It started out as a flash game in 2011 called Concerned Joe. Following in the footsteps of many great flash games, we decided to recreate it as a desktop title.
In 2013 we showcased the game at GDC. That was my first time in the US, and I was barely old enough to even legally present, but we got featured in the documentary about international game developers, GameLoading.
As the sole programmer on this game for 3 years, I was responsible for building the engine (on top of LÖVE), creating efficient rendering & lighting, an animation system, a very flexible editor and modding system, and everything else.
I loved how extensible the modding system was in our engine, that I quipped we could probably create a whole 'nother game inside this game! I prototyped a little multiplayer minigame to test this out. One player started with a bomb and had to touch another player to stick it to them. It was surprisingly fun, and that ended up being the first minigame of Move or Die.
I left the project in late 2014 to start college in the US, so I wasn't responsible for the networking code or anything beyond that.
The theme was "an unconventional weapon", and we made a game where you murder medical professionals with the forbidden fruit!
The core mechanic is ricocheting apples that are lethal to the player. The challenge is hurting enemies and not yourself.
What I really like about this game is that I got to work with Ajay Karat, whose art & aesthetic has been a huge inspiration to me for many years.
Ice Boy was also made in a game jam. It's a tough platformer where you freely draw structures in ice to help you along the way.
Ice Boy is very special to me because it was the first game jam I had ever won, and I won it with an inexperienced team against seasoned professionals.
I learned the value of work ethic & scoping, and how that can easily trump raw talent and skill, which I wrote about here.
Love's Cadence is an important milestone in my work because it was my first successful attempt at making the kinds of games I always dreamt of making — narrative-driven adventure.
The theme for this game jam was "hallucinations". You play as Cadence who is haunted by visions of her late boyfriend and struggles to choose between letting go or following him.
It was incredibly heart-warming to hear from players who could relate to Cadence's experience. I talked about it in this TEDx talk (in Arabic).
Toastache was essentially made on a dare. I told my cousin I could make a game out of anything. He pointed to a piece of toast. Three days later, Toastache was released.
It was also a market test — I wanted to see if I could make a profitable game in less than a week. It was sponsored for $1000 and was played over 7 million times.
As silly as the game is, it remains one of my only creations that is widely enjoyed across age-groups and cultures.
Tiny Timmy and Big Bill won 1st place in innovation in Ludum Dare 23.
This game was intended to be played as a single player game. The challenge was controlling two characters with different abilities simultaneously.
I was delighted to see people turn it into a multiplayer experience (often with their siblings). I wrote about how I battled a spider, a fever and the power grid to finish this game.
I Spy (A Ghost) ! won 4th place in innovation in Ludum Dare 33.
Following up on my experiment with Tiny Timmy and Big Bill, I wanted to create a game that took advantage of the surrounding physical context.
It's a two player game, ghost vs human, where the ghost uses a mobile device and the human uses a computer. Neither can see the other on their screen, and peering over the shoulder is encouraged (and easier for the ghost).
ChronoCombat won 2nd place in innovation in Ludum Dare 38.
This is one of my favorite game concepts that I hope to expand on. It's a first person shooter where players experience the world in "segregated time slices". Each player plans out the next few seconds of motion while time is frozen, and it all plays out together.
You don't shoot at where you see others — you shoot at where you think they're going to be in 3 seconds. It's quite a mind game.