A collection of my personal works and projects relevant to my game design experience.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
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Indie Games and Prototypes
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Profit Motive - Business Adventure RPG (2012)
Profit Motive is an over-the-top business RPG where players assume the role of Myron Meckler, a one-time executive of a major corporation who has been betrayed by his former supervisor and expelled from the company in dishonor. 
The game follows Myron as he strives to regain his power and position in the business world. Starting as a small business owner, the gameplay escalates into a grand corporate battle, employing strategic turn-based combat, the recruitment of vital staff, and the support of influential NPCs.
I co-created this project with fellow designer Bryce Diamond using RPG Maker VX and I designed and implemented most aspects of the gameplay framework, combat system, wrote the story, and directed  all of the dialogue. I also acted as the art director–hiring and managing 6 professional contrast artists for over 2 years in the creation of all the art content in the game.
The project started simply as a way to learn about and explore metagame goal structure, but ended up becoming one of the most transformative projects I've ever worked on. It was the training ground for my design process, metagame and systems understanding, prototyping capabilities, and creative leadership process that is part of my foundation today. 
Despite the project not really being designed to be sold, it garnered over ten thousand downloads over various platforms and websites, developed a small community of fans, and I still get e-mails and messages to this day about the impact of the game and how much players loved the experience.
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Creative Collaborations
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Pianokage Collab - Music  (2024)
I sometimes compose music and I enjoy working with talented musicians to bring those pieces to life in a new way. This is one such collab with Pianokage.
The Musician - Manga  (2011)
This is a small side project that I directed, working with a small group to come up with the IP and story world concept of a Prison School. From there I wrote the story of the Musician and hired an artist and a writer to work on the final product.
It was an earlier work, and a bit rough, but allowed me to exercise my IP development muscle and create pipelines and workflows for collaborating with other artists, including creating the contracts, schedules, and generally managing the communication overall. 
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IP and Game Development Writings
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IP Dev Guides and Game Papers
Over the years I've taught at various art schools, such as Place de Arts, as well as ran my own Meet Up Groups, often focused around creative development. Throughout that time I've written numerous blog entries, documents, and guides to help fellow creatives approach developing their own IPs from scratch. Below I'll share some of the most popular guides and papers from over the years.
IP Development Guide - (Link)
Ideation Theory - (Link)
Ideation Theory Examples - (Link)
Game Goal Structures - (Link)
The Art of IP Development Blog - (Link)
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AI Technology Experiments
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My Stance on AI
At the time of writing this, AI is a controversial and new technology that has not settled in terms of the legal or moral position society views it. Before I get into my work in this area, I think it's important to understand my personal view on the technology as of 2024 (which may change or evolve as the world does).
Currently, I think Generative AI is not reliable and consistent, and so is not as useful or practical when it comes to using it for professional level art, writing, music, or coding. There are also many ethical concerns around how the models are currently trained that I feel need to be resolved legally before they can be used in productions (outside of company self-trained models).
That being said, there are many areas where it is useful and ways that it can be applied to the technical, administrative, and creative development process that show immediate and future promise. To find these areas, I  often experiment with the new technology in detail and make note of all the areas where I have found it a net benefit. Below are some of those experiments and my thoughts on the current state of each. 
Kokoro no Pasokon - Manga  (2023)
This is a short story that I wrote long ago and decided to use Dalle-3 to test if I could bring it to life in a way that people would be interested in today. 
I found it incredibly challenging to create consistency in the tone and shots, but after literally hundreds of generations, I did get to a place where it "felt" cohesive to the untrained eye. The responses to posting this online were overwhelmingly positive and well received.
What this taught me is that, for short stories that would never practically get created or released (i.e. concept work), AI can be a benefit; It is not something that could be considered professional, but does make for a neat way to explore and realize in some form work that would otherwise just idle in silence for eternity. This is a common theme I find with generative AI across the creative mediums today–serving as more of a toy to extract some personal entertainment. Will it improve in the future? Surely. And at that time, maybe it will become more.
Code of Survival - Multimedia IP  (2023)
Following from the Kokoro no Pasokon short story exploration with Dalle-3, I wanted to test the results of leaning much more heavily on AI and specifically the new GPTs feature from ChatGPT, which allows you to essentially create a personal database of whatever knowledge files you have and use it in the generation of chat information.
Feeding in years of my IP process and knowledge into a personal GPT, I used it to co-develop the concepts and ideas for this Manga / Game IP. I then used it to summarize and organize the documentation and communication of that information in such a way that it could be presented to random people and they could easily understand the concept.​​​​​​​
What I found is that it reduced my typical process of IP development by about 3 months and did allow me to organize, summarize, and keep track of key information much easier than usual (as I could just ask the chat questions and it would look up the answers we had already discussed). However, this was sometimes unreliable as LLMs have a habit of hallucinating incorrect details. If this were a larger project with more people, it would not be a viable process to use.
While the results of this experiment are interesting from a time savings standpoint, I found that the process also had a double edged effect of making the produced result a bit more vapid than the typically rich and nuanced experience that is created with my standard process. How many end readers would notice that? It's unclear, but certainly a few that know my work did mention it (without knowing it was created with AI). And I also recognized this distance myself. Is this something I could now fix, yes. But that would defeat the point of the experiment.
Isekai Simulator - Web Game Prototype  (2024)
When Open AI released their GPT store, I experimented a bit with their top Coding GPT "Grimoire".  I then used a combination of Grimoire and Java Expert GPT to prototype the pipeline, system, and mechanics for an Isekai Simulator
I didn't write a single line of code.
This experiment was perhaps the most eye opening to me for the future potential of AI in rapid prototyping (working on it in my spare time over a month). First of all, I don't know any JavaScript (or at least not anymore) and ironically, I gained an understanding of Javascript syntax and how it is structured and flows from the process of working on this prototype and can read it now to some degree.
Furthermore, the GPTs taught me how to use GoogleSheets API to fetch all the tuning data from the sheets shown in the game, allowing me to seamless tune it online. Again, something I have had zero experience setting up myself before.
Now, there are some caveats here. Namely that the GPTs were great early on in the process for generating new features quickly (solid daily progress), but once the code got large (around 2K lines), it had trouble debugging issues. There was also a lot of redundant functions that the GPTs created because it could not keep the entire file in mind at once, leading to long debugging sessions where I ended up actually finding the issues using external Javascript tools and letting the GPT know so it could fix them.
So, while it was an amazing amount of fun early on just to see it generate whole features pretty quickly, it got quite tedious once the code base was larger and it couldn't find very simple and small logic or syntax issues within the code. I resorted to breaking the code blocks down, or putting all the code into a single PDF file and asking it to refer to it, but it just struggled more and more over time.
Despite the struggles, I think this is one area that, as the tech evolves, will actually start creating real value in the production process and hopefully increasing the quality of what can be produced by smaller teams.
Could I do all this in a sixth of the time in Unreal? Yes (API stuff aside). But that would defeat the point of the experiment :D
V-Tuber - Music Videos  (2024)
The latest area of exploration I've been looking at is AI Generative Music. With both the likes of Suno.ai and Udio recently rising in popularity, I wanted to see just how much control and quality could result from applying my IPD process to AI music. 
AI music is somewhat interesting in that it has the potential to fool a lot more people into thinking it was created by an artist than some of the other forms of Generative AI. It's good at capturing many different styles in a gestural way, that gives the shape of the thing without any of the refinement. But, music is often about relatable emotion and it does capture that aspect of things quite well. ​​​​​​​
I took many of my old poems and lyrics from high school and ran them through Suno to create a variety of songs in very different styles that have gotten a surprising number of views (to me anyway) on my YouTube Channel without advertising them. Also, the speed at which these can be generated is mind-bending. The first video to the left only took 2 hours total for the writing, generation, and video editing (also using AI subtitle tools).
My main takeaway is that the next version of this technology will have significant impact on the music industry writ large. It may immediately service very small productions and minor use cases, such as YouTube music backgrounds for content creators.
As with all things AI though, it lacks soul, nuance, and creativity compared to an artist. It's really good at being derivative though, which may be enough for most monetized use cases, unfortunately.
See all experiments (Link)
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