These are various projects I’ve worked on over the past few years, including my contributions, challenges I faced, how I overcame them, and the like.
Tanden is a 3 person undertaking for our final semester of college, attempting to make a small game engine from the ground up in the span of just a few months. My focus on the project is on the physics system, and any and all math needed for the project, including rendering. At this point, I’ve got most of my own work on rigid bodies, dynamics and the base level physics going, with the big remaining challenge being mesh colliders. While I haven’t found much of the actual C++ coding to be much of a challenge, the actual workflow has been a new experience. This is the largest code base I’ve ever worked on, and we’re attempting to follow industry processes, like pull requests, linting, and some level of CI. While sometimes tough, it’s also been a great character builder, and help in understanding why we do thing we the way we do. Learn more about it by checking out our GitHub page by clicking on the logo!
Rolling Thunder was a small team project done during my second semester of Junior year, for my Production II class. After a few weeks of prototyping, my team of 5 (producer, designer, 2 artists and myself), decided to pursue the idea of a downhill racing party game, made in Unity. A few weeks later we made it past what we call the Mid-Mortem, and had a few more people join the team. This thrust me from the role of “the programmer” to be lead, in charge of not only my own work, but two others’. The biggest challenge we faced was scaling the game, because the tight schedule we’d been placed on made it difficult to build tools and scalable systems. It was a lose-lose situation. Later development became a slog, but we wouldn’t even have made it there if our start wasn’t so gameplay focused. What just be a prototype of mechanics, had to be turned directly into the full game. Frankly, the biggest lesson I learned from the project was that the process that was expected of us, is counter intuitive to a good production process. Not to say that I didn’t have a good time and learning experience from leading my team in an agile development process. Oh, and we got to show the game at PAX East. Click on Thunder’s helmet to check it out!
Tales from the Blasterverse
Tales is in some ways the opposite of my experience with Rolling Thunder. My original senior game project didn’t really come together the way my team had hoped, so halfway through the year, I joined the team working on what was then known as Tales from Space. It’s an online twin-stick looter shooter, focused on collecting a variety of guns. The experience of stepping into somebody else’s code base was a bit daunting, and definitely took a bit of getting used to. It certainly made it clear how painful the lack of well documented and commented code can be. One of the biggest roadblocks we’ve hit was that a focus on working within the team from your discipline led to a major lack of communication, putting designers, artists, and programmers on different pages. I’ve spent a lot of my time working on UI, which I’ve enjoyed far more than expected. Unity’s system works well enough for static UIs, and mouse controls, but we dynamically spawn in UI at various points, and I’ve been putting together algorithms to correctly link up all the elements. The little delves I’ve done into our networking using Gamesparks have also been fun. My biggest roadblock has probably been my ever-growing interest in tools, engines and the various systems behind games, but it hasn’t prevented me from getting work done. There are no plans to officially publish, but I’ll have a link up soon!