Another Future Canuck, On The Way

Well I figure I should update this "blog" again as it's been more than six months since my last update.

Let's start with the news that we are pregnant with our second! Lara's due in October, so we've already started compiling the list of names in order to have enough time to properly test each finalist. The last thing you want is to hastily settle on a name, only to find out it is the name of a famous stripper or porn star. There will be just 16 months between Oliver and The Unnamed One, which is great for them (easier to relate to one another) and for us (less overall time spent in the diapering phase). In any case, we've very excited to welcome a new little one.

On a much sadder note, Lara's brother Christian passed away unexpectedly in January. He had been completely paralyzed for over a year as a result of a severe attack of ADEM (Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis), a rare neurological virus. He spent half that time in ICU, but the latter half was spent at home where he had begun to recover small movements in his arm and chest (he had begun to breathe significant lengths of time on his own). Lara, Oliver and I flew out to Toronto in time to say goodbye to him as best we could, but he leaves a hole in our family that will never be filled.

Oliver is 10 months today - boy how time flies. For about the last 6 months he's been sleeping 10-12 hours a night, which has been great. Hopefully the next one is as good! He's a very vocal boy who will often repeat "dada" back to you if you say it to him. Does that count as his first word? He's patient and calm, spending loads of time just sitting on his play mat in the living room, playing with his toys. He's also started "dancing" when we put music on, by bouncing up and down when sitting.

We bought a "new" car in December. Our finance guy, Mark Huber, says "pay cash for depreciating assets and borrow for appreciating assets", so we found the cheapest car we could, a 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and paid cash for it. We wanted something with a West Coast utilitarian vibe and lots of space, but most importantly, we didn't want to spend much money as we only drive once a week or so. It's been great for loading all of Oliver's stuff up and going to Grandma or Grandpa's place on the weekend.

In work-related news, Lara started a new job as Project Manager at Riptown - the hugely successful online gambling destination. She's working on their primary consumer-facing site, Bodog.com, and enjoying it as she has some friends on the team and throughout the company. Our nanny, Daisy, has been wonderful as well, arriving early enough in the morning and leaving late enough that Lara and I can walk to and from work together. Daisy also does chores- shopping, cleaning and more - which means we can just focus on Oliver when we get home.

Amazingly, this month marks three years at Relic for me! Again, where does the time go. In the last 6 months I have created a concept incubation program (dubbed "Relic Labs") in order to improve the number and quality of game concepts the studio moves into production. It's been a success so far with more game concepts generated in 6 months than were generated in the 10 years prior to Relic Labs' inception. It's also allowed me to reconnect with my design side, working on a wide range of ideas: from casual to AAA, across numerous genres and platforms.

And in other news:
* My Dad testified at the Air India inquiry in Ottawa last week.
* I was interviewed by GameProducer.net.
* I acted as a judge in this year's Canadian New Media Awards.
* Urban Vermin, the IP I co-developed which is now a TV series, is also a Nintendo DS prototype.

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Adrian Crook
http://geeklog.adriancrook.com/article.php/anotherNHLallstar