theUncommon

Cat Flight

Cat Flight is an educational VR project I did as a freelancer with BDH for the BBC Earth. The app contains a 360 degree video that then transfers into an interactive 3D scene showing a Caracal hunting.

I worked as a Unity developer for this project, working to synchronise the video and audio rigs, dealing with the 3D scene interactivity, working to reduce loading times and other tasks to complete the app.

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Dig That Gold

Dig That Gold is a mining based puzzle game written in Unity for iOS and Android that I’m working on as a contractor for Project M Studio (http://projectmstudio.com/). The core gameplay involves digging through a mine filled with blocks to try and find the gold with a limited number of time and block hits. The player then moves to the panning engine where they have to remove all the dirt from a pan while keeping as much gold as possible.

As part of Project M Studio I was mainly working on the engine for the Panning section of the game. I came up with the concept, worked on the design and prototyped the engine, then refined it down to what is currently implemented. I worked with the 3D and UI artists to create the look and feel of the engine.

After that I’ve also been involved in many aspects of the game, including writing C code for additional modules, doing extensive work on the UI with the Untiy UI system including 2d animations and working on designing security measures to stop abuse of the game system.

The current version of the game is currently available on the app store: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/dig-that-gold/id1018646590 and more updates are being worked on at the moment.

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Line

Line is a card game I created as part of the Curve Digital Skatejam in 2015. I’d done a lot of small computer games at jams before so I decided to try a card game. The core mechanic of Line is Drafting, the players get 7 trick cards each, pick one to keep and pass the rest around, this continues until all cards have been claimed. The trick cards each have connectors on the top, bottom and both sides plus a score. They then have to lay out their cards next to the obstacle cards to make a series of skate tricks, or Line. Points are scored for the points on the card, the first instance of each card and for matching 2 connectors with a star next to them to create a combo, the most points wins that round. After this the players may keep 1 core of their remaining hand and each are dealt 7 new cards. The first player to win 2 rounds wins.

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Solar Wind

Solar Wind was an experiment I tried out a fair few years ago after playing Thomas Was Alone. I thought that the volumetric lighting was lifting me up on one level, it turns out this wasn’t true but that didn’t stop me making a game where that happens.

The game was made in GameMaker Studio and build for Windows. Updates have since broken the source code but I’m currently considering resurrecting this project in Unity.

http://theuncommon.itch.io/solar-wind

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Bane

Bane is a hidden movement board game I designed as part of the Global Games Jam 2016. I worked with a pair of artists and designers to get the board, cards and other assets created. I did the design work for the Location layout and designed all the cards and abilities.

The game itself has one player playing a Cultist who’s trying to collect resources to summon eldritch horrors, the remaining players play Investigators who are trying to find the Cultist and stop them from performing the summoning rite.

The main aim of the design was to try a new way for the hunting players to detect the running player. In Fury of Dracula the runner leaves a trail behind them that can be stumbled upon by the hunters. In Scotland Yard the runner periodically appears and has to declare which method of transport they’ve taken, and in Letters from Whitechapel the Runner has a limited number of start and end points.

In Bane the runner is collecting coloured resources from the nodes they occupy, the hunters can look at the board layout to try and work out where the runner is. It’s harder to pin down the runner (the hunter has to use an action to search for them) and the hunters have the opportunity to destroy the objectives the runner is heading to, meaning new ones get spawned. This means that the game is less about catching the runner and more about working out their plan and trying to keep 1 step ahead of them.

The game can be downloaded from the Global Game Jam website:

http://globalgamejam.org/2016/games/bane

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Slye's Lost Words

Slye’s lost words was a work for hire I produced with “Shakespeare’s Globe” as part of their Globe Playground site. I produced an educational word search that used a list of 200 Shakespearean words to generate a new grid each time and showed the meaning of each word when found.

The game was required to work with all browsers plus Android and iOS tablets so I made the game in GameMaker Studio and built it in HTML5.  The game not only randomly generates a new grid each play but also scans the grid for inadvertent swear words and also has a printing functionality so that users can print out the grid plus all of the definitions.

I chose 3 different difficulty for the game and this dictated the size of the grid and the number of words to find. I was somewhat limited by the need for the game to be available on touch devices, after some iteration I found that a 12×12 grid would be the maximum I could manage. The game is generateds using a random selection of words that would fit in the selected grid size, each randomly placed in the grid, avoiding existing words, and then the rest of the grid is filled in with random letters.

One concern that I foresaw is that this game is for children and, since we were filling in the gaps with random letters, there was a risk of inappropriate words appearing in the grid. As such I created a system to scan through the finalised grid to search for occurrences of banned words.

5 lives were chosen to allow a lot of leeway for failure and mistakes. There will be a wide variety of children playing this game and I didn’t want to frustrate them by triggering a lose condition prematurely.

The project can be found on the Shakespeare’s Globe website:http://www.shakespearesglobe.com/playground/play and clicking on “Find the Lost Words”

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