This post highlights my professional work experience in the games industry.
Riff Racer – aka Drive Any Track – Mobile/PC (Lead Design)
At the start of 2014 I began offering my services on a freelance basis. As part of my freelance work, I performed Lead Design duties for the music-based driving game Riff Racer (formerly Drive Any Track): developed by Firebrand Games in conjunction with FOAM.
My preliminary work included analysis/research, meeting with clients to determine their requirements and generating numerous design documents. I worked closely with the Lead Programmer to design and balance the track and vehicle algorithms which permit an infinite number of layouts and handling models to be generated – given a music file as a basis – whilst ensuring all models are fun and playable. Riff Racer was released via Steam and iOS to positive user reviews and was nominated for Best Racing Game in the TIGA 2016 Awards.
Solar Flux HD [Original IP] – iOS/Android/PC (Game Concept, Lead Design)
Solar Flux was my first original project at Firebrand Games; I was responsible for the inception, conceptualisation, game design and design implementation. Inspired by my love of quirky indie games and atmospheric sci-fi films, Solar Flux HD is a tablet game that tasks players with travelling across the universe to save dying stars from extinction by collecting and delivering fragments of plasma. The arrestingly beautiful visuals and soothing ambient soundtrack contrast starkly with the apocalyptic subject matter and deadly challenges that await the player in each galaxy. Check out the trailer below for full effect:
Originally released as an iPad game in August 2013, we ported the game to PC (via Steam) and, eventually, Android. Solar Flux HD received several positive press/player reviews and the iPad version was nominated in the Best Game Design category at TIGA 2013 and Game category at the 2014 Scottish BAFTAs.
Solar Flux Pocket [Original IP] – iOS/Android (Game Concept, Lead Design)
Following our work on Solar Flux HD – with it’s large open levels and highly challenging gameplay – we set to work on an alternative version of the game better suited to smaller screens. Solar Flux Pocket features modified gameplay mechanics and a brand new progression comprised of smaller/linear levels perfect for smartphones. We used feedback and analytics from the HD game to improve the experience for first time players.
Solar Flux Pocket was released on the Apple App Store and Google Play store in November 2013.
FFS – 3DS, Wii, Playstation 3, Xbox 360, PC (Lead Design)
Need for Speed: The Run – Nintendo 3DS (Lead Design)
A very challenging project given the feature set and time constraints; I worked closely with my Creative Director on the design and implementation of the game. Featuring a lengthy story campaign – combining classic Need for Speed racing gameplay with cinematic action sequences and gesture-based minigames – a score-based challenge mode, asynchronous multiplayer support, online and local versus and co-op modes and stereoscopic 3D visuals: Need for Speed: The Run on 3DS is a worthy companion product for the HD game.
Need for Speed: The Run – Nintendo Wii (Lead Design)
TrackMania – Nintendo Wii (Game Design)
My first home console project; TrackMania Wii is a brand new entry in the TrackMania series designed specifically for the Nintendo Wii console. With 6 unique environments, over 100 single player levels spread across 3 game modes, split-screen and online multiplayer support, classic and gesture-based controls and the ability to create and receive track designs, TrackMania Wii represented a huge step up from the DS version we made previously in terms of gameplay, visuals and functionality.
TrackMania Wii achieved a 74% average on Metacritic.
TrackMania Turbo – Nintendo DS (Game Design)
The sequel to TrackMania DS, TrackMania Turbo attained a 77% average on Metacritic.
Hot Wheels: Track Attack – Nintendo Wii (Game Design Support)
Hot Wheels: Track Attack – Nintendo DS (Game Design Support)
TrackMania DS – Nintendo DS (Game Design)
The first professional game I designed from scratch and saw through to completion; I was responsible for porting the massive TrackMania franchise from PC to Nintendo DS. With race, puzzle and platform modes set in 3 distinctive environments, we were able to fit a massive single player campaign alongside an addictive local multiplayer mode and the all important track editor.
TrackMania DS achieved a respectible 75% average on Metacritic.
Colin McRae Dirt 2 – Nintendo DS (Game Design)
Need for Speed – Undercover – Nintendo DS (Game Design Support)
Race Driver: GRID – Nintendo DS (Game Design Support)
Race Driver: Create and Race – Nintendo DS (Game Design Support)
Ferrari Challenge – Trofeo Pirelli – Nintendo DS (Game Design)
My first professional Game Design job; I was hired by Firebrand Games to finish the design of Ferrari Challenge on the Nintendo DS console. Given a game design document framework and a working prototype, I was tasked with designing and implementing the remainder of the game whilst considering new ways to add longevity. Here I learned various skills that would serve me well in my future career with Firebrand Games. Using Firebrands proprietary Octane engine, I learned how to setup and export race track data using Maya, script gameplay and progression data via LUA, setup menu and replay cameras and much more.
In addition to the standard racing modes, I was able to implement an engaging training mode – which gathered much praise from various press reviews – and a card battle mode to provide a respite from driving.
Nervous Brickdown – Nintendo DS (QA Team Leader)
In February 2007, I was promoted to QA Team Leader for the Nintendo DS puzzle game Nervous Brickdown. Here I managed a small team of QA Testers and was resposible for producing test plans, providing critical feedback on the quality of testing, collating bug reports and reporting to my QA Leader and external publishers on a daily basis.
Championship Manager 2007 – Playstation 2 & Xbox 360 (QA Tester)
Lego Bionicle Heroes – Playstation 2 & Xbox 360 (QA Tester)
Who Wants to be a Millionaire – Party Edition – Playstation 2 & Sony PSP (QA Tester)
My first professional job in the games industry; I was hired by Absolute Quality Europe as a QA tester for the PS2 and PSP versions of the Who Wants to be a Millionaire quiz game.