Design

Design work

I believe that good design follows Dieters Ram’s 10 principles:

“Design must be innovative, useful, aesthetic, understandable, unobtrusive, honest, long-lasting, thorough to the last detail, environmentally friendly and is little design as possible.”

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    The Order 1886 Photo Mode

    I researched and collaborated on the UI, controller layout, state masking, as well as tuned all the player manipulated values so that they felt good when adjusting. I wrote the script and provided the voice for the tutorial video.

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    The Order 1886

    I worked on The Order 1886 for 4 years (almost 5). It was a transition from Camera Designer to more of a System Designer (while still working with cameras). Working on The Order 1886 brought about many firsts: new console, new IP, new genre (for most of our team), first time designing real world camera lenses, first time focus pulling and first time working with motion capture. Despite how many new jobs everyone on the team was thrown into, we still managed to make a very fun and entertaining game. I was responsible for all gameplay cameras including navigation, aiming, cover, peek, ledge, wounded, boss combat, and mini-games. Designed and tuned the additive camera animation system. Designed and tuned suppression fire system. Tune and polish forced aim moments. Designed and tuned virtual camera lens system. Designed and tuned depth of field system for gameplay and in game cinematics. Designed solutions to FPS weapons. Created and tuned controller rumble for all cinematics, death and cinemelee. Collaborated on weapon design, level concepts, show case moments, controller layout, state masking, traversal and core movement.

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    God of War: Ghost of Sparta

    I worked on God of War games for 4 years. I scripted all the gameplay cameras as well as most of the in-game cinematics.  Despite very tight deadlines, I managed to complete all the cameras in God of War Ghost of Sparta on time and to a high quality standard (God of War 3 had three camera designers, while I was the only one doing cameras for Ghost of Sparta).

    A camera designer is truly a hybrid position that requires maintaining a constant balancing act between gameplay needs and an artistic eye. While in-game cinematics touch almost every discipline from programming, design, animation, art, effects, story telling, and tutorials. It’s often the glue that ties the whole game together. For that reason I typically have to interface and collaborate with just about every person and department on the team. I also reviewed the pre-rendered cinematics, context sensitive animations moves as well as blocked out pre-visualizations for both pre-rendered and ingame cinematics.  I worked very closely with our game director to make sure every camera is of high quality and showing what it needs to be, while maintaining excellent cinematography.

  • Suicide Bluffs — Thanatos Boss Battle

    I collaborated on the final boss design. I came up with the idea that when the player pushed the button that previously equipped the spear and shield, it would instead have Kratos call out to his brother to throw the spear. This kept the player in Kratos’s point of view but still allowed direct control of the action.

  • Burnt City — Gauntlet

    Paul Edwards did the level design for this sequence and I animated the camera for the intro that shows the player that the floor is falling out. The initial level design did not provide a space for a tutorial. After playing it, I believed it was imperative to show the player what was happening. I then worked with Paul to extend the hall so we’d have space to present the tutorial. I also scripted all the cameras during that sequence. The cameras get farther away from Kratos when he is at the breakable walls so that if the player is slow, they can still see the floor is falling out prior to dying. The cameras can’t stay at that distance when taking tight corners so the camera pulls in much closer to Kratos as you pass the broken walls. It also raises up slightly prior to jumps. The sequence has the player travelling through approximately 24+ cameras.

  • Volcano — Escape Sequence

    The level design was done by Mike Deneen, but once his initial design was done it was up to me to figure out how to script the camera to follow the player, avoid clipping into any object (GOW cameras have no collision), continually lead the player, frame the player correctly (rule of thirds, etc), have it feel cinematic and still be fun/playable. In other words the cameras have to go hand in hand with the gameplay.