My background is a graphics programmer in film VFX and games. I got my start working at a virtual reality lab back when that was supposed to be the future. Honestly, I you'd have told me in 1995 that instead of running around the 'Snow Crash' style metaverse, we'd be planting virtual farms and communicating with 140 character tweets, I would have cried into the keyboard of my SGI Onyx.
I moved into the world of film VFX and animation working at Disney's now defunct Feature Animation Florida studio, working on crowds scenes and pipeline tools for "Mulan". At the turn of the millennium I moved out to Northern California to work on some crazy startup, and eventually ended up at Industrial Light and Magic. It was during this phase I discovered LD48, which appeals to both my short attention span and my love of insane time pressure.
After a few years of making software tools for artists there, I decided to try making games full time. I worked at EA Redwood Shores making tools for baking lightmaps for 'Bond: From Russia with Love', and on 'The Godfather', working on more lightmap baking and dynamic shadows on the 360. This was some of the most intense and fun experience I've had developing software, but ultimately was unsustainable.
I wanted to start a family and work regular hours, so I returned to VFX and was lucky enough to land a Tippett Studio, a close-knit group of true artisans in Berkeley, CA.
Recently, I've started making iPhone games as a little hobby business on the side. Check out www.tapnik.com for more details about my current projects.
This new interest in iPhone development led me to Smule, where I'm currently working to help blend music and games and explore the amazing possibilities of these new devices.
Ludum Dare (and similar contest) entries:
* LD15: Caverns -- Spaceship in a Cave
* LD14: Advancing Wall of Doom -- Glacier
* LD13: Roads -- Crossroads
* LD12: The Tower -- Moonbase Defense
* LD11: Minimalist -- Cowbell Hero
* LD10: Chain Reaction -- Jumping Chain Guy (barely started)
* LD8: Swarms -- Bugzapper
* LD7: Growth -- Kudzu Commander
* LD5: Random -- Buttonlands
* LD4: Infection -- Bad Food (2nd try)
* LD4: Infection -- BioWar (abandoned)
* LD3: Preparation -- Hannibal's Cannibals (lost the code)
* LD2: Construction/Destruction (Minor Theme: Sheep) -- Trans-Icelandic Express
* LD1: Guardian -- Zillagame (the game that started it all for me)
* LD0: Indirect Interaction (I didn't know about LD yet)
* MiniLD16: Constraints -- Moonsweeper
* MiniLD11: Sandbox -- The Wanderer
* MiniLD9: Audio/Sound -- JamClock
* Speedhack 2003 - Outlands (my first allegro game)
* LudumDare Halloween Hack 2003 - The Halloween Machine
* TINS2006 - Railroad Merchant aka Merchant of Venus
* TINS2007 - Headline Recycler
The code (it's quite a mess) for all of these can be found at my google code dump:
Thursday, December 22nd, 2011 7:58 pm
All right! Our LD22 Jam Entry Aloneasaurus is live in the app store, just minutes before the holiday shutdown.
Go get it, it’s a free download on the app store and try it out! Ratings and comments are much appreciated, both here and in itunes. Thanks!
Aloneasaurus in the App Store
Thoughts and planning already underway for a post-compo version with better tuned gameplay.
Monday, December 19th, 2011 7:04 pm
Woo! And that was LD22! This was the first time I did the Jam purposefully rather than just using it as a time extension for the contest, and it turned out great. Having an artist to work with was a real privilege.
It’s an iPhone game, so I can’t really upload a binary. What I’m going to do is submit it to Apple later tonight and post a video of the gameplay.
Check out the video! (sorry the first few seconds are messed up). If it’s not clear from the video you control the dinosaur indirectly by sliding the platforms up and down.
As soon as the app is approved by Apple, I’ll put up a link to the app store and so everyone can play and comment on it. I’ll keep the app free for the duration of the judging and feedback time, I might release a post-compo version later.
Anyways! This was a lot of fun and I think this is my most polished LD entry yet.
Link to the Entry Page (I will add the App Store link here when apple approves it)
UPDATE 11:45pm – Submitted to App Store! Will update when available. Email me if you would like to try a build early thru TestFlight.
Sunday, December 18th, 2011 3:49 am
Wow! I can’t believe how much I’ve got done after the first day. Using an engine (cocos2d) is really paying off. Also the game looks really adorable because i have a real artist helping out.
I’ve got the basic game mechanic working — he runs, but instead of making him jump you slide the earth up and down to make him jump or fall on the platforms. That’s right, you are Plate Tectonics! Still needs tons of tuning and content but it’s already fun to play.
Saturday, December 17th, 2011 1:25 am
It took me forever to figure out an idea for this.
But I’m going with something (hopefully) simple. “The Last Dinosaur”. You are the last dinosaur and must run to try and escape extinction. Yep, it’s going to be a side-runner but with a hopefully interesting twist.
Also, my game artist friend is going to be helping out tomorrow so this placeholder art is actually placeholder for once…
Wednesday, December 14th, 2011 12:05 am
I’m all in this weekend. I have (mostly) cleared my calendar, and I’m ready to go.
Doing something a little different this time, I’m going to do the Jam with an artist friend of mine, NinjaFartOfDoom (I can only assume he meant to type “NinjaOfArt” eh?) and were going to see what happens.
Tools: Depending on the theme and idea, we’ll either use Cocos2D or my basecode (which is getting a bit crufty).
Sunday, December 4th, 2011 2:06 am
So I’m in for real this time. Going to do a team entry with a buddy of mine doing art stuff, so I’ll be doing the Jam this time.
(Click the screenshot for a video, I couldn’t figure out how to embed it directly)
We decided to do a little warm-up today. I’m thinking about using cocos2d and I wanted to try it out before the contest. This is the result, far from complete but not too shabby considering we started at 2pm, a mere 11 hours ago.
Looking forward to the jam!