About the Programming Team

Now that you know a bit more about how the art team’s flow of work goes. I will attempt to shine some light on how the programming team functions. We don’t have a pipeline in the same sense as the artist because our work is based off of things that our design team feels is essential to the game. Which was originally the basic game-play mechanics for the game such as movement in the world and camera movement with the character and then continuing all the way to things such as shader scripting and our own character controller. Along with all the in between programming such as User Interface, Audio, character interaction with NPCs (AI), animation implementation and other things we do that I have forgotten to mention here. All of these can be split up into specific roles that we have on our programming team. So without further wording I’ll dive into our programming teams’ roles that we have, which may be defined differently for us.

Lead Programmer

The lead programmer of the team manages the rest of the programming team by assigning tasks to the other roles as they see fit, keeps track of current development of the game, and works with other other leads on the team to ensure that the game is coming together with art, design, and programming all in agreement so the development process goes more smoothly. The lead programmer also does programming as well, and normally has knowledge of all of their team members roles.

Graphics Programmer

Graphics programmers on our team consist of the programmers who work with shaders and lighting. The shader programming is done using in unity using CG(C for Graphics and some ShaderLab language and more than a few custom shaders have been created. Their uses include: water surfaces, waterfalls, depth masks, double sided planes for models, and an underwater distortion effect. The lighting on our team is not necessarily something needed to be done by programmers, but for our purposes it is. Lighting is just that, making our game have light so the player can see and it looks visually appealing, and it’s not as simple as turning  on a light switch as there are many options that affect lighting. These programmers have to work closely with artists since what they do visually affects the game and needs an artist’s touch.

surface water shader example

User Interface Programmer

Our UI programmers are the ones who implement any and all user interface aspects of the game. This includes our main menu, pause menu, underwater oxygen depletion, interaction prompts, and also included in this are particle effects. Since we are trying to use minimal UI elements our UI programmers for in game content have their work cut out for them and they are doing quite well at it. Along with graphics, UI programmers also have to work closely with artists especially with particle effects to ensure the best quality.

Underwater oxygen particle system in a non set dressed level

AI Programmers

For our team AI programmers, or artificial intelligence programmers, work on things such as our NPC mechanics and how the NPCs react to the player. Things they do include making the fish, bat, mole and eel move, and make all of those NPCs act differently towards the character. For instance the fish is not hostile and may even follow you while the eel hides and lunges out to attack the player underwater.

Audio Programmers

Audio programming is what  you think it is, implementing the sounds effects, and background music in the game so it works with all of the previously mentioned programmers’ tasks. And again since we are going for a minimal UI approach audio will player a large role in our player experience.

Physics Programmers

Our physics programmers are the programmers who work with the player’s character controller and in-game physics based events.The character controller is what allows the player to move the character, while the other physics tasks revolve more around underwater mechanics and also physics based rock movement. The last two thing being the most difficult to work with and hard to refine, but we’re getting there.

Generalist/ Game-play Programmer

The rest of what we do as far as programming is what I consider generalist or game-play programming which consists of refining our game-play mechanics, implementing animations, implementing puzzle mechanics, and overall bug fixing of previously made code. This role for us is more of a catch all role and includes every programmer on the team.

A look at our unfinished player animation state machine made with Unity’s Mecanim.

These are the roles each of our programming team members identify with in some way shape or form and many team members do more than one of these roles. Hopefully this told you a little about what we do, but if you want me to sum it all up: we make the pretty things the artists make move and/or work.

-William, from Strix Game Studio

Meet the Team

Strix Game Studio Members
From left to right: William, Mitch, Logan, Megan, Emily, Zach, Tyler, Phoenix, Hue, Gabe, Alex, Daniel.

Now that you know a bit about what Everend is, it’s time you meet the people of Strix Game Studios. This team consists of 12 senior Game Design students from the University of Wisconsin Stout, with an even split between 3D artists and programmers. There may be other people contributing to other aspects of Everend, such as sound/music, but they will be credited and mentioned as they appear. So without further ado, here are the members of Strix Game Studios (in alphabetical order by last name).

William Brereton is programming lead and will be working on enemy mechanics, any physics related tasks, and managing the programming team.
Mitch Clayton is the design lead, on the art team and design, and will be working on gameplay design, environment art and managing the design team.
Daniel Craig
is a programmer that will be working on lighting, and any physics related tasks.
Megan Daniels is an artist and on the design team. She will be working on narrative and PR for the game.
Gabe Deyo is a programmer and will be working on the camera controls of the game and also be in charge of quality assurance.
Emily Dillhunt is the art lead of the team will be working with textures, sculpting and shaders as needed for the game and she will also be managing the art team.
Phoenix Hendricks is a programmer and on the design team. He will be working on sound to put in the game and putting sound in the game.
Alex Knutson is an artist and on the design team. He will be working on level design and animation.
Logan Larson is a programmer and on the design team. He will be working with shaders, the main character mechanics, and gameplay design.
Zack Pasterski is an artist and on the design team. He will be working on level design and environment art.
Hue Vang is an artist and on the design team. He will be working on animation, sculpting, and narrative.
Tyler Walvort is a programmer and on the design team. He will be working with any environment physics and the main character mechanics.

Who We Are as a Team

Each of the team member descriptions cannot hope to include everything that each team member will contribute to Everend, but at least now you have some idea of what each member has strengths in or has interest in. As a team we have attempted to let each member do something they are interested in or have more experience with. With that we are attempting to keep our team more content and also able to get experience with what they would prefer to work with. Together all 12 members of this team make a good combination of skillsets and by collaborating well, we can accomplish a lot. All 12 of us make up Strix Game Studios, and together we can make Everend to be the game that we want it to be through our hard work and dedication.

-William, from Strix Game Studio