I grew up in Geneva, Illinois, and came to Peoria to learn how to create, code, and better understand video games and other forms of digital media at Bradley University. Video games, film, and television have all been a massive part of my life for as long as I can remember, and since I was young I've always wanted a job in the video game industry. Bradley has provided me with a large amount of growth on learning all of my goals, and I will only learn more and more over the next two years.
Similarly to last year, I would love to have a job as a writer for video games, or even other similar mediums like film or television. This year though, I've made massive strides in increasing my ability to code and actually create games, so I wouldn't mind obtaining a job coding or designing as well. I personally don't mind what company I would work for at the end of the day, as long as I had a wage that I could live off of.
This year, I worked as a programmer for the title, Astrobees, and it, alongside some of my classes, have been some of the most helpful learning experiences that I've had while at Bradley so far.
Level Design Sketch
This was a quick sketch for the layout of an early level for a game that I was helping create for a class this Spring 2020 semester. The important takeaways that I had to keep in mind for this sketch was that, while our game is a 2D-platformer, the main character cannot jump, and instead uses gusts of wind and an umbrella in able to traverse platforms and move upwards. Because of this, it was important to create a level that not only primarily uses gusts of wind and the puzzle elements that make up our core game, but to make sure that I didn't accidentally create a situation where the player could get stuck and have no options, due to not being able to jump. While this is a very rough sketch, and I doubt every aspect of this sketch is used in our levels, it helped me get into the correct mindset of creating a 2D-platformer level with the limitation that we had set ourselves. Another important aspect that I had to keep in mind while creating this level was how to implement the puzzles. The puzzles in our game work by pushing boxes onto pressure plates, that would unlock certain devices, such as turbine fans and doors. The difficulty of creating these puzzles was to make them not only interesting, but not so impossible that you could accidentally make it so that you couldn't progress through the level. While I'm sure that I made a mistake in this area, I made sure to try and avoid this issue as much as possible when sketching this level out.
This was a platformer game that I had created using given assets during a class last Fall 2019 semester. Despite all of the assets being given for me to use, I still believe that I had used the assets given to me in a creative way when compared to my other classmates, such as creating a tunnel of water, or using chains to hold up floating platforms above lava. If there were anything visually that I would change about the level now, I would probably improve the background in some way shape or form, or possible add more interesting visuals to the ground below the player. This was one of the first times I had coded and created a platformer in Unity, and aside from the last obstacle, I am proud of the level that I created for this class. I incorporated a number of mechanics into my level, such as different gravity underwater, a button that would unlock a door, coins to collect that would increase your score, and even checkpoints and a lives mechanic. While this platformer still has it's issues, it's something that I can still look at and be proud of the work that I put in to make this project my own.
Lane Defender Project
This was a Lane Defender Project that I had to create for a class this Spring 2020 semester. Similarly to the platformer project, all of the assets for this project were given to me in advance for the class, although I did have a choice in what assets to use for the player and enemies. While there are definitely issues to be had with the game that I created, such as the particle system not being lined up with the muzzle of the tank, and the enemy slimes slightly being pushed back when being hit by bullets, I still enjoyed how this project came together with all of the other coding. Specifically, I enjoyed coding the aspects of moving the tank up and down without going past the barriers, spawning enemy slimes in the set lanes, as well as creating differences in health and speed between the different enemy slimes. More than any of the other projects that I made completely by myself this year, this would have to be my favorite, and is most likely to be the game that I show my friends and have them play when introducing them to what I have been creating at Bradley University.