Saturday, December 31, 2011


After 4 and a half years and a hair away from 300 posts, I took the very hard decision to move to another Blogging service.

After a lot of searching and trials, I chose Tumblr. This decision was not an easy one. has its perks, but I needed something different for the new year. A new blogging adventure that's much more "content" focused and much more "me" focus as well. The blogging-tools on Tumblr and Tumblr's own philosophies are much more geared towards accomplishing this goal of mine.

New year, new blog, new "image". For this new endeavor, I finally created myself a personal logo. I previewed it in my Christmas wish post.

You can continue following me on...

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 22, 2011

3DS, PSP and PS Vita Battery Comparison Video

//via @TristanGeoffroy on Twitter

Monday, December 19, 2011

Thinking of moving...

After four and a half years here, I'm thinking of moving my blog. I don't know if I can really move my blog a third time, though. I really like Blogger, but another service is attracting me.

I still haven't decided yet. Keep checking until the end of the year to see if I have taken the decision.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Samsung Galaxy S II - Stop USB Connection Drop

I recently got myself up-to-date in Mobility with a new smartphone - Android, of all things. My weapon of choice, the Samsung Galaxy S II.

This phone is not only replacing my old "not-so-smart" phone, but my old iPod Touch as well. Music is an important part of my life and it's so great to be able to carry everything I need in one device. If you are a Samsung Galaxy S II owner, you probably have one little problem: The USB connection likes to drops a for a lot of people (although not everybody). This is especially a problem if you're transferring a lot of data in one go through the traditional method (Plug your phone in, copy files through Explorer... no second thoughts). Yet a very simple fix exists: Don't just plug it in!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Keep This Quote in your Mind

Your purpose in life isn't to arrive at a destination where you find inspiration. Just like the purpose of dancing isn't to end up at a particular spot on the floor. The purpose of dancing and of life is to enjoy every moment and every step, regardless of where you are when the music ends.
---Wayne W. Dyer

Saturday, November 26, 2011


This post is a few days overdue. Better late than never. Last Monday, I tore down a massive wall as a musician.

I have played quite a few classical solos on the flute when I was learning about 10 years ago. I always played them with accompaniment. It was always a rush because you were the musical highlight of the piece. Last Monday, I had to perform a traditional Celtic/Swedish Air alone. This was my first solo on the Irish Whistle. Perfect time to showoff my Tuneable Chieftan Whistle in the key A. Also, I was alone for this piece. This put a lot of pressure on me, but I practiced with confidence.

First traditional [Celtic-style] solo and first solo alone. I was so excited and anxious about doing it. It wasn't perfect, but I performed with feeling. Everyone was moved. I'm very proud of accomplishing this. It's a huge milestone for me as a musician.

For the curious, the tune I played was the Jim Good/Flook version of Glass Polka, a tune written by Ale Möller. You can check the ABC Notation after the jump.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

So Far in the Land of Skyrim...

(In no perticular order and as Spoiler-free as possible) In about 35 hours of Gameplay of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, I...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Living - My Skyrim Impressions

Dragons are bad for your health... really...

As you saw from my previous post, I've been playing The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim a bit. I have clocked in 25 hours of game-time so far and I can't even say that I've just scratched the surface. I can't even scratch the thing.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Skyrim and Mead

Yup. That's The Elder Scrolls V with a bottle of Mead.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Managing Mid-Back Pain

Those of you that follow me on Twitter (either officially or through this blog's sidebar) know that I'm afflicted with mid-back pain. In this post, I am to share my experience and what I do to manage as part of Canada's Pain Awareness Week.

When I was a kid, playing video-games, I would sit leaning forward. Not just a little. To the point where my back was almost rounded. My parents would come up to me and say "Sit up straight! You're going to have back problems later". As a kid I was comfortable that way and didn't believe them (Ah, kids!). Many years later, more or less 15 years later, in my old apartment I had a loveseat (small couch). One Sunday afternoon, I fell asleep on it. When I woke up, this is when it started. Pain like I haven't felt before.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


In video-games, I do not dislike very specific styles or genres. But there are specific things that will push a game outside my comfort-zone.

With Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Eidos Montréal has been complimented on their ability of staying true to the Deus Ex IP while still resulting in making the game they wanted, the passion and research behind the development, and so on (you've read them all). But there's one thing that's not often mentioned that I think is really important. Something that probably contributed a little bit to the Critical and Consumer Reception it received.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim's Live Action TV Spot

Fresh out of the official Elder Scrolls Website is Skyrim's Live Action TV Spot. It's pretty darn sweet!

Speaking of which, I did something lately that I had done only once other time before: I pre-ordered a game. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is coming out on a statutory holiday here in Canada. In most provinces, including New-Brunswick, stores are closed on that day. A local game store is doing a midnight-release because of this. I will be there.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Saturday, October 15, 2011


My laptop is now alive... don't know for how long. The repair could last 6 days like it can last 6 years.

While my laptop was out, I was able to finally finish a Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness playthrough. This doesn't sound impressive, but I've had this game for years and before that I had the PS2 version. With about 200 hours between the two, I never did finish it... until now.

Currently cleaning out some of the pre-death mess in my laptop. If I can't be sure how long it will last, might as well make it run as good as it can. In the meantime, I'm plowing through Mass Effect 2. Pretty far in the game (clocked at about 41 hours). I'm hoping to finish this soon, so I can play a bit of Deus Ex: Human Revolution before Ratchet & Clank: All-4-One comes out.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Dead Laptop

Well, projects such as Precision are going to be put on the back burner. My online presence is also going to get relatively smaller. My personal laptop has died. Feels like a motherboard failure.

Going to try to find someone to backup the data before I try to get it "resurrected" (repaired).

Horrible timing, really...

Monday, September 26, 2011

Precision - In Progress

I know I haven't been posting about working on 3DBuzz stuff in a while, but if you're one to pay attention to the tiniest details, you must've seen the progress bar increasing.

Yes, I've been slaving away minutes here and there for a few months. The final project of 3DBuzz's XNA Xtreme 101 volume 2 is going along pretty well.

I have a controllable player, spawning enemies, collision check, game states... it's really coming along nicely.

I have also taken out the masteringMaya: The Fundamentals bar. I have no interest nor motivation to continue on. I'm still fascinated by 3D Modeling, but I have realized that I cannot do everything, and I have turned the page. I do have plans to pursue other training videos on 3DBuzz after XNA Xtreme 101, all around programming and Web development. Don't be surprised to see a new bar or two one of these days.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Death to my Backlog

I've talked about this before and I've changed position multiple times. I don't want to force myself to play a game through completion and then having videogames feel like a chore to me. I also don't want to just start games without ever finishing them. Balance?

It became obvious to me that I needed to have an overlook over my completion-rate. Heck, might as well have an overlook over the games I own and have played. For this, I have decided to finally register and use Backloggery.

My completion-rate is not as bad as I thought it was. There's some work, but now I know a bit more where to put a little bit more focus. I completed Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep yesterday as a result of this.

You can check out my backloggery here.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep - Completed

After a combined 61 hours of gameplay between the three characters and including the Final Episode, I can finally say that I have fully finished Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep for the PSP.

The ending was very moving. I was struck with the feeling that many questions that were brought up from the original Kingdom Hearts were finally answered, but many more questions were raised.

I am very happy to have completed another game out of my collection. Even more so that the experience was very enjoyable.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Happy [Early] Birthday to Me

My birthday is only a few days away, but I still got an early birthday gift from Stéphanie.

Friday, August 26, 2011

"The Ins & Outs of Self-Motivated Creativity"

This year at FITC Toronto, the Halifax Designer James White made a presentation called "The Ins & Outs of Self-Motivated Creativity"... I cannot add anything, you really all just have to see it.

Part 2 and Part 3

You can follow James White on his Website.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Heaven in a cup

Just divine! Iced Chai Tea with a cloud of milk.

Friday, August 19, 2011


Gem Shot
A spilled shot-glass filled with garnets.

At the beginning of the month, me and Stéphanie went back to P.E.I.. Of course, we stopped by the Cracker Creek Mining Co. in Cavendish again. This time, we went nuts with four Large Gemstones bag. Funny thing, they're filled with Garnets.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

PS3 Trophy Get: My first Platinum

The Lombax Triumphant, obtained by getting every other Trophy in the game

It's official. As of yesterday, I have obtained my first PS3 Platinum Trophy. The honor goes to Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time.

This took a bit longer than expected. I would've saved a ton more time if I would've started my original save file on Hard (finishing the first playthrough would've unlocked all three difficulty trophies in one go).

Friday, August 5, 2011

Dragon Age: Lessons - Assume Nothing

(c) EA/BioWare
Look at me not updating my Blog! Truth is, I've been rather busy with a few things. I have a bunch of articles drafted, but nothing complete. Now I'm on vacation. Time to catch-up on a few things.

Throughout the year so far, I've been catching-up to a bunch of video-games that came out last year. There have been some good surprises. And then there's Dragon Age: Origins.

I admit, it was an impulse purchase. Seeing the expansion Dragon Age: Awakening for $30 and then seeing on the row above, three games to the right the Dragon Age: Origins Ultimate Edition for the exact same price. I was tempted.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Whistling Happily!

After two very busy months with the youth choir and various church events, I had a very hard decision to take. I decided to take the next liturgical year off from my dad's youth choir. I will still take care of the "communications" aspect of the group, but I won't driving hours every week for practice and liturgical animation.

Not only do I need the rest, but there's another underlying reason to why I decided to take some sort of "sabbatical". I really want, with all my heart, work on that goal I've had for almost a year and a half now. I made myself a practice schedule and fiddled with "how to practice methods" when I finally saw the wall I was hitting: I've been fiddling around with technique for quite sometime but I never found actual tunes that were at a beginners level and that were fun for me to progress (I'm sorry, but Star of the County Down doesn't hit that string with me). Technique is nice and all (I'm able to apply some basic-intermediate technique with the choir), but never actually found tunes that at my level that were fun enough.

I believe Tunes are important for three things: (1) Applying the technique and skills your building; (2) learning how to learn (redundant, I know) Tunes; and (3) adding a lot of fun in the process. If you just work on technique blindly, you may never learn the right way to apply that technique. If you learn how to apply that technique while playing a tune that you enjoy or moves you, it makes the whole process that much easier. But, it's also important that the Tune is at your level. If you try to attack a tune that's a bit too difficult for your skill level, you're going to keep running into "progression-walls".

Monday, July 4, 2011


Yes, that's my dehumidifier... and yes, that says "80"...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Useless Podcast

A plug: Two of my ex-Insomniac buddies, Mike Stout and Tony Garcia, started a "developer commentary" video podcast: Useless Podcast.

The current series of episodes are covering Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando, the first game they worked on together.

Do check them out!

Monday, June 6, 2011


It's official: Insomniac Games has revealed their newIP during EA's E3 Conference: Overstrike

Expect Insomniac's signature humor and wacky weaponry.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I Can't Wait & Gift for You - Preview (Updated)

About 18 hours ago, Celldweller released a preview for "I Can't Wait" of the upcoming Chapter [4] of Wish Upon a Blackstar.

I Can't Wait (Preview) by Celldweller (Official)

This has been blowing into my ears for a few hours already.

EDIT - June 7th: Here is the preview for "Gift for You".

Gift For You (Preview) by Celldweller (Official)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Bleeding Hearts

Bleeding Hearts
Shot taken while taking a casual walk in a nearby park. I always loved these flowers, but never looked at them with a low sun.

See more on Flickr

The Disappearance of Header Images

If you're expecting a tutorial or something "trendy" or "up-to-date", you will be disappointed. This is just a [very late] observation post.

Do you remember the Internet of ten years ago? I do. That's when I was in College, learning design, Web development, basic project management... those were the days.

Something I haven't done in years because of my previous role at work is just analyzing the Websites I regularly browse in various ways (design, presentation, navigation, structure, etc). While I never stopped browsing the Web, I never just sat down and analyse what was loaded in my Web browser. Ten years ago, Website headers contained several or one important image that delivered a message or supported the corporate image of the organisation or company. How long ago have these pretty much disappeared?

This change in trend (and, let's face it, Web Usability) is both a Godsend and a challenge from a design perspective. Yes, our dashboard is much simpler and more minimalist... but how do we brand that header? Fun stuff!

What the heck...?

When did I learn to do rolls on the Irish Whistle? I just did a roll on E (cut above, tap below). I think I just broke a progression wall!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Why I Cannot Watch Teletoon Anymore...

Well, the flu didn't kill me. There are still traces of it at home, Stéphanie caught it bad too.

About a year ago I got digital cable at home. One of the things I liked the most was having Teletoon, but mostly Teletoon Retro. About that time, Stéphanie also shared a Webcomic she'd been reading for a few months called Least I Could Do.

If you're somewhat close to me, you know that one of my biggest pet-peeve is Intellectual Property (IP) Theft. Being a musician, designer (Web, graphic, and multimedia) and photographer, I am very sensitive to the issue. This is where everything turns to shit...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I have a fever...

...and it's not Saturday night's!

Oh the joys of being sick...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Seed of Music

It's official, I've been through an amazing [school] year at Espace TourneSol. All that remain is the end-of-year show this Sunday.

We're working out a set for the Bodhrán group class with the an amazing guest musician and a special spotlight (no spoilers for now).

Speaking of Bodhrán, I have upgraded from a student-quality Walton's Bodhrán to a real handmade Bodhrán from Brendan White. It is such an amazing difference to play with a quality instrument. In a way, I have to re-learn how to play.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Rambling Irishman - John Barbour Solo

I finally did it! What did I just do?

In the middle (bridge) and the end of Great Big Sea's John Barbour, there's an amazing whistle piece (you're my hero, Bob!). After a lot of research and notation reading, I found out that it's a modified version of the traditional Irish song Rambling Irishman used for instrumental solos.

I have finally finished writing the ABC Notation.
T:Rambling Irishman ("John Barbour" version)
R: reel
dB | A2AB d2d2 | edef a2bg | a2fe fedB | d3A BAFG |
A2AB d2d2 | edef a2bg | a2fe dBAB | d6 fg |
a2bg a2fg | aabg a3f | a2gf edBd | e2ef edBd !
A2AB d2d2 | edef a2bg | a2fe dBAB | d6 fg ||
I have written the tune in D for whistle fingering even though it's played on a B-flat whistle

If you've never seen or heard of ABC Notation, I wrote an indepth tutorial on the Insomniac Games Forums in 2008.

If you're lazy, the dot-notation is posted after the jump.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bodhrán & Stained Glass

Two new shots on Flickr

Bodhrán & Whistle

I decided to end my photography drought this weekend with a few shots and events. Got two amazing results. First the above shot: My favorite musical instrument couple. The second after the jump.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Start of Precision

And the Flow of "Level & Lives" -Based Games

Made with

5 days ago I posted my favorite IDE color scheme. If you read between the lines, that means I was sitting back down to my coding chair. Small note: thank you for the 100 download in 5 days of my Putty Base color scheme for Visual Studio.

I have started the final project of 3DBuzz's XNA Xtreme 101 volume 2: Precision.

With the start of this project, a game-flow discussion that turned out to be the standard game-flow of level- and lives-based games. I decided to chart it out. "Game Over" state can do a lot of things. You can go back to title, you can have a special "restart/continue/credit" scenario... that is pretty much up to you. The basic is the same all around.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What Makes a Good IDE Color Scheme

Last night I posted what is my all-time favorite color scheme. It then occurred to me that not everyone knows what to look for in a color scheme. It’s mostly a matter of taste, but there are essentials.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Putty your IDE

If you’re a developer or programmer and have spent considerable time reading and writing code, you know how important it is to have a good color scheme in your IDE that’s easy to read and easy for your eyes.

There are a lot of different color schemes for different IDE’s. I’ve looked on-and-off for years. I stuck to Ruby Blue on different IDE’s for quite some time. I recently stumbled on one and have ported it to different IDE’s... Putty!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Encountering the Whitespace Incident

Last week, I encountered an interesting issue while coding something at work.

Essentially, there's some JavaScript hard-coded on one page that's triggered with the page content handled with the CMS. What that piece of code does is essentially running through an inline list of years and changing the CSS code of the links inside the list items (and tables below) depending on what was done using a for loop (from start_year to end_year). You can see this here.

Originally, the start and end values for the loop were hard-coded as constants. This worked well until I had to add 2011 to the list. The list is part of the page content, which can be modified with the CMS, but the JavaScript is not. Changing the constant every year is simply not practical.

I decided to make the JavaScript smarter.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

PSP Successor is Codenamed NGP

It's official. The handheld that redefined the quality portable gaming can and should have, is getting a successor: Codename NGP (Next Generation Portable).

Sony has made the NGP a sexy beast, both aesthetically and technically. They have incorporated everything fans and even "anti-PSP" fanboys have been saying for almost 6 years the PSP should have.

Rundown of features, specs and games after the jump.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Knowledge Review 8 - Fully Complete

Click to enlarge


Not only has the basic requirement been fulfilled, but I am satisfied with the additions I have made.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Chrome Apps & Kodigen

Today, I made two wonderful discoveries.

First, Google Chrome on one of my workstations updated itself to Chrome 9 (yet, my laptop is still on version 8 and labeled "up-to-date") revealing something hidden or unknown to a few people - Chrome Apps. The Chrome Apps are pretty much a preview to ChromeOS if you really think about it.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Winter Rose

Winter Rose
Winter's cold embrace can wither before the most delicate flower.

See more on Flickr

Monday, January 17, 2011

Knowledge Review 8 - Additions Implementation

Even though I'm still tweaking little things here and there, I can now start thinking of what I want to add and how to implement them. Here's what I want to do:
  • Change game resolution to 800x600
    • Change BALL_START_SPEED to accommodate new resolution
  • Design/Add background image
  • Change sprites
    • Paddle sprite
    • Ball sprite
  • Add middle field-line
  • Change foreground color
  • Add sound-effects
    • Paddle bounce
    • Wall bounce
    • Goal
Should be simple...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Basic Knowledge Review 8 Completed!

I have completed the Knowledge Review 8 from 3DBuzz's XNA Xtreme 101.

I will start working on the additions after I validate a few things in the "Answer" video.

Knowledge Review 8 - It's Alive!

Click to enlarge

It's alive!

There are a lot of requirements missing, therefore I'm not touching the additions yet, but I have controllable paddles with a moving ball and collisions (wall and paddle).

I'm so proud!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Knowledge Review 8 - Planned additions

I barely even started Knowledge Review 8, yet I already know there are some things I want to add to the project (I mentionned this Wednesday).

They are essentially the same additions to Cannon III, meaning Background Image and Sound Effects (I love SFXr).

Except for a design sketch of the background, I don't really have anything done for the extras. I don't plan on touching them until I complete the basics for Knowledge Review 8.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Design Specs - Knowledge Review 8

One important aspect of design and programming (development as a whole), game-oriented or not, is having your design-specs defined early on in the project and use the specs as a production-guide. If you want to suddenly make something, you need to see if it fits [support] your design-specs. If not you either drop the idea or implement it after the first version of your project is completed.

This allows for the development to remain focused and productive. If the team keeps straying on other details that are not part of the plan, the production will take a lot more time than needed, or more time than allowed.

I do think it's important for one to learn what are design specs—what they include, what they look like, how they work. That's why I'm going to show you the design-specs of Knowledge Review 8.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Galaxy Grandmaster...


I finally completed the very last star in Super Mario Galaxy 2.

Starting Knowledge Review 8

That's it. I'm just about to start the final Knowledge Review of the whole series (3DBuzz's XNA Xtreme 101).

After Knowledge Review 8 is completed, it's on to Precision, an arcade-style game where... you know what, I'll keep this a secret until I'm actually there. If you really want to know, you'll look for an answer yourself.

Knowledge Review 8 is nowhere as challenging as Knowledge Review 7. But it's still the culmination of everything, not just the near-40 hours of theory.

But what is Knowledge Review 8? Pretty much the "Hello World" of game programming: A Pong-like game.