t go investigating perceived strange noises in your bedroom?


As many of you know, I worked on a beloved series of skateboarding games, the last of which shipped in 2010, called Skate 3. As with many games and movies, Skate 3 hit the sales charts when it was released, peaked at a certain spot, and then steadily declined until it was no longer charted at all. Virtually no games come back onto the charts, especially when they leave for an extended period of time. This, however, was not the case for Skate 3.

Some of you maybe aware of the YouTube phenomenon where video makers gain a huge following just by recording themselves playing games. One such YouTuber is pewdiepie or Felix Kjellberg, a Swedish video maker. Kjellberg is likely the most famous and influential of those who make “Let’s Play” videos. His videos have millions of views and because of that, he generates a massive amount of advertising revenue for YouTube. He himself is a millionaire, just from his share of said revenue. Let that sink in for a second. Kjellberg made his millions by recording himself playing videos games and commenting on the on-screen action. Granted he does have a personality and obviously people enjoy watching his videos. It is interesting though that in this day and age, this was a viable method of becoming a multimillionaire.

So, as you can now understand, Kjellberg with his millions of viewers (and dollars) is a hugely influential person in the video game industry. Eight months ago, he decided to make a video of him playing Skate 3, which I posted above. That video currently has over 13 million views, which is phenomenal. He went on to make several more videos featuring our game, all of which have several million views. As a testament to his influence and to how people enjoyed seeing the game play, people went out and started buying up copies of Skate 3. The majority of these people never played any of our games previously and probably never would have even thought of picking up a four year-old skateboarding game. The demand was so high, a UK game retailer asked EA to make more copies of the game so they could put them on their shelves.

The end result is that Skate 3 re-entered the video game sales charts after a four-year absence. For the end of August, here are the charts for the US and Europe. It’s so odd but also awesome seeing our four year-old game nestled in the charts with games released this year.

Of course, I don’t see an extra dime of money from all these new sales but I’m just happy a whole new bunch of people are playing our game.


So at work today, we were told how our names would appear in the credits list for Halo: The Master Chief Collection. To be clear, there will be an incredible amount of names listed in the credits for this game as so many different studios are working on this production. It will most likely be the longest credit section I’ll be a part of.

In our little section of the credits, I’m under the “programmer” category and for the first time in my career, I’ll be first in that particular list. Normally, lists are usually sorted alphabetically by last name and with a last name that starts with “T”, I’m near the end. This time, the names are sorted alphabetically by first name and I just happened to luck out that my first name with “E” is at the top. Not that matters really, there are guys at the bottom of the list who have way more experience than I and are much smarter.

Anyways, on November 11, I doubt many people will be looking at the credits but I’m glad to know my name will be tucked in there by the back corner.


On Saturday evening, I found myself watching videos on Wildlife Aid‘s YouTube channel. The organization exists to care, rescue, and rehab wild animals and is located just outside of London, England.

In the video above, they are rescuing a fox cub who was probably looking for food and got his head stuck in a can. If you look through their videos, they rescue a significant amount of foxes both young and adults. This probably due to the large fox population in and around London. The fox you see above was lucky enough to released back into the wild almost right away. If he had been injured more, they would have taken him back to the wildlife centre for treatment.


I woke this morning and I realized I had done so without my alarm clock. This could only mean I had woken up early, the only question was, how early? I checked my tablet which was next to my bed. It was almost two hours before my scheduled wake up time. Great.

I felt parched so I got up to get a drink of water. It was light outside but it was grey. Once in my kitchen, I noticed the digital clocks on my stove and my microwave were out. The power had gone out while I was sleeping. Great. My hot water dispenser, which is on a timer, would not be providing me with hot water this morning. I turned on the kitchen faucet to get some water. The water came out at half pressure. Without electricity, the water pumps in the building could no longer push the water up all the floors. It wouldn’t be long before it would be down a small trickle.

I looked outside again, some buildings had lights on while others did not. I saw street lights on just a block away. I began to wonder if it was just my building. I went to my bathroom to urinate. I briefly considered not flushing because I had only one good flush left. I rolled the dice and flushed. It went down fine but I could hear just a bit of water filling up the tank. I hoped number two wasn’t going to be required this morning.

I crawled back into bed and grabbed my phone. According to the battery app, it had been on battery now for almost an hour. So the power had only gone out shortly before I awoke. Using mobile data, because I had no other choice, I discovered it was more than just my building without power. It seemed the outage affected a large block in my area, including the community college nearby. Below me, none of the shops had power, which meant Starbucks and Tim Hortons were closed. There were going to be a lot of grumpy, non-caffeinated people today. The Skytrain was running though which is because their power comes from a different circuit. The station itself had no power unfortunately, which meant all the signage and lights were off.

I decided there was nothing else to do so I went back to sleep. My hope was that the power would be back on when I awoke for real. An hour later, my alarm rustled me from my slumber. The power was still off. I lit a candle in my bathroom and then washed my face with some water I liberated from my hot water dispenser tank. I dressed in semi-darkness and drank some room temperature water. None of the faucets supplied any water at this point.

I blew out the candle, put my shoes on, and went outside to go to work. One of the elevators was still running as the backup plan is to have all emergency lights and one lift running on a generator. I was willing to use the stairs but I took a chance the elevator wasn’t too busy. I lucked out as the wait was actually normal in length. On the way down, it stopped off at two floors where no one was present to step on. These folks had obviously gotten tired of waiting.

I caught the train on a dark and unlit platform but after that point it was just another normal day. I monitored the situation from work and the power was only restored after 1pm, a good seven hours after the initial problem. It was perhaps a minor convenience for me but the local community college had to cancel some classes and businesses could not operate for at least half the day. I hope this doesn’t happen again!


As many of you are aware, Scottish voters are currently voting in a referendum to answer a simple question. Do Scots want Scotland to be their own independent country? For Canadians, this is an interesting development since Canada has gone through two similar referendums where residents of Quebec voted to stay or leave Canada.

Of course, the two situations are very different. Scotland’s place in the UK is remarkably different from Quebec’s place in the rest of Canada. Nonetheless, it’s fascinating to see what will happen when the votes are tallied.

I have no opinion of what I think should happen. I don’t know enough about the issues at hand or the ramifications of either outcome. I will say that if the “yes” votes come out on top, the world will be watching very closely at how Scotland and the UK negotiate the independence.


I arrived at work this morning to find that my chair massage cushion had been delivered to my desk. Not wanting to look like a complete slacker, I waited until lunch time to take it out of the box. Disregarding all instructions and notes, I set it up how I saw fit, which basically involved strapping it to the chair back and plugging the thing in.

I sat down and turned it on. It was felt amazing. It operates very much like the massage cushion you see in the video above (the one in the video is a bit more advanced). When you turn on the heat, the two massaging knobs light up red through some LEDs. It feels especially good when the massagers are at the extreme ends of their travel, at the top near my shoulders and at the bottom when it gets your lower back.

It turns off automatically after 15 minutes of continuous massage so overall, I got over an hour of massage throughout the entire day. I let other people try it out and it was a big hit with everyone. It appeared several people are seriously considering buy one for themselves. I can attest that you do feel a lot more relaxed as you work. I actually can’t wait to get to work and get my back massage first thing tomorrow morning!