Bathroom Break was the very first game I ever worked on, and taught me a lot of valuable lessons. We were responsible for choosing our own teams, though the professor tried to even out the artists and engineers as much as possible. Our team ended up being three “art” kids, one true artist, one who decided to offer himself up as a sacrifice and would serve as our engineer, and me . . . the producer.
Bathroom Break is a 2D, pixel-art platformer, where you play as a tiny ant who must escape a flooding bathroom by reaching the open window at the top. You jump from platform to platform, which are essentially bathroom surfaces, in order to get to the exit. There are a variety of different challenges per level, including a toilet lever you can jump on that will temporarily lower the water level, buying you some time to escape!
Dino Game is an arcade shooter with no “end game” or final level. You simply aim your turrets at the incoming asteroids and try to save the planet!
Our team coded and designed the assets by hand, and I served as the producer for this project as well (while also committing the required code).
Being a producer for a machinima project was, at the time, something completely out of my comfort zone and I also learned a lot of lessons during this course. Our team had to create a complete machinima piece, including writing, assets/level design and placement, lighting, and camera work. We did all of our work in Unreal Engine 4.
In addition to serving as the producer for this project, I also operated as the cinematographer.
For Alternative Game Development, my team created a western-themed 3D visual novel game. Though we missed the “alternative” mark, it was great fun to work on! And probably the game I received the second-most production experience on.
I also got to play around a bit in Maya with creating shapes and textures for objects, so that was invaluable knowledge.
Telophase is, by far, the project I am proudest of. It’s an isometric-esque twin-stick, dungeon crawler, where you play as an Egyptian god who is trying to overthrow Anubis’ reign of the Underworld.
Hands down, my best production experience at an actual indie studio, Telophase, LLC. Once the game was shipped, we all went our separate ways, but it is currently still available for download on Steam!
One of the most important lessons learned during this project was, “Find the Fun.” We spent a lot of time iterating and tweaking mechanics until it felt challenging enough to pull a niche player pool in, but still be accessible enough for players who didn’t want a Dark Souls-esque approach.
The music and art ended up being some of my favorite things about the game.
Battle.net and Online Products
For just under two years, I was a program and then product manager within Battle.net and Online Products at Blizzard Entertainment.