Thursday, December 18, 2008

Today is history... tomorrow is a mystery...

When I was about 15 years old I worked at the Country Club in our small town. One of the grounds keepers would say the same thing every time that I saw him. "Today is history, tomorrow is a mystery."

The logic here rings true.. but it was funny as he told me this "mini prayer" almost daily, like it was the first time he was saying it. I would never call him out and say, "Dude, you just told me that yesterday!" I guess that I sensed something was a bit off.. and I'd let him preach his gospel to me based on the inner ramblings of his consciousness. It seemed like he might be getting more out of it than me anyway.

The ringing in my ears is due to these same words playing on a constant loop cycle in my brain. After joining EA's Black Box studios here in Vancouver on December 1st. It's just been an onslaught of different trajectories coming at me quick.

There is little to nothing that I can say publicly at this point. There are rumors.. certainly lots and lots of rumors. So I will put it this way... Need For Speed will continue...Black Box will continue... and hopefully I will still have a job! The economic outlook means that EA needs to cut costs and overhead. Facilities and staff is one of the quickest ways to do it. Surely now more than ever "Today is history and tomorrow is a mystery." Thanks again for that bit of knowledge Larry... I'm living it!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Observations Vancouver vs. San Francisco

Since moving to Vancouver I have observed some differences. I thought it might be fun to keep track of them here:

  • We ordered a Cesar today thinking that it was a salad. Turns out that a Cesar here can mean a drink that is very similar to a Bloody Mary.
  • Seeing Obama on the news here is even better than in the US.
  • I really feel that the US has gotten some world credibility back by electing Obama. This is even more apparent when living in Canada. I have yet to meet a Bush supporter.
  • I have no idea how Canadian Politics work but I intend to learn.
  • Since I was born in Massachusetts, I found myself starting to explain where it's located when talking with a few Canadians. They usually stop me mid sentence and say "I know where that is.. we had to study the configuration of the US states in school here." Now can you tell me where Manitoba and Alberta are in relation to Ontario?
  • When someone say's it's "plus 10" outside. That's 50 degrees for you and me. Remember when the US decided to "opt out" of that whole metric thing? Well....the rest of the world "opted in"
  • The beer here is good and varied.
  • The idea of having a pint along with lunch is encouraged.
  • I have noticed that there is quite a bit of news and other documentaries on television regarding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Canadians are not afraid of putting a real face to these tragic stories created from war.
  • On the front page of today's paper 12/15/08 there were pictures and descriptions of three Canadian soldiers just killed on Saturday in Afghanistan. I don't think that I have seen this in the US. The descriptions included what friends and family had to say about their loved ones. Certainly this is not something the US seems eager to make the public aware of. The most I remember hearing in the mainstream media in the US was numbers, digits, not faces and stories. An effort to dehumanize might be a good way to put it.
Hockey is everywhere
  • No need for an explanation here as hockey seems to be everywhere. I am considering this an expected observation.
Rain and foul weather doesn't stop anyone
  • I've seen bikers, joggers, walkers etc.. just in rain gear fighting the good fight in some horrible weather conditions.
  • The bike messengers here must have nutz of steel.
The 1 dollar and 2 dollar coins.
  • There are a few issues with coins of this monetary denomination. When paying for something and all you receive is coins as change. It makes you feel like you just spent way to much money.
  • You might make the mistake and give a homeless person like 7 bucks.
  • Fortunately I am starting to make use of my little coin pocket that was completely underutilized in my jeans prior to the Canada move.
  • The one dollar is a Loonie and the two dollar is a tuneeee

Thursday, November 13, 2008

CalTrain sucks just a bit less

Just found out about someone who is trying to make your experience riding CalTrain a bit better.. wow.. can't believe it.. of course is has nothing to do with the people running the show.. just someone with a bit of sympathy in their hearts and some tech in their brains. Check it out at Caltrain Tweets and start to "Follow" them on Twitter.

Reminds me of someone who told me that the incompetence of a business can be a great reason to spawn other businesses. The example that he gave was the US postal service.. "The only reason why we have carriers such as DHL, Fed-Ex, UPS is due to the sheer incompetence of the USPS."

Let's hope that CalTrain can suck so bad.. it can lead to a better tomorrow? huh? In this case... I don't know if it works that way.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Cliffy B might go Survival Horror

This article posted on Destructiod mentions that Cliffy B. from Gears of War fame might be interested in making a Survial Horror game. I wonder if any inspiration comes from Dead Space? A quote pulled from the article states, "Do you think this one has been in the works for awhile? Or is it a "me too" title, following the success of Dead Space and coming in line after Resident Evil 5?"

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A very cool thing that someone on the team discovered is the fact that you can go to Search for Dead Space, and find people who are playing the game live right now while they offer commentary and take direction and comments from IM scrolling off to the side bar of the page.

Many of us on the Dead Space team didn't realize just how much fun it is to watch other peeps playing the game that you created. It's been a blast!

Seems like we could just use this approach as another form of focus testing. It would alow others to play the game while we provide feedback and comunicate via voice or im.

Another interesting idea would be to have some of the developers on the team play the game while providing insider commentary as it happens. I am sure that a bunch of gamers out there would love to hear the ideas and inspirations in a "behind the scenes playthrough"

Hey EA Marketing peeps.. what do you think about giving this a shot?

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Seven Days of Dead Space

Congrats Erin Ali....You have won a Dead Space Isaac Clarke helmet. Check out her creative entry at the contest sponsor Game Daily

Friday, October 17, 2008


I think that I experienced this first hand through the development process of making Dead Space.. Looking back.. I had some really *#$%@'ing weird dreams.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Unscripted 360 reviews Dead Space 9.3

This just in... Unscripted 360 gives Dead Space a whopping 9.3!! If you want to cut to the chase.. here is the how is how DeconBlade wraps it up.


Dead Space is a freakishly disturbing game that makes hell seem like a day at camp. It looks great and has a deep enough story to keep you checking your video files and clues throughout just to uncover the truth. Did the game scare me? Yes. Did I survive? So far. Will I play this game again despite no multiplayer? Hell yeah. There were a lot of intense moments that EA managed to capture perfectly with a blend of quality sound and detailed environments. I’m already preparing myself for Dead Space 2.

IGN Dead Space review 8.7

Take a look at the IGN reviews for Dead Space PS3 and for x360.

Note the 9.0 for Graphics.. :)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

"the world's scariest game" PSW article

Haven't heard this in a while but the latest news on the Dead Space front is that it's "the world's scariest game". Wow!!

Concluding the review, the mag says Dead Space is "the new benchmark to beat in survival horror that pushes the genre to twisted new heights and into the outer limits of space itself," before slapping it with a nice 9/10 score.

Will see exactly what they have to say in the PSW article that comes out tomorrow!

Godfather II

So after getting Dead Space out the door and on it's way to an early ship date of Oct 14th. I am now working on Godfather II. There is a bunch of work still left to do so I am helping out on the IGC's or "In Game Cinematics". Trying to leverage some of the cool tricks that I was able to implement on Dead Space. I've only got a few weeks before I have to pack my bags and head up to EA's Black Box in Vancouver to join the Need For Speed team! Yes.. lots of changes in the works.. but hey.. change is good right?

Friday, October 03, 2008

Please... for the love of god... READ THIS!

If I hear McCain / Palin say one more time that the Obama ticket will result in higher taxes, which will lead to killing jobs. I am going to loose my mind!! Please for the love of god.. just take 1 min. out of your busy schedules and look at this chart found on washingtonpost website.

It's not rocket science people.. if you make up to $160,972.00 you will benefit by the tax rebates offered by Obama / Biden. If you make more than this.. Congrats.. you are doing well for yourself and will be paying more. Simple facts.. straight talk.. no media spin.

The antics continue.....

Instead of owning up to her incompetence and inability to answer a question, Palin is now complaining that Couric was missing the point by asking what a VP candidate should stand for. So let me get this straight.. it's Couric's fault? Who are these people, where do they come from... If normal everyday people tried to pull this shit at work they would be bitch slapped into being fired. Why do politicians get to have all the fun and talk out of their asses.

In an interview for Fox news today, Palin has this to say,

"In those Katie Couric interviews, I did feel that there were lot of things that she was missing in terms of an opportunity to ask what a VP candidate stands for, what the values are represented in our ticket. I wanted to talk about Barack Obama increasing taxes, which would lead to killing jobs. I wanted to talk about his proposal to increase government spending by another trillion dollars. Some of his comments that he's made about the war, that I think may, in my world, disqualify someone from consideration as the next commander in chief. Some of the comments that he has made about Afghanistan -- what we are doing there, supposedly just air raiding villages and killing civilians. That's reckless. I want to talk about things like that. So I guess I have to apologize for being a bit annoyed, but that's also an indication of being outside the Washington elite, outside of the media elite also. I just wanted to talk to Americans without the filter and let them know what we stand for."

Thursday, October 02, 2008

VP debate brought to you by ExxonMobile Corp.

Just took a look at a link posted on Twitter by @ClockworkGrue McCain says Obama lead is growing because "life isn't fair" So each time I think that things are looking even more and more odd with not only this election, the process, and the country.. What I am really alarmed about is not this piece of journalism but what I see off to the side bar of this article.

This should be a red flag to anyone thinking that we are getting a fair and balanced view of what happens in this country. Most importantly what happens regarding our political process. The caption reads: Sponsored By ExxonMobile "Taking on the world's toughest energy challenges" Are you serious?

Has anyone else been wondering why our debate process doesn't have proper oversight to ensure that this is delivered to the American public in a fair and unbiased way? There was a great interview on this mornings Oct 2nd. "Democracy Now" discussing just how the election process went from being a fair and un-biased process with oversight to what it has become today. It is now managed and run by a private corporation called the "Commission on Presidential Debates". Check out what George Farah has to say on the topic and learn more from the Open Debates website devoted to fair and open debates.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Project Manana

The return from our two week stay in Soliman Bay Mexico has inspired the launch of Project Manana. We hope that this will serve as a place to keep track of our inspirations for this future project.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Dead Space Countdown Clock

Want to know how long you are going to have to wait until you can go play your own copy of Dead Space? Check out this cool Dead Space Countdown clock added to the bottom of my page.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Pimp my rice paddy?

Rice Paddy Art

Each year, farmers in the town of Inakadate in Aomori prefecture create works of crop art by growing a little purple and yellow-leafed kodaimai rice along with their local green-leafed tsugaru-roman variety. This year’s creation — a pair of grassy reproductions of famous woodblock prints from Hokusai’s 36 Views of Mount Fuji — has begun to appear (above). It will be visible until the rice is harvested in September.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Looks a bit like Burning Man

I saw this video and with the "Waffle" errrr.. "Birdsnest" in the background.. this is almost looking like Burningman. Innovative uses of tiny LED lighting is a must for protests and life in the Playa.... and remember Don't be a Dark Wad.

Bright Lights spell out "Free Tibet" on banner in Bejing.

Monday, August 18, 2008

CG Hair gets a new look

University of California, San Diego today announced a new method for accurately capturing the shape and appearance of a person’s hairstyle. The results closely match the real hairstyles and can be used for animation.

Article can be found here:

More Dead Space......

Two are diggin - one is.... ahh... not so much. :) Enjoy this Dead Space review on 1UP

This one is from the Community Day here at EARS... find it on Achievement Hunter

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

My Lighting Presentation is now Live

Here's the link to my lighting / rendering presentation for Dead Space. There were a few links floating around for this... but something was a bit wacky with the audio. This version went live the other day and looks quite bit better... weird to see yourself on camera.. guess I wouldn't be a good actor! Sorry for the power point graphics... you really can't see any of what is on the TV monitor. Note to self: Never use a white background with black type.. this will be completely unreadable if video taped.

Well.. I hope that this might help to clear up some of the confusion going on around "frame rate" and real time rendering vs. "software / pre-rendered solutions".

I'll see if I can post a few of my power-point slides on this blog as well.. that might also serve as interesting information for some of ya.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Isaac Clarke on Twitter

Tell your friends and family to follow Dead Space's own Isaac Clarke on Twitter.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Off to Godfather

Looks like I will be now going onto GodfatherII for a bit. No rest for the weary... still not done with Dead Space.. but hopefully I can get this in the can and take a bit of R&R before getting on the GFII train.

Community Day Rock'd!

Thanks to all who helped put the Dead Space EA Community day together. It was lots of fun for me to get to meet some of the peeps who have their fingers on the pulse of the industry. My voice took a beating as I am speaking today like I smoked a pack 'o Camels. :)

Seriously... was very cool to see this side of things and get out from behind my computer for a bit. Great to see the excitement and appreciation for the game. It truly makes me and the rest of the lighting peeps happy to know that our work is valued and respected by our core gamer community.

Starting to collect links:


Dead Space is racking up the awards!

Game Critics Awards – Winner! Best Action/Adventure Game
New York Times – Winner! 10 Games that Impressed at E3 (List) “Without question the sleeper hit of E3.”
Popular Mechanics – Winner! Top Ten Games of E3 – Dead Space takes #5
IGN – Winner! Best X360 Action Game
Kotaku – Winner! Best Action/Adventure Game of E3 – Winner! Top Ten Games by Platform, 5th on Xbox, 6th on PS3 and 10th on PC
GamePro – Winner! Silver Medal
Cheat Code Central – Winner! Best Horror Game of E3
IGN – Nominee: Best Overall Action Game, Best PS3 Action Game, Best PC Action Game, Best X360 Graphics Technology
GameTrailers – Nominee: Best New Franchise, Best Shooter
1UP – Nominee: Best E3 Action Game
X-Play – Nominee: Best Innovation
UGO – Special follow-up commendation for Best Action Adventure Game

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Dead Space Community Day

Today and tomorrow EA is sponsoring a Dead Space community day. The roster of events will include a meet and greet along with dinner and drinks. A 7:00 pm double feature along with Popcorn and all the candy your dentist told you not to eat will be available for the invited guests.

Tomorrow the 6th heats up with hands on game play and discussions and interviews with the developers including myself! Stay tuned for more.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Dead Space

I am currently working on the new IP Sci-Fi Horror game DEAD SPACE. This is being produced at Electronic Arts Redwood Shores. We are actually very close to wrapping this up.. probably about 1-2 weeks of bug fixing left. I'll be back to document the lighting / rendering tech used on this project. We have really done some very cool next gen stuff on this title. Deferred rendering is just part of the mix.