Resume - PDF

Jump To - Scenario Design | Narrative Tools | Rapid Prototyping | Writing

I draw from the knowledge of many different disciplines to inform my design. My academic career at Stanford is probably the best reflection of this. I chose an interdisciplinary program called Symbolic Systems: a blend of computer science, linguistics, cognitive psychology, and philosophy.

Scenario Design

Civilization V DLC

During my internship in summer 2011 at Firaxis, one of my main responsibilities was to develop a scenario based on an upcoming DLC release centered around Wonders of the Ancient World content. I did the bulk of the design work, and implemented custom mechanics through scripting. I also created the custom UI and tweaked the AI to present the level of challenge we desired. Check out the product page on Steam, or take a look at the video:

Narrative Tools

Pandamonium Storyteller

In the spring 2011 semester at my graduate program, I worked with five fantastic classmates to develop a level editing tool that would allow game developers to create story-based virtual worlds. Our target audience was high school game development students at the National High School Game Academy, who would use our toolset to complete their assignments. We worked with the open-source Panda3D engine and the the Panda Level Editor built by a previous team, which was very useful but could only create static environments. As a programmer on the team, I developed a conversation tree system which allowed student designers to create a branching conversation in the Storyteller toolset, tie it to assets and events, export it, and view it in their game world.

theBlu

theBlu is an online social experience that recreates the ocean in virtual space, allowing for stories to emerge from a beautiful environment populated by user content. It is currently in Beta, check it out here! Anyone can play, but if you are an artist you can create and upload your own assets to populate the ocean. Implementing this feature required a smooth art pipeline between these contributors and the developers. The script I wrote in C# helped to take the artist's work and bring it into Unity3D.

Rapid Prototyping

Building Virtual Worlds

Building Virtual Worlds is the hallmark class of my graduate program, the Entertainment Technology Center. During 5 rounds lasting approximately two weeks each, classmates that have not yet worked together are grouped into a team and build a virtual world from scratch. Using unconventional platforms and encouraged to think creatively, there is a constant stream of new and interesting worlds. At the end of the class, the faculty choose a small subset of worlds to be featured in the annual BVW Show. Learning to work well in groups was just as much of a focus, if not more so, than the skills of rapid prototyping. Of the four student roles, mine was programmer, so I was responsible for pulling together all art and sound assets as well as making sure the mechanics, collisions, and interface worked as intended. I also did a lot of design work, collaborating with my teammates to come up with innovative concepts to build. Some of the worlds I helped to build:


"Five Days" (featured in BVW Show 2010)

Be warned that this video features intense content, and may not be appropriate for young or queasy viewers. This is not an animation or short movie, but rather a recording of a performance. The actor - our team's texture artist - wore a virtual reality headset and held magnetic trackers in each hand to control the view and hands of the virtual character.



"Resonance"

This puzzle game utilized the Playmotion shadow tracking system to allow the player to interact with the world. (The video shows an emulator.) Since in class our game was to be played by someone who had never played it before, we placed emphasis on tutorial levels to teach the player the game concepts.

Writing

Thoughts on Game Design

As part of a game design class with Jesse Schell, I composed an essay examining the differences between the media of games and of literature. It began from a worry that games can never hope to reach the level of influence and impact that a good novel can have on a reader. This is an issue that interests me very much, because the reason I got into games was to craft experiences that have positive and lasting impacts on players. Games can entertain and inspire, but can they impart wisdom the way that a good Steinbeck novel can?

Observation and Action: Finding Meaning in Novels and Games - PDF

Short Stories

At Stanford, I designed my own concentration for my major based around creative writing. I took three intensive fiction writing workshop courses which focused on writing and critiquing short stories. If you would like to read them, please feel free to contact me, and I will be happy to send you a copy.