Experilous

Projects

Below are listed many of my projects, some active, some complete, and some dead unfortunately, or at least on hold indefinitely. For now, they're listed under the categories Game Jams and Experiments, though I hope to upgrade some of these projects to a more substantial category in the future.

Game Jams

2017/04/24, Ludum Dare 38: Spider Collider

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This arcade action game was a team entry for the 72-hour Ludum Dare game jam, along with Nathan Walker (code & design; mooncalfgames.com), Peter Jones (music), and Kevin Smith (code & design). Andrew Ruder (code & design).

Theme: "A Small World"

Huge credit to Nathan on this one. I was burned out after two of my experimental tools (for screen wrap-around and spider leg animation) gave us game-breaking troubles. He pushed through during the last hours, cutting features and minimally filling in gaps so that there was a complete playable game available at the end of the jam. Made with Unity, and animation made using Spine.

2016/12/12, Ludum Dare 37: Emily vs Everything

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This beat-em-up game was a team entry for the 72-hour Ludum Dare game jam, along with Nathan Walker (code & design; mooncalfgames.com), Luke Schroder (art & sound FX), and Peter Jones (music), and Kevin Smith (code & design).

Theme: "One Room"

I am particularly proud of my efforts to include the between-level upgrades, which barely made it in during the last hours of the jam, but added a lot to the gameplay experience. Made with Unity, and animation made using Spine.

2016/08/29, Ludum Dare 36: Kvetch-A-Sketch

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This physics-based action puzzle game was a team entry for the 72-hour Ludum Dare game jam, along with Nathan Walker (code & design; mooncalfgames.com), Luke Schroder (art), and Peter Jones (music), and Kevin Smith (code & design).

Theme: "Ancient Technology"

In addition to working on the line rendering and wrestling with the physics system, I had fun experimenting with shaders for the various environmental effects. Made with Unity.

2016/04/18, Ludum Dare 35: Trial 21

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This platformer was a team entry for the 72-hour Ludum Dare game jam, along with Nathan Walker (code & design; mooncalfgames.com), Luke Schroder (art), and Peter Jones (music), and Kevin Smith (code).

Theme: "Shapeshift"

My primary contributions were the platformer physics and the bulk of the level design. Made with Unity, and animation made using Spine.

2015/08/24, Ludum Dare 33: Cvltists and Crusaders

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This physics-based action puzzle game was a team entry for the 72-hour Ludum Dare game jam, along with Nathan Walker (code & design; mooncalfgames.com), Luke Schroder (art & voice), Peter Jones (music & effects), and Ben Vanasse (workspace & design).

Theme: "You Are the Monster"

The voices provided by Luke were probably the chief selling point of this game. I think we all agreed we could have managed our three days more effectively; two levels just wasn't enough. Made with Unity.

2015/04/20, Ludum Dare 32: Deserializer

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This action puzzle game was my solo entry for the 72-hour Ludum Dare game jam.

Theme: "An Unconventional Weapon"

Deserializer, inspired by Frogger, placed #12 in the category of Innovation, and #165 overall out of 1468 entries for the 72-hour jam. I consider it my first "successful" Unity project, which was in fact my primary objective for this jam.

2014/12/08, Ludum Dare 31: Dartfield Basegolf

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This entry in the 72-hour Ludum Dare game jam was a melding of ideas from baseball, darts, and golf, with design assistance and runner sprites from Jeremy Breau of Antithesis Design.

Theme: "Entire Game on One Screen"

I can't say I was very inspired by the theme, and my manual physics code was quite janky, as one might expect. Implemented in JavaScript using CreateJS.

Experiments

City Builder

Initially intended to be a modern day large-scale city builder and simulator in the style of SimCity, Cities XL, and Cities: Skylines, this project morphed over time and through multiple prototypes into something a bit more unique.

Real cities have stories to tell. Real neighbors have character. The same should be true for a game in the city builder genre.

That is central theme that grew out of these series of prototypes, the last of which began experimentation with using mechanics and insights gleaned from CCGs like Magic: The Gathering and deck-building games such as Dominion in order to generate compelling narratives, and make each city a player builds feel unique and intriguing.

Although development has ceased due to my focus being elsewhere, I still believe that the central concepts of neighborhoods as explicit game objects, deck building (such as through appointing city officials, enacting policies, and building civic resources), and a well-managed dose of randomness hold great promise for creating a superb city builder.

Planet Generator

Intended as a possible foundation for a few different strategy game ideas, this is a procedural tile based planet generator. Read the associated blog post.

Starting with a subdivided icosahedron, it proceeds to distort the triangle mesh (to generate a mix 5-, 6-, and 7-sided tiles), creates tectonic plates and plate boundary stresses, fakes some air currents, and distributes heat and moisture according to the currents. I plan to have a blog post up this week detailing some of it's algorithms.

The generator has some miscellaneous display modes and tweakable generation options. Use WASD or arrow keys and mousewheel or numpad +/- to operate the camera.

Also, I recommend using Chrome. Firefox works too, but is a bit slower. IE won't work because of WebGL. I have not yet tried any other browsers, so your mileage may vary.

4x Space Strategy

An experiment into the turn-based strategy in space genre, I was toying with a rule set that would allow all players to play their turns simultaneously, without favoring faster players. This required that all actions enter a queue that is only executed at the end of the turn. This in turn encouraged the design of rules that do not need chained or dependent actions in order for players to implement their desired strategies. As a result, I was experimenting with heterogeneous turn types, or phases, such as movement, attack selection, and battle resolution.

Unfortunately, I got bogged down with unnecessary details of the UI (typical attack of premature perfectionism), and have not yet revisited the project.

Colony Simulator

Toying around with potential improvements to certain side-view simulation games such as SimTower, I was curious if there could be value in adding a discrete amount of the third dimension to the game world. I envisioned this as consisting of two to four layers, each with their own purpose and limitations on what could be built.

The main layer would consist of functional rooms, but a second layer would be the one in which occupants would move around; hallways and such. A third layer could be the outside, where vessels could dock. Perhaps a fourth would be used for various utilities.

The biggest design challenge I encountered was the order in which the rooms would be visually presented. The thought was that the player could move forward through the layers, the nearest layer fading out as the player scrolled forward. But I kept running into constraints that felt incompatible with each other, and never could fully get past this one early issue. The one simple prototype I wrote was intended to help me get a concrete feel for how different orders would function, but my prototyping skills were weak at the time, along with my confidence in this particular project, so I decided to try different experiments and see if they better captured my motivation and confidence.