What's New with Josh:

Last year's big event was, of course, the birth of our daughter Natalie. She, and fatherhood, are more than I ever dreamed they'd be, and somewhat less frightening than I'd feared.

Life has never been so sweet.

Speaking of the sweet life, last year I attended the Culinary Institute of America's week-long Boot Camp (there are several; this one was devoted to Pastry). The experience was phenomenal. From the wee hours of the morning until the wee hours of the late afternoon, we enjoyed lectures, demonstrations, tastings, dining at all four of the CIA's restaurants, and (most of the time) hands-on experience with a great staff and a wonderful group of students. A sample schedule (not exactly ours) for a Pastry Boot Camp is viewable in .PDF format here.

Some of the things we made (not every person made every item): Pastry Cream, Pate a Choux, Crème Anglaise, Crème Caramel, Crème Brûlée, Chocolate Pots de Crème, Eclairs, Swans, Vanilla Sponge Cakes, Pate Sucre, Frangipane, Fruit Tarts, Chocolate Ruffles, Fans, Fences, Cigarettes (plain and striped with White Chocolate), and other ornaments, Puff Pastry, Pithiviers, Palmiers, Buttercream, White Chocolate Mousse, Dark Chocolate Mousse, Raspberry Mousse, Terrines, Parfaits, Molded Mousses, Fruit Tuiles, Hippon Tuiles, and Ganache Glaze. We learned techniques including the warm foam method for sponges, wet-method caramel, dry-method caramel, chocolate tempering, tart shells, folding, assembling and frosting cakes, plating, piping, and more.

I kept a journal of each day's activities online on the Epicurious forum and the Cook's Illustrated Forum. Read them here:

Day One
Day Two
Day Three
Day Four
Day Five

I'm working on a post-mortem journal entry and some photos, but for the time being, here's our class on Day Four, with our sponge cakes and fruit tarts.

My two current projects are a new version of Trivial Pursuit and a new Crash Bandicoot game, neither of which I'm at liberty to discuss.

Prior to these, I worked on TRIVIAL PURSUIT: THE SNL EDITION (that's "Saturday Night Live"). The producer, Kathleen Bober, and I worked with Broadway Video, SNL, and Hasbro to design and write the 525-question DVD for the game (there are an additional 1800 questions on the cards) -- it's not a computer game, it's a board-game-and-DVD combinations. You play the game with the board and the cards per most Trivial Pursuit(TM) games, but you also use a DVD for the "wedge" puzzles and the "For the Win" puzzles, which incorporate hundreds of video clips, audio clips, stills, and lots of different types of multimedia puzzles. You can find the game at most game retailers right now, or here, and I warn you, it will test the limits of one's SNL knowledge. Most people are finding it tougher than they thought it would be.

If you have a chance to play it, please let me know what you think.

One of the reviews is still available online here from my stint at the Curtain Call Theatre in Latham for last fall's regional premiere of Three Viewings. Earlier in the year, I served as Juror #11 at a murder trial (a fascinating experience). You can read some of the local news reports about the trial and verdict here.

Prior to the SNL project, I completed Food Safety Lab (paid for by grants from the National Institutes of Health) for Health Media Lab, Inc.. It's not a computer game, but it's an enlightening project, and the various instructors and health inspectors who've reviewed the script have told us that it's superior to the currently-available food safety courses. I've worked on a number of other projects for Health Media Lab, including D.M. Dinwiddie (illustrated by former Sierra On-Line artist Rich Powell and animated by Lucasarts artist Karin Nestor, also formerly of Sierra On-Line), Hungry Red Planet, and Fitness Lab.

Dossier: I was born on October 9, 1958 and married Laura Bibula on October 28th, 2001. I design computer games and websites. My three  most personally-involving projects were Callahan's Crosstime Saloon, Freddy Pharkas, Frontier Pharmacist and Space Quest 6.  I've also had a book published, a strategy guide to the computer game SWAT 2 (the book, strangely enough, is called Swat 2 : Prima's Official Strategy Guide). When I'm not working, I can be found immersed in my hobbies, which include -- in part -- cooking & baking, hiking & camping, exercising, magic and memory (which I sporadically teach at Knowledge Network and the Albany College of Pharmacy), and being justifiably proud of my family.

Shhhh, don't tell them this picture is like 8 or 9 years old.

Right to left: Joshua, Hannah

A portion of my forthcoming exposé, Sweet Surprises, is offered for your entertainment pleasure.

The books I'm currently reading: Chain of Command by Seymour M. Hersh; The Georgia Wonder by Barry H. Wiley; and Schlock Homes: The Complete Bagel Street Saga by Robert L. Fish.

Why does he look so smug in this picture?

Left to right: Eliza, Hannah, Joshua

The nearly complete list of games I've worked on
(published titles only; IBM-PC unless otherwise noted):

Adventures of D.M. Dinwiddie, P.I.T.* (Physician-in-Training) (designer) - Health Media Lab, Inc.
Blackstone Chronicles (performer) - Legend Entertainment
Blue's Clues Alphabet Book - Gameboy Color (designer)
Callahan's Crosstime Saloon (designer, writer) - Legend/Take 2
EcoQuest (writer, voice actor) - Sierra
EcoQuest 2 (writer) - Sierra
Freddy Pharkas, Frontier Pharmacist (co-designer, director, producer, writer) - Sierra
Heart of China (co-designer, writer) - Sierra/Dynamix
Hoyle's Book of Games 3 (writer, voice actor) - Sierra
Hungry Red Planet (writer) - Health Media Lab, Inc.
HydroCross - Playstation/N64 (designer)
Island of Dr. Brain (writer) - Sierra
Jagged Alliance 2 (writer) - Sir-Tech
Jagged Alliance 2 - Unfinished Business (writer) - Sir-Tech
Jones in the Fast Lane (writer, voice actor) - Sierra
King's Quest 1 (Producer, writer - uncredited) - Sierra
King's Quest 1 (voice actor) - Tierra (remake)
King's Quest 2 (voice actor) - Tierra (remake)
King's Quest V (voice actor) - Sierra
King's Quest VI (voice actor) - Sierra
Laffer Utilities (writer) - Sierra
Laura Bow 2: The Dagger of Amon Ra (writer) - Sierra
Leisure Suit Larry 1-VGA (writer) - Sierra
Leisure Suit Larry 5 (writer) - Sierra
Leisure Suit Larry 6 (lyric writer) - Sierra
Mission Critical (testing) - Legend
Mixed-Up Mother Goose (producer, voice actor) - Sierra
Pepper's Adventures in Time (co-designer) - Sierra
Phantasmagoria (onscreen actor) - Sierra
Police Quest 1-VGA (co-designer, director, writer, actor) - Sierra
Police Quest 3 (onscreen actor) - Sierra
Quest for Glory III (onscreen actor) - Sierra
Shannara (writer, uncredited) - Legend
Sonic Adventure (writer) - Sega
Space Quest 1-VGA (producer, writer) - Sierra
Space Quest 4 (writer, voice actor) - Sierra
Space Quest 5 (documentation writer) - Sierra/Dynamix
Space Quest 6 (co-designer, writer) - Sierra
Thexder 2: Firehawk (producer) - Sierra
Trivial Pursuit(TM): The SNL DVD Edition (DVD designer, writer) - Hasbro (non-computer)
VXP: Hits & Misses Baseball Trivia (designer, writer) - Donruss
Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego? (co-designer) - Broderbund
Wild Thornberrys Rambler - Gameboy Color (designer)
Zeliard (Producer) - Sierra

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