Design

Semester Projects:

Give Kids the World/Kissimmee Interactive OSK
Summer 2010/Fall 2010

During the summer and fall of 2010, I worked on a project for the Give Kids the World Village to create a themed kiosk for reservations of events they hold at the resort. Over the summer, I began the design process, in addition to working as producer for the project and programmer. I lead the team in blue sky brainstorming, where we decided to create a large hot air balloon for our kiosk. Once we agreed on a design, I wrote a story around the concept, giving it context within the resort rather than being just a randomly chosen concept. We used the story to guide our design decisions moving forward. During the semester I helped with the physical fabrication of the kiosk, which will be installed in the House of Hearts at the Give Kids the World Village in Kissimmee, Florida. I also designed several mini-games for the kiosk, as well as theming them to fit with our story.

balloon
Left: Art by teammate Michael Honeck
Right: Kiosk installed at Give Kids the World, Kissimmee, FL
See more images at the project blog


Me working on the fabrication of a fiberglass balloon panel

 

Electric 4 Education (E4E)
Spring 2010

My first project semester was on E4E, a project working in collaboration with The Electric Company and Sesame Workshop to create an intergenerational literacy game for 6-9 year olds and their parents. Our goal was to make a game that both parents and kids are excited to play. My role on the team was designer, and as part of my deliverables I had to write a concept paper and design document for the project.

E4E electric racer
Screen shot of the game

In the game, the child uses the arrow keys on the keyboard to drive the car through words that have a target phonic, such as the "br" sound, and avoid words without that sound. After the child drives through a correct word, it goes to the bottom left part of the screen, where the parent unscrambles that word using the arrow keys. After the parent unscrambles three words, they can trigger a short speed boost for the car. When the child is having trouble finding the correct words, the parent has nothing to do and can offer guidance. When the child is successfully driving through correct words, the parent is busy with their own task in unscrambling words.

The game has been published on the Electric Company website. It can also be downloaded here with a parent's guide. You can see a commercial PBS produced for it here.

Graduate Coursework:

Scene Design
Fall 2010

Scene Design I is a graduate level course offered by the School of Drama at Carnegie Mellon University. The course is mostly about visual storytelling, establishing creative pathways, learning to explore our imaginations and establishing a repertoire of studio and collaborative skills. In this course, ideas were central with the secondary goal of each project being to solidify our skills in service of our ideas.

Example work - Parts of Speech Project

On this project, we were given three words, a verb, an adjective, and an emotion. We then had to design sets that embodied that emotion. This is my set for the emotion "Thrilled." It is built in 1/8" scale.


Audience View


Top down view

 

Game Design
Spring 2010

Game Design is a course taught by Jesse Schell at the Entertainment Technology Center. The course is lecture and project based, and teaches the mechanics and processes of good game design. The principles learned in this class apply equally well to card games, board games, party games, and experience design. In the course we had to create games and iterate on their design through playtesting.

Example work - Final Project, Game Pitch:


Click to see the slides from our pitch

 

Our final assignment in May 2010 was to create a fictional game design company, complete with two past titles, and think up a game this company would be pitching. We then had to pitch it to a panel including both our professors and industry professionals, including Brian Reynolds from Zynga. All five members of the panel agreed they would take another meeting if we were a real pitch.

Role: Game Designer on a team of five game designers. "Producer" for our fictional company, which meant I gave about two thirds of the pitch in the presentation.
Teammates: Christopher Bell, Daniel Pike, Hanika Karkhanis, Gabriel Yu
Review Quote: When asked if he would take another meeting with us, Brian Reynold's response was, "Absolutely...and by the way, Zynga is hiring!"

 

Building Virtual Worlds
Fall 2009

Building Virtual Worlds is a course all Entertainment Technology Students take during the first semester of their first year. In the course, we are on teams of four, made up of a programmer, 3D artist, 2D artist, and sound designer, with one member taking on extra responsiblity as producer for the round. Everyone participates in the design, though programmers often make decisions on the fly because of the speed we need to get worlds done. We get between one and four weeks to create a virtual reality world from scratch, using a variety of hardware. During the semester, I programmed worlds for head mounted displays, playmotion (a shadow tracking system), audience interaction (a platform that tracks the angle a crowd is leaning to the left or right), and pandaphone (described below). I was programmer for all five rounds, as well as producer for two rounds.

Example work - Round Five, Business Bunny's Grand Adventure:

Role: Programmer, Game Designer
Platform: Pandaphone, a platform developed by Evil Genius Designs, where users call into a generated phone number and dial numbers to play the game. Can be used with any type of phone.
Honors: One of fourteen worlds selected out of the over 100 worlds made during the semester to be showcased in the Building Virtual Worlds Show at the end of the semester.
Teammates: Michael Honeck (Producer, 2D artist, Game designer), Christine Barnes (2D artist, Game designer), Michelle Cohen (Sound designer, Game designer), and Greg Eng (3d artist, Game designer)
Timeframe: Four Weeks