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Joy Machine (2016-2018)

Founder and CEO

Game Director

I started Joy Machine to make games because: I want to entertain players. I believe that games are at their best when they are dynamic, interactive, evolutionary, surprising, and constantly challenge players just enough to have a great time. I want to show players a game, and then be amazed at where they take it. Steel Hunters is a culmination of my entire career in game development thus far as well as my entire life as a gamer, and that's going to be a real rad game.

Just as importantly, though, I want to make games that can actually make money to continue evolving the game alongside the people playing it. Typically, to make a game that looks, feels, and plays like a large team with significant resources made it, you have to have a large team with significant resources to make it. 

I disagreeSteel Hunters entire production model, game design, and development plan is focused on how to to make the released game into the exact game defined by its initial vision and design. And I'm okay with the assumption that that statement is "optimistic at best" if you pinky swear to let me say "I told you so" later. I'm kidding.

Kind of.

 
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Project

— Steel Hunters.

 

 

 

 

 
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planet3 (2015-2017)

Senior Technical Designer

Lead Experience Developer

  • Worked on the "3D immersive" components of the planet3 package (gameplay mixed with educational curriculum). 
  • Worked on a comprehensive renderering feature set (in Unity) and small touches to overhaul our graphical capabilities even on low-end systems.
  • Prepared our client to run in WebGL 1.0 on Chromebooks.
  • Worked extensively with third-party vendors to ensure good practice and quality deliveries, as well as general support as-needed.
  • Managed the entire Unity development team as we worked towards various milestones leading up to a pilot program launch in Nevada, and the steps to follow.
 
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Project

— The planet3 Multimedia Education Platform.

 

 

 

 

 
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Art+Craft (2015)

Sr. Visual Effects and Technical Artist

I was brought in as a consultant on Crowfall initially. This turned into a contract role as a sort of Senior VFX Artist. Overall, my goal was to help define the look-and-feel of VFX in Crowfall while establishing a workflow that worked best for the team. 

I started by proposing PopcornFX the VFX creation environment. I created a handful of effects to highlight its versatility, showed the art director and VFX artist the workflow involved in creating effects, and ultimately that was what we decided on. And then I made a whole suite of effects for each of the class archetypes in the game (at the time) covering as many use-cases as I could conceive. I also worked with the development team on integrating PopcornFX into their codebase.

Once the integration was complete and we had a solid base of effects (a few months' worth), I was asked to stay on as a Technical Artist for a while to provide an efficient set of standard shaders to help the team further realize their unique, stylized style while adhering to Physically Based Rendering principles and standards. I also created some generally-useful shaders and post-processing effects: atmospherics with light shafts, a couple solutions for ambient occlusion (SSAO and HBAO), and enhancements to the existing bloom effect that was in place.

 
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Project

Crowfall.

 

 
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Team Chaos (2013-2015)

Game Director

Executive Producer

Creative Director

Sr. Game Designer

As the preceding list may indicate (starting from the bottom — my initial role): I had a whole lot of roles at Team Chaos (partially due to my occasional involvement with its sister company, Chaotic Moon). I worked on a whole bunch of games, some of which were side-projects I developed on the side (published by Team Chaos), and I worked in a variety of different capacities. Which included doing voice acting and PR. Somehow.

Instead of paragraphs, here's just a list as a rough idea of what I did across the eight games I worked on:

  • Creator and director for Rooster Teeth vs. Zombiens. Also pitching it to both Rooster Teeth and Team Chaos.
  • Creative director for all internal projects.
  • Project planning and task management internally (with high-level planning and management directions on external projects).
  • System, gameplay, and level design.
  • Sole writer for all projects (only Rooster Teeth vs. ZombiensElements, and Loot Raiders were text-heavy).
  • Project pitches for interested third-parties.
  • Voice acting (anything that wasn't human).
  • VO recording session direction with the Rooster Teeth cast (this was a blast).

 

 
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Projects

Side-projects (Team Chaos-published):

— SUPERCHROMA.

— Cat vs. Aliens.

— SPACE COLORS.

Team Projects:

— Loot Raiders.

— Dragon Academy.

— Dragon Raiders.

— I Dig It: Journey to the Core.

— Enigmo: Explore.

— Dragon Trials.

— Elements: Broken Lands.

 
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Stardock Entertainment (2007 - 2009)

Gameplay Developer

Engine/Graphics Programmer

My first professional job out of college involved gameplay, graphics, and engine development across a variety of projects. , and occasional designer across a variety of games. I worked in C/C++ with DirectX, HLSL, and the Win32 API daily — you know, back in the day when the Win32 API and COM were still things people worried about.

I also did extensive design and development work on two of one of our game's largest tools (intended to be player-facing) in addition to design consulting on a variety of internal and external projects.

 
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Projects

Galactic Civilization 2: Twilight of the Arnor.
The Political Machine 2008.
Demigod.
Elemental: War of Magic (Early Development).

 

 

 

 

 
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