Onwards & Upwards

As of October 2012, Codemasters has given me the opportunity to work on a new AAA multi-platform racing title – GRID 2! Here’s the teaser-trailer:

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Creative Writing

From time to time, I’ve been known to write short stories. As a child, I often read the likes of the Best SF series, edited by Edmund Crispin, and stories like those became a source of my inspiration.

There are two sci-fi short stories that have always stood out in my memory, and both were included in Best SF Four. The first is Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes (which was also adapted to film), and the second is Hobbyist by Eric Frank Russell; my all-time favourite.

In more recent years, my enjoyment of the sci-fi novel genre has grown to include Issac AsimovDouglas Adams and Richard Matheson, but I have plenty of favourite authors in other genres too, such as Sir Terry Pratchett for his Discworld series. I also studied the artwork and style of H. R. Giger while I was at school (i.e. Alien).

I prompted myself to make this post when I stumbled upon one of my old pieces of creative writing while rummaging through an external HDD full of backups. Rather than post each story separately, I’ve put them on individual pages within this one post, listed and linked below.

A piece of fan-fiction about the game Supreme Commander by Gas Powered Games, which I originally posted on their community forums in 2008.

I used a purpose-built programming language called AlanIF to make an “Interactive Fiction” game back in 2007. People who know me well will also know about my keen interest in Russian history and culture, which often inspires me for setting and atmosphere in my stories like this one.

“Dead Meat” was a short horror story I wrote just for fun some time around 2003. I’d visited Toronto in Canada a year before, which was clearly part of the inspiration behind this story.

  • Maybe others to be added later. Enjoy! 🙂

Introduction

Hello and welcome to my blog.

If you haven’t already, please visit the About page for information about me and this online portfolio. In short, I aim to showcase my work here, whether it be university assignments, industry experience or personal projects.

Here is a summary of some stuff I will be writing about:

Note: I’ve added links to the respective articles since posting them.

  • My final-year dissertation – a 20,000 word paper entitled “What Elements of Game Design Provide ‘Emergent Gameplay’?”, supplemented with a simple platformer game and analysis tool to aid my research.
  • AI steering behaviours and pathfinding, combined to make a tech-demo of ‘boids’ moving in formation.
  • Two projects that involved Emergent’s Gamebryo engine. The first was a group assignment, where we produced a space-based trading and combat game similar in design to Frontier: Elite 2. The second involved the developing some middleware as a distributable DLL and then integrating it with Gamebryo.
  • A DirectX-based particle system, designed to compare the performance difference between the use of point-sprites and the traditional billboard technique.
  • Networked Battleships, written in Java using non-blocking sockets.
  • Two versions of an Asteroids clone, one written in C#, the other in Python for comparison purposes.
  • A ‘flocking’ algorithm tech-demo on the Sony PSP, written in C and optimised with inline MIPS assembly.
  • A software renderer, written entirely in C++.
  • Giving presentations.
  • Modifying Unreal Tournament 2004 with a total conversion, themed around the works of Enid Blyton. Involved level design and scripting for the Unreal Engine.
  • Many Second Life assignments, including gameshow style minigames and extracurricular projects such as scripting press events for the University of Derby and producing machinima for a Channel 4 pilot TV programme (directed by Pixel-Lab).

Thanks for visiting!