Guillaume Fortin-Debigaré

Analysis and thoughts on game design, software development and more.

Main page decoration
Blog post decoration

4 Unexpected Issues I Encountered upon Switching Web Hosts

- Anecdotes, Security

For those that didn't notice, I've recently rebuilt my entire website from the ground up and switched web hosts from Ghost(Pro) to Netlify, and I learned a lot from the experience. Not everything went smoothly, but it was mostly problems I had expected. This post, however, is about those that I had…

Blog post decoration

Stuck!!

- Game Design, Video Games

Ever got stuck playing a video game for hours without making any progress? I decided to analyze this phenomenon to determine how players get into such situations, why they have trouble getting out of them, and what game designers can do to minimize them. Note that the suggested mitigations below do…

Blog post decoration

Prosperia - A Tabletop RPG Prototype For My Coworkers

- Game Design, Anecdotes

I'm a big fan of role-playing video games, especially Japanese-style ones, but there's a big restriction these games have: players have limited abilities to create their own stories in them due to programming restrictions. When I discovered tabletop role-playing games, having this restriction lifted…

Blog post decoration

Essential IT Security Resources

- Security, Quality Assurance, Programming

Recently, two of my coworkers coincidentally asked me how I kept track of security news and vulnerabilities. As it took me a long time to build a list of useful resources myself, I figured it would be useful to share it with everyone, so here goes…

Blog post decoration

My Absolutely Horrendous Online Dating User Experience

- Anecdotes, Product Management

Are you in a loving relationship? Not me. Why? Well, it may have something to do with not having mainstream interests, working in an industry dominated by males, not drinking, not able to withstand loud music, and not noticing subtle nonverbal cues. Just maybe. (It also doesn't help that I'm not in…

Blog post decoration

Building a Great Front-End Test Automation Solution

- Quality Assurance, Programming

So far in my career I had to architect three different front-end test automation solutions from scratch. Such solutions are really useful to minimize manual regression tests after a code change. What I would like to share today is what I've seen work and not work based on my experience. Note that…

Blog post decoration

The BIG List of Randomizers

- Video Games

I've been finding a bunch of video game randomizers lately, so I decided to compile them all in one big list, which has become quite extensive thanks to the help of the gaming community, in particular the ROMhacking.net community and the Randomizer Central Discord community. You can access the full…

Blog post decoration

LinkedIn Is in Violation of Its Own User Agreement and Privacy Policy

- Business, Anecdotes, Security, Product Management, Quality Assurance

What if you couldn't update personal data on the Internet you created and own? Back in January, the social network LinkedIn started deploying what they called the New Desktop Experience, which was their redesigned web user interface. Along with it came the removal of some features that were not…

Blog post decoration

Are Your Bitcoins Safe From Hackers?

- Security, Business, Mathematics, Programming

After barter, gold-backed currencies and fiat currencies, the recent emergence of cryptocurrencies have disrupted the global economy. Instead of being backed by assets or governments, cryptocurrencies are backed by computers of volunteers, which fixes some problems but also introduces new ones…

Blog post decoration

Game Design Analysis - Ahnayro: The Dream World

- Game Design, Video Games

Earlier this year, I had the chance to visit Alice & Smith, a small video game studio specialized in transmedia storytelling, and most notably known for the alternate reality game (ARG) The Black Watchmen. How that visit came to be is a crazy story that I will most likely share in the future. For…

Blog post decoration

How Managers Produce Technical Debt

- Business, Product Management, Programming, Quality Assurance, Security

Here's a story I've seen quite often in my career: a software product grows at a quick pace during the initial months of development, then at some point progress starts to slow down significantly until it reaches a point where a seemingly trivial change requires days of work and/or has a high chance…

Blog post decoration

Lessons from Not Starting a Startup

- Anecdotes, Business

It has now been 3 months since I was laid off and first tried becoming an entrepreneur. I wasn't expecting to be successful due to the statistics, but what I did not expect was to not have started anything at all. Let's review what happened…

Blog post decoration

How to Simulate Human Intuition

- Programming, Mathematics

A few months ago, I started to study deep learning, a branch in computer science heavily inspired by biology that allows programs to learn arbitrary concepts without explicit programming. How good is deep learning? Well, good enough to play Go with super-human performance, a significant milestone in…

Blog post decoration

This Text Is Not Corrupted

- Quality Assurance, Programming

Both in my personal and professional life, I often have to deal with corrupted text data. In almost every case, the cause is that it is not parsed using the correct character encoding. In other words, the way the characters were saved on the computer was different from the way the computer attempts…

Blog post decoration

Beyond the Game

- Game Design, Video Games

In 2012, I created a podcast about game design called Beyond the Game. I co-hosted it with software designer and developer Joseph Benkual, and the theme song was composed by sound designer Ryan Rafael Lopez. We made 12 main episodes in which we analyze the design of popular video games, plus another…

Blog post decoration

Professional Crossroads

- Anecdotes

I have recently been laid off. It's the second time that it has happened to me, and both times were caused by subtle years-long management mistakes followed by a necessary economic restructuring of the affected organizations. I'm planning to explain in future posts how to prevent those mistakes, but…

Blog post decoration

Understanding Feature Requests

- Product Management

Feature ideas may come from various sources, and in the context of a Scrum team, they are a great source for product owners to determine what user stories to put in their product backlog. Some ideas seem natural and logical, while others may seem so out of place that the sanity of the person that…

Blog post decoration

Quantum Programming 101

- Programming, Mathematics

Are you familiar with programming, but know absolutely nothing about quantum mechanics? This was exactly my case when the IBM Quantum Experience was announced. For the first time, a quantum computer has been made publicly available, and anybody selected to participate could send programs to it. I…