Game Designs

(1983 - Present)


Background:

When I saw my first computer, I didn't see a plastic box filled with silicon chips. I saw stories. I saw a medium for involving people within stories like they'd never been before, engaged in a dialog with the author where neither was really certain where the road would lead, or how the tale would end.

With eyes wide in amazement, I determined on that fateful day to breathe life into stories that only this new medium could tell. To that end I learned to program, so as to implement my own ideas.

Over the years, I have variously designed, implemented, written and otherwise contributed to a great number of game designs. There have been many, from ones inspired by Ultima, Wizardry, or Car Wars, one called "Thief" back in early '95 whose one-page skinny reads like an exact description of the game later released by Looking Glass, Lode Runner 2, and many, many more.

What follows below is an excerpted list of game designs in reverse chronological order. I have listed those games which were entirely mine in both design and programming, as well as those which were merely major designs taking more than a few weeks to conjure. They illuminate various aspects of the game design process, and each, in their own way, has a tale to tell.

 

Major Game Designs

Rexx Copiously

Based on the famous Macintosh game PegLeg, Rexx was a design created by us at Buzz in order to showcase our cross-platform code base.

Dune

A solicited design at Buzz Software, we were asked by associates at Interplay to come up with a new game interpretation of Frank Herbert's Dune novel for submission.

It didn't win the contract, but it was certainly a fun exercise...

 

The Breed

A fun concept utilizing the concept of genetic "breeding" of units in a 3D RTS, The Breed went through a period of life as a boardgame before we ever set down to write a line of code.

Venice: 1499

Venice: 1499 is a design for an action/adventure game rooted deeply in history. Blamed for a murder you didn't commit, you must find the guilty party and restore your innocence in a world on the brink of societal and technological revolution.

Summoning of the Jinn

As we all sat around one day asking ourselves why no one had ever done a modern interpretation of Archon, I had a brainstorm that turned into this little design.

Ghost In The Machine

Ghost ITM was a revolutionary game concept that is only now (2001) being exploited by game developers. An adventure/mystery, this game was meant to reach out, to involve the player far more than what he saw on his computer screen, as the game intruded on your real life with e-mails, faxes, pages, etc.

Lode Runner Online

My work on Lode Runner LTR and Lode Runner Online was both as Lead Programmer and designer, insomuch as there was no significant design and most of the elements were brainstormed, created and balanced by the programmers on a day-to-day basis. I went on to do the first pass of design for Lode Runner 2, which underwent significant redesign after my departure from Presage.

Ezanya, a ZZT Adventure

A text-based adventure game maker by the founder of Epic Megagames, my initial foray into the world of professional gaming netted me a 1st place prize in a nationwide game-design competition.

Ellandar

While not technically a game design unto itself, Ellandar was a rules-customized D&D campaign into which I poured years of effort and thousands of pages of writing. It has served as the progenitor of many of my computer game ideas since.

Apple 2 Games

My initial games can be found here, including complete rip-offs of Ultima II and Wizardry, original text-adventures and an incomplete Ultima V challenger.


 
 
 

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