In 1989, myself, Gregg Tavares, and John Alvarado started a software development studio called "Echidna", named after the spiney anteater of Australlia. One of our first projects as Echidna was the PC DOS and Commodore Amiga game "Future Classics Collection" for Live Studios.
Released in 1990, Future Classics Collection was a collection of five smaller "mini" games, each of which were inspired by classic 2D arcade games of the time.
I was responsible for two of the mini-games, "Diskman" and "Diet Riot". Both were very loosely based on the arcade game PacMan™.
I was also tasked with coding a tile editor tool for for use on all five games. The tile editor tool, named tUME (pronounced "toom") allowed the level designers to lay out art and game assets in a grid pattern using reusable "tiles". This made it much easier to construct the many levels of each of the mini-games.
The tUME map editor was eventually licensed to several other game developers. One licensee was Virgin Games, where it was used on several successful platform games, including "Aladdin" and "The Lion King".
Caesars Palace was a video game for the Sega Genesis which simulated the fun and excitement of playing games of chance at the world famous Caesars Palace Las Vegas Hotel & Casino. You were given an initial allotment of 'money', after which the gameplay was completely open-ended; your only goal was to maximize you bankroll by effectively playing the games of chance. You were able to play blackjack, video poker, 3 different types of slot machines, craps, keno, and bet on horse races. All of the simulated games were mathematically modeled to stay true to the chances of winning in the real world.
One of the best places I've ever worked at was a magical place called Crystal Dynamics. Were were developing for a new gaming platform, the "3DO Multiplayer", the first consumer game system designed for 3D games. We were on the forefront of the coming 3D game revolution, and the games we created were amazing for their time.
I had the pleasure of writing some tools for a game called "Total Eclipse". I was then asked to take the Total Eclipse game engine, revamp the tools and "ground" it to produce a vehicular mayhem game called "Off-World Interceptor". As lead programmer, I was able to direct the extension of the engine to include vehicle physics and a scripting interface, so that designers could script behaviors of the game elements without programmer involvement.
During the late 90's, a couple of designers from Crystal Dynamics decided to start their own game development studio, in the hopes of creating a Playstation game similar to Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. They were able to recruit me based solely on their game concept and initial artwork. Soon after I joined Blam! as it's VP of Technology, excited to make the game that would eventually be titled Monkey Hero.
During the development of Monkey Hero I was in charge of hiring the programming staff, writing and supervising the technical design, creating the game level layout tools, and co-writing the cross-platform game engine. This allowed us to develop the game for both the Playstation and the PC simultaneously. We ended up using a 2D tile layout tool that I developed to lay out the 3D world, using different 'layers' to signify the 'altitude' of objects. We also developed a graphical programming language (the 'Puzzle Editor') that allowed designers to link object behaviors to game events and to each other, giving the designers the freedom to create the myriad of puzzles required for the game without further programmer involvement.
Simultaneous with Monkey Hero's production, we were also developing a Playstation version of Atari Games' 'Gauntlet'. We were able to repurpose parts of the Monkey Hero engine to support Gauntlet's gameplay, but a lack of ability by a key team member led to the prototype of the game looking horrendous. The Gauntlet engine was to incorporate a new hierarchical bone and skin system that we had developed, but due to persistent bugs in the code, the articulated models always appeard as a human-shaped flock of unrelated polygons! I took it upon myself to rewrite the bone system rendering pipeline from scratch, and within a week we had the Wizard, Warrior, Valkyrie, and Elf animating in their full glory.
Atari Inc. (formerly Infogrames Entertainment, SA) was a game publisher, contracting out game development to independent game studios throughout the world. My job as Atari's Technical Director was to evaluate potential developers for future game projects, help each team formulate thier development strategy, encourage the use of common tools and game engines, periodically review the schedule and technical progression of the projects, find technical resources for the teams, and perform fire-fighting duties on projects when needed.
We produced games for multiple platforms in multiple genres. Some examples of games I've been Technical Director on include Looney Tunes Racing, Dungeons and Dragons Dragonshard, Forgotten Realms Demon Stone, Shadow Ops Red Mercury, Enter the Matrix, Superman Countdown to Apokolips, Terminator 3 Rise of the Machines, Godzilla Destroy All monsters Melee, Splashdown, and many more.
At San Luis Aviation (SLA) I honed my Objective-C and iOS skills by starting work on a networked fitness app. This app was designed to communicate directly with a multitude of fitness equipment (including heart rate monitors, stride sensors, spin cycles, treadmills, and much more) using the ANT+ wireless sensor network technology. I was able to get the app to a point of reliably communicating with multiple equipment types and presenting a slick scrolling interface before being transferred to another project.
On my next project I taught myself Java and the Android SDK in order to work with a team of front-end and back-end programmers developing an Android-native version of a popular sales-force tracking app. This app included integration with the "contacts" in the Android device to track phone calls, as well as present sales leads, track orders, manage and document text messages, and a host of other sales force enabling systems. I was in charge of creating the Android specific libraries for low-level access to the Android features (filesystem, timers, tracking phone calls, etc.), as well as implementing large parts of the code that communicated to the RESTful back-end server.
I've created a company named "thunderSimple" in order to create iOS and Android apps for sale in the various app stores. The apps created under the thunderSimple name are unified by one simple design guideline: that they be both simple and quick to use, without any unnecessary or annoying configuring or set-up. With this design belief I created my first Apple App Store app named thunderWallet. thunderWallet is an "electronic wallet", used to duplicate and store important card-sized documents on your phone. Instead of carrying around wallet-fattening insurance and business cards, you can instead store images of these cards in your electronic wallet. The distinguishing feature of the thunderWallet is that the app is usable at a moment's notice by requiring a bare minimum of button presses. thunderWallet is no longer avaiable during its re-write for iOS 7.
Recently I finished work at UCLA in order to earn my long-overdue BS in Cognitive Science. As part of my work I created a proof-of-concept iOS app that would eventually communicate with a back-end cultural simulation designed for the military.
In addition, I am creating an e-commerce website to sell my fine art photo landscapes under the name Pacific Photo Images. I'm in the process of determining which framework to use in order to get the website up and running as quickly as possible.