A game for marketing NetSafe which is a business continuity software package for hospitals from Interbit Data. When a hospital network goes down either for IT issues, a planned or unplanned downtime, cyberattack or any other reason, NetSafe can keep the hospital staff running for a time using their PCs, tablets, etc. like they normally would. I created a game to show how chaotic it can be without a product like NetSafe. I wanted it to be…
Simple to learn
Playable for non-gamers
Include hospital lingo that would make nurses laugh
Make the point about NetSafe
We tested the game at a large trade show with roughly 25% of the attendees playing. NetSafe Challenge was a big success and it was great to hear nurses and hospital staff laugh at some of the lines we added to the game.
NetRelay is a secure messaging platform for HIPAA compliant communication between healthcare professionals. The sleek and clean UI uses recognizable icons for functionality and unlike competitors allows HTML for colorful tiles and custom graphics. I created a set of the tiles to expand the communication functionality.
Star Rangers is a fast-paced space fighter game based on the original Atari game Star Raiders. Back when I launched my Atari computer magazine, ANALOG Computing, we were huge fans of Star Raiders. In fact, so were a lot of other people and that game single handily sold more Atari computers than anything else. So, when mobile devices finally had larger screens and fast processors, I brought some of the ol’ team back together to create Star Rangers. I handled the game design, marketing and testing. Tom Hudson, who was the creator of 3D Studio, heading up programming and Jon Bell rendered the graphics. Jon previously did work for James Cameron on the Abyss, Discovery and History Channels. They have been long time friends and both work for Autodesk now. Star Rangers won huge accolades from players and great reviews.
These images are from the tablet version, the smartphone version looked just as good, but the controls were crammed into the smaller space. The forward view above has the displays for fuel, number of enemy ships, timer, throttle, scanners, etc. They had to be far enough apart to prevent accidentally hitting the wrong control. Notice we arced the throttle on the left since that’s how your thumb would move when holding the tablet. We used large buttons for the functions on the top and bottom rows. At the time the game had far more sound FX than the average game…over 120 of them! Each class of every ship had its own explosion sound and there were 3 versions of each of those, so you didn’t hear the same sounds over and over. I made the heavier ships explode with more bass and the crystalline ships sounded similar to shattering glass. While flying the ship there were background sounds like on the bridge of the Enterprise in Star Trek.
I worked with composer S. Christian Collins to score some cuts for the game. I had him listen to some Japanese turn-based games I liked for the Main Theme and Victory tracks. For “Game Over: I wanted a dirge. The “CGI Cut” was the first take on a theme but it sounded to 80s-ish, so we used it for the video demo and CGI cuts. (Click on any of the links below to hear the soundtrack.)
Star Rangers “Main Theme”
Star Rangers “Victory!“
Star Rangers “Game Over Man!“
Star Rangers “CGI / Disco Cut”
Wire frame model Jon Bell worked on. I asked him to try an animate the ships under translucent skins and this was his first take. I liked the idea of mechanisms moving around inside the ship, like engine drives.
The following link is for the CGI-opening cut video. Everything looked pretty good except there were to many asteroids and the lighting needed some work. This and the wire frame model were rendered by Jon Bell with 3D Studio Max, which Tom Hudson, the lead programmer for the game, created.
Click image below to play “Star Rangers CGI / Opening Cut” (no audio)
Enflight was a heavily used but aging preflight online application for pilots. They needed a mobile version, so a friend brought me in to help with the UI/UX. My work in video game design was applied to this project which is exactly what it needs. In addition, my background as a pilot came in handy during the overall design and in-air testing.
The sidebar ribbon on the right could be hidden from view when the user desired a full screen map. The ribbon contained guides to every airport, flight logs, servicing logs, flight plan info, additional charts, weather data and whatever documents the user wants to add. I rendered the icons in a 3D style. I choose a “sky blue” palette for many of the backgrounds in the app.
A step-by-step DIY candy counter guide for your home theater that appeared in Home Theater Builder magazine. We pushed this as a project that someone could build in two days and on a budget. I enlisted my neighbor whose hobby is woodworking and he did an aging job, as you can see. I wanted a mini version of a movie theater candy counter so that meant including a small window on top of the counter to look down unto the cabinet. The article included every step of the process – we never had readers contact us because they were confused.
A monthly magazine for designing and building a home theater. I founded and published HTB, my 9th consumer electronics magazine. I wanted the magazine to save as useful source in every facet of home theater design and contraction to I had it printed in an oversized format, 9′ w x 11″ and on premium matt paper.
I always disliked the incongruous look in magazines where they grabbed images from wherever, frequently for free. So I hired an illustrator to render every image we used in the how to projects, that way the magazine had its own style and flowed better. So you can see from the illustration below they have the same style. As I did with my previous magazines, we were bringing hi-tech to everyone, so we had to apply UI to the magazines. Looking at the images below it’s not difficult to figure out what’s going on.
Many of the articles were written by well-known home professional home theater designers and installers, people who created home theater for celebrities, professional athletes, heads of state. It was a fun magazine to product though a tremendous amount work. We attracted all the big players for advertising in HTB.