Hey! I'm Ben.
I'm a 20-year-old Computer Science major located in Virginia. I've been exploring game dev as a hobby over the last ~5 years, with a rough focus on level design, game design, and 3D/2D art.
Welcome to my website! Here, I talk about some projects I've worked on over the years as well as some info about who I am + my ambitions.
You can contact me at email@example.com and with the social media links up above.
Level Designer + Environment/Character Artist
I worked on Blanco for roughly three years, using Blender and paint.net for most of everything. The game was to be released on Steam and Xbox One, but I eventually chose to switch projects when progress outside of my contributions was sluggish.
Goal 1: Pinpoint a new, readable, efficient-to-work-with art-style
Before I was brought on, Blanco sported a voxel artstyle (the original mission statement for the game was "NES game in 3D"). However, I immediately realized that creating large worlds in a voxel aesthetic was extremely time-consuming.
So, after some brief iteration, I developed a new artstyle that was eye-catching, easy to read, fast to work with, and still complementary to the core game. This was also a great learning opportunity, as I had never broken outside of pixel art prior to Blanco.
Goal 2: Design moveset-centric, fun-to-explore, large-scale 3D worlds
My original attempt to make a world for Blanco ended up being barren of challenges and aimless to explore because I hadn't done any prelimenary design steps. It was scrapped. So, for the tutorial stage, I began with a topography sketch a nd a list of moves to teach, iterating from there. It was concise and taught players the basic moveset.
For my first world, a spooky theme park, I wanted to ensure that it wasn't empty and numbing to explore (common concerns for 3D platformer worlds). So, I decided upon a few landmarks to design the world around, which acted as locations of interest, housed challenges, and were points of spacial reference.
Designer + Artist + Programmer
The 48hr 2019 GMTK Game Jam was my first game jam. Its theme was "only one," and my game that came from it was Ricoshot - a top-down mobile game-esc puzzle game. Like a stripped-down version of golf with some goemetric planning, players fling around a character to bounce of walls, accelerate through zippers, avoid sand, and reach the end - but all in just one move.
I hope to build upon it into a full-fledged game one day, as the core gameplay loop is pretty endearing, and there are tons of possibilities for various traps, obstacles and puzzle elements to add.
Designer + Artist + Programmer
This was a mockup for an NES-authentic action-adventure game that I made in 2019. This included a test level with functioning enemies, traps, collectibles, and player character.
Goal 1: Design an aesthetically pleasing art-style that fulfills the limitations of NES graphics
The level utilizes 4 background palettes, with 4 colors each in each:
- for stone architecture, which had strictly collision-less tiles, so it uses darker colors (to be easier for the eyes to ignore). One was for Was was for green details - these hues particularly complemented , and a warm one for platforms, doors, and windows. I designated the architecture tileset for collision-less
Certain ones, such as Back to Saturn X, are arguably so good that they deserve to be an entirely separate retail game. Something about these world-spaces and their usage of Doom's tight, visceral gameplay ends up being so immersive to me, even moreso than some triple AAA games.
This, along with its extreme easy workflow of map development resulted in me messing around in DOOM Builder 2 and making a few maps, myself. The second of which I ever made, I kept iterating and iterating upon until I have MAP01 of a WIP fan episode of mine titled DOOM: Siege on Hell.
Its two playable maps are a few years old, but I return to them now and then to see how they're doing, making small improvements here and there as I improve my skills as a level designer. It's interesting seeing how far they've come. Here's a download of its current version, consisting of two maps, in case you're interested! All you need is a copy of the DOOM2 .WAD and a source port that supports zDoom features.