I am a (newly independent) gamemaker and consultant.
That means I work both alone and with teams to design, program, art (it’s a verb), produce, test, and play projects until they are fun and done. In the recent past I was a Game Director for Vicarious Visions and shipped several Skylanders titles. I was on the front lines of development of Skylanders in 2010-2011 and served as Game Director on Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure for the Nintendo 3DS. This taught me a ton about toys, collection, and building games for kids. I even joined Paul Reiche of Toys for Bob in unveiling Skylanders to the press at Gamescom 2011 – one of the highlights of my career.
After that I helped spearhead Activision Publishing’s first internal mobile title in Skylanders Cloud Patrol, running a small, flat team inside a large AAA studio. We did it indie style and used Unity, launching on iOS in April 2012 to over two million downloads and some classified amount of dollars. We carried the strong collection model from Skylanders into the mobile space and learned a lot about analytics, running updates, and dealing more directly with customers. Most of all it was a tight, fun team and we made a great feeling touch-centric core game experience. It ultimately went on to be released on Android, Kindle Fire, and even had an arcade cabinet version.
And before VV I was a Senior Artist at Sony Bend working on the Syphon Filter franchise. That feels like it was a lifetime ago, but I grew from a boy to an awkward man-child in those days in Oregon. <gazes wistfully>
In between all that I did a web startup to help kids called MrsRiley.com. That’s still going and it feels great to see the awesome work that people do with it. I also spent about a year in 2009-2010 doing indie game work and did some fun Unity projects with Infrared5 in Boston, as well as the infamous Detonator Explosion Toolkit for Unity.
In mid 2014 I decided it was time to see what I could do on my own, so I left Vicarious Visions to pursue personal projects.