That’s a big list…
Hey there everyone,
If you’re not already aware, the internet is changing. Some new Top Level Domains are going to be coming down the pipeline in 2014 and as you can see in the image above I created using Wordle.net, there will be plenty of choices for everyone.
My plan is to try and nab as many new domains as I can under various combinations, and as a result, I will most likely shed the “Benscg” moniker in 2014 for a new and improved “Short Dot Games” or “Short Dot Studio” website. The current website will remain until then, so no worries there, but I will be changing a vast majority of my social media related stuff over to something akin to “Shortdot” or “Short Dot Games” to hope for the best. So be on the lookout for “Benscg” becoming “Short Dot” sometime in the near future.
Best of luck out there!
A quick calling card for the game so to speak.
Today is the day I unveil “Project Shell” to the world. It is a side project of mine that I will attempt to finish to the best of my abilities and release into the wild for free. Anyone willing to help out or jump in regardless of experience, let me know in the comments below and we’ll talk from there. Project Shell will be my adventure into the mobile game development sector. It was an original idea of mine that I pitched to the same group of individuals that produced Worden with me. We were actually going to go along with this project as a group for the final project assignment at Full Sail University until an instructor shot the game pitch down early on in development. So now that I am graduated from the program, I will take up the reigns of the original design on my own and see how far I can take it.
Read on for some more details and an overview of the high concept I created!
My solo expandable controller design.
A motion controller design a group and I came up with.
These are two different types of controllers that were visually created and rendered by me using Autodesk 3DS Max. The singular Xbox 360 looking controller that was designed to expand and contract its middle bar was a solo creation by me. I came up with the functionality, crafted it all in Autodesk 3DS Max, rendered it out, and submitted it for an assignment at Full Sail University. The other controller set was a group design created by a team of people and me. I was responsible for the visuals of that control and fabricated the design in Autodesk 3DS Max and rendered out several variants to show off.
Read on to find out more about each.
The title screen as designed by Jeb Alvarado using Scaleform.
Worden was a mammoth 4 month final project gifted down to a talented team of 6 individuals by the lovely instructors at Full Sail University in order for those 6 to graduate the program they were apart of. Paul Wyatt was our Project Manager and Design Lead, Jeb Alvarado, Glen Knauer, and David Sadvar were apart of our Design Team, Nelson Pacheco was our Music lead, and myself as the System Designer.
Together, the 6 of us had to build a complete game from scratch using as many of the default Unreal Development Kit art assets as possible without relying on external art production teams or musicians. This was done by the instructors so that grading for all the other projects would be balanced and fair and to force the “designers” to come up with something original.
In the end, we only opted to use some custom music and sound effects designed specifically for our game and provided to us by Nelson Pacheco and a few customized materials. The rest of our game as shown was born from all of the default assets found in the Unreal Development kit and a lot of custom scripting by me.
The credits screen as designed by Jeb Alvarado using Scaleform.
Project Manager: Paul Wyatt — Handled the majority of Matinee sequences and voice work. (Captain Henry Wilcox)
System Designer: Ben Freed — Wrote 95% of the custom scripts used throughout the entire project.
- Jeb Alvarado — Designed the user interface and fabricated all of Level 2′s components. (Vinnie Heights)
- Glen Knauer — Created the ending Matinee sequences and compartmentalized a ton of Kismet code. (Officer Riley)
- David Sadvar — Built most of the level foundations and wrote the turret AI scripts. (John Larimer)
Music Lead: Nelson Pacheco — Produced all the musical scores and custom sound effects.
Voice Actor: Jessica Gilay — Provided voice work for the ships computer.
This is a 2D Mockup of the proposed level I crafted by myself for my team.
For the Level Design 2 class at Full Sail University, I was placed onto “Team Snow” and we were all tasked with building an entire level from scratch based upon a real world environment then add basic AI enemies, matinee sequences, and platforming elements to it. The image above was my creation for our team based upon everyone’s input. It is a 2D Mockup of our proposed level drawn in Adobe Photoshop. Many objects featured above are actually in the final level as well, with the Aztec temple following very closely to the proposed layout. The AI had the biggest tweaks in comparison to the proposal, but that was due to stringent play-testing by every group member. I was responsible for all visual elements leading up to the final temple room in this prototype. Kelvin Gomez was responsible for the inner shrine and the temple’s upper floor.
- Team: 4 people.
- Time Invested: 1 month.
- What I learned: Shader complexity management and symmetrical level design.
- What Failed: The level crippled targeted system spec (2011 MacBook Pro laptop)
- What could have been better: We still had some bugs left in the final build.
Far away shot of the finished product from the Eat3D tutorial.
This monster building was tackled by following instructions from an Eat3D tutorial video set. In it, the instructor broke down the individual building blocks that helped create the final look. I followed along and upon finishing, went ahead and added an interior hallway of my own, as well as a broken balcony section. The broken balcony piece is viewable later in another image, blocking the right door from opening fully.
- Time Invested: 40 hours over 3 weeks
- What I learned: Modularity and maintaining cohesion between art assets.
- What failed: The room at the other end of the hallway is incomplete.
- What would I have done better: I could have completed the last room.
The first room before any modifications to the second room.
This small set piece was designed by me after following some instructions from the 3D Buzz tutorials found here: Creating a Simple Level – 3D Buzz. Upon finishing that tutorial, an assignment for my Level Design 1 class at Full Sail University instructed me to create my own interior layout and the image above is the result of my actions.
The level itself is not in a “playable” form and the renders are more beauty shots than anything, but I wanted to showcase my ability to reuse existing meshes to form something new from them.
A prototype with a mix of platforming and risk management mechanics while trying to earn the most points.
Attack of the Warehouse! spawned from the minds of fellow team members and I when we were paired up and tasked with creating our very own prototype for an assignment at Full Sail University. We had this vision of a simple puzzle platformer whereby the player would have to manage an intense situation under pressure of time. We believe we succeeded in reaching our initial vision and then some, creating a promising prototype that could potentially be used later.
The objective of this game is to try and place the falling colored boxes in the same colored holes on the floor and try to earn as many points as possible without becoming overwhelmed by boxes. If more than 10 boxes pile up in the entire scene (the extents of the game window), you will have only 10 seconds to clear out some boxes to reduce the overall boxes in the scene to below 10. You must never have more than 10 boxes in the play area. If you can’t, a red countdown timer will appear just under the current box count in the center of the screen.
Try to score as many points as you can without losing the game. My record was 300 points.
This is a non-scaled depiction of the analog game board.
Gauntlet of Beads is an analog board game that “Team Slytherin” (of which I was apart) designed together for a 4-week class at Full Sail University. Another team member and I compiled together all of our resources and met on campus in the Analog Games Club room to test the playability of our design with other fellow students. To our surprise, the game played extremely well right off the bat, with little modification from the original design document we proposed to our instructor. The games were fast-paced and the students playing it were engaged the entire time. The multiple pathways and strategies available for the player to use combined with the “luck of the roll” from the thrown dice caused enemy encounters to be a blast. The boss fight was also an interesting twist from the frantic chase across the board, giving the player a chance to slow down and methodically take down his superior.
A shot of the game in action as the player defends his tower.
- Time taken: 48 hours (split over 1 week)
- What I Learned: How to dynamically create levels from an array of objects.
- What Failed:Defending the castle was a little too easy.