This gallery is a collection of various other interests of mine, not specific to game design. Some interests of mine include art, Japanese culture/language, and assorted technologies.
Board Game Designs
Left 4 Dead Board Game
This board game was a team project in which we attempted to convert the Left 4 Dead video game into a board game. Our goal was to determine the gameplay elements that make the video game fun and figure out a way to recreate those elements in the table-top game. Our game is a two-player versus game where one player controls the four human characters and the other player controls the five powerful zombies.
One of the funnest elements in Left 4 Dead is the ability to take down hordes of zombies rather quickly. This was a challenge to mimic in the board game because of slow-downs caused by dice rolling or card drawing. Thusly, we decided on a simple combat system that didn't require dice-rolls or cards for attacking. We felt that this also assisted in making the game more strategy based versus chance based. The chance element comes into play in the placement of units at the start of the game.
At the start of the round, the one player places zombie units and treasures inside building locations. Part of this placement is random and partly determined by the player. The player then conceals the rooms with covers that are then lifted when the human player enters a building. This was how we added the suspense or shock that happens often in Left 4 Dead.
Custom Wedding Ring
I wanted to make my wife's wedding ring special, so I decided to design my own. I did this by creating a 3D model and having it formed in silver using lost-wax casting. My previous modeling experience was severely limited, so this was quite an undertaking. Creating the 3D model required that I first learn how to 3D modeling software, and I decided to go with Blender because it is open source, well supported, and very efficient. For creating the physical mold and ring, I enlisted the services of Shapeways. When creating a 3D model that is going to be used for printing things in the real world, extra care must be taken to make sure that the meshes are watertight and well formed, and that the design accounts for the limitations of the material (silver in this case).
For three years, I lived on a small island to the west of Nagasaki, Japan. That island is called Nakadori Island, and the town that comprises the majority of the island's population is Shinkamigoto. In Japan, the island is a popular tourist destination because if its long beaches, whaling history, and Christian sanctuaries. To promote tourism from English speaking foreigners, I built this website, Shinkamigoto.info.
I have long had an interest in Japanese language and culture and in 2009 I was able to spend a ten day study in Japan. Upon returning, I created a online journal of my experience that can be viewed here. *Note: the journal website is very Flash intense with videos and pictures and may take a while to load or will run slow on some machines
Junior year of college, I began using Adobe Flash CS3 for the first time. I was greatly intrigued by its capabilities and ease-of-use. I started out making animations, and gradually worked my way up in complexity with Actionscript 3. I am now at the point, where I can create Flash game prototypes and casual web games. When Adobe released a Facebook library for Flash, I was very excited and have been learning Facebook development in Flash. Below are some animations and interactive pieces I made in Flash.
This is an animated video created in Adobe Flash. With this, I was attempting to present a poem with visuals and audio. The poem I chose is a haiku by Japanese poet Matsuo Basho. Basho is considered to be one of the greatest Japanese poets. Basho believed that what is not said is as important as what is said.
This is an interactive underwater scene created in Adobe Flash. My goal was to practice animating in Flash, and I decided that I would also implement some interactivity. The scene starts out with an empty ocean floor. The user then can interact with and add life into the scene. The application is meant to be calming and to me it feels like it would make a good screensaver.
Sketch'n'Guess is a Facebook application that I made with a friend in Adobe Flash. It is similar to the game Pictionary in that one player has a word and must get others to guess that word by drawing it on the screen. There are several different word libraries and they are in an XML file that can be edited by users. There are a number of different drawing tools available and several pre-made backgrounds.
Custom Game Controller Design
During my junior and senior years at UAT, I completed a project relative to game design. Bothered by problems with current modern gamepad controllers, I researched how gameplay relates to the game controller and the functionality, ergonomics, and usability element associated with hand-held devices. I created a design based on my research that greatly improves the capabilities of a gamepad controller. Primarily, the controller utilizes all ten fingers of the hands for input and does away with overlapping areas of responsibility found on current controllers.
From this project, I not only learned a lot about electronic devices and human-interface devices, but I am now able to view gameplay in a new way. The design of the controller opens up new possibilities for gameplay that were previously not available on other game controllers. The poster to the left is essentially a summary of the project and its development.