Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Welcome!

Hello!

This blog mainly serves as a public profile, online portfolio and a way to contact me. I don't tend to write many blog posts these days so I won't make any big promises there. I will write a bit about what I've been doing lately, since chances are since you are reading this that's probably the sort of thing that brought you here.

Shortly after leaving Rockstar Games, I created Bounding Box Games LLC in October 2010 and most of my time has been spent working on projects related to this venture. Perhaps "adventure" is a better word, because it really has been an interesting change from the prior 13 years of work for Rockstar, Sony Online and EA. I've made several independent games and a slew of development related tools related to their production which, time permitting, I sometimes discuss on the development blog.

The first BBG project was a music program for the XBox called Atomic Sound which in addition to being a moderately successful XBox Live Indie Games (XBLIG) title, provided a robust sprite animation system, UI framework and other useful systems which I have made an effort to maintain and extend as a general purpose game engine code base. The next two games (MoonLander and Star Ninja) were released on XBLIG and Windows Phone 7. These extended the engine code base further with the addition of game systems and integration of the open source Farseer 2D Physics engine. For a while I was a fairly active contributor to the Farseer project, mainly helping improve the performance of various existing systems.

After Star Ninja, I put a lot of time towards the creation of a proper 3D content and rendering pipeline. The current project Thunder Moon benefits from those efforts as seen by the articulated rigid physical bodies rendered using an instancing skinned mesh system - all of which are authored in Softimage, exported using a custom plugin and eventually rendered in game with a light prepass processing (LPP) renderer.

Those projects are of course the visible ones; I haven't mentioned the many internal tools and other support work required to get these games out there. The content pipeline has been a pretty big investment and is an essential part of my workflow, supporting all kinds of useful authoring features including custom shaders, physics configuration, a dialog/banter system, and sprite sheet building among other things. The .NET services website for Star Ninja has been working reliably since launch, tracking over 7 million games played while providing players with leaderboards and providing me with useful stats and dynamic ad management. There is a publishing pipeline that allows me to quickly build a package for distribution that has obfuscation validation (which is itself an interesting little tool), WiX installer integration, version control and server updating. These are just a few of the support projects and I won't list them all here but suffice to say, I've been busy!