I recently finished reading "Ask Iwata," a compendium of writings from Nintendo's legendary CEO, Satoru Iwata. The small collection was compiled from pieces he wrote for Nintendo's Iwata Asks (from which the book's name is taken) as well as from pieces on the Hobonichi website (in Japanese). There's a lot in the book about both … Continue reading Ask Iwata
I find LinkedIn to be the rare social network these days that's almost entirely accretive and positive. I think they've nicely balanced an algorithm that blends interest, relevance, and curiosity. And I think they also do a great job of policing it. While the site certainly has a fair bit of non-professional content, I would … Continue reading The Roads Not Taken
The worlds may be virtual, but the competition is real.
There's a lot of discussion around the idea of NFTs in video games. I've read a ton of great replies from other game developers, that have ranged from snarky-but-funny to the genuinely-trying-to-explain-the-problem. I still struggle with extended Twitter "threads" as a concept, so even though it feels weirdly old fashioned, I thought a blog post … Continue reading The Apex Economy
One of my enduring favorite expressions is, "Hope is not a strategy." And yet, I've seen in both sports and tech, people quite often believe that it is. In both fields, there's an often unshakeable belief that the latest innovation or "breakthrough" will either make up for fundamental inadequacies or will unlock progress at some … Continue reading Architectural Astronauts
2020 was the year that I actually retired from being a professional triathlete. Until 2020, there was no pursuit that was more important to who I was and how I thought of myself than sport. Work was what I did, but sport was who I was. I cannot imagine a better company to have left … Continue reading Be Relentless
I hired a coach - two different ones, actually - to help me become a better Apex Legends player. And, at least based on the limited sampling of data I have available to me, it's helped. I win more fights that I used to always lose. And I have a greater understanding of why I … Continue reading I Hired A Coach To Help Me Game Better
[I originally wrote this for an internal presentation at Zwift. After reading Daniel Noah Halpern's book about Tom Caldwell, the head of design at Riot Games, and about game design more generally, I decided to update it and post it publicly.] Chris Crawford originally published The Art of Computer Game Design in 1984. In 2011, … Continue reading The Art of Computer Game Design
In this last of my three part autobiographical series, I'd like to explore the influence of engineering, both as a discipline and as a way of thinking, in my life. My maternal grandfather, Al Demont, was an electrical engineer. He was one of two young men in the Worchester Polytechnic Institute class of 1931 - in the midst of The Great Depression - to get a job, working for the General Electric corporation. He worked for GE for over forty years until he retired, working on everything from consumer appliances to military technology (during WWII). When I think of engineers, I think of my grandfather.
Gamification is an unfortunately overused and abused word. It's come to be a substitute for basically anything that abuses the brain's dopamine reward system. But that's not how I think about games. When I think about games, I think specifically about puzzles and problems to be solved. In Part 2 of my miniature autobiography, I'd like to talk about games as an influence on my life and professional career.