Eric Nelson's Main Brain
eric94nelson@gmail.com

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The Fall 2015 semester kicked off China Times, our educational Chinese History game! A USC seminar class logs in and out of their characters over the course of four months to interact with classmates through chat and social mechanics, look out for the survival and prosperity of other students' in their virtual families, and take historically and economically motivated actions. They learn about four major eras of Chinese History firsthand through context-driven disaster events, political interaction and affiliation, and through the consequences of their actions. I worked with Sean Wejebe as a co-developer and Michael Savage-Benoist as a contract artist, and built this game using Unity, C# networking, and a Parse database over the course of one year. Building an online multiplayer game of such large size with sensitive, persistant data was a huge task for a team of two, but watching students interact with history, and one another, through our game has been super rewarding.

Watch and listen to a USC Dornsife piece on the game and class here!


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I was a part of the iOS engineering team on Words With Friends for the summer of 2015. As an intern, I fully implemented a prototype for player progression from UI design / flow to backend server operations and tracking for Wordie Points (WP) per player. I also adapted our UI implementation to use the latest layout tools from Apple which in turn reduced the size and complexity of our UI implementation significantly, and made it flexible enough for one layout file to support any iOS device at any resolution.

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I am currently working on Chambara as a technical designer, taking features from ideation to prototype to completion. Chambara is a 3D couch multiplayer stealth-action game with an interesting dichromatic world for players to search for eachother within. Check out a demo and more description at the official website! Stay tuned for a commercial release date!

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Art by Catherine Fox


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Sheepish is a 3D puzzle-exploration game created in C# and Unity3D by myself and Joel Grattan in collaboration with Angelina Park from Berkely School of Music as a Sound Designer. The player becomes a shepherd traveling over the colorful South American mountain-scape, herding and stacking sheep in order to climb to the highest, windiest peak.

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Watch our trailer for Sheepish
OR
Play the game!

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Great Dismal is an online two-player, first person, narrative survival game in which players roleplay an experience modeled after the historical lives of the Great Dismal Swamp Maroons. The Great Dismal Swamp Maroons refers to the communities of refugee and escaped African / African American slaves who were documented living together in the North Carolinian Great Dismal Swamp from the 1650s up until the end of the Civil War. These understudied swamp communities were focal points for resistance to slavery, and are incredible examples of alternate societies in the early colonial United States. This game currently exists in the prototype phase only, where we developed the networked multiplayer, inverse kinematic actions, and dynamic environment (such as day-night cycles and reactive audio) using Unity3D and C#. I worked with Brendan LoBuglio, Funkster Scerback, Tiffany Zhang (creator of the art assets displayed here), and Sean Wejebe.

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My first commercially available game, Pollen: a bug's haiku, is an infinite climber built around a player-maintained haiku collection, blooming flowers, and an antagonistic spider. Find it on the iOS App Store by clicking here!

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Chordulator is an iOS App designed in collaboration with music students to give them a tool that will quickly find what chord a certain combination of notes will form. I programmed the application in Objective-C and picked up knowledge about Xcode's UI system.

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Open this link through the SAFARI browser to play my javaScript remake of the arcade game Joust!

Controls: A/Right - Go right, D/Left - Go left, W/Up - Flap wings
The objective is to ram your vulture-mounted enemies. The rider with the highest altitude wins the joust.
Earn 2000 pts to recover a life.

3D Animation


Rigging and animating the 3D characters in my games makes me happy. I have modeled and rigged / animated several characters in Maya, including the sheep and shepherd in Sheepish, an Ant character for a different game, and a lot of environmental pieces for recreating a stylized swamp in Great Dismal. For the above animation, I used an imported flour sack model which was already rigged. I then animated around ten seconds of a mosh pit scene. The music is Borrowed Time by Parquet Courts.

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This character is named Olliver, and it is a flying animal inspired by combining a dimorphodon (one of my favorite dinosaurs) and a sunflower. It is a predator I made for a friend's grasshopper-survival simulator.


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Eric Nelson
High Tide is my very first game. Here you can find a link to download the code and resources needed to build the game, a youtube video featuring gameplay, and some sample code. High Tide was created in C++ using the Qt 5.1.0 library and the GraphicsView framework as a starting block. After learning the Qt SDK and experimenting with it over the course of a summer, I began the process of making a small, entertaining arcade game. Between blocking out pixel art for my tiny sprites in GIMP, repurposing UI code for gameplay, and researching previously unknown Qt programming topics (such as coding signal-slot mechanisms), I learned a lot in using this graphical interface software to build a game instead of a game engine.

Download a .zip containing all code and resources for High Tide.

Using the arrow keys, the player is able to control their red sand bucket, seen below in the top left corner. The player starts during a grace period where they are able to read the instructions and plan out the architecture of his or her castle. screencap 3

This screen shot shows what the player sees just before they press 'A' to start. Once the game begins, their castle will transform from sand into formidable stone. At this point, they will also be able to use the shovel's scooping mechanic to refill their bucket with sand for building defensive walls. screencap 2

The game now quickly increases in pace as the player hurriedly toggles with 'W' between the bucket and the shovel, scooping to refill sand supplies and then quickly laying down walls of sand in front of the watery missiles. When the stone walls of your castle have all crumbled, the game ends. screencap 1


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Thanks for reading.
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