Tristan Cunningham
Level designer - game designer
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about

Tristan Cunningham

Level & Game designer

St. Austell, UK
Plymouth University
26th February 1994
(+44) 07455 927735


I am Tristan Cunningham, an amateur game and level designer that loves playing and making games. I've had the interest in Level design since 2005 when I got a copy of Far Cry 1 (Crytek) and discovered it had a level editor, which kept me happy for a while. In 2008 I my level design drive picked up after receiving a copy of Half Life 2 (Valve software) and starting use their level editor "Hammer", which I used for around 4 years after.

Currently I can create a level concept, collect reference materials, white box the level, set up the game play, create 3D objects, lighting, scripting, do play testing, optimize and detail a level until final build.

Game design side is more recent, designing levels meant i needed a game to create it for. This is why i got into a games development course, to learn all the tools to be abel to create my own games to go with original levels. This endevor has also lead to an increase in programming skills and lots of other skills and areas within games development.

Previous work:

  • Summer 2013 - Freelance: business management web system. view more

Education:

  • 2012 - Present - BSC (HONS) Computing and Games Development, Plymouth University
  • 2010 - 2012 - (Btec) IT Practitioners, Level 3 extended Diploma, Bodmin College

Engine knowledge:

Projects

> Games

Android device to desktop intergration game

University second year project - 4 months (January - April 2014) - Unity
Description:

This was originally an extension of the TDHAS probject. We had to implement an another device into a game for University project, such as Oculus Rift or Hydra, I decided to implement a tablet as lots of games had been doing it around the same time.

My idea was to allow an external user to play the game with the main player, having controls and tools of their own. As the game turned into a spy type game, there where objects like safes, locks, briefcases and keypads on objectives. These objects have mini games attached for the tablet user, such as the safe will bring up a lock picking mini game. The tablet user also has objective location information and a item and upgrade store for the main user.

I tried a few ways to implement this such as Blue Tooth, but unity does not support these natively and coding my own version in would take too much time. I settled on accomplishing this via networking as most PCs don't support Blue Tooth, each user connects to a central server. To pair a tablet to a player, the tablet player has a code displayed and the desktop user has to enter that code where the server then pairs them.

Continued:

To implement mini games into the game, They use the tablets hardware such as the accelerometer in the lock picking mini game. Please watch the linked videos at the same time to see how the system works. You can also download the demo build or the extended demo build to play yourself, but I cannot guarantee it will work as it runs on Unity's master server, where lots of people have problems.

Team:
Charlotte Grant

Textures

Jon B Davidson

Audio

Tools and skills:

Helicopter game

University Second year side project - 2 weeks (September 2013) - Unity
Description:

This started off as a small project from University to teach us to use a tweaning tool for animations, where we had to move the Helicopters rotor. I had been playing games like Take On Helicopters and Arma 2, so I went overboard with this project.

I started to build it as a simulator, in the style of Arma, trying to build realistic helicopter movement with Pitch, Yaw, Roll, Collective and Cyclic. I also had to simulate Drag on the helicopter else it would have increased speed constantly. Using the Air density of 1.2041 kg/m^3 (about Dry air density) and the wingspan of about 4 meters (Not realistic but gave better feedback) and the Drag coefficient of 0.04 (that of a Streamlined body) the Drag equation came out as:

drag = 0.5f * 1.2041f * (helicopterSpeed * helicopterSpeed) * 0.004f * (4.0f * 4.0f);

After simulating the helicopter movement, I decided to try and make a game out of it. I started to add weapon systems of that of an Apache Helicopter with Hellfire missiles, Hydra rockets and a cannon. I also built a GUI for weapons including a lock on targeting system, for Hellfire guided missiles. Targeting is made up of two scripts, First is a camera based target GUI script that finds a available target and cantered a box and details above them when Tab is pressed based on range and visibility. If Hellfires are selected, On fire the GUI script sends the target details to a Hellfire script on the missile game object and the missile then turns and follows that target in till collision.

Continued:

Lastly I made a AI movement script, Based on Arma again it uses Node based directions. Each node game object has a set of options "land" or "move"; Land creates the landing point for the helicopter and will work out a path from the node before, Move is simply a route. Other options include Set Speed and delay; this simply set the speed of the AI object or delays the object for a time. This is seen in the demo via the incoming helicopter.

Tools and skills:

Cry engine 3 project

Team project - On hold - Cry Engine 3
Description:

A continuation from my First Unity project. We wanted to create a story focused game along the lines of Dear Esther or Gone Home, To create a great atmosphere through sound and visuals.

The game play would have no combat and would primarily consist of exploration and puzzle type sections. The level design is to be a semi linear style, having multiple paths to reach the same destination.

As with the previous project, We using the national parks of Washington State, US as the setting and incorporation horror elements. But we started to include towns and village areas into the area as well.

Current state:

Unfortunately this project is on hold for the current time, we both still want to do this project and will start again one i have finished university and Chris has enough free time his self.

Team:
Christopher Berger

Story - Animation

Tools and skills:

Project: Top down hide and seek

University second year project - 4 months (September - December 2013) - Unity
Description:

The last project of the year, we had to create a game that featured two things, split screen and controller enabled. I decided to make a top down game similar to the first project I did for Uni, but to go for a "Hide and Seek" kind of game play.

Both players would get "traps", these would be suited to each player. Hider traps are to help know where the seeker is, featuring ones like a trip mine that once tripped showed the location to the hider. The seekers traps where suited to stunning and finding the hider, features ones like CCTV scanner. In the map there are a few CCTV cameras about, if the hider was to go into view of one of them, the seeker would be alerted. But these traps are a store bought system, each player starts with a set amount of gold that they use for traps, if a trap is hit they also gain gold back.

For the seeker to win, the seeker has to deploy a scanner when they think they are close to the hider. If the hider is hit by this scanner they become visible to the seeker, once visible all the seeker has to do is collide with the hider. Each player is then presented with a match breakdown and then scores are submitted to a online scoreboard that can be viewed from the main menu.

Continued:

I decided to go with a Clean, techy and cartoon based on Mirrors edge Crossed with borderlands this gave me a nice look in short times by taking realistic textures and Photo Shopping them to this style. The game has a fully working menu with a complete help section, The menu uses arrow keys and enter for controls.

There is a prototype available to download that has everything mentioned linked above. Worked with windows only and has controller support for Xbox 360 controller scheme.

Tools and skills:

First Unity 3D Project

University first year project - 4 months (January - April 2013) - Unity
Description:

My second game project for University, We moved on to a 3D engine, Unity. We had to create a game in Unity to demo to everyone at the end of the year. As a fan of story focused and exploration games, I decided to create a game with a mix of those.

I decided to go for a setting in the expansive national parks in Washington State, USA. Using large scale maps with a semi linear path, keeping no combat and using puzzle type game play. I also decided to include a horror element into the game, as this area has that following with Twin Peaks.

This horror element is not the typical jump scares or monsters. I wanted to work on the players paranoia using the environment, sound and atmosphere to make the player feel uneasy.

Team:
Christopher Berger

Story - Testing

Tools and skills:

Virus game

University first year project - 4 months (September - December 2012) - Stencyl works
Description:

My very first game project for University and my first 2d game. We had to create a game in Stencyl works within a giving theme being "virus" (note my creative title), with the goal of launching it on Kongregate including their API for high scores. I managed to reach this stage and the game is playable on Kongregate!

I decided to go for a zombie theme, this made the AI easier due to one mode (Go to player and attack). But this gave me time to include multiple zombie types: Fast with lower damage, Fat ones that explode on death causing damage if close and normal ones with normal attack damage. To increase the difficulty I included a a limit view range in the style of a torch, On the map there are few pick-ups for different weapon types but respawn.

Continued:

I have also included a store system, using score gained from killing the zombies. The store allows you to increase the view distance for a time or buy another life. The game also has difficulty settings, hard, medium and easy on game start as well to give players a choice. Each difficulty has a separate score board too!

Tools and skills:

Projects

> other

LGBTgamers.com

Solo project - In production (July 2014 - present) - Web / PHP
Description:

A LGBT focused social site for gamers.

Team:
Christopher Berger

Logos / Graphics

Tools and skills:

Ardunio Ambient light replacement system

Solo project - On hold - Arduino
Description:

After I bought the necessary parts to use the Adalight system, A system that takes samples from your graphics output and displays ambient light via LEDS behind the monitor. I started to get annoyed with it, It has low FPS in games and high CPU usage, sometimes reaching a full core. That's when I decided to make my own program in .NET instead of Java to lower the CPU usage dramatically and provide a nice GUI for easy use, where as Adalight is all code based.

I started off with something simpler, Converting sound levels to light. This came on quite well and features many different settings such as, black to colour fade and colour to colour fade. While providing a steady 60FPS. I have started to add in the first parts to allow for the same ambient light system as Adalight, using DirectX to allow for dramatically less CPU usage (Hopefully).

Current state:

I have stopped working on this for the current time, to focus on other projects. But the program works fine with only Sound to Light options as well I have uploaded the source to github to allow other users to contribute to it before I can work on it myself again.

Tools and skills:

Web Based Business Management System

Solo project - 2 months (July - August 2013) - Web / PHP
Description:

A web based admin system for a small business. This oversees: Job creation, Job flow, Invoice PDF creation, Customer Invoicing, Inventory and Staff overview. Providing user levels such as Management, Accounting and Engineers allows for selective controls and actions for users. Such as accounting users are the only ones allowed to mark an invoice as paid, Management accounts are the only ones able to delete Jobs and see the creation and editing of users.

Automotive wanted a web based system as to allow use from anywhere away from the building as well. To accommodate this, the site is also tablet and phone friendly. As the site contains sensitive information i have included the best security possible from the PHP side, encryption, HTTPS and the management system being on a unrelated domain to the main site.

Role:

This was a solo project where I had 2 months to build a working site for this business. I kept in constant contact with the owner and kept live previews up to allow them to ask for changes or improvements, As well as putting contact information for staff if an error was encountered.

Once complete I still provide maintenance and build additions, such as an inventory management module, on request.

Tools and skills:

skills

  • Engines

  • Software

  • Other

Cry Engine 3

Unreal Engine 3

Unity

Stencyl

Source Engine

Unreal engine 4

Aptana Studio

Mono Developer

After Effects

Fireworks

Visual Studio 2013

Photoshop CS5

3ds Max

Java

c++ (Basic)

PHP

MySql

Jquery

LUA

C#

CSS3

HTML5

Web design

Javascript

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