GRID Autosport

Codemasters released GRID Autosport in the UK on 27th June 2014, on PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Much of the momentum from developing GRID 2 was continued into GRID Autosport, lending to the relatively short development time. GRID Autosport was also an opportunity to address feedback from our community fanbase regarding GRID 2.

As a result, GRID Autosport dispensed with a narrative story-line and brought the focus back to pure racing, with 5 distinct driving disciplines to master, and a handling model just as authentic and visceral as the original Race Driver: GRID.

[youtube http://youtu.be/4J4-z2UeitE]

As a Game Designer, this project was my largest challenge to date, as I was given responsibility for the Online Multiplayer portion of the game. More information on what this entailed is given below…

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Small Business Start-Up

Another final year module from my degree, “Small Business Start-Up” required us to work together in groups of 5 or 6 and identify a market opportunity for a large company, then develop a business proposal that pitched a viable product or service idea to them, which would allow sustained market growth into that niche.

In response to this assignment criteria, my group designed a Facebook application intended for the attention of Games Workshop Ltd., which would supplement their Warhammer franchise. I worked with fellow students Alec Vickers, Chris Lord, Jonny McCormack and Mark Campbell on this module. We received an “A+” grade for our efforts.

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Auto Club Revolution

I was previously working on a “freemium” online multiplayer sim-racing game called “Auto Club Revolution” at Eutechnyx Ltd. as a Game Designer.

  • Developer – Eutechnyx Ltd
  • Publisher – AutoClubRevolution.com
  • Platform – PC Online (Browser & Client)
  • Release Date – Open Beta Q2 2012

“Auto Club Revolution delivers a console quality online racing game to the free-to-play market while creating a social platform for communities of car enthusiasts and racing fans. The unique combination of console quality racing, social features and close collaboration with motor manufacturers creates the ultimate venus for racing game fans and car enthusiasts alike.

Racing game fans will enjoy the array of visually stunning officially-licenced cars, with realistic driving performances and handling around custom built and real world licenced race tracks. Car enthusiasts will immerse themselves in an online world built around their favourite car brands and enjoy exclusive access and first looks at new car models through branded ‘Auto Clubs’.

The team has drawn heavily on their 14 years experience creating racing games to create a revolutionary new approach to the genre and has worked very closely with many major motor brands to deliver unrivalled access to the player’s favourite car marques.” – Eutechnyx Ltd.

Second Life

I have been part of multiple projects using Linden LabsSecond Life, a massive virtual world where thousands of users can interact using “avatars”. Almost anything can be created in Second Life, and its behaviour can be controlled using a scripting language called LindenScript.

One of the projects was an actual university assignment, whereby we had to design mini-games that were similar in style and theme to what you might have seen on a TV game-show, like The Crystal Maze.

The other projects, however, were extracurricular; and I worked with fellow students Chris Butler and Matthew Brittain. Firstly, we supplied the assets for a “machinima” in Second Life as a pilot TV programme for Channel 4, which was directed by Pixel-Lab. Secondly, we worked on a major press event when the University of Derby signed a deal with global technology services giant, EDS.

For the press event, we had to model a replica of the specialist Games Development Suite in Second Life, as that was where the signing took place in real life, and we produced avatars that would mimic the actions of the real people in the room. You can find the university’s article on the event here. Expand this post to see screenshots of how we built the virtual Games Development Suite.

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C# vs. Python

One of our final year university modules was called “Languages, Platforms & Tools”. This module featured lecture material on compilers and interpreters, along with debates about various programming topics. The coursework required us to produce a simple application in a programming language that we knew well, and then port it to another mainstream language that we did not know at all. The bulk of the work, however, was a written report that compared the chosen languages.

As you may have guessed from the title of this post, the primary language I chose was C#, and the secondary language was Python. The application I made with these languages was a simple clone of Asteroids, so I utilised the XNA 4.0 Framework with C#, and a library known as Pygame 1.9.1 with Python 2.7 to handle the graphics for the game in each case. My report discussed the histories of both languages and contrasted their features. I also included a developer diary that reviewed the progress of my implementations. I was given a “B+” for my work.

A screenshot of the Asteroids Clone (Python version).

Download

Languages, Platforms & Tools – Report (.PDF, 485 KB).

XNA Asteroids Clone – x86 Executable (.ZIP, 25 KB).

I aim to compile and upload an executable of the Python version at a later time.

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