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Tools and Tech

Overview

  • Throughout the 14+ years I have been making games, I have worked with a number of different languages, tools, technologies, and platforms.
  • This page highlights my proficiency with a variety of highly relevant game development tools.

Game Engines

Unreal Engine 3

  • Over 5 years of continuous professional project development.
  • Used Unreal 3 for 2 game projects - Destroy All Humans!: Path of the Furon and The Agency.
  • Editor
    • Placed path nodes, spawners, mission objectives, triggers, and edited a large number of game objects and world properties for Destroy All Humans!: Path of the Furon.
    • Suggested a number of additions to stock Unreal editor functionality to extend the utility of game objects for designers.
    • Whiteboxed environments, placed mission objectives, spawners, and custom game objects for The Agency.
  • Kismet
    • Prototyped large portions of boss behaviors in Kismet for Destroy All Humans!: Path of the Furon.
    • Created several missions using Kismet on DAH!: Path of the Furon.
    • Prototyped gameplay mechanics for new systems in Kismet on The Agency.
  • Matinee
    • Used matinee as a visualization and prototyping tool for bosses on Destroy All Humans!: Path of the Furon.
    • Created several explosion cutscenes in Matinee that occur when players destroy buildings for Destroy All Humans!: Path of the Furon.
    • Prototyped new game mechanics client-side in Matinee before requesting functionality from an engineer when possible on The Agency.
  • UnrealScript
    • For Destroy All Humans!: Path of the Furon, I used UnrealScript to tweak boss behaviors and to set data values for weapons or abilities that were not available in an editor.
    • On The Agency, I used UnrealScript to tweak damage and scoring algorithms for the intel and alias systems.
  • Animation Tree Editors
    • For Destroy All Humans!: Path of the Furon, I modified animation trees to improve responsiveness of AI and bosses.
    • In addition, I used these tools as a way to sync up sounds, particle effects, and special attacks.
  • Collision editing and physics material editing
    • On Destroy All Humans!: Path of the Furon, I used collision editors to whitebox environments for bosses.
    • In addition, I used physics material editors to tweak world properties such as mass, friction, and additional values that controlled how objects tossed, turned, and exploded in the world.

Source Engine

  • Approximately 3-4 months of continuous professional use.
  • Created a demo level in Hammer with a friend that earned us a contract with Carthos.com, a start-up company that wanted to create interactive advergames.
  • On contract, my friend and I collaborated with a group of artists in Seattle to build a product vision level featuring a number of branded items with interactive kiosks.
  • Hammer Editor
    • Wrote a custom tool to convert 3DS Max geometry to Half Life Editor brushes.
    • Built the interactive game elements using Half Life entities from the imported meshes.

LithTech

  • Approximately 6 months of continuous professional use.
  • Programmed with this engine on MOUT 2025: Urban Warfare, an unreleased game developed at Zombie, LLC during a 3 month internship in summer of 2000.
    • For this project, I created new camera effects for night and heat vision.
    • Created a system to attach a camera to path points placed within the editor for use with remote cameras or cutscenes.
    • Created a 3rd person camera for a shooter engine.
  • Used this engine during a one semester class at DigiPen, creating custom classes and building small levels with the editor.

Torque 2D

  • Approximately 6 years of part-time use.
  • Editors
    • Created 5-10 small projects while learning Torque tools at home.
  • TorqueScript
    • Wrote gameplay code for prototypes in TorqueScript for faster iteration.

Proprietary and hand-made engines

  • Tile editor
    • Refactored an old tileeditor that was used for Gameboy games and created a new batch of functions and operations to meet the needs of our art team on on Mario vs. Donkey Kong.
  • State Machine Editor
    • Co-developed code for the state machine editor on Mario vs. Donkey Kong, which was used to set up the states, behaviors, collision settings, movement speeds, and input reactions for Mario and all the enemies.  This tool was primarily developed by the lead programmer, but I added new functionality or states when needed.
  • World Builder
    • Co-created our proprietary world building tool for Metroid Prime Hunters.  We built a robust 3d engine for the Nintendo DS and we needed tools like this one to simplify the creation of levels and placement of enemies and world objects.

Development Tools and Programming Languages

  • Programming Languages:
    • C
      • Skill level: Advanced, but not used regularly at the moment.
      • Over 8 years of daily use, over 13 years total experience.  Stopped using daily in 2006.
      • For most of my time working as a professional game programmer, I coded primarily in C.  
    • C++
      • Skill level: Beginner-Intermediate
      • I have taken 5 years of C++ courses, 3 of them at DigiPen Institute of Technology.
    • C#
      • Skill level: Intermediate, about 2 years total of professional use.
      • Created tools such as the Metroid Prime Hunters world builder in C#. 
      • Programmed several map scripts for Age of Empires Online in C#.
      • Prototyped several games using C# in XNA.
    • UnrealScript
      • Skill level: Beginner, approximately 4 months of intermittent use, entirely for design tuning
      • Tweaked enemy AI and change gameplay variables that are not exposed to Unreal Editor or Kismet.
    • MelScript
      • Skill level: Beginner
      • Wrote plug-ins for Maya while I explored options for level editing in Metroid Prime: Hunters.
    • TorqueScript
      • Skill level: Advanced
      • Used  to prototype games at home in Torque 2D.
  • Programming tools and IDEs used regularly: Visual Studio, Visual SourceSafe, Perforce, Subversion
  • Game platforms I have developed for:
    • Nintendo 64
    • Nintendo GameCube
    • Gameboy Advance
    • Nintendo DS
    • PC
    • Playstation 3
    • Xbox 360

Art Packages

  • 3DS Max 
    • Approximately 3 months of continuous use as well as intermittent use on game projects.
    • Completed a 1 semester course on modeling in 3DS Max during my education at DigiPen Institute of Technology.
  • Maya 
    • Approximately 4-5 months of continuous use in different capacities as well as intermittent use throughout the years.
    • Investigated the idea of using Maya as a world editor for one project.
    • Programmed in Melscript to create plug-ins.
    • Created flying paths for the dragon boss in Destroy All Humans!: Path of the Furon in the Maya curve editor.
    • Created whitebox levels in Maya for design tests and mockups.
    • Attended Maya developer's conference in 2005.

Design and Documentation Tools

  • Word
    • Used regularly for both design and technical documentation for the last 10 years.
    • Used for writing a variety of design documents.
    • Format of design documents varies by company.
    • Experienced creating one page overviews or detailed breakdowns of mechanics, with supporting information about content requirements and technical implementation aimed at audiences ranging from design to production to publishing partners.
  • Excel
    • Used regularly for both design and technical documentation for the last 10 years.
    • Used for tracking progression and large data sets for Destroy All Humans!: Path of the Furon and The Agency.
    • Used for identifying activities we wanted to prioritize and track for datamining on The Agency.
    • Created custom equations to track game-relevant data such as DPS, expected progression stats, and difficulty of enemy encounters.
  • PowerPoint
    • Used regularly for both design and technical documentation for the last 10 years.
    • Used for creating game systems presentations during The Agency.
    • I used this tool sparingly, preferring quick face to face meetings, short documents, or wiki entries for most game systems.
    • Used as a tool for visualizing how the intel system would play out in a multiplayer context, using PowerPoint animations.
  • Visio
    • Used regularly for both design and technical documentation for the last 10 years.
    • Used as a tool for documenting boss mechanics and enemy AI and flow on Destroy All Humans!: Path of the Furon.
    • Created system mechanics and flow documents in Visio for systems such as intel and alias on The Agency.
  • Wiki
    • Used regularly for both design and technical documentation for the last 10 years.
    • Used on The Agency to document most game systems during the first year that I worked there.
    • Documented game systems, design processes, game mechanics, and technical documentation collaboratively with other designers in wiki.
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