Beginning in 1985...
Back in the stone ages, when we coded with rocks and sticks, I wrote the game Hyper-Typer in CP/M Z80 assembler using the then-new interrupt driven architecture, using character graphics (24x80), 64 megabytes of RAM on a 2Mhz machine. The game's purpose was to teach touch-typing in a fun way. My, we've come a long way since then! Today's games are 100 times more complicated, but their purpose is the same: entertainment with a purpose. The current industry focuses primarily on MMO (massive multiplayer on-line) and RPG (role-playing games).
In addition to solid game-play through a compelling story line, today's games require a background in CG, animation, and making short videos that segue between cut-scenes. Sometimes, these videos are mini-films unto themselves. I have experience in each of these areas: story-telling (see Sojourn to Phoenix, for example), scripting and storyboarding, computer graphics modeling and texturing, and video production. Coupled with my project management and team management experience from my software development days, I am qualified to lead game production or at least play a critical role in producing a new title or franchise iteration. Read on for a few projects/concepts in development...
Massive Multiplayer On-line games allow users around the world to play together. Recently, I've animated human characters for the world's leading game company. The animations are grouped into passions, and play back when the player acts out a role in the game. This game is going to be Flash-based, a very popular choice for isometric 2.5D games.
We all make choices, every day, that shape our lives. Choices, Choices is MMO game where your avatar makes a living in a city populated by other players. At each interaction, you have choices to make. Are you friendly and helpful, or do you mug them with your crowbar to get some spare change? If you mug them, do you spend the money on going to school, or if you are caught, getting out of jail? Each action carries risk and reward, and your choices shape your on-line experience.
Educational Gaming is a new way to learn using game concepts to teach complicated and often subjective life-experience situations. If you have diabetes, for example, we have a concept (hopefully to be funded by pharma companies) to develop a game that teaches life management skills in dealing with and coping with the disease.
Psycho is an instructional aid that puts the third-year medical psychology student in the role of a counselor. Different patients come to see you, and you have to select appropriate queries and responses, and keep track of patient histories. Forgetting their birthday, for example, leads to distrust, while remembering their wife's name inclines them to open up and share the root cause with your. Fourth-year students can prescribe medications, with effects chosen by the AI based on appropriateness to the correct clinical diagnosis.
A concept currently in development with a university is to merge gaming and novels/textbooks, effecting a convergence of the two forms of entertainment and education. All forms of technological revolution come with convergence, and we hope to make a new form of media which creates a new level of engaging entertainment and learning, synergizing existing archetypes.
I am the lead animator for a game being developed for the Nintendo DS. With 70 million handheld consoles out there, the market for new games is simply amazing. I am working closely with the game designer in creating custom rigs and animations for each character based on their environment, evolution, behavior, demeanor, and role. Lots of creativity and active discussions using chat enables this distributed team from around the globe to come together. Wish us luck, and as soon as we have a release, I can provide more details.