About

About me

I’ve had an enormous passion for video games ever since I played my first one on my dad’s Calecovision. The first time I encountered game development tools was when I was nine years old; I accidentally opened up the editor for Warcraft II instead of the game. Unbeknownst to me at the time, that was the start of my great adventure into the realm of game development.

I love all things games, including tabletop RPGs such as D&D, which is actually my favourite game of all time, and more traditional board games.

When I’m not nose deep in game culture you can usually find me reading, playing guitar/drums or travelling. My favourite books are sci-fi, psychology and mythology. I mostly play blues rock and funk. And I love to travel - I've been to 21 countries.

About my design philosophy

Output quality, or the quality in which the player experiences the content has always reigned top for me. The concept of thinking from the players perspective, and imagining how the end user is going to experience the content really drives most of the decision making and problem solving in my process. Every decision on how something is designed and built should feed into this concept of how the player engages with it.

I didn’t just get into games because I knew them, but also because I knew they could provide unique experiences through gameplay, their systems and mechanics. For this reason, I believe gameplay to be top dog, and everything should support it in achieving its goals.

The major benefit of working at many studios, and under many publishers is the breadth of experience learnt from creating within each of their development environments. I’ve tried to adopt best practices from each, while learning what not to do or bring forward from mistakes.

One unique aspect to my design process is that I’ve taught at a school for two years. It’s easy to do your job when it’s instinct and second nature, but how do you describe what is normally gut checks and muscle memory to other people so that they can learn? It was an extremely valuable learning experience because when teaching, you not only have to be able to explain the what, but the potential why to each of their questions. After teaching for two years, I absolutely believe that the best way to learn something is to teach it. This process allowed me to re-examine level design as a whole and create a new framework called the Level Design Factors which assists in created interesting spaces for level design.

About this site

I made this iteration of my portfolio from scratch as a learning project. It started learning by reading books authored by Jon Duckett, both the Web Design with HTML, CSS, and JQuery Set, and HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites. Both excellent books that provide an intro to web dev, especially to someone who hasn't touched HTML since the days of GeoCities.

The base required languages were HTML and CSS, with JavaScript and JQuery as a means to make more interactive elements. However, I didn’t initially plan on learning PHP, but after using ProcessWire, a lightweight Content Management System, the benefits of using PHP became clear. And so I moved a lot of the structure of the original HTML into PHP for easy reuse between pages.

During the research phase, it was clear that in modern day webdev, mobile-first design was key. As it’s always easier to start with mobile and adjust for desktop and other devices. With this philosophy in mind, I chose a very new CSS layout system called Grid. I also used two JQuery libraries, MixItUp for the portfolio shuffling/sorting, and Slider for the image sliders.

The color theme and layout is heavily inspired by a good friend of mine's website, Sean Noonan. He’s legitimately the one of best level designer I know and so you should go check out his stuff!