Game Designer & Programmer,
Founder of Stargazy Studios
Since 2009, I have been creating innovative games, operating as an agile and independent micro studio. I perform all game development duties at Stargazy Studios, including design, programming, and business management.

I am always excited to hear from clients with a game project in mind. Please get in contact if you would like to hire me to perform any of my range of services for you.

Stargazy Studios is located in Cardiff, United Kingdom, but I will happily travel for projects, and am a remote-working specialist.

Skills & Services

Programming
Game Design
Lecturing & Training

Games

Each of my games is an innovative, new intellectual property, and currently in development. I am always interested to hear about funding or promotional opportunities. Please get in touch if you are inspired by a project.
Huscarlas
A shooting star streaks across the galaxy, hotly pursued by ravenous agents of the Wild Hunt. Only a small bodyguard of Anglo-Saxon Huscarlas protect this shining princeling. As battle is met on the astral plane, the axemen seek a guiding hand. Woden, the All-father, watches on.

Huscarlas is a distillation of interesting game states found in the squad-tactics genre. Condensed tactical situations form mini puzzles that are algorithmically pieced together by an A.I. director. The director creates scalable, procedurally generated levels, to continually engage the player with new content.

The player controls a small team of Huscarl bodyguards, tasked with protecting their charge, the autonomous Star. They must analyse each level's terrain and enemy positioning, deciding where best to intercept their foes, and with what strength of force.

  • Technologies
    Custom data-oriented engine, C, Perl, OpenGL, LibXML, iOS, Android
  • Artist
    Corban Wilkin
Dance Duets
The dance hall is packed, and the dancers wait with anticipation for the conductor. Complex dance patterns are scribed across the floor. Only when the dancers have been expertly placed in their starting positions, can the party begin.

Dance Duets is an accessible, infinitely scalable puzzle game. Players are challenged to match similarly coloured dancers across a network of pathways. The procedurally generated puzzles can scale to any arbitrary size to suit a player's skill. Additional puzzle complexity is introduced by including dynamic tiles with flip-flop output gates, and colour cycling functions.

Players must keep the party going by completing a chain of puzzles. Successfully matched dancers are carried to the next dance floor, but the party is over when there are fewer matched dancers than mismatched.

Courtroom Cake: Not Everyone Likes Battenberg
12 angry jurors are scattered around the jury room, divided over a decision. Only cake can save the day! Each juror can be tempted or repelled by strategically surrounding them with gateaux. The entire jury must be sat in their seats to reach a consensus, brought together by the power of cake.

Courtroom Cake is a puzzle game in which players must determine jurors' cake preferences. Jurors will like certain cakes, and dislike others. The attraction and repulsion fields exerted on each juror by the cakes around them must be balanced, in order to position them at their seat. The whole jury must be located around the table for a decision to be made, and the case to conclude.

Puzzles are generated procedurally, with complexity adjusted by modifying the number of jurors, cakes, and preferences per individual. Players compete to bring justice to as many cases as they can in a row, with the difficulty of the puzzles increasing with each successful verdict.

Curriculum Vitae

Stargazy Studios
Owner & Founder
(September 2009 - Present)
Programming & Information Technology
  • "Huscarlas" game
    • Bespoke, data-oriented engine, written in C/C++
    • Scratch-built data structures, memory management, rendering, asset streaming, XML parsing, artificial intelligence, and procedural level authoring libraries
    • Custom asset tool chain, comprising Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Vector Magic, TexturePacker and Spriter
    • XML meta-data generating scripts written in Perl
    • Cross platform compatible
    • Primary target platforms iOS and Android
  • "Dance Duets" game
    • Created using GameMaker: Studio, written in GML
    • Sophisticated pathfinding functions
    • Algorithm procedurally generates puzzles of infinitely scalable difficulty
  • "Courtroom Cake" game
    • Made with Unity, written in C#
    • Leverages Unity's physics library
    • Algorithm procedurally generates puzzles of infinitely scalable difficulty
  • Created a website to market Stargazy Studios using industry standard web technologies
    • HTML 5
    • JavaScript
    • Adobe Flash
    • Blogger
    • Feedburner
    • Google App Engine
  • Built a portable development environment, with multiple source code redundancies available on a self-maintained, VPN-accessible SOHO LAN, and on WAN-accessible cloud storage services
  • Expert in implementing infrastructure across operating systems
    • Microsoft Windows
    • Apple OS X
    • Linux
Game Design
  • Studied texts from the reading list used at NYU Game Center's "Game Design" MFA programme
    • "Homo Ludens", Johan Huizinga
    • "Man, Play and Games", Roger Caillois
    • "Theory of Fun", Raph Koster
    • "Rules of Play", Katie Tekinbas & Eric Zimmerman
    • "Videogames", James Newman
    • "The Video Game Theory Reader", Mark Wolf & Bernard Perron
  • Curate contemporary, online sources of game design research
    • Frank Lantz
    • Chris Pratt
    • Daniel Cook
    • Keith Burgun
    • Soren Johnson
    • Gamasutra
  • Contribute design and production articles to external web sites, as well as publishing on my own blog
  • Regularly attend industry events to hear lectures, network with fellow game developers, and engage in design discussions
    • PAX East
    • Develop Conference
    • Independent Game Developers Conference
    • World of Love
    • A Bit of Alright
    • Imperial College's Games and Media Event
    • GameCamp
    • Wales Games Development Show
    • EGX
  • Specialist in modelling game designs to facilitate the creation of procedurally generated content
Business & Marketing
  • Create annual accounts
  • Use of tax law to maintain an efficient tax profile
  • Planned business structures from which to sell Stargazy Studios' intellectual property
  • Maintain a studio social media profile, using Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr
  • Expert in remote working, leveraging project management and productivity tools
    • Trello
    • Slack
    • Evernote
    • Git
    • GitHub
    • Feedly
    • Pocket
    • Dropbox
    • Copy
    • Google Hangouts
    • Skype
  • Curate news sources to stay informed of global economics, business models, legislation and funding options that may impact my business, as well as the wider technology sector
  • Highly organised, methodical, disciplined and dedicated
GameCamp
Organisational Committee Member
(July 2010 - Present)
Morgan Stanley
Vice President
(October 2004 - September 2009)
Information Technology Division (October 2004 - October 2006)
  • Joined as a member of the graduate programme
  • Deep technical knowledge and calm, affable personality meant I was selected to directly support the desks on the equities trading floor in London
  • Became an expert in trading and risk management applications, developing a meticulous understanding of all financial products traded
  • Liaised between the systems' users and the teams that developed them
  • The environment demanded the ability to prioritise and time manage under extreme pressure
  • Implemented long-term strategic solutions to recurring issues with systems by coding scripts to enhance and manage applications, and by optimising infrastructure to increase systems performance
  • Exemplary performance reviews and added value that I provided to the trading desks resulted in a rapid, and exceptional, internal promotion to become an equity derivatives trader
Institutional Equities Division (October 2006 - September 2009)
  • Joined the delta-one equity derivatives desk as an associate trader
  • Tasked with building and running the single-stock futures business
  • Extremely technical role, requiring instant evaluations of complex financial instruments, and expert systems knowledge to execute trades on electronic marketplaces and manage risk
  • SII qualified derivatives trader
  • Necessary exams passed and registered for twenty European equities and equity derivatives markets
    • LSE
    • Deutsche Borse Group
    • Euronext Paris
    • Euronext Brussels
    • Euronext Amsterdam
    • Euronext Lisbon
    • Bolsa de Madrid
    • Borsa Italiana
    • Stockholm Stock Exchange
    • Oslo Stock Exchange
    • Copenhagen Stock Exchange
    • Helsinki Stock Exchange
    • Wiener Borse
    • Virt-x/SWX
    • EDX
    • Euronext LIFFE
    • Eurex
    • MEFF
    • IDEM
    • OMX
  • Personal trading book contained European, North American and emerging markets equities and equity derivatives
    • Equities
    • Single-stock futures
    • Rights
    • Single-stock synthetics
    • Index futures
    • Index synthetics
    • Equity swaps
    • Interest rate futures
    • Interest rate swaps
  • Implemented systems to improve operational scalability, streamlining exchange-listed derivatives expiration
  • Success, and the profitability of my trading book was rewarded with another rapid promotion, to Vice President in December 2008
  • Trained and mentored a middle-office hire to assume trading operations and management of the single-stock futures book
  • Responsibilities expanded to trade the proprietary books for multiple European equity index arbitrage strategies
Education
Imperial College London (July 2000 - May 2004)

Software Engineering MEng (Hons) Class Upper Second
Associateship of the City and Guilds of London Institute (ACGI)
  • Final Year Project
    • Created an artificial intelligence framework that would allow for routines to be controlled dynamically at run-time through a web page interface
    • Opportunity to engage early with the computer games industry, identifying the growing trend for developers to adopt middleware
    • Ensured commercial relevance by consulting senior members of Criterion Software, an industry leading creator of middleware
    • Built with C, C++ and HTML/CGI
    • Submitted a rigorous dissertation, and gave a presentation to an assessment board of faculty members
  • Third Year Industrial Placement
    • Six months in industry at Amadeus UK
    • Part of a team that designed and engineered a new computer system to flag potential threats in airline passenger manifestos
    • Employed industry standard modelling techniques, using UML, and codified them with enterprise Java
  • Courses
    • Year 4
      Network Security; Multi-agent Systems; Software Engineering - Environments; Parallel Algorithms; Distributed Algorithms; Computer Vision; Probabilistic Inference and Intelligent Data; Entrepreneurship
    • Year 3
      Advanced Databases; Distributed Systems; Simulation and Modelling; Software Engineering - Methods; Software Engineering - Design II; Graphics; Multimedia Systems; Robotics; Technical Presentation Skills
    • Year 2
      Algorithms, Complexity and Computability; Compilers; Databases I; Operating Systems II; Software Engineering - Design I; Statistics; Networks and Communications; Software Engineering - Design II; Artificial Intelligence I; Concurrent Programming; Architecture II
    • Year 1
      Hardware; Discrete Mathematics I; Logic; Declarative Programming I; Programming I; Architecture I; Mathematical Methods and Graphics; Discrete Mathematics 2; Reasoning about Programs; Operating Systems I; Declarative Programming II; Directions
  • Project Examples
    Concurrent systems modelling (Java, LTSA); Web page authoring (Java, JavaScript, PHP, HTML, CGI); Extension of the MINIX kernel to include a debugging tool (C); Optimising compiler written (Haskell); 3D graphics engine (Object Orientated Turing); Database creation and manipulation (Sybase, Microsoft SQL Server and Access); HCI evaluation of web based systems; UML systems design; automated calendar spread product creation script (Perl)
  • Extra Curricular
    • Played rugby for Imperial College, member of the Fine Arts Society, and volunteer dog walker for Battersea Dogs & Cats Home
    • Culmination of activities qualified for the Gold Duke of Edinburgh award (awarded 2003)
    • Participation in university teams and societies recognised with a City & Guilds sponsored bursary
The Skinners' School (September 1993 - July 2000)
  • A Levels: Computing (A), Mathematics (A), Physics (A)
  • GCSEs: Mathematics (A*), Physics (A*), Chemistry (A), Biology (A), Art (A), English Language (A), English Literature (A), French (A), Information Technology (A), Design & Technology (B)