Store all the things!

[From the archives: Built in April, 2012]

Initial thought process:

I did some searching for designs and found a picture of a wood storage cart that looked quite nice at ShopNotes. The actual plans for the cart aren’t online so I improvised based on the photo and cutting diagram.  I also adapted it to 6 feet as I have limited space in my garage and seldom work with anything larger than that.  My ‘schematics’ (really just math to see how much wood to buy) are below:

design sketch
design sketch

[Edit] Also found an underdocumented spreadsheet and a VCarve file I used to verify the measurements I came up with (though I ended up shifting the shelves down a bit so I’d have a 5th open-top compartment):

Measurement Verification

Time to go shopping:

Some build shots:

I probably went a little overboard with the screws and glue; the thing is built like a tank.  Finished shots:


All the things meme originally from Allie Brosh.

Super Simple Slime Kat Slalom

A 1..4 player local multiplayer game where cats (made out of slime) compete to grab snacks and get the best spot on the colored couches, strewn about in a lake of lava because why not.

Created for the Simple Jam in a weekend using Unreal Engine 4.12. Simple Jam aimed to keep things manageable by limiting the number of rules and assets to 5 each. Here is how I spent that budget:

Game rules:

  1. Roll down the ramp
  2. Transform to start flying
  3. The floor is lava, so don’t touch it
  4. Grab some snacks
  5. Secure the best seat on the couch

Imported assets:

  1. Chamfered cube
  2. Sphere
  3. Lake water setup (stretching the definition just a teensy bit)
  4. Cat model [saved for later]
  5. [saved for later]
Menu screen
Menu screen

Turns out learning Z-Brush in a few hours is not actually a thing, so there’s no cat model yet; use your imagination. I’m watching Z-brush tutorial videos now and will probably work on it a bit more post-jam as I had a lot of fun making this.

You can download and play it from (Windows only ATM).

Angry Duck Diver

Angry Duck Diver was created as part of the 2016 Train Jam (March 10th to March 12th).

It’s a bullet-heavy vertical scrolling shmup/STG which contains neither ducks nor diving. Instead you have to constantly balance your avarice and cowardice, building up bonuses and choosing the ideal moment to bank your points before you are destroyed.

The theme was maximum capacity and I interpreted that as a risk/reward mechanic where you increase your bonus gauge as you approach maximum capacity, but you also increase your hit box and risk destruction, losing all your unbanked points.

Train Jam
The Train Jam was an amazing experience, both as a jam and as a journey. The scenery is gorgeous and inspiring, and jammer disciplines seemed much more diverse / evenly spread than I’m used to at local jams (which tend to skew heavily towards programmers). I’m certainly planning on doing it again next year. However, one downside was the venue for the theme announcement/team formation before boarding the train; it was narrow and loud so it was hard to hear pitches or mingle with different folks pre-jam, and so I didn’t form or join a team before we got on the train.

Continue reading “Angry Duck Diver”

Unstoppable Grave Looter

An intrepid grave looter accidentally disturbed the ritual of the groundhog and was cursed to never stop running. Trapped in an eternal hell, they fall back on old habits and decide to loot some graves.

  • Each grave you destroy will either provide delicious loot or disturb the dead.
  • Collect ingredients to perform rituals that cleanse the restless dead. When enough have been gathered, cross over the altars dotted thru the cemetery.
  • Use your shield amulet in a pinch, or gather more armor from the merciful angels.

Made for the 2016 Global Game Jam

Continue reading “Unstoppable Grave Looter”


Cowtastrophe is the game I worked on for the 2015 Global Game Jam (Jan 23 .. 25). It’s sort of a co-op cow sandbox score attack thingy.  We start by assuming a perfectly spherical cow…


Overlord Phil has ordered all of his minions (that means you and up to three of your friends) to bring him cows, lots and lots of cows!

What do we do now? Cooperate to make Phil happiest or compete against the other minions to raise your status. Poor cows…

How to play

  • Gather cows and deposit them into the ‘teleporter’ (marked by a hovering sphere) to gain points.
  • The overlord is a very fickle boss, changing the desired type of cow frequently. If you fulfill his current order, you’ll get lots of points, but any old cow will keep him pleased for a bit.
  • Feed cows hay first to fatten them up.
  • Keyboard+Mouse:
    • WASD to move
    • Mouse to look around
    • Space or Left-Mouse-Button to activate your cowscoop
  • Gamepad:
    • Left Stick to move
    • Right Stick to look around
    • A to activate your cowscoop
Gameplay shot 2
Gameplay shot 2


Additional credits:


Download the full package (including project files) or just the packaged game.

Tested on Windows and Mac, but the packaged release is for Windows only.  Multiplayer requires multiple gamepads (use the ~ key to enter the console and type  to add a 3rd or 4th player).

Tappy Chicken

Tappy Chicken is the first UE4 game shipped on mobile platforms.  It’s a very accessible one-button game, and you can download the entire game source assets and blueprints from the UE4 marketplace for free.

The shipped version targets the following platforms:

  • iOS: iPhone 4 / iPad 2 or above, running iOS 6 or above.
  • Android: Devices with an OpenGL ES 2.0 GPU that run API level 9 (Android 2.3) or above.
  • HTML5: Browsers that support WebGL (Latest Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Opera)

Download it from the App Store Get it on Google Play See the HTML5 Page

Tappy to Flappy!

Blueprint Macros and Macro Libraries

Originally posted on the Unreal Engine blog.

A Blueprint Macro lets you reuse a set of nodes over and over, and can be created in any blueprint (using the Add Macro button on the ‘My Blueprint’ toolbar). You can also turn a selection into a macro by right-clicking on a selected node and using the ‘Collapse to Macro’ option. A macro works a lot like a collapsed graph; you can define arbitrary inputs and outputs, which will show up as pins whenever you place a macro instance.  Here is an example of a macro named IsValid, which checks to see if an object pin is valid or not:

IsValid macro declaration
IsValid macro declaration

This macro can then be placed as an instance in another graph as ‘shorthand’ for the nodes it contains, allowing you to reuse code and hide complexity:

IsValid macro usage
IsValid macro usage

Continue reading “Blueprint Macros and Macro Libraries”

Managing complexity in Blueprints

Originally posted on the Unreal Engine blog.

As you build larger projects with Blueprints, it’s easy to end up with an overwhelming sea of nodes.  However, we’ve built in a number of different encapsulation and code reuse mechanisms to help you battle the chaos.

To encapsulate something is “to show or express the main idea or quality of (something) in a brief way”; in other words we can hide a complex sequence of nodes with a simple stand-in that conveys the same meaning or idea.  You can still drill down and see how it works ‘under the hood’, but you don’t have to worry about the details when looking at the broader picture. Continue reading “Managing complexity in Blueprints”

Asset Navigation Shortcuts

Originally posted on the Unreal Engine blog.

We’ve worked really hard to provide you guys with lots of helpful shortcuts to streamline your workflow within the Editor. One of those improvements is the addition of asset navigation shortcuts.

Opening an asset to edit

You can Pick an asset to edit from almost anywhere in the editor by using the Ctrl+P shortcut. This will open an asset picker with the search box already focused. Once you’ve filtered the results, you can use the arrow keys to select an asset and hit Enter to start editing it. The mouse also works to select or scroll, and you can even drag/drop out of the picker into the level editor.

The asset picker dialog
Ctrl+P Asset Picker

Working with the assets of selected actors

When you have one or more selected actors in the level editor, you can Edit their associated assets using Ctrl+E. For example, a selected static mesh actor will open the associated static mesh, while a selected blueprint instance will open the blueprint.

If you want to perform some other action on the asset, or just find out where it lives in the Content tree, you can use Ctrl+B to select the associated asset in the Content Browser. This shortcut also works in any asset editor, selecting the current asset being edited in the content browser.

Ctrl+E and Ctrl+B selection actions
Ctrl+E and Ctrl+B selection actions