Delirium: A Postmortem

Roughly two years ago, I began work on a project that would later become known as “Delirium.” The project was intended to be a 2D horror platformer made in XNA, and over the course of its development, was featured in university publications and sponsored by our university to attend GDC in hopes of showing off the game. Despite the wonderful efforts of the team and all of the hard work we put into the game, it was never released past an early demo, and the project ultimately ended in May of 2012. Although this post is long overdue, I chose not to write up a postmortem until the realizations of our successes, failures, and what we learned had fully sunk in. The following write-up will examine what exactly the Delirium team did right and wrong, why the project failed, and what we can take away from it all, even a year later.




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Lack of Free Time == Lack of Updates

Boy, has it been a while! I just wanted to give a brief update before I make a post later tonight. I am currently working two jobs, which means I have had little to no free time. Unfortunately, this has put a pause on the development of Tragedia, as well as my card game. I’m certainly going to continue working on these projects, but because of the lack of time to work on them, the progress is going to be a lot slower than previously. I do still have tons of articles I want to post on here, and I have several longer ones that have been in the works for a while now. As I’ve made the decision to focus on web design right now, I’m also planning on posting a few articles to help indie developers create a website for their game. As always, I appreciate your comments and the fact that you’re still reading my blog! I hope your own game projects are going well, and don’t hesitate to ask if you ever have any questions!

Creating a Card Game: From Start to Finish

I’ve been pretty busy this month with two projects: Tragedia and Prehysteria. While you might recognize the name “Prehysteria” from an early blog post, this is an entirely new project that has nothing to do with that design document. This Prehysteria is a silly, dinosaur-themed competitive cooperative card game, and for today’s post, I’m going to take you through the process I’ve used, and am using, to create it.


Keep reading to learn more about creating card games!

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New Year’s Resolutions

It’s a new year, and thank goodness. Aside from GDC and graduation, 2012 was a rough year for me. After graduation, I kind of got discouraged and struggled through the rest of the year, both with finding a (read: any) job and with my designs. My work with Tragedia made me realize I seriously needed to keep making games, no matter what kind of job I was working or how difficult life might be. So as this new year begins, let me just say that I am not giving up, and I don’t think any of you should either! Life gets difficult sometimes, but if making games is what we truly want to do, then we need to keep at it!

While I’ve never really been one for New Year’s resolutions, I thought that it would be a good idea for me to write down goals to meet throughout the year. Without school or an industry job, it can sometimes be hard to motivate yourself, so setting goals or resolutions or whatever you want to call them will help you stay focused. And without further ado…

  1. Write at least one blog post a week.
  2. Learn at least one new program, and refresh knowledge of known programs. (UDK, Hammer, etc.)
  3. Create new levels, and update portfolio more often.
  4. Complete Tragedia by the end of the year (preferably sooner).
  5. Create and finish one new card/board game every three months or so.
  6. Continue to apply for industry positions, and never give up hope!


I also just wanted to extend a special thanks to those who do read this blog and who have commented on posts! You guys are awesome, and I’m glad to be of help in your own academic careers. Thanks for reading!


The Making of Tragedia: Dungeon Design

This post is part of “the Making of Tragedia” series. Tragedia is a classic-style role-playing game I am currently developing in RPG Maker VX. You can learn more about the game and download the demo at the Tragedia website.



As I began to create new dungeons for Tragedia, I realized that there is a surprising lack of information online about 2D dungeon design. For any 2D game that features dungeons, these levels have extremely important puzzle and combat elements, so why are we not talking about them? In this post, I’m going to take you through my design process for the dungeons in Tragedia, as well as provide tips for creating your own dungeons.


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The Making of Tragedia: Crafting an Immersive Story

As this marks the first post in my “the Making of Tragedia” series, I thought it appropriate to begin with the game’s story, as that is where I began in my development. But first, a quick introduction of the game itself. Tragedia is a classic-style role-playing game that I have been working on for a few months now. It is being developed in RPG Maker VX, which has proven to be a wonderful tool that allows me to primarily focus on the game’s design and story. For this post, I won’t be discussing any specifics for the story, so no need to worry about spoiling the game if you plan on playing it later.


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Getting Back on Track

As some of you may know, I recently graduated from UAT. Since then, I have been actively looking for a job in game development, but to no avail. Life after graduation is tough, and while I won’t bore you with the details of my life, I will say that I am not giving up hope. During the time since graduation, I have been working on a few projects, which I will begin posting about here on this blog. I do want to apologize for those faithful readers who might have been wondering if I would ever post here again, but now that I am getting back into the swing of things, expect to see new posts. My to-do list for new posts includes tips for designing cards for use in card or board games, creating more dynamic characters, and a new series called “The Making of Tragedia,” which will feature challenges I have encountered in the development of an indie RPG I have been working on. Stay tuned, and thank you for reading!

My Level Creation Process

I’ve talked a bit about the creation process I use when building levels before, but this time, I thought I’d do a complete walkthrough of the process. This is the same process I use for all of my level designs, and I’ve iterated on it with each new level I work on. I developed this process by studying current industry standards for workflow; talking with industry professionals, university instructors, and fellow level designers; and what I personally feel comfortable with. I have broken everything down into steps, and each step has an estimated time associated with it, which simply represents the amount of time I typically spend on that particular portion of the level. Below is the quick list of steps I follow, but to better understand my workflow and creation process, read on!


Step 1: Conceptualization

Step 2: Research & Pre-Production

Step 3: Asset List & (Possible) Creation

Step 4: Blocking In & Game Play Testing

Step 5: Asset Implementation & Scripting

Step 6: Populating & Polishing

Step 7: Final Product & Retrospective


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Tips & Tricks: A Guide to Job Hunting

As some of you might already know, I will be graduating from the University of Advancing Technology at the end of April. While my upcoming graduation is very exciting, it is also rather nerve-racking, since it means the job hunt has begun. This post will act as a guide for fellow game development job-seekers, based on what I have heard and read from industry professionals and my professors, as well as what I am currently doing. Keep in mind that this is my first time applying for positions as a game and/or level designer, so I’m certainly no expert. If you have any questions or additional suggestions, please leave a comment below.


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Level Retrospective: Inkblots

The following is a retrospective I wrote after the completion of the level, Inkblots. This singleplayer level was created in UDK in roughly sixty hours, and included custom textures, key bindings, and voice-overs. You can learn more about this level on my portfolio, which includes documentation, screenshots, and a walkthrough video.


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