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Pixel Sand

November 17th, 2011 admin No comments

Update:
Pixel sand is now on Kickstarter!

Pixel Sand is a game that centers around the use of different types of elements that all react with each other in their own ways. Combine water with lava and you’ll get stone. Combine fire with nitroglycerin and you’ll get an explosion! Add in a few players, power-ups, enemies, and coins and you’ve got a recipe for a game!

Pixel Sand comes packed with both single player and cooperative experiences, as well as tons of other fun puzzlers, shooters, and RPGs. Along with playing through the campaign, you can also use the editor to build your own levels or even just experiment with the elements.

On top of that, seeings that I am a father myself, the game also features a “kids mode” that lets them play away without needing to know the intricacies of a keyboard or controller (any button does something cool!). Kids mode is great for kids aged in the range from 1 to 5 (my daughter is one and a half years old, and she goes bonkers to play it!).

Pixel Sand will be available on the PC and Xbox 360. Web support is being considered.

To get a better feel about the game, check these out:



Here’s basic example where the player uses fire make an explosion. The element ‘fuse’ is used to make a fuse to the vat of highly explosive nitroglycerin!



Here, an Ai player is put in the game and can run around and do anything the player can (including pick up power-ups)! Ai players don’t do much, but they are definitely good for a distraction from enemies. The game is also up to 4 player multi-player (with controllers) on both PC and Xbox360.



Pixel Sand isn’t just one game, but a collection of little games that anyone can make. Here, we’ve placed a few coins in the map. The door on the right won’t open until all coins are collected. This mechanic (as well as many others) can be used to make a lot of different levels and it’s easy for kids to understand:



The game also features a host of enemies, including some of the below ones:

The Mite – A fast moving critter that can jump and scare your pants off

The Spider – A huge lumbering beast that jumps and spits acid at its enemies!

The Electrode – A deadly lighting shooting robot that flies around in the air

The Ghost – A spooky creature that chases the player and move through any wall or barrier…

The Phoenix – The quintessential boss, with a ton of hit points and fire emanating from its skin



The game is also chock full of fun, sparkly elements, including gold, amethyst, and diamond:



Users can place health packs in the game to let the player heal up!



Any element you can draw, you can make into a power-up! Here’s a few, in order from Fire, Sparks, Plasma, Liquid Nitrogen, Bullets, and Magic!



The all power-full star makes you invincible to enemies!



The game also features a more complex element… circuitry! Using a battery, metal, and some sensors you can make a whole lot of different gizmos. The game also features full logic gates, wireless transceivers, sound chips and more! In the below example, a battery and some wires are hooked up to a player-sensor (a sensor that only lets power through when the player is near):

Many prefrabs, such as this one, will be included along with the game so that you can put them in any of your own levels. Here’s an example of using circuitry to build a working elevator!

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Bear Pile

August 25th, 2010 admin No comments

Bear Pile features engaging cooperative game-play, a fully developed art style and environment, a collection of hilarious items, and a bad-ass back end tech. Bear Pile has been in development for almost exactly one year now and has come a long way since the original engine proof. The engine backing Bear Pile is pretty solid and features cool concepts like automatic lua binding, animation graphs for customization, completely decoupled architecture, built in reflection, completely data driven graphics architecture, NVidia’s PhysX (though originally it was a home grown physics engine), and a whole host of other features.

The team I worked with included five artists and five programmers. My role on the team was doing the Physics, Graphics, Architecture, Networking, Asset Manager, Art Pipeline, Animation, and the Scripting Engine as well as doing some game-play code. On this project I contributed over 117,000 lines of code (not including tools). If I didn’t already mention it, I loved the team I worked on (especially Brian Frantz, thanks for being such a good designer and putting up with my code standards!). On top of working with programmers, this was my first real experience working with artists including my very own sister Monica Sundberg, who did an excellent job leading the art team might I add.

Artists: Monica Sundberg, Matt Griebner, Ari Kleinberg, Talon Jennings, and Will Reid

Programmers: Trevor Sundberg, Brian Frantz, Brett Schiphoff, Chris Hutchinson, and Cassie Boykin


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Platform Wizard Mayhem

August 25th, 2010 admin No comments

By far, this is one of my favorite games. This game originated as sort of a joke but evolved into a really fun brawler. This was made in the same engine as Project Hangman with the same team: Ian Levin, Daniel Rollins, Gavin Jones, and Mitch Hillegeist. My role was primarily physics, some shader design, level editor / loading, game code / scripting, and other engine modules.

P.S. In the video, it looks like there’s almost only one time of magic spell. There are actually four, the AI just doesn’t bother grabbing them.


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Project Hangman

August 25th, 2010 admin No comments

If I had a nickle for every time someone attempted to make a grappling game, I’d be at least one nickle richer. Project Hangman was a game whose main premise was locomotion and exploring. Our main focus was to build fun mechanics and to tweak all motion of the player to feel awesome. Though I feel that we completely hit that goal, we fell somewhat short on the environments. In our defense, we built this game in parallel with Platform Wizard Mayhem (in fact they’re completely in the same engine!). The video below represents about how far we got into development, but it really went no further. The team members were me, Ian Levin, Daniel Rollins, Gavin Jones, and Mitch Hillegeist.


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Star Ferret

August 25th, 2010 admin 1 comment

Star Ferret was my first attempt at building a game engine alone. At that particular time, I wasn’t super strong with C++ (I remember having to call up a friend and ask how to do scope resolution :P). This project taught me a ton about engine design, graphics, networking, physics, algorithmic optimization, and just generally using math to get things done. I also learned quite a bit about animation (though not really skeletal, just simple morphing of vertices) and interpolation along paths. You have to keep in mind, this was my first project right outside of the text based game (in fact literally like one week after).

I won’t kid you by saying the game is fun… it’s really not, but the attempt was well worth the effort.


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Psychopia

August 25th, 2010 admin No comments

In a world of madness… *boom*… Everyone is out to get you *boom*… Psychopia!
Psychopia was our freshman year game made in a windows console. The team consisted of me, Mike Alling and Justin Huddleston. The game’s high concept is a wave-based shooter where the player must seek out weapons to defend himself. My role on this project was to do AI, engine work, and a little bit of graphics. This was my first real experience trying to understand algorithms on my own, but I was able to implement A* path-finding on my own (I unlocked an achievement and received 300 points, just in case anyone was curious). Apologies for the low quality video, it’s not easy to record a command prompt!


Xbox 360, PS3, Wii pffft… the Windows console is the best console of them all!

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Bear Pile – First Playable

March 7th, 2010 admin No comments

High Concept: A first/third person networked cooperative tower defense game.

So basically Bear Pile is the first big game I’ve ever worked on. I started Bear Pile as an individual project, but after about a semester of work I adopted a few team members to work with me to make this dream come true. The inspiration for Bear Pile was to have a game that me and my friends could enjoy, basically a LAN game. It started initially as a horde mode type game, but then turned into a tower defense.

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