Game & Software Development
Experiences in software development
My professional experience in software development has allowed me to wear many hats and support various roles, including Producer, QA Lead, Localization Producer, Level Designer, Game Designer, Play Tester, and other roles in between. Through my expertise as a technical editor, I have received awards and worked on a variety of titles, ranging from shooters to puzzles and platformers. One of the titles I worked on, Archetype, was one of the first games to receive the App Store Hall of Fame award.” With my experiences with IOS development I worked as Technical Editor for “Art of the App Store.”
“In 2016, I returned to school to further expand my skillset in software development. I studied OOP with a minor in computer science and majored in design with a focus on User Experience. During my studies, I worked on projects in Unity, which allowed me to expand my knowledge in different aspects of development. In recognition of my work, I was awarded an URCA (Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities) grant to develop a teaching application, and my team was awarded eHacks’ Best Educational Software award.”
“Below, I have organized various projects I have worked on by organization and then each project within it. For each project, I have included links to sections that focus on the different specializations involved. You can also go directly to specific pages with the following links:
My primary focus was developing game mechanics, level design, and documentation. I worked in Unity to prototype mechanics simultaneously as the engine was being developed. The project is still in development, but you can see my approach to this project as well as examples of my work in the department links listed below.
Elephant Mouse/ Villain
IOS Game Development
Elephant Mouse was the evolution of Villain when the company began to expand and branch out in game types. While Archetype was our biggest hit, we were able to take on other popular genera as well as franchised movie tie-in games.
In Archetype, players join the battle starting as a lowly cadet immersed in team-based deathmatches as they battle for victory and earn higher ranks to advance as they build a reputation, earn experience points, and win medals, including each match’s MVP medal. Considered a hardcore game for mobile and received the app store hall of fame award. My roles ranged from production, playtesting, level design, mechanic refinement, documentation, and QA.
The game spawned a spin-off called Archetype: Cadet where I took on the lead as QA. Experiences here allowed me to gain experience in many of the moving parts of the development.
Elephant Mouse partnered with CBS Interactive, Paramount Pictures, and Bad Robot to develop Star Trek: Rivals, a dynamic card game for iOS featuring characters, starships, and other elements from the 2013 film Star Trek: Into Darkness. I managed QA and playtesting on this project as well as Localization.
This was a slot machine IOS title built for “The Godfather” Movie franchise. It featured Vegas Slots action and other features found in real casinos. You can also compete against friends in the leaderboards. For this project, I provided QA feedback. I also managed the localization team.
This IOS title was a virtual pet collection game. Hatch your feathered friends from their birdhouse eggs and let them fly free around your open tree aviary! Name, pet, and give treats to your lil’ birds. You can even play a hide-n-seek mini-game. Over 5,000 birds to collect. For this project, I provided playtesting and QA feedback. I also managed the localization team.
Lighthearted single-player FPS called starring cute but rebellious minions who have turned against the evil scientist that created them and are now trying to overthrow them. Take out all the minions and their spawn stations to clear each level as fast as you can. Build up your skills such as speed, stamina, and power and unlock three ramping levels of difficulty. A variety of enemy types add to the challenge. I provided feedback on this project as a playtester and QA tester.
Matchlings is an addictive, fast-paced matching game starring lively little monsters, each with their own special moves. There’s never a dull moment as the monsters wave, cheer, and even yawn as you play. I provided feedback on this project as a playtester and QA tester.
IOS Game Development
DOEDOE was a very small team, and due to our size we all did multiple roles. In addition to level design I acted as tester to make sure the title was as polished as possible. We used what we learned from this project to go on to form Villain.
This is a satirical puzzle game was released to coincide with the US government bailing out large corporations. Uncle Sam spits out cash, and you have to guide the money to the Fat Cat CEO by destroying hospitals and schools. I helped flesh out the concept on this project as well as design levels and refine gameplay. I provided playtesting and QA feedback and I designed the Fat Cat CEO sprite.
Student Projects & Research Grants
When studying at SIUE I went above and beyond to improve myself. I would find supplemental projects as well as do extracurricular projects. I was awarded a URCA grant to develop an application as well as received the best Educational Software award from eHacks. I used all my collective learning to develop applications as my senior project to launch me onto my career in game development. My time there allowed me a better understanding of coding, and UX design, as well as managing time and projects.
For my senior BFA show, I combined my knowledge of Graphic Design, HCI, and computer science to build a large project. Over the course of fourteen weeks, I learned Unity and created Nori and the Curry Caper, a 2D action platformer based on my own characters. I did all the programming and created all the assets except for the audio.
I was awarded a student-funded project by SIUE to develop a teaching tool based on a dice game created by Barb Nwacha. The aim of the program was to teach typography by limiting the choices and pushing students to produce assignments that adhere to the principles of Massimo Vignelli and Johannes Itten. I combined this project with my study of human-computer interface and created a drag-and-drop interface. The final product was a webGL application in Unity that met our goals. You can find more detailed information about this project in the UX/UI section.
The project described here was the final group project for my Human-Computer Interface studies at SIUE. My responsibilities for the project included handling the UX portions and all visual design. Our team developed the concept and conducted interviews, and we used research strategies and statistical analysis from testing to refine the design. We created prototypes on paper, the web, and an Adobe XD prototype. After graduation, I continued to develop the project on my own. More detailed information about this project can be found in the UX/UI section.
VDO was a design exercise that showcases my approach to UX architecture, prototyping, and visual design. In response to the increasing demand for video chat applications during the pandemic, I created a design that prioritizes ease of use for both novice and experienced users. Given that many existing video chat apps were poorly designed for the general user, I aimed to provide a more intuitive and streamlined experience. You can find more detailed information about this project in the UX/UI section.
John Wiley & Sons, Inc., commonly known as Wiley, is an American multinational publishing company founded in 1807 that focuses on academic publishing and instructional materials.
Tyson McCann, co-producer of Archetype, has written a guide called “The Art of the App Store,” which offers valuable insights into the world of iPhone and iPad app development. My role was to act as the technical editor of the publication. The book covers competitive research, finding a niche, understanding customer expectations, setting goals and milestones, and managing app development from concept to post-launch. It also provides guidance on developing and pricing your app, viral marketing through social networks, metric tracking, and taking advantage of feedback. The book also explores the App Store’s evolution, analyzes successful and unsuccessful apps, examines existing niches, and explains how to advertise and market your app through social networks.