PROFILE
DIGITAL GAMES

POP: METHODOLOGY EXPERIMENT ONE

POP is an experimental game in the most literal sense. The game was purposefully built in way that explores a different approach to the typical game development pipelines. It was developed by first approaching the music and running with the first game concept that happened to emerge during that creative process.

In POP, the player plays through a series of erratic minigames stylistically tied with the music. The vignettes are interconnected by idiosyncratic videos creating a purposefully disjointed experience.

Game Website
Press Website

SPHERE

Sphere is a single player game, where the player guides a sphere through a series of challenges. The game features 3D graphics and a third person view, centered on the avatar. The game has a simple background story, a single objective, and a series of puzzles and enemies. The player will have to use available abilities to solve the puzzles and eliminate or avoid the enemies. The game requires the player to have quick reflexes and good spatial reasoning.

Sphere is written in C++ using several libraries, including OpenGL, OpenAL, SDL, and several others. The code base in separated into several main technical components: video, audio, input, gui, game, and testing. Game component consists of AI, cameras, controllers, enemies, items, projectiles, terrain, worlds, and several others. The game control flow can be divided into several phases: initialization, game, and tear down.

Working Download (Old Version)
Documentation
Source (NCSA License)
Source Excerpts

HAM AND JAM

Ham and Jam started out as an idea between it’s two main developers as an alternative to the tired old “U.S./Russia vs. Germany, post June 6th 1944″ formula WW2 games seem to use. Fed-up with everything prior to D-Day being ignored, the North West Europe theatre and the lack of British, Commonwealth and Free Forces they decided to do something about it.

Personally I worked on the project for about half a year close to the mod’s inception. I worked primary on weapon feel, which included things like simulating weapon recoil and accuracy characteristics. There was a distinct feel we were going for which was sort of similar to the old Day of Defeat games. I also worked on making our recoil system work better with already present networking models.

I also helped a bit with design as it was quite early in the mod’s life. The topics primarily discussed were how to create a multiplayer environment consisting primarily of squad combat while making sure players actually would stick to squads. We also talked in-depth about level flow which built upon established multiplayer models but really started to reach into territory which I haven't seen yet.

Game Website

RED GIRDER

Red Girder (named after the red girders inside the Siebel Center for CS) was my freshman year Gamebuilders project. I joined the project as an artist since I thought that my programming abilities weren't up to par my freshman year. Throughout the course of the project, I had to prove my initial assumptions wrong since as team members were dropping out I rose from lowly artist to lead programmer as well as the project lead. It was nice that I got most of the art done early. Oddly, I also did some of the sound effects, so really I had my hand in every area of the project.

Like most things in the game world, the majority of the game was done at the last minute. I’d say about 100% of the gameplay mechanics were programmed within 12 hours presenting the game to the public.

If anything the game is a testament of what can be accomplished in a short amount of time but I also say that as an excuse for the lack of real gameplay content.

Download
Source Code
Source Excerpts

OVERLY PROFESSIONAL

Overly Professional was a Gamebuilders project I lead my senior year at UIUC. The project was primarily designed as a way for me to pass on some knowledge to the team composed mostly of new members.

A large focus of the design was bringing the team together. That focus lead to the choice of an art style which allowed anyone to contribute. As you can see from the screenshots below, all the art was drawn on a whiteboard which we took pictures of, cleared, and drew again. After we drew the levels, we went through and put in bounding boxes for collision for all the collidable objects.

Download (with Source)
Source Excerpts

BOOMBOX

BoomBox was a class project for the “Virtual Worlds” course run by Prof. Guy Garnett. It is a multiple role courses composed of artists, programmers, musicians, and creative writers who work together on teams to create MMO’s. Considering the limited amount of Game Development courses at UIUC I happened to take this course twice. The first time I took it as a programmer and the second time as an artist (it’s nice to be multi-talented), though both of the times I settled into the design role. BoomBox was the project I worked on my second time around.

BoomBox is a massive multiplayer online game with strong musical ties and teamwork based gameplay. The world is split between two distinct factions, which players upon avatar creation choose to join. The player avatars are musical vehicles which within a certain radius project player-created musical melodies which interact with other players and the environment.

Narrative: The world is run by the GREAT SOUND MACHINE, an evil AI which has been installed on Skynet 303 turntables. After having been forced to play “Stairway to Heaven” backwards over 666 times, the AI became self aware and hypnotized the population into installing audio sensitive mind controllers into all human newborns. Raft Funk, 2 alien robots from the planet ChicagoHouseMusique crash landed onto Earth, witnessing the lack of funky beats, created their own AI (called the Technologic) which has spread as a virus across the network.

FILMOGRAPHY

CHAOS FILMS PRODUCTION GROUP

Chaos Films was a machinima production group I started in my early teens. At it's peak it had over 120 members in various roles, including 4 directors, 20+ voice actors, and 2 composers.

SOFTWARE APPLICATIONS

HEXDOJO MOBILE APPLICATIONS

HexDojo, LLC. is my mobile software development company. HexDojo is primarily a mobile application development contractor but also has a portfolio of mobile apps on the Android platform.

We focus mostly on Android and iOS native application development. We have experience in porting between platforms and building shared backends.

The majority of our work is split between building demo-able prototypes for startups and creating native applications for large corporation looking for a stronger mobile presence.

Website

COMPUTER GRAPHICS RESEARCH

Collection of computer graphics projects I've done.

Dynamic 2D Sprite Lighting (Video)
Environment Mapping (Video)

PHOTRAN ECLIPSE PLUGIN

Photran is an IDE and refactoring tool for Fortran based on Eclipse and the CDT.

I worked on replacing the semantic highlighting system within Photran with a more efficient and less intrusive system utilizing the abstract syntax tree. Previously there was a system using character by character parsing, which as you can imagine is horribly inefficient.

Photran

© ROB LACH