The Maiden, Monk and Ogre
Roles: Manager, Programmer, Game Designer, Level Designer, Project Manager, QA
The Maiden, Monk and Ogre was an online casual game also available for download. I was the lead programmer, game designer and level designer while also managing a team of supporting developers and designers. I developed a custom level-builder and a system to record user movements that was used to validate level data. In this puzzle game, the player must explore a fantasy world to find a magical crystal. Puzzles involved pushing objects to open paths and cross rivers and chasms. Each level grew in complexity with the addition of new game mechanics such as gates, keys, switches, pressure plates, and teleporters. A more immersive play experience was created by allowing the user to explore 3 environments, including a dynamic background that changed over time.
Super Sleuth - DirecTV/CourtTV
Roles: Programmer, Game Designer, Level Designer
This game was inspired by Mastermind, an old board game I played as a child and reimagined as a large, open isometric 2D world that the player can investigate and search for evidence of a crime. Once a set number of pieces are collected, the player is sent to the “crime lab” where the game engine tells the player the number of correct pieces of evidence but not which ones. The player can read dossiers on the “usual suspects” which gives the necessary information to determine which evidence is relevant and which can be thrown back. The player can then either make an accusation, return to the isometric world to collect new pieces of evidence, or if successful the player moves on to a new level. For this game I designed and programmed a level editor to create world data for all 20 levels of the game. As an added feature some world objects were movable, to unlock hidden areas, or opened to reveal hidden treasures to encourage further exploration.
Star Wars: Hunt for Grievous - Skittles
Roles: Manager, Programmer, Game Designer, Project Manager, QA
Although Skittles originally requested one online game to promote Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith I was able to design a suite of 5 games and an overarching meta-game that tied those separate games together into a single play experience. The various gameplay mechanics utilized appealed to both male and female players and a wide age range. The games consisted of puzzle and action genres that revolved around specific areas of the shooting script. I was the lead programmer, managed 3 programmers, and worked closely with 2 artists to launch the game on time and on budget.
Further Reading: I was interviewed about this project for Chapter 7 of Virtual Ascendance - Video Games and the Remaking of Reality
Spartacus: Gods of the Arena - Starz
Role: Lead Programmer
Spartacus: Gods of the Arena was a Facebook social game for which I was the lead programmer on an interdisciplinary team consisting of 2 programmers, 2 artists, a game designer, and a project manager. We worked closely with a back-end team handling server-side communication. This game was built using agile/scrum project management methodologies consisting of 3 day sprints over a 6 month period. Launched in 2011, it reached 1 million monthly active users within the first 2 months.
Lava Showdown - LEGO
Role: Programmer, Game Design
Lava Showdown was a browser-based online casual game built for LEGO. As the sole programmer, I defined the entire gameplay. The concept combined 2 classic arcade mechanics, Pac-Man and Frogger, into a single game. The first screen is similar to Pac-Man, but the power pellets were replaced by cages that the player can collect to trap Lava Monsters. Once the correct number of monsters are trapped, doors at the top of the maze open to reveal passages that lead the player to the next screen. The second screen is an updated Frogger mechanic that introduces a large “boss enemy” who launches projectiles into the air, thus adding an extra layer of risk for the player while trying to cross a lava-filled river.
Snow Traxx - Nokia
Roles: Programmer, Game Designer, Level Designer
Built for a Nokia/Radio Shack cell phone promotion Snow Traxx was a casual game developed as an updated version of the classic cell phone game Snake. I used an isometric game engine to provide a more dynamic and updated look in addition to new gameplay elements, characters, and a loose story. The player must collect a special item in each level in order to obtain the playground gate key for advancing to the next round. The player is unable to stand still but also must avoid crossing his or her own tracks left in the snow by constantly changing direction. The user can pick up cold treats for bonus points, but as a classic risk vs reward mechanic, the tracks grow longer. Each level is larger and more complex than the last with new obstacles and pickups added.
Good/Bad Art Collective
Good/Bad Art Collective was an artist-run co-operative studio/gallery space that originated in Denton. I showed multimedia art in group shows and participated in large-scale collaborative installations that frequently incorporated new media, video and performance. I also took on web development duties and assisted the Director with documentation, marketing and PR tasks. G/BAC’s work was exhibited at Conduit Gallery, Arlington Museum of Art, University of Texas at Dallas, Tyler Museum of Art, Nasher Sculpture Center, and ABC No Rio gallery in New York.
Further Reading: Dallas Observer - Manahattan Transfer, July 1999
Mission Giant was an experimental electronic band that toured Texas playing shows in galleries, museums, and music venues for over a decade. I performed with the band, built the website, and designed marketing materials. I also developed multimedia applications with procedurally-generated graphics that were projected at live shows. Influenced by avant-garde bands such as Devo, Kraftwerk and Brian Eno, Mission Giant produced sounds from a vast number of electronic instruments including synthesizers, circuit-bent toys, and video game consoles. Live performances relied heavily on custom-made set pieces and costumes.
Further Reading: Dallas Observer - A Welcome Experiment, April 2005
Handmade Electronic Instruments
In recent years, I have returned to sound synthesis in my art practice researching electronics and analog sound circuits to be able to build the devices I had in mind. I taught myself to read electronic schematics and design and manufacture my own circuit boards. I’ve also built and programmed my own digital micro controller boards similar to Arduino using the ATmega328 and ATtiny85 integrated circuits. I have been asked to perform using my handmade instruments with bands such as Nite Risk and Myopic at North by 35 and for the Violotionist Sessions. I have recently sent a proposal to SXSW to showcase an interactive art installation that features electronic instruments as part of the viewers experience.