Professional Projects

Beaterator (2009)

Company: Rockstar Leeds
Platform: PSP & iPhone
Role: Audio and UI Programmer

Beaterator is a sophisticated music creation game/app for the PSP and iPhone. With the possible exception of some of the EyeToy work I did with EA, this is the game I feel I've had the most opportunity to put my mark on. I was involved in several key technical areas of the project, including the built-in synthesiser (pictured), the sound editor, MIDI and WAV import and export, a virtual effects rack and the "Melody Crafter". I learned a lot about digital signal processing and audio programming, as well as honing my skills in the design of user interfaces. I was also responsible for developing a number of the server-side tools used in the Rockstar Social Club integration for the game.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories (2006)

Company: Rockstar Leeds
Platform: PSP & PS2
Role: Gameplay, AI, UI Programmer

I took on a number of tasks in Vice City Stories, as part of Rockstar Leeds' drive to bring new gameplay experiences to the franchise despite the technical limitations of the PSP. I rewrote the melee combat system, the auto-targeting system, the front end, and a significant portion of the AI from scratch, as well as having a hand in a wide range of other systems to tweak and polish the GTA gameplay. Most of my work was as data-driven as possible, to allow the designers more control over how these systems were experienced by the player.

Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (2005)

Company: Rockstar Leeds
Platform: PSP & PS2
Role: Gameplayer & AI Programmer

Being a part of bringing the GTA franchise to the PSP was as exciting and revelatory for me as playing GTA III had been when it was first released. I came to the project late, so was primarily responsible for helping out with fixing bugs, including areas such as motorcycle handling (pictured) and pedestrian AI.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

Company: Electronic Arts
Platform: PSP, PS2, XBox and GameCube
Role: Gameplay Programmer

I was involved in the early part of Goblet of Fire's development, focussing primarily on the PSP version, but helping out with the PS2 version as well. I mostly did groundwork rather than specific game systems, but I had a hand in the pick-ups/rewards systems (pictured), some of the enemies, and the multiplayer game mode.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (EyeToy minigames) (2004)

Company: Electronic Arts
Platform: PS2
Role: Gameplay programmer

I worked primarily on the EyeToy mini-games for the PS2 version, but also briefly as a gameplay scripter on the main game. In the EyeToy project I was the main gameplay programmer on a small team (I wrote 4 ½ of the 6 mini-games, one of which is pictured above), and worked very closely with the designer and artists to get the games looking and feeling right. This was a particularly rewarding project in which I felt I made a significant contribution to a team committed to brilliant family-oriented gameplay. In a slightly bizarre twist, one use of the EyeToy we prototyped (but which for marketing reasons didn't feature in the final product) was the tracking of coloured objects in 3 dimension - almost exactly what the PlayStation Move seems to be doing 6 years later...

Zoo Crew (2003)

Company: Team Brick
Platform: PC
Role: Team Lead, Lead Designer, Programmer, Dialogue Scripter

I ran Team Brick (consisting of 2 programmers, 2 artists, a sound engineer and myself) during the hectic 10 weeks of Dare to be Digital 2003, an international competition hosted by the University of Abertay Dundee. We produced a demo and sales literature for Zoo Crew, a family-oriented puzzle/platform game in which 5 unique animal characters work together to escape from a zoo. We won the prize for Product with the Greatest Market Potential, and also made it to the shortlist for the interactive category of the prestigious Scottish Students On Screen awards. In this image you can see Kenny, the closet transvestite kangaroo; Miles, the jazz loving monkey; and Fifi the bubbly pyromaniac firefly. In the game you steal the clown's trousers as part of a puzzle. Not pictured are Bruce, the canadian beaver who thinks he's Scottish, and Dr. Squid, the megalomaniac evil genius who is scared of the dark.

Corpse Wars: Afternoon of the Living Dead (2003)

Company: Team Bucket
Platform: PC
Role: Designer, Programmer

A university group project consisting of four designer/programmers (3 of which would go on to form part of the Dare to be Digital team) and a hired artist. We built a turn-based strategy game featuring warring necromancers and their undead armies doing battle on a fully destructible landscape floating in a sea of lava. The goal was to produce something that played like a mix between Worms 3D and the classic Spectrum game Chaos.

IMPostors! (1996)

Company: Mungus Software
Platform: SAM Coupe
Role: Designer, Programmer, Artist, Sound Engineer... You name it!

My first real epic. A year in development, this was a 75+ level puzzle/platformer in the Lemmings vein. You controlled 5 imps, each with a unique skill. A lot of these design ideas continued through to Zoo Crew. IMPostors! sold well enough for me to begin working on a sequel, which was considerably bigger in scope - at one point I was co-ordinating a team of 6 people, (2 programmers, 2 audio specialists, a musician and an artist). Unfortunately, the audience for SAM games (always niche at best) seemed to implode and the sequel was abandoned.

Blokker (1994)

Company: Mungus Software
Platform: SAM Coupe
Role: Designer, Programmer, Artist, Sound Engineer... You Name it!

This was my first published title, which was released for the SAM Coupe. It was a weird little puzzler involving moving coloured blocks around to crush the bad guys. I was 13 when I made this.