Game Designer & Sound Designer
Rocket Rumble is an online, multiplayer, turn-based collectible card game, in which players duke it out in the manner of broadsiding battleships. The game has been live in Early Access on Google Play since April of 2017.
I have served as game designer on Rocket Rumble since November 2015, as the only other designer along studio co-founder Ben Geliher. Based on an initial idea of Ben's, we took Rocket Rumble from conception to release as a live product.
I have been intimately involved with all elements of design, including but not limited to:
- Paper Prototyping
- Core mechanics
- Input and UX
- Card Design and balancing
- Data structure design for card stats, in-game rewards and items, and economy-related data
- Economy and balancing
- Complex simulations to help guide balancing of rewards and the economy by anticipating the distribution of rewards and opening card packs. This was crucial in establishing rarity values for cards. We were able to use the simulation to arrive at the intended user experience by feeding in values such as rarity, player skill, time invested, money invested and so forth.
Of special note is the extensive prototyping I undertook throughout development, using the Unity plugin PlayMaker, created by Hutong Games. We established a process through which our prototypes could be integrated directly into the game itself. UX and game feel were incredibly important to us from day one, and we were able to establish this element of the game from an incredibly early stage, long before the game was fully functional, as we were able to transfer this work into the game as it matured.
This work formed the basis of a talk I gave at Unite 2016 in Amsterdam, which you can view below.
In addition to my design role, I was also the sole sound designer on the project, undertaking all asset creation and implementation.
Game Designer & Sound Designer
6 Months in 2015
Project Two is as yet unannounced.
I was brought onto Project Two as a game designer and sound designer. Soon after joining, I took on design duties full time for the remainder of my time on the project. I touched all key elements of the game design, including:
- Narrative and World
- Ensuring the story and world design worked to support the mechanics and puzzles, and vice versa
- Level design
- Including extensive grey boxing of every area in the game
- As I prepared to leave the project, I created walk-through videos of each area of the game to act as a guide to the rest of the team
- Including prototyping new puzzles, and revising existing ones
- Control and Interaction
- As part of this we implemented a modified version of the interaction design I first created for my Cabin prototype
- This also involved designing the movement system, answering questions such as whether or not the player can jump, run, crouch and so forth
Audio wise, I laid a lot of the initial groundwork for implementing audio, and worked closely with composer *Not Yet Announced* to design a soundscape that closely blended diegetic audio with the music. Note that Ali Tocher took over audio duties very early in development, and all audio in the final product is his excellent work!
Sound Designer & Game Designer
If You Can
If... was a subscription based game with monthly releases. The company, founded by Trip Hawkins, had a mandate to teach children emotional intelligence, giving them the tools to deal with complex emotional situations. Each month we released a new chapter featuring new characters, environments, puzzles and lessons.
I started at If You Can as a full-time sound designer. Within a few months it became clear that the game could not sustain a full-time sound design role. Having proven myself through my indie development, I was able to transition into a multidisciplinary generalist role, continuing the sound design as my primary focus, while also getting involved in many other elements of development.
As a Designer I:
- Designed and implemented levels, game flow and puzzles using the Unity editor and a proprietary visual scripting tool
- Implemented branching conversations within a proprietary conversation system
- Designed and implemented set-pieces and cutscenes using Unity and uSequencer
- Created particle effects using Unity's Shuriken system and sprites using Photoshop and Pixelmator
- Provided dialogue consultation
- Prototyped a supplementary app, Emotion Cards
As the sole Sound Designer I:
- Designed an audio and voice-over pipeline from the ground up
- Directed extensive voice-over sessions remotely, working with a San Francisco studio
- Edited, processed and implemented the resulting audio, up to 500 lines every month
- Audio creation for creatures, ambience, UI and cinematic sequences.
- Worked closely with our engineering team to design a proprietary system for implementing dialogue, generating voice-over screenplays and importing voice-over audio files