Outside of my scientific research, I have worked on projects in games and interactive media, including commercial products, technology demonstrations, and art installations. Some of the major ones are summarized below.
BlueMarble Surface Shader Tutorial (2012)
A test project and accompanying tutorial to learn about using surface shaders in Unity3D, using NASA’s BlueMarble Next Generation dataset.
Power Glove 20th Anniversary Edition (2009)
A stripped-out and retrofitted Nintendo Power Glove, using an Arduino microcontroller, 3-axis accelerometer, original finger bend sensors, and communicating with the computer via Bluetooth. Wireless!
Demonstration video with Off-Road Velociraptor Safari
TouchKO (2009, iOS)
Realistic-visuals boxing game built for then-current iPhone 3G. Collaboration with Adam Mechtley, UI art by Michael Heald, published by Chillingo (now EA). I’m especially proud of my optimization work to have this on iPhone 3G: Roughly 48MB max of available working application memory, and garbage collector only hits on scene transitions to ensure smooth gameplay.
Work at indie video game developer Flashbang Studios. In two years with a core team of six, we produced seven arcade-style score-attack games and three iPhone games, primarily in Unity3D. We focused on rapid iteration and prototyping, and averaged a game every 8 weeks. I split coding work with 2 other core programmers and though I was designated quaternion slerper, I touched most systems on one or more projects, including AI, animation, physics, GUI, input/controls, gameplay, and random china shop generation.
Note: The original Unity Web Player was replaced by the newer WebGL player, but these projects all need to be updated to newer Unity versions for WebGL builds, so they aren’t currently online. Gameplay videos below!
Time Donkey (2009)
A mild-mannered donkey, unstuck in the same 30 seconds of time, forced to live it over and over. Interact with your past selves to explore, escape, and collect tacos. waH eeH!
Crane Wars (2009)
Run the crane on your union shop’s construction site to compete against the rotten scabs next door.
Collect glowing eggs in a dreamy undersea world, but watch out for nightmare predators of the deep.
!Rebolt! (2008, iOS)
Explore the ruins of a wasted planet, salvaging enemy robots for parts and collecting artifacts. Uncover the history of the ruined world.
Raptor Copter (2008, iOS)
Return to the service of the NumNums corporation, piloting a cargo helicopter to catch, crate, and send velociraptors back to the future. For profit, and tacos.
iSplume (2008, iOS)
iOS version of our 2007 physics bubble-popper Splume, written natively in OpenGLES/Objective-C.
Minotaur in a China Shop (2008)
What would the minotaur do if he were released from the labyrinth on good behavior? Start his own small business, of course! Make money to upgrade your shop, but don’t break your merchandise or you’ll succumb to minotaur rage! (fortunately, a psychological condition covered by your insurance)
Jetpack Brontosaurus (2008)
Jetpack dreams of the Apatosaurus named Brontosaurus. Pilot Wings-style mission gameplay in free-roaming levels.
Off-Road Velociraptor Safari (2008)
Dinosaurs and pterosaurs, off-road vehicles, insane stunts, an allegory for 19th century British imperialism, and tacos. The first video game with anatomically-accurate feathered velociraptors.
Gloopy physics meets Puzzle Bobble, with a built-in level editor.
Appreciating Hubble at Hyper-speed (2007)
An interactive tool for exploring the Hubble Ultra-Deep Field and demonstrating cosmology and galaxy evolution concepts such as the relationship between redshift and distance, expansion of the universe, and hierarchical assembly of galaxies. Produced with the support an Arizona/NASA Space Grant Consortium undergraduate fellowship.