NYC Gamecraft 2013

The
The “Purgatory” team: Me, David Wallin, Anthony Vinh Nguyen, and Andrew Kelley

On Friday 9/20, I participated in NYC Gamecraft 2013 and my team won! Gamecraft is an open game jam competition where developers must create a game from scratch in just 7.5 hours.

Early in the morning I formed a team with 3 talented guys: Andrew Kelley (Programmer), Anthony Vinh Nguyen (Artist), and David Wallin (Sound Design).

At 9:30am the theme “Lost Doorways” was announced, and we had until 5pm to create the game from start to finish. Anthony churned out art assets at an unbelievable speed, Andrew and I tackled programming in HTML/JS making use of a custom engine he built, I designed levels to showcase the different mechanics we had created, and David Wallin created sound effects to tie everything together. Our game “Purgatory” won Best Game and the People’s Choice Award!

It was such a blast challenging myself to work at that pace and getting to collaborate with such talented people. You can check out the game at the link below:

http://gamecrafty.herokuapp.com/newyork-september-2013/purgatory/

Music Fundamentals

I have officially started work on a new educational game based on Sumy Takesue’s textbook “Music Fundamentals”! A new version of textbook is scheduled to come out this October, and my job is to recreate and improve the existing flash game in HTML5. It is to be used alongside the new book and must be available for mobile devices.

The project is really exciting, as it is a hybrid of several passions of mine: music, education, and games. Today was my first big conference call, and my boss has given me permission to design brand new exercises and mini-games and pitch them to her. What an amazing opportunity!

If I am allowed to, I will post more information on the project as it takes form. Next week is lots of research and design, followed by full-scale rapid prototyping. Down the line I may even get to post links to the beta here, which would be really awesome.

Spring 2013 Update

Some updates…

Class Project: Shinto Showdown

First, since mid-December I have been working on a C++ game using DirectX 10, tentatively titled “Shinto Showdown”, for my “Foundation of 2D Graphics Programming” course. It is an isometric strategy RPG where you manipulate the power of the elements to defeat your enemies. We will be finishing the single-level prototype in late February!

Game Jam: Indie Speed Run

Second, at the start of the year I participated in the “Indie Speed Run 2012” game jam with my brother James and friend David Wallin. It was my first time participating in a game jam, and a ton of fun! Our randomly assigned theme was “Heat” and our required element was “Ninja”, so we made a puzzle platformer called “Steampunk Ninja” where you play as a Ninja that must overcome obstacles while balancing your internal energy intake and output. Get too cold and you freeze, but get too hot and you burst into flames! Our goal is to continue development this summer, so hopefully something will come out of that!

Music Fundamentals

And finally, I have been hired for a Spring co-op internship! From March through May, I will be working for “Taylor & Francis, Co.”, designing an educational video game based on Sumy Takesue’s textbook Music Fundamentals. I can’t get into details just yet, but I am really really excited to get to work!

My portfolio is getting better! 🙂

2013 Goals

With only a few months until graduation in May, it seems like a good time to re-evaluate my Game Development related goals. Here are a few key ones I’d like to accomplish:

  • Create an online portfolio: I already had a LinkedIn Profile, but wanted something more customizable to my needs. So far this wordpress is shaping up to be a great alternative! I look forward to fleshing it out in the coming weeks.
  • Make more games: Though I am proud of the work I have done and the progress I have made, I still have not worked on nearly enough games! My goal is to participate in upcoming game jams (Global Game Jam is coming up!) and to form a team of students for a Spring Quarter project.
  • PLAY more games: As I get older and busier, I find that my patience for mediocre games is wearing thin, and my needs as a gamer are changing. Regardless, I need to find the time to play new games so that I can keep up with how the industry is evolving.
  • Stay up to date with Game Industry News: It’s so easy to fall behind! I try to read Gamasutra, 1up, and IGN on a regular basis, and have recently discovered Escapist and really like it. I am also subscribed to Game Developer Magazine and a longtime subscriber to Game Informer, both of which I really enjoy.