The most fascinating aspect of making games is the multitude of areas that get poured into a single piece of harmonizing work. Roughly speaking, the media “computer game” encompasses music, narrative, visuals, and computer science and turns all this into an interactive experience for the players. My favourite part in this? Right in the middle linking the diverse resorts as producer.
When I am asked about my occupation I often say “I am the maker of coffee”. Although this is meant to put a smile on the interviewer’s face, there is a lot of truth in it: The main task of a producer is the encouragement and mediation of communication within the team – and having a cup of coffee together helps a lot.
From 2011 until its release in 2014 I was producer for Zeppelin Studio’s Schein. Apart from juggling charts and schedules in MS Project and Excel this meant mediating a diverse team of five to ten people, managing relations with external companies, encouraging regular exchange, leading daily communication in personal meetings or through Skype or Google Hangouts and keeping the spirits high.
The main focus in the design process of Schein in 2011 was to weave the game around a simple mechanic. Starting from there we left out features that only served as fillers instead of actively increasing the game’s fun. The result: No sophisticated physics, no enemies blocking the way, just the player, the swamp and the magic light. Since then the game design document was kept up to date throughout upgrades, changes, and players’ feedback and served as a great companion up to release.
Coming from a study program with strong technical emphasis programming was my focus for many years. I started off with Java development, learned C++ and OpenGL by making games for both PC and mobile, and finally topped it off with the collaboration on the in-house engine for Schein built in C++ and DirectX.
Starting with paper prototyping, followed by prototypes built out of LEGO® (as further described here), further transferring everything into the level editor and finally polishing it with testers’ feedback – this was my job as sole level designer for Schein. The puzzles and challenges I created are the highly praised core of the game: “It’s thoughtful, well written and acted and provides new challenge regularly.” – Rock Paper Shotgun
Tools and scripting
Tools tend to make our life a lot easier. Thus I created multiple scripts and tools that simplified asset pipeline processes for the development of Schein. These ranged from MEL scripts for Autodesk Maya, such as the level editor or model exporter, to tools for the game engine itself built in C++ or even Windows batch scripts.
Rigging and animating
After the 3D artist finished the models for Schein it was my job to build appropriate rigs and finally to breathe life into them by creating their animations. This ranged from the main protagonist, the young father, to monstrous swamp insects, malicious tentacle beasts and shape-shifting snakes.
|2013 – present||CEO Zeppelin Studio OG, Vienna||Management, Production|
|2011 – 2013||Schein Project, Vienna||Project Management, Level Design|
|2007 – 2009||Bartosek Projektbetreuung GmbH, Vienna||Head of IT department|
|2010 – 2014||University of Applied Sciences Technikum Wien||MA Game Engineering and Simulation|
|2012||Korea University, Seoul, Republic of Korea||Exchange semester|
|2006 – 2010||Technical University of Vienna||BA Media Informatics|
|2002 – 2006||Sir-Karl-Popper-Schule Vienna||Matura|
|Programming||C++, DirectX, HLSL, Java, C#, OpenMP, OpenGL 2.1, Matlab, MEL|
|Development||Visual Studio, TFS, Unity, Eclipse|
|Applications||Adobe Photoshop, Autodesk Maya, Microsoft Office|
|Slovak||Second native language|
|English||Full professional proficiency|
|French||Limited working proficiency|
|2014||Nominee, German Developer Award – Innovation Award / Schein|
|2014||Winner, Content Award 2014 – Category: Games / Schein|
|2014||Nominee, futurezone Award 2014 – Category: Games / Schein|
|2014||Nominee, Game Connection Europe 2014 – Development Awards / Schein|
|2013||Winner, Microsoft Imagine Cup 2013 – Game Competition / Schein|
|2013||Winner, German Developer Award – Newcomer Award / Schein|
|2013||Finalist, Subotron Livepitch / Schein|
|2012||Finalist, Subotron Pioneers-Festival Livepitch / Schein|
|2012||Award of Excellence 2012 – FH Technikum Wien: special honor for Schein|
Educational strategy game for mobile platforms at Zeppelin Studio (in development)
Producer, game designer and developer. A fun, educational game for children from 10 to 18 years, built in Unity.
|2011 – 2014||
Schein, a 2D puzzle platformer for Windows, published on Steam by Zeppelin Studio
Producer, game designer, level designer, programmer, animator, distribution manager. The award winning game was built on an in-house engine based on C++ and DirectX. More: scheingame.com
|2011 – 2014||
3D/2D in-house engine for Zeppelin Studio
Based on C++ and DirectX 9 for Microsoft Windows. Utilizes FMOD as sound system. Includes a level editor for Autodesk Maya scripted in MEL.
|2010 – 2012||
Game development projects at Technikum Wien
Including game prototyping in Unity and CryEngine, mobile applications in J2ME, Flash game development and game and level design in Media Molecule’s LittleBigPlanet level editor for the project “LittleBigPile”.
|2010 – 2012||
3D DirectX effects demo at Technikum Wien
Demo including lighting, shadow volumes, transparency, normal mapping and displacement mapping using C++, DirectX 9 and HLSL.
|2010 – 2011||
Application of AI algorithms at Technikum Wien
Implementation of minimax, A* pathfinding, evolution strategies, genetic algorithms and neural networks.
|2009 – 2010||
Bachelor project “Multitouch Whiteboard” at the Institute for Design & Assessment of Technology, Vienna University of Technology
Head of project team to conceptualize and implement a virtual multi-touch whiteboard for online conferences via Adobe Acrobat Connect developed in Action Script 3.0.
|2009 – 2010||
Visualization of medical data and flow visualization at Vienna University of Technology
OpenGL based software for visualization of CT data and wind channel data.
More: Medical data (Winner of Vis-Contest 2009/2010)
More: Flow data
|2008 – 2010||
Game development projects at Vienna University of Technology
3D platformer in C++ and OpenGL 2.1 for Windows PC. More information here
2D platformer in Java and OpenGL ES for Android mobile devices. More information here
|2005 – 2006||
Mentoring of freshmen students at Sir-Karl-Popper-Schule
Educational and social support, weekly meetings with self-conducted social relations interaction games throughout the freshmen’s first year at the Sir-Karl-Popper-Schule.
|2003 – 2010||
Independent film studio project “Cow Studios”, Co-director, editor and scriptwriter
Works include four short movies and a 90 minute action movie.
|2002 – 2006||
Website administration at Sir-Karl-Popper-Schule
Head of the conceptual design team (2004 – 2006) and overall technical responsibility, maintenance and development of the website www.popperschule.at.
|2002 – 2005||
International Comenius Socrates Projects “LeGel”
Design director and content manager of interdisciplinary student-run website, interlinking scientific, philosophical and artistic educative media on “Perception – The window to aesthetics” (2004-2005) and “Water” (2002-2003) in collaboration with schools in Bratislava, Budapest, and Würzburg.