My main responsibility on the base game of The Division 2 was being the designer for one of the open world zones, researching, planning and implementing activities within that zone, including side missions. These are small linear missions, usually set inside one building or block, intending to provide around ten minutes of gameplay. In this video, I walkthrough one of these side missions, Rooftop Gardens, and provide some insight into the intentions behind the design:
Thanks to environment artist for this mission, Patrick Metz.
Side missions like this were only a part of my responsibility on The Division 2 – for a more general insight into my role at Ubisoft Leamington, please visit this page.
I joined Ubisoft Leamington in 2017, enabling me to have the unique privilege of working in a small, intimate studio (fewer than 50 people when I joined) on a huge AAA title – Tom Clancy’s The Division 2.
Whilst working at Tt Games I had the pleasure of being the designer for Sonic’s Adventure World in LEGO Dimensions. I’ve put together a video overview of the entire hub, showcasing its content and explaining what my involvement was during the whole process:
This is a typical example of what goes into making an adventure world, and it’s a process I was a part of multiple times through Dimensions’ ongoing development; a general overview of what I do at Tt and what I’ve worked on can be found here.
For a video showing off Sonic’s adventure world and explaining my role in its creation, please visit this page.
Working in design at Tt from 2015-2017, I had the privilege of working on a large variety of notable IPs across four separate projects. I have summarised my role on each project below, but broadly speaking, and depending on the project’s stage of development, my role consisted of:
Implementing events and incidental gameplay myself using Tt’s in-house level editor and scripting languages
Designing each event (puzzles, quests, races, minigames) and collecting all the information into a concise but complete hub design document
Creating a blockout of an entire hub using SketchUp
Working with other departments to ensure that their created assets meet the requirements of both the design and the license-holder
Researching an IP, identifying key moments/set pieces/concepts that can be referenced or adapted into gameplay
Training new team members on both design principles and use of the tools, and maintaining the documentation wiki
Reviewing the work of junior team members
Fixing bugs, implementing feedback and maintaining old hubs as issues are identified through the development cycle
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 Released November 2017 LMSH2 continues the story of the first LEGO Marvel Super Heroes game, including an whole new cast of characters and a new hub to explore; Chronopolis – a mishmash of various places and times, created by Kang the Conqueror.
This is an old project, from my first year of University. It’s the first video game I ever made and it’s still one of my favourites, despite being extremely rough around the edges. It was the main project for the Multimedia II module, where, in pairs, we were tasked with creating a game using Adobe Director. Despite the technologies we were asked to use, I was thrilled to have made a game by the end of my first year, and the experience definitely gave me the game design bug.
The major project of my final year was for my dissertation. I chose to research the effectiveness of dynamic learning algorithms in providing an adaptive, real-time finite state machine in a game environment. After doing a literature review to get up to speed on Bayesian networks, artificial neural networks and genetic algorithms, I chose to focus my research on the latter. I felt genetic algorithms could offer a working solution, and I was interested in programming one and seeing for myself exactly how it would work.
This final year project focussed on using the OpenMP and MPI frameworks to parallelise an implementation of the straightforward pattern matching algorithm. The project was scored purely on the speed of the solutions (assuming the generated matches were correct), and in the module overall I scored a strong first class mark of 83. I have put the code on my GitHub for your perusal.
Week 10 marks an exciting first for my Game a Weeks; happy collaboration. Please indulge in Go Right – download and play here.
The controls are explained in-game. If you absolutely have to mute the audio, press the M key.
I’m going to start this post off by giving a huge shout out and thank you to the four other people who contributed to the game.
Tom Lamey is the enigmatic hero responsible for the lovely character design and great spritesheets that bring the protagonist to life. He also advised me on the general look of the game
For the music I counted on the talents of the insatiable Jack Drewry. He brought together a couple of rag tag musicians to aid him, collectively they’re known as Squid Tooth, but separately they go by their birth names of Jack, Laurie and Rowan.
I hope you agree that these four all helped raise the bar on my games with their contributions. I’ll talk more about how it all came together below.
In third year we had an entire module dedicated to the different components that make up a complete game engine. The assessment for this module was based entirely around a solo project, where we had to choose one aspect of a game engine and develop it. I chose to develop a 2D physics engine, as I was interested in understanding how each step of the process worked, from the simulation of rigid bodies through to collision detection and resolution.