Montreal, Here I Come

I’m incredibly happy to announce that I will be joining the Square Enix family at Eidos Montreal, as part of the Shinra Technologies team. 

This whole thing I started back in January, with a plan to leave Japan, move back to North America, and find work in the game industry has actually worked out, and I’m overjoyed.

This is happening.

I of course have to thank so many incredible people that have offered all manner of support throughout this entire process, too many to list, but you all know who you are, and I want you all to know that I will never forget how lucky I am to be surrounded by so many amazing friends – so, so lucky. 

Montreal, here I come.

That destination is also quite interesting for me, a return to the city where I lived before moving to China and then Japan all those years ago. Not only am I incredibly excited at the position I will be taking on at Eidos Montreal, but I’m also incredibly excited to get a first-hand look at that city’s gaming scene, and on my own time, to do everything I can to be involved through the sort of activities I did in Tokyo. I’m still incredibly passionate about the independent gaming scene, and I want to do everything I can to support it in the ways that I can.

And hey, to all my friends in Montreal, expect to hear from me, as you can imagine I’ll be in need of tons of advice and suggestions on getting our new life – that goes for me, my wife, and of course pooch – started there.

It’s been a long journey to get here, and I can’t wait for what comes next.

Game of Thrones

I remember the days when fall was when you’d get excited for new TV seasons, and now, for me, it’s always this time of the year, as I get all of my favorite shows in one go: Mad Men, Louie, and Game of Thrones – and this year I got the fantastic Daredevil as well. The first episode of Game of Thrones was a bit slow, but I was totally sucked in, loving being back in this world, seeing these characters scheming again, and excited at the prospect of what’s to come (Tyrion meeting Daenerys, oh my).

Card Crawl

Another iOS game I’ve been really enjoying of late is actually similar to Donsol. Card Crawl is also a dungeon crawler that you play with a deck of cards, with a lot of the interactions similar to what you do in Donsol, but with enough differences (extra items, more about the final score) to make it feel like a different game, and with a really fun look to it. Since Card Crawl is available on iPad, I’ve been playing that at home, and then Donsol on my phone when I’m out and about.

Donsol

This is the latest iOS game from Aliceffekt – although a collaboration this time, with John Eternal (the result of something they worked on during a recent train game jam) – and it’s fun as hell. It’s a dungeon crawler but played with regular playing cards that represent creatures/enemies, potions, and shields. There’s a simplicity to it that I love, and the more you play, the more you start understanding the best strategy to make it through a dungeon level (which means going through an entire deck of cards without dying). It’s also great to think that you could technically play it with a regular deck of cards, although I still don’t get how the damage on the shields work at all times. Perfect game to have you on your phone (it’s currently only on iPhone, not on iPad).

Kill la Kill

I’ve been hearing this series get mentioned by a few friends who enjoy anime, and so was curious to check it out, even though on the surface it didn’t look like the kind of thing that I’d really be into – the “suit” the heroin wears when using her powers is absolutely cringe-worthy. But since I spotted it on Netflix, I gave the first episode a shot, and there’s definitely a lot to like here. I especially like the general art direction, and the use of strong typography throughout – this is definitely an anime series passed through a graphic design filter. I can’t comment much on the story yet – students in a battle school of some sort – but I’ll give it a few more episodes, as it looks like it may be fun. But again, groans galore at the ridiculously skimpy (and no sexy) outfit you often see her in.

Steven Universe

I had heard mention of this series before, and it sounded like something I’d like, but just never got around to checking it out. I finally got around to it – I’ve watched the first few episodes of season 1 – and now I see what all the fuss is about. This is indeed a super fun show, with great art direction (I especially like the backgrounds), and I think I may even like it more than Adventure Time – sacrilege, maybe, but I’m digging the humor here a bit more. It’s pretty nice to be discovering the show at this point, as I know I have tons of episodes to watch.

Mad Men

So here we are, the final batch of episodes of what has been my favorite TV series in recent years (my all-time favorite series is still Twin Peaks). This first episode was quite dark and weird, to a point of nihilism. Looks like Don is still going to go through the ringer for a while before he’s able to find any sort of redemption (if that is how it ends).

The Spy Who Loved Me

I don’t usually mention here when I re-watch Bond films, because I do it all the time, but on my recent flight from Japan to Canada I only watched one movie, and it was The Spy Who Loved Me – don’t know why, but they had it as part of the selection in the flight entertainment system. When I re-watch Bond movies it’s usually the early ones, and I haven’t really revisited the Moore ones a lot in recent years, so it felt slightly fresh, and was good fun. Yeah, the Moore ones can be too cheesy at times, but they are still the ones I grew up watching and enjoying as a kid, and some of them are still pretty good (Live and Let Die, The Man With the Golden Gun, The Spy Who Loved Me, For Your Eyes Only).