One great aspect of working in academia is having the freedom to create new things and try new approaches for learning and for building technologies. Below are a collection of technologies that I have created and continue to work on.
The Animated Poseur
(with Lisa Xu)
The jClass Designer
(with Saeid Abu)
(with Brian Yang)
Spin the Wheel of Life
(with lots of people)
Some of the projects above have up and coming releases. In addition, look out for projects in the pipeline like Algorithms for Games, Audifly.
One great advantage to enrolling in a Computer Science program at an AAU school is the research opportunities available to undergradate students. We teach the principles, the foundations of Computer Science, but we also encourage students to expand the boundaries of technology. To build and then use applications in new and interesting ways. Over the years I have had the great fortune of being part of a number of research projects, either as the faculty advisor, or as a participant, that have been sometimes interesting, unusual, and disastrous. The subjects have ranged from new Web technologies to serious gaming. Research in games as learning tools interests me in particular.
One nice thing about teaching undergraduates is that they grow up with different biases than me. Many times they see the world and the technology in it in a completely different way, and so I am always infused with their new ideas and perspectives. When students come to me and ask me what research entails, I tell them it just means make something different and great. My approach to undergraduate research is that I encourage students to think in terms of three principles:
- Become an expert in something. Think of the research project as an opportunity to learn a technology that you always wanted to know how to use. Carefully choose your platform and libraries such that those skills will translate well to future opportunities.
- Make something for your portfolio. These days a resume isn't enough to get in the door as a software engineer. Employers want to see a body of polished work. They want to see that you have interesting ideas and that you have the skill and determination to complete a worthwhile project.
- Be selfish Not a good principle in life, but it can be in project selection. Make something you personally need or something you're interested in, even if no reputable company would fund such a project. This is particularly true for game dev projects. Companies have money at stake and so tend to make safe choices. Students have the opportunity to try things that investors would scoff at. Some of the best ideas start out as something to scoff at, something seen as strange, or impossible, or eeks, original.
The following is a chronological list of student projects I have either supervised or contributed to. Click on the project images for details.
In cooperation with Biomedical Engineering, the goal of this project is to create a fun Kinect game that will help rehabilitating or obese patients improve their balance and compliance to treatment.
The Dragon MMO Maker was created as a suite of tools to allow a user without any programming knowledge to create a 2D Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) game. These tools include a Map Editor, NPC Editor, Item Editor, and more.
A cross-platform shader editor! One will be able to provide arbitrary data to shaders, fine-tune them through UI controls then save the whole thing to XML (or as individual shaders). The goal is ease of use, even for amateur graphics programmers.
This Unity multiplayer game lets four players compete in a free for all battle where on may choose from eight different characters with different abilities in eight different arenas.
This Web game mixed comic book storytelling with levels where gameplay advanced the narrative.
A WordPress site optimizer.
A Web application for reviewing independent games and for finding others to review your game.
This Unity game lets the user learn about chemical bonds through gameplay.
In this Unity game the players darts, slides, and rolls through fields of deadly plants to complete levels.
This 2D platformer game used rope mechanics to control the main character, a rope, as one journeys through each level.
A high-speed, futuristic car game, in which you play as a bounty hunter, tracking down criminals driving on the city's gravity-defying highways in the sky.
devly.sh is a platform for meeting new developers with similar interests and building great projects together. Whether you need help on your project, want to find a project to contribute to, or just want to see what is out there, devly.sh is for you!
A Web application for helping book publishers determine of a book proposal is likely to be a hit or not.
A physics engine and game sandbox to be used to make 2D games.
Unity3D game of survival that combines a line-balancing tower defense type game with the action genre.
A turn-based fantasy survival game built using libGDX with ports for Android and the Web.
A space shoot-em-up game that combines classic gaming genres into a new gameplay construct.
Corey Conundrum is a game about playing drums. Shoot drumsticks to play drums as you move through them to make them sound and earn points or play against a computer in battle mode where you both shoot Coreys out onto the Drum Field and try to get them to fall into the goals.
Particle Boy is a side scrolling 2D shooter. Use your particle powers to defeat the evil monsters. You will begin your adventure with only a weak fireball, but you can acquire new powers or upgrade existing ones. BEWARE the flaming wolves!.
For Domain of Madness, break out your iPad and take the role of different characters, each with unique abilities to overcome your friends and achieve victory. Purchase new abilities and customize your character to suit your play style.
In Marines Of Sol, you command units who must battle deadly giant bugs. With each turn units may move or attack with an equipped weapon. Game levels become progressively more difficult, with more waves to fight and less time to think about your actions.
Fortify your base, slay your enemies in head to head combat, and customize your character in this arcade RPG.
The Blurb Feeder pulls in daily news stories from disparate sources, categorizing and listing them to help the user browse and find the stories they are interested in.
Built using the Unity3D platform, this game prototype aims to help children become more aware of the challenges of Fire Rescue.
In Catchphrase, you play as an actor on a sitcom who is missing his lines. You act out various scenes with your fellow actors until it comes time to choose the right line (your Catchphrase)!
Hello World! is an app for location based real time communication with the public. Using your mobile device you post a message/announcement on the map, you can only post near you, and you can only have 1 post active at a time. It's also a platform for other service providers to stream their data to your device live, such as a Taxi or Bus.
TiMO is a 3D turn-based MMORPG for iPhone, iPad, Android, and PC where players capture and control pet monsters. TiMO is an open world where you decide how you want to play, be it on the battlefield, breeding crazy hybrids, or even becoming the world's top chef. The game was developed by legendary Stony Brook polymath Shah Pavel Jamal.
Positive Pete is a 2D puzzle game built for the iPhone/iPad. Utilizing the laws of physics, players are able to help Positive Pete, a charismatic positive charge, in his quest to power down the Evil Corporation.
This project extended the 2011 SBU Game Programming Competition winning game, adding introductory levels and tutorials, level editing tools, heaps of new levels and additional new content.
This side-scrolling game project combined an action based slasher with mood and atmosphere.
This StarCraft 2 Mod is a team oriented 6v6 death match set in a randomly generated maze that changes every time you play. Download it on Battle.Net through StarCraft 2. Search "Project Rust" under SC2's library of custom games.
This project was about teaching children to solve math problems through the process of playing an action game.
This project was a Half Life 2 mod that sought to provide another level of immersion for a user using the Playstation 3 SixAxis controller. The mod measured the movement of the controller in 3D space and the immediacy and frequency of a user's button presses and fed these inputs into an AI algorithm that interpreted the input and caused the enemy characters to react differently to different player stress levels.
These projects were done in cooperation with Biodex at Stony Brook's CEWIT research facility. Catch and Run were serious games developed for their rehabilitation equipment so as to provide a fun, interactive way to rehab leg injuries specifically for the purpose of improving balance and consistent stride.
Casual game that demonstrated the negative effects of alcohol abuse to the player.
Turns your iPhone into a customizable rhythmic instrument, where shaking it can allow the user to play different beat combinations.
This is the particle collection game prototype that was later expanded into a game where one had to draw shapes that would help channel flying particles to their proper sinks.
Geometrico is a fast-paced 3D puzzle game in which players test their reflexes and hand-eye coordination against a rival AI player and the clock to complete 3D puzzle shapes of various difficulties. Powerups, color combination bonuses, and puzzle piece management present various exciting challenges and strategies to complete the game.
The game's title, Geometrico, is inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci's Ludo Geometrico, or "Geometry Game", a concept where systematic changes to a starting shape eventually transform it into a new form. Geometrico is built using the Ogre3D graphics engine and the CEGUI user interface framework. A puzzle designer tool allows new levels and puzzles to be dynamically created.
This RPG multi-player game attempted to help the game players learn SAT vocabulary words through gameplay.
This game let the user select the in-game music and then modified the gameplay according to information extracted from the music data, like rhythms and frequencies. It also dynamically adapted to the level of skill of the player to provide an unusual gaming experience that is different each time.
Interactive Game Development System is aimed at the users who are eager to create their own games but are not familiar with programming languages. Presumably, not only adults but also children can express their dream and imagination in games.
A side-scrolling adventure game developed for Nokia Cell Phones. The focus of the game was the manipulation of physics to solve puzzles. Additional help provided by Christa Erickson.
This Windows application provides one with up-to-the-minute weather forecasts based on your geographic location.
Program for custom creation and grading of programming exams.
In this project we developed a new, fast technique for automatic damage repair and automated removal of undesirable content from digital images.Appeared in Proceedings of the International Conference on Visualization, Imaging and Image Processing (VIIP 2001), Marbella, Spain. September 3-5, 2001