Living the Dream

Game Development, Life, Seattle, Stories 6 Comments

I wrote this a while back but never posted it. It’s a bit of a noir / gonzo take on game development, so take that as you will.

8:45 am. A combination of rustling coming from the bathroom and the repeated squeal of the cell phone alarm going off wakes him up.

Groggy, he pulls the cover over his head. Sagan puts his nose up over the edge of the king side bed, saying good bye to his dad. Tail wagging, Sagan wishes he could see more of his pack leader, but daddy has been really busy lately.

“Common! Sagan! Yes… I know. I miss him too. We need to go.”

Sagan won’t leave the side of the bed and has to be dragged away.

“Love you hon, have a good day… when did you get in last night?”

“Not sure, 2 I think…” he gurgles out from underneath the comforter.

No response that he can remember. Shuffling of feet and paws and slamming of doors and vehicle engines. He’s home alone again.

Gotta wake up. Shower.

Rolling out of bed, he holds onto the wall, still sleepy and shaky on his feet. He turns on the shower and goes back into the bedroom to pack his running gear for later in the day. He imagines the brief period of about an hour where he can just run, uninterrupted. The music is nice too.

Back in the shower, the water is hot. Too hot. Nearly scalding, he turns it down. Once behind the pure glass and metal stall, he slowly turns the heat back up. He’ll repeat the same scalding mistake tomorrow.

Cleaning himself, he thinks about the day before. A level needs to run faster, the frame rate is still suffering. If it’s not taken care of, his boss and their bosses will be upset. They’ll go into meeting rooms and talk about him. He knows that people are working on the problem and it’s a high priority for the team to fix.

Ultimately, it’s out of his control.

> – – – Read the rest – –

Space Pioneer Chronicles #1 – Resources

Stories No Comments
Future US Flag

During the acquisition of 2776, this new American flag was drawn up to represent Earth at the center of the New Planetary States.

He sat swiping his hand across his PC.

Patiently waiting for the drives to spin down and begin the atmospheric breach process, he stayed mentally detached from the series of events about to unfold. The entire song and dance was a mechanical procedure he’d been through tens of times before. Scared? Nah. He’d gotten to the point where it might as well be a trip to the head. Luckily, there were no “snakes” on this trip.

Two boring months of travel and a year or so of hard labor, but the pay was worth it. Land on the asteroid, establish basic living quarters, gather up as much ore as possible and return home.

Except this time it wasn’t ore and it wasn’t an asteroid.

The ExxonMobilShell corporation, after developing it’s own ship fleet hundreds of years ago (along with many other companies), began sending out mining vessels to local system asteroids:

“For the sole and express purpose of seeking rare universal materials in order to ensure the security and future existence of the human race.”

Once those ships could travel between the stars, all of those rich, deposit-filled asteroids were theirs for the taking. Pure profit, especially if they were partially funded by the government.

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Captains of Industry

Game Development, Jokes, Life, Stories, Uncategorized No Comments

The sun was trying its damnedest to press through the thick clouds above Megalocorp.

Deep within the corridors of this titan of technology, two game designers solemnly walked into a small conference room and slid the heavy glass and metal door behind them. Mismatching, cast away chairs from various cubicles haphazardly circled a small round white table. Cardboard boxes from an office move years ago were still piled in the corner. Definitely a place where birth is given to creative inspiration. Definitely.

The two plopped down and signed nearly simultaneously.

“So, we never really talked about what happened,” he let the words hang in the air for a moment, hoping the other designer would carry the thought forward. When his counterpart didn’t, he pressed on.

“How do you feel about what happened? You know… how it all went down?”

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343rd Dimension: Ragnar Relay Northwest Passage 2012

Life, Running, Seattle, Stories 4 Comments

Ragnar Introduction

Ragnar. The word said aloud sounds beastly. Guttural.

A few friends of mine in the game business completed a relay race called “Ragnar SoCal” which is when I first started learning about the series. Each Ragnar race is a 200 mile relay that takes place in various locations across the United States. Washington DC, Utah, Tennessee, Washington, Southern California, Las Vegas, Wisconsin, and more. Runners come in teams of 12 (or 6 if you’re an “ultra” team) running the entire relay, non-stop, night and day.

That often means little or no sleep for around 20-30 hours, no real meals, and a whole lot of running.

Being a runner who likes taking on bigger and bigger challenges, Ragnar seemed right up my alley. I love seeing new places on runs and this seemed like a scenic race. Running and taking a van tour across 200 miles of the US is a great way to tour the country and to reinforce how safe and friendly the US truly is.

I knew there were a few runners around the studio, but convincing 11 other people at 343 Industries plus finding volunteer van drivers was going to be a challenge of its own.

> – – – Read the rest – –


Stories, Uncategorized No Comments

“Six Nineteen. Ascernity Administer on approach.”

“We have you now. All signs read clean. Welcome back, Ripper.”

He waited patiently at the door. For all they had learned and understood about The Universe, they still hadn’t figured out how to create personal teleportation devices.

Doors. Just like us. They always end up making doors of their own.

Sure, they could teleport planets across systems and use asteroids as their own personal weapons against would-be invaders, but small scale objects? Impossible. Well, at least until someone figured it out. It was only a matter of time, but the lack of personal teleportation was getting annoying.

And time was still a one way street. A tough nut to crack.

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The Door

Stories No Comments

He sat at his desk, sifting as usual.

Data, data and more data. Nothing but piles of code to sift through, stacks of people’s personal lives that at one point he thought would be interesting and exciting. Two straight years or seeing that everyone else was just an human as he was. Two straight years of peeking behind the curtain to see a naked overweight fifty year old woman with serious allergies to whey, an addiction to QVC and an unhealthy obsession for Dancing with the Stars.

The sifter was the lowest of the low on the digital totem pole. Associates sat squarely on top of them, pushing and hounding them for certain patterns and asking out-of-left-field questions.

“Any spikes in the apple market today?”

“Do you mean Apple Computers or apple, like in… apples you eat?”

“Apples you eat!”

Questions like this were common. He had to sit and think back on the Record, truly considering if he had really seen what the Associates were looking for.

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Time Statue

Life, Stories No Comments

He had traveled across ten galaxies and had finally came to the end of his quest. He found it. He had finally found it.

The Time Statue.

He approached the two story, stone oracle, located on a remote, but seemingly habitable world. The planet was strangely devoid of life, although he was unphased by this.

The traveler opened his mouth to speak, but the Time Statue’s eyes opened and stared down at the traveler. The Time Statue’s mouth began to move. A booming voice cut through the thin air.

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Stories No Comments

He knew it was coming. He saw it trillions of miles away. He had seen it foretold. He knew that’s how it would be. No other option.

Millions of miles away. The future impact any moment now. All calculations were precise. All i’s dotted, all t’s crossed.

But wait, what’s this? Something else? A moment of faith. A brief fraction of a small time segment. That’s all it was. Flushed from memory- but it had happened. Gone as soon as it arrived.

Maybe he wouldn’t crash there. Maybe it wouldn’t go as planned. Maybe it would be different this time somehow.

That brief moment of faith was all he could think about as his systems took over. That one brief moment in time. Just for a moment, he saw a different future. Perhaps, just this once, events wouldn’t unfold as predicted.

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Org Sharks, Clown Units and Halo Top 5

Gaming, Jokes, Stories 4 Comments

What are you lookin' at?

I don’t get to talk about work very much. Today, that all changes.

The Top 5 Brigade has been having some trouble with… leaks. After a lofty and well deserved promotion, my wise, handsome, and wonderfully smelling Section 10 officers sent me, Haxington, to root out a mole within the Top 5 unit. The Clown Unit.

So far, my attempts at information extraction have been in vain. Schismarch, whom I suspect to be the culprit has been extremely evasive to my lines of questioning. On the other hand, I think one EckoTech might simply be playing dumb. Perhaps they are in kahootz and they are both moles. The punishment I would no doubt have the pleasure of exacting on the two, if that were the case, would make my life complete. And I would probably get another promotion. Which I would deserve.

Wait. Maybe I’m the mole? No… no! I mustn’t think such foolish thoughts! Their mind games are beginning to weaken my mental fortitude!

I may need to resort to more… extreme measures in the oncoming months. I will find the mole and order within Section 10 will be restored. Come hell or high water. Now, where did I put that bottle of rubbing alcohol, the 9-iron, and “Ol’ Trusty?”

Oh. If you want to see video of my interactions with these two, check out the surveillance footage I’ve received clearance on posting below:

Prince Ehreth and the Kingdom of Dreams #4

PEatKoD, Stories 1 Comment

The waves crashed against the bow of The Ultimate as she bobbed confidently through the Kirklondian Sea. With the wind at their backs, sails at full mast and cannons on standby, the crew of The Ultimate was poised to finally take what was theirs.

Hunting The Runner had been difficult enough. True to her name, The Runner was the fastest vessel in the entire kingdom. They had been tracking The Runner for months. Any other crew would have declared mutiny by now. In fact, other crews had declared mutiny chasing after what most considered to be fools gold: The Conch, the last link to the Merfolk who watch over the murky depths that no man dare tread.

Only the one who holds The Conch holds the power to communicate with the dwellers of the deep. Only the one who holds The Conch holds the power to command them.

Or so the legend goes.

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