• Culina: Hands in the Kitchen

    November 11, 2016

    Culina: Hands in the Kitchen

    • Platform: Windows, Mac, PC, Ouya, TBA
    • Game Engine: Unity
    • Programming Language: C#
    • Download: Steam

    Culina: Hands in the Kitchen casts the player in the role of managing their very own restaurant, creating recipes while maintaining relationships and is a commercial title which was successfully funded via Kickstarter!

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  • Bombshell

    November 1, 2015

    Bombshell

    • Platform: Windows, Playstation 4, Xbox One
    • Game Engine: Unreal Engine 3
    • Programming Language: Actionscript 3/Unrealscript/Kismet/C++
    • Download: Steam

    Bombshell is an isometric action role-playing game for PC and consoles developed by Interceptor Entertainment.

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  • Saving Zoey

    November 2, 2014

    Saving Zoey

    • Platform: PC/Mac/Linux
    • Game Engine: Ren’Py
    • Programming Language: Python
    • Download: GameJolt

    Saving Zoey is a horror visual novel created in 48 hours for #asylumjam. Play as Kelly, a girl who has to find her sister Zoey in a haunted house after hours with the help of a man who works there. Navigate the creepy hallways and uncover the mystery of the cult who once called the haunted house home.

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  • Getting Started with UDK

    July 15, 2013

    This book is based off of content that I wrote previously in a series of tutorials and due to the amount of content I wanted to put in, I sadly wasn’t able to put all of the content inside the book. However, I have put two posts on the website here with content missing from the book and will probably add additional resources in the future as well.

    Since I was working with content I already created, the turnaround for this book was very quick for myself and with my experience writing the two other books, this went very smoothly and I had a good time working on it, and I hope you have a great experience reading it!

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  • Mastering UDK Game Development: Hotshot

    April 2, 2013

    I’m really proud and excited to announce that my second book about using UDK to make games has just been published. Whereas the first book was primarily for beginners who are just starting out with UDK; in this book I was really able to show some of the tricks that I’ve learned over the past years using UDK to take projects to the next level!

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  • Nova Evoker

    February 3, 2013

    A Flash game developed over the course of 3 days using ActionScript 3 to accustom myself with it again after not touching it aside from using it for creating Scaleform menus for 2 years. All art and code was done by me with Christopher Doran providing the music.

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  • Culina: The Spirit of Cooking

    January 9, 2013

    Culina is a series of games which contain elements of both visual novels and strategy games as you create your very own restaurant. I played the role of both producer and programmer on the title using Python and the Ren’Py engine. I also created the video trailer which can be seen below.

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  • UDK iOS Game Development Beginner’s Guide

    August 26, 2012

    Wrote six out of the eight chapters (Chapters 3-8) of the book with Christos Gatzidis and published by Packt Publishing. From the book’s description:

    It has never been a more attractive time to be an app developer. With no signs of stopping, Apple’s iOS devices are dominating the mobile scene and with UDK, the free version of the most popular third-party game engine available, it has never been easier to get into the app business.

    “UDK iOS Game Development Beginner’s Guide” takes a clear, step-by-step approach to building a small third-person shooter game using the Unreal Development Kit with plenty of examples on how to create a game that is uniquely your own.

    You will begin learning the fundamentals of the Unreal Engine before creating a third-person shooter game in UDK. After the game is created you will learn what can be done with any project to optimize your game for the iOS platform and discover special considerations that need to be made. Finally, you’ll publish your game on the App Store for the world to see and play along, with details on different costs associated with publishing.

    If you would like to make iOS games with the Unreal Development Kit or are interested in porting your game from PC to iOS, this book is for you.

    To find out more and/or purchase the book, please visit: here.

  • Film Noir RPG Prototype

    April 25, 2012

    A prototype of a Film Noir RPG that I worked on for two months using UDK with 3 others. I was responsible for the Unrealscript programming, the UI and menus using Scaleform including a dialogue and inventory system and the integration of assets into the engine. The character portraits as well as the 3d models were not created by myself.

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  • Dungeon Defenders – Nightlight

    February 9, 2012

    Built over the course of a week using the Dungeon Defenders (UDK) Development Kit. I was able to use the assets provided by the game in order to create an exterior level within the game.

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  • Lunaris

    November 1, 2011

    Lunaris

    • Platform: Windows
    • Game Engine: – Custom (Created from scratch)
    • Programming Language: C++
    • Download: Lunaris

    Players are cast into keeping the world away from total darkness in a 2D platforming world. Dynamic lighting turns the world lighter as you play making each level a race against the darkness. Drop in/out support makes it possible for anyone to jump in the game at any time to join in the fun. Levels have a smooth difficulty curve to give players a chance to learn the ropes before the difficulty goes up.

     


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  • Star Wars 1313

    August 10, 2011

    Star Wars 1313

    • Platform: Windows, Playstation 4, Xbox One
    • Game Engine: Unreal Engine 3
    • Programming Language: Kismet/Unrealscript/C++

    Star Wars 1313 was an action-adventure video game under development by LucasArts. The game would take a more mature, gritty direction compared to past Star Wars video games and, like 2002’s Star Wars: Bounty Hunter, emphasize fast-paced gadget and weapon-based combat using tools exclusive to bounty hunters rather than Force and lightsaber-based combat.

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  • Cultist Kerfuffle

    July 7, 2011

    ker·fuf·fle – /kərˈfəfəl/ – Noun: A commotion or fuss.

    Note: We recommend that you have 10 ten-sided dice in order to play this game

    Overview:

    Night settles down in a sleepy little city located in New England, but work is just starting for you and your fellow investigators. Strange things have been happening in the town and you have taken upon yourselves to learn what has been going on. Your deductions have taught you that four different cult groups have taken ahold of the city and are all planning on executing each of their evil plans that night. Not if YOU have anything to do about it! Helping each other is vital to your survival, but by the end of the night only one can scare the cultists away.

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  • UDK – Plant

    February 24, 2011

    The second map that I worked on for Unreal Demolition for the Sumo Gametype.

  • UDK – Sunken Road

    For the past few months I have been working as a teammate for the Unreal Demolition mod in UDK with my good friend Dan Weiss as a level designer. As I have been working on the levels I have been posting up the work in progress talking through my method and why I’ve made changes to the projects as well as how I do iteration on projects. This page will serve as a point to see the most up to date levels I have been working on. To see the works in progress please look here.

  • Learning for Life: Game Design

    February 9, 2011

    My good friend and fellow designer Ben Frasier were asked to help Learning for Life, a partner of United Way for King County, to offer a series of career exploration lessons to high school students from all over Washington State. Over 60 students participated in the program and we were asked to develop a lesson plan and guide a presentation on what it means to be a game designer as well as give them some experience in doing some design on their own. It was a very rewarding experience and I enjoyed it very much.

    I was in charge of creating and delivering the presentation as well as designing a help-sheet to help students use the editor that they created levels from. I have attached the Prezi that I used in the presentation below:

  • flowShooter

    December 12, 2010


    Play online here or download here

    FlowShooter was my first attempt at taking the “Director” aspect from Valve Software’s Left 4 Dead to the next level. I gave a presentation based on my research in my Artificial Intelligence class while doing a research paper with my partner Stanley Thai.


    In this current age, video game players have never varied larger in terms of their skill when it comes to completing objectives. It is a designer’s job to carefully balance and tweak gameplay to work for all sorts of people, but it would be easier to have the game assess how the player is doing and adjust the game on the fly. Valve’s Left 4 Dead series took the first step with its Director system where it decides how many zombies to spawn at one time. Our project takes that concept to the next level by changing the enemies to fit the level of the player to hopefully create the psychological state of “Flow” in the player. (For more information on “Flow” please go here.)

    In this project, we will use the familiar multi-directional shooter in the vein of Bizzare Creation’s Geometry Wars and will modify it by shaping the enemies as the game continues. Using the traditional story arch in terms of the amount of base stress the game will create we will adjust aspect of the enemies the player will face with a director of our own. With both of these aspects in place it is our goal to simulate the idea of “Flow” in games.


    An example of a possible progression in gameplay.

    The full research paper written by myself and my good friend Stanley Thai is available to read here:

    Creating Flow by Dynamically Changing Enemies

  • SpaceWar 2045

    May 23, 2009

    I enjoyed many of the German-style board games like Settlers of Catan and Caylus in the fact that most players stay in the game even if they are loosing unlike most American games where you are trying to defeat your opponents and then once defeated they have to wait while having nothing to do. Another board game that I have come to know and enjoy playing was Arkham Horror in which all of the players are playing against the game co-operatively so they are always invested in the game.

    Knowing that this has been done left out some of the players of games that like to play competitively and I felt that they were left out in games such as that. That gave me the idea of having one player who is essentially “the game” and the rest of the players are playing against it. That way if anyone wants to compete, they still may do so.I chose to make it so that the Boss character (the game) had to feel like a threat, but have it so that the other players not be overwhelmed. Taking a cue from cinema, I created the idea of Phase cards and while the game continued the Boss gained more and more of an advantage against the others. Then to think of a winning condition I brainstormed until I came up with the idea of planet acquisition and somewhat of a race between both forces trying to get them. What you see below is what I came up with:

    Without any warning, strange ships have been coming into the Roban system and have attacked everything they see on sight. People are fearful for their lives and in a desperate situation three empires are joining together to defeat this menace. However, the fight will not be an easy one and they’ll need to use all of their cunning and strength and a little luck to get the edge over their skillful opponent.

    Space War is a game for two teams of 1 and 3 players, respectively. The first player, the Esion Empire is invading the worlds of the other players. The other players, the Allied Forces are defending their homeland. The longer the game goes on, the more of an advantage is placed upon the Esion Empire which will put pressure on all of the other players to unite against a common enemy.

    To download, please right click and “Save Target as” the following links: SpaceWar 2045 : Rules, Pieces, & Cards / SpaceWar 2045 : Board

    Evolution of a Game

    For those interested in how this game came to be, here is a look in how it started and evolved. After one of the assignments we had in my Game Mechanics class (GAT210) in which we were given some random words to come up with a game I received the words “Space” and “Rescue”. Given the quick turnaround period, I first thought of watching a certain familiar television show and thought I would do a parody of actually trying to save the Red Shirts as opposed to them always dying. After some work, I turned in this initial concept. Space Rescue!

    Reception was mostly positive; however I wasn’t satisfied with it. I wanted to do something that I hadn’t seen in most games before. Through brainstorming I came up with many ideas. Some of which during one period I wrote down in a text file which you may look at here.

    After thinking hard, I looked at how I enjoyed many of the German-style board games like Settlers of Catan and Caylus and the fact that most players can stay in the game even if they are loosing unlike most American games where you are trying to defeat your opponents and then they have to wait with your friends while you have nothing to do. Another board game that I have come to know and enjoy playing was Arkham Horror in which all of the players are playing against the game co-operatively.

    Knowing that this has been done left out some of the players of games that like to play competitively and I felt that they were left out in games such as that. That gave me the idea of having one player who is essentially “the game” and the rest of the players are playing against it. That way if anyone wants to compete, they still may do so.I also wanted to make it so that the Boss character (the game) had to feel like a threat, but have it so that the other players not be overwhelmed. Taking a cue from cinema, I created the idea of Phase cards and while the game continued the Boss gained more and more of an advantage against the others. Then to think of a winning condition I brainstormed until I came up with the idea of planet acquisition and somewhat of a race between both forces trying to get them.

    With these ideas I came up with my first prototype of the game, which you may look at here.

    While an interesting idea, the game at that moment was not at the point that I wanted it to be. The items were uninteresting and there wasn’t really a reason to get them for the most part. Cards were unbalanced, and the graphics throughout the project was not what I wanted to use. I also got rid of the idea of the randomness of the icons being protected and corrupted and made the areas on the edge of the board spawn points for the Boss.

    The final product is found below, I hope you enjoyed learning about its creation as I did making it!

    To download, please right click and “Save Target as” the following links: SpaceWar 2045 : Rules, Pieces, & Cards / SpaceWar 2045 : Board

  • Tim-E

    Players assume the role of the Time Interface Manipulator Build E (Tim-E for short), a robot with the unique ability to manipulate time. This 2D platformer has a full-featured combat system with the twist of time travel.

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  • Destruction Dice

    January 28, 2009

    My first game I came up with as a game designer in my first Game Design class. We were told to come up with a dice game that used dice in addition to six sided dice. The game was quite simple so I didn’t pursue it more, but I did learn some interesting things about player behavior and how you can make an interesting game out of very little components.

    Destruction Dice

    A 5-10 minute, 2-6 player dice game by John Doran

    Equipment:

    In order to play the game, you require the following for each player:

    -3d6

    -1d8

    -1d10

     

    General Rules:

    Players are to hold their equipment set within their hand, and will not show the opponent what they have at the moment. At the same time, all players will choose one die at their discretion and will place it into their other hand towards a table or some other flat surface. When all players have their hands ready, all players drop the die of their choice onto the surface. Whoever gets the highest number up takes all of the dice thrown and puts them into his stockpile (ties reroll until there is a higher one). This shall continue until all players run out of dice. Players will then be able to grab their stockpile and use it as their equipment. Afterwards, when a player runs out of dice, if they have some dice in their stockpile, they may move it into their equipment, but only when empty. If a player has no more dice, they are out of the game. This mode of play will continue until there are only two players left in the game.

    Upon their only being two players left, the player with the more amount of dice will need to discard till both players have the same amount, though they can decide which dice they will get rid of.

    From this point, game play will continue as before.

    Winning the game:

    When all dice are used up in the last two-player round both players will count the amount of dice they each have.  The player with the most dice is the winner.

    Variations:

    A typical game uses 4 players with the rules described.  However, the game is very effective with two players using 2d6 and 1d10, playing for three rounds a point being gained for whom gets more of the dice. Games can also be expanded for more players adding more dice to your die pool.

     

    What I learned:

    Upon play testing this week I learned that the game’s simple concept could be quite exciting. Not knowing what die the other players are going to use gives a slight benefit to each character, but only every once in awhile. Also, if you use your most powerful die, other players know that you’re not going to be able to get an edge in any other die. Upon moving to four players, adding dice adds to the chances.

    Also, having 5 different dice makes it very likely that all players will succeed at one die roll at least, and the gain from winning one makes it so that games continue for a while and players don’t feel so bad about losing. When it gets down to two players though, games would take a very long time. The revisions to players being down to less dice and only for one round makes the game a comfortable time that other players don’t mind waiting for.

     

    Playtesters:

    Joanna Leung   –   Peter Haas   –   Brian Giaime

    Photo in featured picture: sean_hickin

  • Settlers of Catan – Farm Modification

    So, one of the board games that really got me into analogue games to begin with would have to be the Settlers of Catan. Such a great game to play, and one of the first games I introduce to friends to when they are just starting out either with design or just playing games in general. My grandmother in particular is quite addicted to it and will make sure we play it if its avaliable. Below is a potential addition to Settlers of Catan I’ve come up with and the repercussions that this mod would have on the actual game.

    Modification Description

    During a player’s turn, in addition to the items that can already be built in the game a player may turn in 4 of one type (wheat, ore, brick, or lumber) in order to place a token on any tile of that same type that is beside a road, settlement, or city that the player owns. This token symbolizes a new building added to the tile (wheat – farm; ore – refinery, brick – smith, tree – lumber mill) that I will refer to hereafter as a farm.

    While this piece is in play and during the production phase the number rolled has a token on it whoever would receive a benefit from that square shall receive twice as many resources (For example, a city would now produce 4, a settlement 2) even if all of the players that are given the bonus did not buy the farm. However, if the player that purchased the farm does not have a settlement or city that would receive benefit he may take one card of whatever that resource is.

    Whenever the brigand moves (through a 7 or a soldier card) if he is moved onto a tile with a farm token on it the token will be discarded and the player must pay 4 of that type in order to build a farm again. A player may only have one farm at a time.

    Repercussions

    The repercussions of this modification are quite interesting to notice. If a certain resource is hard to find in a game, players may allow someone else or multiple people to have an advantage in order to make it easier for them to trade for it. Since cities cost more and require resources that are harder to obtain, players may be tempted to use this as well. Farms are easily destroyed however, and thus create a risk since cities cannot be destroyed.

    This will promote the use of soldier cards as well as the use of the brigand earlier in the game. The player is also limited to only having one at a time because it may be possible to overwhelm other players so they may not be able to keep the game’s balance.

    However, this modification is created assuming that all players are competitive or will be after a time period. If players share a certain area, this may make the game go a lot quicker since many resources are capable of coming out at a sooner time.

     

    Farm image used in featured image by: Artur Staszewski