HELLO WORLD!

Unity C# Gameplay Programmer

Ever since I was young and got my hands on the family Windows 95 PC I have loved tinkering around with both hardware and software. Alongside my hobby of playing games this sparked my interest in games programming and wanting to know exactly how games work and more importantly how to create them! It started with small games made in GameMaker until eventually transitioning to Unity 3D and coding in C#. 

 

Since then I have achieved a BA (Hons) in Game Development Programming (2:1) at Falmouth University. Crucially, this gave me 3 years experience in working as part of multidisciplinary teams, in which we AGILE methodologies and industry standard software was used. This allowed me to work on 3 significant projects across 3 different genres and helped me realise that my passion is gameplay programming. This is because I realised I love crafting mechanics in collaboration with designers and helping them become a reality!

 

Following on from my undergraduate degree, I decided that I would like to know how the games industry works from a business perspective. In order to do this I pursued an MA in Entrepreneurship (2:1) at Falmouth University and also joined a business incubator called Falmouth Launchpad. Doing this I became a Co-founder of a games studio and created an asynchronous co-op adventure demo called Elephant Tales. I was part of this project for 8 months as the lead programmer and producer. These roles involved pitching the game to publishers, managing production schedule and most importantly improving time management skills by successfully sticking to strict publisher deadlines.

 

Outside of work my hobbies are attempting to get into shape by going to the gym; tinkering with PC’s (especially testing out different Linux distros!), playing video games and exploring mines around Cornwall!

PREVIOUS PROJECTS

 

FLUX RUN

December, 2019

Flux Run is a third person parkour racing game with gameplay similar to Mirror's Edge. Due to my experience in creating fluid movement systems I was a natural fit for this project and was hired for a month to create and polish movement systems. 


I really enjoyed working on this project as I got the chance to create mechanics such as a pole swing and a diving roll for the first time! This was also a fantastic learning experience as it was my first time working as a freelancer, meaning keeping the client happy was the priority. 


This work was for a publisher prototype as the project is still in early development. At the moment I’m not able to show more of this game, but if you want to find out more then feel free to get in touch with me!

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ELEPHANT TALES

February 2019 - July 2020

Elephant Tales is an asynchronous co-op adventure following the story of two Asian elephants as they try to get to safety. The gameplay is similar to the LEGO games with an increased emphasis on puzzling and some educational fun facts when picking up collectables. 


This development time on this project was 10 months long with the rest of my time dedicated to being a Co-Founder at the company. This was a fantastic learning experience for a variety of reasons as I was taking on a variety of development roles. One of these roles was acting as a producer for the team, meaning I had to create and maintain the production schedule, as well as liaise with IP holders and publishers. Additionally I had the responsibility of being the sole programmer meaning that sticking to a schedule was particularly important in keeping the project on track.

 

The development of Elephant Tales was particularly challenging as I had to incorporate cooperative gameplay into every facet of the experience. This meant I had to approach this project in a different way to my previous projects. It was also a fantastic way to learn how to optimize a game, in order to minimize the performance decrease that split-screen cameras cause.

 

Sadly this project did not see the light of day due to the licensing deal falling through. However, I am very proud of what we achieved as we created a high quality 10 minute demo, all whilst adhering to strict publisher deadlines. 

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DOE OR DIE

September 2017 - June 2018

Doe or Die was a project created as part of an 11 person team and my first experience in working with other programmers. This was a fantastic learning experience as it was the first time I had a specialised role within a project (Gameplay programming) whereas the other two programmers handled the UI and AI. 

 

Doe or Die is a spy fps inspired by the James Bond films and classic fps games such as Doom. It contains unique movement mechanics such as a Grapple hook, Teleport and a heavy emphasis on free running, meaning the player has a wide array of movement to traverse the level and the challenges it presents.

 

I was awarded a 1st for my individual contribution on this project

 

Over the course of the project I was responsible for the following:

  • Movement (basic movement, slide, ledge climb, wallrun and wall climb)

  • Grapple hook

  • Teleport mechanic

  • Speedrunning leaderboards

  • Shooting

  • Boss AI

  • Working with designers to fulfill their vision

 

I really loved working on this project as it let me experiment with different types of movement mechanics and truly discover my passion for gameplay programming. One particular highlight is the way that you can chain abilities together by wallrunning, grappling and then teleporting to your destination. 


 

©2020 by James Murphy.