Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

It’s World Kidney Day. Not a day that I’d ever heard of (until actually today, in fact). And not a day I’d normally pay much attention to, except that in early February, I donated a kidney to my friend, Jen. 

Still laughing about this, Katy.

I haven’t talked about it publicly (READ: on social media) because I don’t super like being a focus of attention and for a long time – several months – it wasn’t even clear if I would be able to donate.

Continue reading “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”

It Takes Moxie

In 2019, I saw a Game Design position posted at robotics company Embodied, Inc. The company was in stealth mode, so I couldn’t tell much about what they were doing, but I was intrigued. I applied, interviewed, and got the gig!

There was no way to know what an adventure was ahead of me.

A picture of the cover of TIME Magazine, from November, 2020 with the Moxie robot prominently featured (an arrow has been added to the image to further emphasize Moxie's presence)
SPOILER: This was ahead of me! We made the cover of TIME Magazine!
Continue reading “It Takes Moxie”

SWIFTHEART: A Level Design Challenge

The Challenge: Swift Movement + Platforming + Light Narrative

Create a brisk Sonic-like level with double jump, leaning heavily on horizontal platforming, but including vertical elements, loops, branches, vistas, and a touch of narrative.

In a week. Play it here.

A screenshot of the video game level Swiftheart; a minimalist rocky and snowy landscape with a graceful bridge.

Even though there’s no falling damage, crossing that arch still makes me sweat.

Continue reading “SWIFTHEART: A Level Design Challenge”


Itch.io is an indie game portal and there’s some really great stuff going on there. I made a creator account and will be uploading the platformer games I made for my Level Design classes.

I’ve decided to rebuild Mustachio again, so it’ll be a bit while I add that to the projects I’m juggling. I haven’t messed with Mustachio in a while! Seeing all those assets again was like visiting old friends. <3

Photonica is uploaded. Check it out!


2018 Development Goals

2017 was ‘The Year of Trying Things.’

I had no idea what a great title that was when I wrote it. I tried things and there were trying things. There were wonderful trips and concerts and shows. But there were awful things seemingly everywhere. Natural disasters. Unsettling revelations. A year of whiplash.

For starters, a quick review of the items on last year’s list.

Things I Tried: Continue reading “2018 Development Goals”

FitnessApp Begins

The strength training that I do is taxing and concentrating on form is what takes most of my focus. With dozens of workouts stacked up in memory, sometimes I lose track of where I am in sets during a workout, particularly as volume has increased. Was that the 5th set? Sometimes I think an abacus would help, but have settled on using little tags of painter’s tape lined up on a shelf in my garage (where I work out). I move them back and forth as I finish sets.

It’s crude, but it works.

In strength training, I usually do only a few exercises per workout, but as many as 10 sets, depending on the exercise. My warmups and mobility routines have a lot more exercises. It was a lot to keep track of, so I created Continue reading “FitnessApp Begins”

Worldbuilding with Small World

It’s a world of slaughter…

The World of Obora

I have long suspected that the boardgame Small World, with it’s wild juxtapositions, would make a terrific way to randomly generate a history for a game world.

As a hands-on exercise in my Worldbuilding class, we played a game of Small World on our lunch breaks to do just that. I need a game world just now, so this is timely!

It worked even better than I could have hoped.

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2017 Development Goals

What happened to 2016?! Man… it up and took off and took me with it. A whirlwind to be sure. Looking back at my game development goals… I give me a solid D for Doing Other Things. Important things.

GOAL ONE – Blog Reboot

Partial success. I didn’t hit the one-a-month pace, but it’s steps in the right direction.

GOAL TWO – Play my Game Backlog

Partial success.

  • Dark Souls
  • Castle Crashers [PLAYED]
  • Kingdom Hearts
  • Thomas Was Alone [PLAYED, FINISHED]
  • Shadow of the Colossus
  • Earthbound
  • Bonus game: Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes [PLAYED]

Continue reading “2017 Development Goals”

Games for Class Part II: Photonica

In 2014, friend, board game aficionado, and former colleague from The Los Angeles Film School, Sebastian Sohn put me in touch with folks at USC who were looking for part-time faculty to teach a level design class. I was already teaching level and game design full-time at LAFS, but USC has very well-regarded game development programs and it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.

I met with the inimitable Tom Sloper and in short order had a new level design class to build. I couldn’t use the materials I’d made for LAFS, naturally, so I had to rebuild things from the ground up. Including a simple game for students to make level packs for.

I rebuilt a basic platforming game following Sebastian Lague’s platformer tutorials.

Continue reading “Games for Class Part II: Photonica”