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:
The Christopher Walken Award for Hilarity
Awarded by keeyai
on April 24, 2008
X-0ut says ...
I kept it going for ages. Is there any end?
mjau says ...
A bit too slow to be much fun, and it felt a bit arbitrary whether or not I was allowed to place a block sometimes. Mammoths seem to speed up the longer the game runs (like they're freaking out.. is that intentional?)
The effect when blocks are overtaken by the glacier is nice.
shrt says ...
Interesting idea :D
Sometimes the sheep (mammoth? lol) seemed to get stuck, and wouldn't move even though there were clear paths for them to take.
Arowx says ...
At last an enviromental use for my tetris skills!?
Nice Idea looks good, as per pervious a bit slow and fiddly at times.
Jach says ...
Kind of fun, kept my interest for a while.
Entar says ...
Cool idea. Would be fun to be able to spin the camera view around the play area a little. This has some potential for further growth.
Endurion says ...
I have some weird Z buffer effect, all the tiles and the water show some interference which makes it hard to see. I've got that effect both on Intel Integrated Crap and FX 5500.
I was able to play a bit however.
The path finding sometimes fails me, the mammoths had a possible way to walk but didn't and got caught.
Also, the game didn't seem to end once the last mammoth got scrapped.
sowbug says ...
I loved the concept during the compo and was looking forward to playing the game. Beautiful graphics, but the UI was just a little too weird for me to get it; either it was buggy or I was missing some constraint. Some moves that seemed like they should be valid were flagged red.
The isometric view was pretty, but I wonder whether the game would have been more effective in classic Tetris-style 2D.
PsySal says ...
Good technical points. I think the goal is to build a land bridge using tetris blocks to let the sheep escape the glacier? Good theme-based idea, graphics look nice but I get really bad depth-buffer fighting. Cool concept, you probably just needed more time to make this a fun game.
5parrowhawk says ...
Bit too slow and easy, with the pathfinding bugs that other people have mentioned, but the concept is clever and the visuals are nice. Glacier should speed up as the game progresses. More use of alpha would also be nice.
noonat says ...
This was a good idea but the execution didn't seem to quite work out. Pathfinding glitches a lot and it's hard to understand why you can't place blocks at times. Speed is waaay too slow, mammoths would often run off screen and I'd be waiting for a good 60 seconds doing nothing before I saw them again.
That said, the gameplay seems to have a lot of potential... maybe as a simple 2D game it might be easier to play?
HybridMind says ...
Quite innovative use of Tetris blocks. I played the first level for a really long time before finally giving up as it seemed to go on forever. Wasn't quite sure what the point was but as a lover of Tetris I had a blast playing this. I would often be so close to the foreground though that it became quite frustrating to try and place blocks because the mouse cursor wouldn't let me position them that close to the edge.
Great idea. Seems like it just needs more time to be finished.
Deepflame says ...
Interesting game idea, but it doesn't quite seem finished. :(
agj says ...
Too bad that you didn't finish, as it seems like a solid enough concept.
Sunday, April 19th, 2009 7:19 pm
Sorry it’s about 20 minutes late, I had a last minute problem with my release build. It’s still really incomplete, so it’s not like I’m going to win anything anyways.
Here it is.. in all it’s horrible incompleteness.
The idea is to save the mammoths from the oncoming glacier by placing ice blocks (tetris pieces) ..
i’ll put up a post-compo version with docs and stuff later.. phew… dinner time
Saturday, April 18th, 2009 6:24 pm
You are the glacier. You move ever southward. Your job is to ensure the extinction of the mammoths, neantherthals, giant sloths, and other pesky ice age animals. That is the way of the glacier.
Those are temp mammoths. I’ve got the wall building working pretty well, but there’s still a ton of gameplay missing. For example, the mammoths don’t move. They just stand there. Which might be accurate mammoth behavior, but it’s not very interesting.
I’ve got a long ways to go on this one, but so far it’s coming together. Hopefully it will end up being fun, it’s not quite playable already, and that doesn’t leave a lot of time for tuning.
Saturday, April 18th, 2009 12:34 pm
Not a ton of progress, but more than it appears:
I’ve got a scrolling map, and the red block is the mouse cursor that allows you to place down new tetrominos. Well, just a block for now. But it’s a start.
More hints about the gameplay: You are building the doom-wall out of tetris bricks. It’s kind of an anti-tetris, you want to fill up as much of the board (and there’s no disappearing lines or anything)
Saturday, April 18th, 2009 12:32 am
I’m about to have some “Thin Mint” ice cream and go to sleep. But I’m pretty happy with my progress.
As you can guess, my game involves a wall of Tetrominoes. But that’s all I will reveal so far. It’s also about mass extinction.
I’m trying something different this time. I put some of the gameplay tuning numbers into a config file (which is not that new), but I’m also checking the file time every time the game loop updates, and reload if it changes. I might set this to only happen in debug builds, but it doesn’t seem to slow anything down so far. The cool thing is that now I can tune my gameplay values in real-time, just changing the number and saving the file. This was inspired by Ben Garney’s clever google spreadsheet trick over at CoderHump (worst blog name ever). So far I only have one value, how fast the game scrolls, but we’ll see.
Friday, April 17th, 2009 7:35 pm
Ok.. I’m in! I’ve been looking forward to this.
But… I have no ideas. There’s plenty of possibilities with this theme, but none that I’m really excited enough about to work on all weekend. Yet. I forgot this item was even on the list (though I may have voted for it). But I’m sure I’ll think of something.
So for now I’m just starting with generic stuff – opening a window etc – and hopefully an idea will come.