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San Francisco-based iOS designer + developer.

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Pre-LD Warm Up Game – Bouncing Babies VR

Posted by
Friday, April 15th, 2016 2:39 pm

I finally got my HTC Vive and I couldn’t wait to test out some VR concepts I saw at GDC. I decided to to a quick gamejammy game before LD35 to take the development cycle for a spin.

There has been a fire at the downtown children’s hospital and the rooftop (why?) nursery is at risk! Catch the falling babies before they hit the asphalt in Bouncing Babies VR!

Bouncing Babies VR

I chose this concept because it hits a number of core virtual reality game design issues:

  • Depth perception as a central game mechanic (catching falling babies)
  • Leveraging hand-eye coordination (throwing babies into ambulances)
  • Encouraging room-scale movement (scrambling around to catch babies)
  • Interacting with physical, diagetic mechanisms (difficulty slider, bat)
  • Eschewing HUD for diagetic data representations
  • A familiar, but not-uncanny 360-degree environment including audio cues

VROMG!  I did a full write-up with gifs at TIGsource or you can check out the r/gamedev discussion.  There are some good VR-specific tidbits in there.

See you at #LD35!

Gameplay gif

Posted by
Thursday, August 28th, 2014 9:56 am

I made a gif of the gameplay of United Nanolytics Knowledge Vault.

United Nanolytics Knowledge Vault gameplay

 

United Nanolytics Knowledge Vault

Posted by
Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 4:45 pm

A machine from another time has entered your possession.

You activate it, but it demands ability-enhancing technology that hasn’t been invented yet.

Are your reflexes and multi-tasking up to unlocking the secrets within?  Try United Nanolytics Knowledge Vault //

 

ACCESS DENIED

United Nanolytics Knowledge Vault

 

 

Token post for participation –

Posted by
Monday, August 25th, 2014 8:18 am

I’ve been working furiously over the weekend to finish this for the jam.

The concept is that a machine from the future has found its way into your possession, but without the ability-enhancing implants of the future, can you access its contents?

The game (“cybernetics diagnostic”) tests the players’ multitasking while representing the gameplay with a number of secondary data visualizations.

Token screenshot, and back to work!

Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 8.16.08 AM

Dig Thug.

Posted by
Saturday, April 26th, 2014 11:14 am

Frack this.

DIG THUG is a game about fracking. It’s up to you to find the shale deposits, pump out the natural gas, and make Big Oil-money that’s just waiting under the surface.

Aquifers, lava pools, and fault lines have to be avoided or, perhaps, plunged through to access that golden natural gas. Protesters’ messages have to be spun into positive PR. And if your profits exceed your costs, who cares if their tap water’s on fire? Your kid’s going to Harvard and you’re summering in Monaco!

I’ll be using Unity Pro; probably with NGUI.

Ellsworth

Posted by
Monday, April 29th, 2013 6:45 pm

I’ve uploaded and submitted “Ellsworth”, a minimalist graphic puzzler inspired by Ellsworth Kelly’s paintings.

Check it out at the playable (alpha-state) game at http://www.bigblueboo.com/ellsworth/

Ellsworth gameplay

A bit of gameplay from Ellsworth.

Great, inspiring theme! See you all next time.

LD26: Begin.

Posted by
Friday, April 26th, 2013 8:47 pm

Really intrigued by Erik Nitsche’s modernist style…

Erik Nitsche

Of course, the theme has me thinking of John Cage and his peers.

Meginnis’s “Navigators” suggests itself, too. What if we begin with an overpowered Monty Haul-campaign hero and in order to win, the player must leave behind precious items and take on burdensome handicaps until a minimalist nirvana is reached?

People have complained about “minimalism” being an aesthetic, rather than a game theme. Who would deny that past LD results have–broadly speaking–badly needed some design sense?

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to take away. – Antoine de Saint Exupéry

Using WebGL and HTML5. Get out yer Chrome.

My Kingdom for a Line Block!: Betrayal Tetris

Posted by
Sunday, December 16th, 2012 5:11 pm

Screen-Shot-2012-12-16-at-4.08.26-PM

One player places blocks while the other picks the most frustrating block possible — and roles are reversed at random intervals!

[ Playable here! Try it with a friend! ]

And don’t forget to check in with Atomic’s similar hardware-based project, if you want to see something really impressive.

My Kingdom for a Line Block! – Playable WIP.

Posted by
Saturday, December 15th, 2012 10:24 pm

I was disappointed to find out that Atomic announced his intention to do this very idea before I did, but the idea remains a good one and we’re going about it in very different ways, so…

I recently saw Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters and I remembered one of the most dreaded occurrences was the “drought” — a lack of a line block for more than seven blocks. I thought it would be interesting, then, to turn the tables on Tetris and choose the blocks with the specific aim of frustrating the player.

(There is a relevant effort called “Hatetris”, a variant that implements an AI which chooses the worst possible blocks for you.)

Below is a screenshot of the WIP. It’s currently two-player on one computer; one person uses the mouse to select the next block, while the other plays the game as per usual.

ld25-screenshot

It’s playable here.

Ideas/issues going forward:

  • Switch the roles at random points, so the players take turns picking pieces and playing the game. (Implementing keyboard control for both “players” would be important for this)
  • Implementing an AI that tries to cope with your choices.
  • Looking into an online matchmaking system for this kind of thing? Surely it’s been done a million times in AS3.
  • Need a better system to represent success in frustrating the player, rather than simply forcing a lower-than-optimal score
  • A setup screen for initial levels, junk lines, etc.

Anyone else got an idea for it?…

We are Villains!

Posted by
Friday, December 14th, 2012 7:40 pm

“My basic goal in voting was, if I could think of many games with that theme right off the bat, then vote down.” – anonymous chatter

There aren’t many, but there are a few villainous games. Quick rundown on what’s been done in the Canon of Villainous Gamery:

  • Dungeon Keeper – construct a dungeon that can sustain the spelunkery of know-nothing do-gooders (also, see: Overlord)
  • Ghost Master – haunt a house, creep out the inhabitants
  • Bioware games – Choose the jerk choice and earn evil points, perchance to shoot force lightning or earn Assassin’s Guild faction points
  • Evil Genius – Sierra’s quirky mastermind simulator. Play Dr. Evil.
  • Tropico – City building as a dictator
  • Syndicate/Syndicate Wars – The carry out the missions of amoral agents, as assigned by evil corporations
  • Jaws Unleashed – Play as Jaws.
  • Command and Conquer NOD disc: RTS from Kane’s point of view.

Some of these are twists on standard genres–and the villainy is in the premise–while others have you doing uniquely villainous thing.

I think our challenge is to think of games with villainy in their bones. Pong could be a villainous game if victory ends with a Mortal Kombat fatality…but that’s too easy. Can we make a game where we empathize with the good guys even as we smite them to reach the next level?

Let’s see if I can top last LD’s effort, my evolving music beat game Evophonia.

See “evophonia”, an evolving musical pattern game in action

Posted by
Tuesday, August 28th, 2012 6:37 pm

Forgive my mediocre play — the screen capture app I was using required that I not hear audio while it captured system audio. (Quicktime/Soundflower) You’ll do much better, I suspect!

Give it a shot, now that some catastrophic bugs have been removed.

evophonia – play now!

evophonia – evolutionary music

Posted by
Monday, August 27th, 2012 6:04 pm

Evophonia is game with music that evolves according to the player’s abilities.  Starting from the seed of a single note, the music evolves in shape, sound, and in key-triggers as the player successfully plays it.  Mistakes cause a relapse into previous iterations of the music, while success leads to an evolution into complexity.

I’ve been backpacking, so I didn’t make it to the compo this year.  Still, I made a genuine effort to make an evolution game, and, after reading up on some genetic algorithms I thought that a proper evolution game would use the player as the selection criterion!  And here we go.  It’s SUPER rough, but it kind of almost works!

Another first timer joins

Posted by
Friday, August 24th, 2012 9:52 am

A week after A Game By Its Cover concludes, I’m in another game jam.

And remember, everyone: don’t vote for Abandoned!  Let’s push ourselves.

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