My name is Brent Lamoureux, and for the most part, I do the hands on work to make the projects listed on this website succeed. I am the brains of the operation. I like to think of myself as the Canadian Elon Musk, an engineer with good business skills, but without the money (yet?). Keep in mind I have contacts with skill sets in many technologies and industries. So even if you don’t see what you want to see, that doesn’t mean I can’t seek council on a specific topic when needed.
2007-2013 Video King Gaming and Entertainment
I basically worked as a full time consultant during these years at VKGE. I had worked here in the past, so there was some familiarity with management and technologies upon my return. I literally worked on so many different projects, it’s hard to list them all, but here are a few more notable ones.
The first project I worked on, was the development of a 90 number bingo game, made specifically for VKGE’s own embedded system, the Lil Champ handset. Ultimately, the software I developed could decode files downloaded to them at the Point of Sale (POS), then render them in playable game interface on the handset. It was intended for use in the Australian market, and took about a month or 2 to complete to spec.
Because the first project worked out well, the next one was a little more involved, with a little more of the design aspect under my control, too. It was a software system that would be used to test and calibrate tablet devices that were to replace the old handsets used in gaming halls.
The fascinating thing about this project is that we were manufacturing custom tablets, many years before the average consumer had even heard of it. On the assembly line, a series of tests are required, to make sure the hardware components function properly. The touchscreen accuracy, the sound, and the serial ports, for example, all needed to work properly, among several other diagnostics.
The Factory Acceptance Test program (FAT) took a few months to design and develop, but it too, worked fairly well.
After the first 2 successful projects, the bulk of my time then was then dedicated to the design and development of the OMNI system; a complete digital system to manage all aspects of a bingo hall. This was a larger group project that involved software developers of varying experience levels. It was designed as a competitor to the EPIC system, used in some halls, but done completely from the ground up. It kept track of player purchases, winnings, bingo sheets, pull tabs and even did your W2-G tax form for you, before you left the hall with your prize!
My main area of expertise in this mammoth project was the adoption of the Player Club system component that previously existed outside the OMNI framework, and to integrate it with the other components of OMNI. Technically, this was an incredibly complicated task, because it used an older technology that had to work inside the newer C#.NET language, in which OMNI was developed. Creating a hybrid tech like this is far more difficult than even a complicated singular tech approach. But, I got it done.
At the end of 2013, with the OMNI platform stable, and a team of competent developers in place, my contract was not renewed, and I began developing my own projects of interest.
2004-2007 Panther Software
In this period, I had just quit working as a salaried employee in 2004, and this was my first experience as a full-time independent software developer.
Having recently purchased my own home, which didn’t have the best décor to it, I decided to create my own E-commerce website called TheEnchantedHome.com. Between the suppliers I had to work deal with, and the website development itself, it took a few years to get it up and running. I recall one day, where I got in trouble at a Home Depot parking lot for putting printed pamphlets under people’s wipers without asking for permission first! My marketing skills have since improved.
At its peak, I had almost 300 different unique items listed in the website. I had to develop a CMS system, using the newly emerging ASP.NET technology, and make the front end of the website appealing and functional.
At the time, I had much weaker presentation skills than I realized were needed for such a project to succeed, and by 2006 I abandoned it.
Briefly, in 2006, I then took on a job at a company called Work Software Systems (WSS). Though I was brought in to be a .NET expert, which I was at the time, their main interest was in developing an automatic software updating system, similar to what you see for Windows Update. I gained experience using the InstallShield technology, and Point of Sale software in general, but did no .NET development.
After about 6 months at WSS, they decided to abandon the development of the proposed .NET based POS project, and I was let go. The company was then bought out shortly after.
2000-2004 Video King Gaming Systems
This was my first job as professional Systems Engineer, after graduating from the University of Manitoba with a B.SC in Electrical Engineering. At this point in time, I was still a salaried employee.
In order to get the job, I had to demonstrate a video game I was already in the process of developing at home, remarkably similar to Sid Meier’s Civilazation 5, which was released many years later. Though I would have loved to have finished this game, there was pressure to generate some income, and get some real world professional experiences under my belt.
My first project was to develop the desktop version of Keno. I got a lot of experience using C++ and Paint Shop Pro, to create realistic images that would make the game fun and playable.
After the success of this first project, I then moved on to developing games for the Lil Champ handset (Video King’s in-house embedded system that let bingo hall patrons play their cards electronically). Pull tabs was the main project I worked on here. I came up with a cat called Tab-e that sat on the corner of the screen, and reacted to events in the game. It was a fun project.
Though I worked on numerous small tasks, with a certain degree of success, the most successful project was by far the development of the Hurricane Bonanza game engine. Also known as Quick-shot Bonanza, this game played your bingo cards, in a style similar to a slot machine. It was very addictive, I even found myself playing it a little too much when adjusting the timings on my desktop.
The game engine later spun off numerous variations, not only at Video King, but from our competitors as well. All told, the game itself has generated 10’s of millions of dollars in revenues in bingo halls mainly across the southern United States. And, it all started with a small group of people, with an idea, and a good software engineer to make it happen!