Cactus Jack: The Adventures of the Deranged Space Monkeys

A 3-D shooting game where you will have to work hard to figure out how all of the objects can be tied together! The camera hovers above and behind the player, allowing you to have the best control over him as you blast away at chocolate bunnies and surplus space telescopes.

Cactus Jack was my final project for CECS 361 (now CS4610) Computer Graphics I, along with Mike Reall and Mike Sullivan.

The gameplay is constrained to 2D and is a bit like asteroids, but the graphics are 3D.


Gauntlabo was a project to create a fun little Gauntlet-style game for the GBA. Although the project never really got off the ground, mainly due to other commitments for the group members, we did create two map editors and quite a bit of concept and tile art.

I did one of the map editors and a GBA stub to display maps, mainly to get the artists started. The editor isn’t very complicated, you select a tileset (stored in a free-form bitmap), and define your metatiles (including HV flips), although they are saved in the map file itself. This isn’t really a bad thing, since you can always copy a map with decent metatiles defined, and then clear it, but it’d be one thing I’d change.

The editor has 2 standard layers, and it lets you paint properties on any tile (although there were only two properties in the game engine at the time). It has all the code to place and save entities, but no entities to place…

Feast your eyes on my programmer-art tileset (yes, that green blob is meant to be a bush)

Gautlabo Editor
Some of JayC and J-Rod's artwork
Some of JayC and J-Rod's artwork

MB v.2

My good friend Jeff Frohwein has started production of his MultiBoot Version 2 cable, which allows you to download up to 256 kbytes of code to your Gameboy Advance and test your programs on the actual hardware. I have one and I must say it is a wonderful development tool.

Update: The first batch of 50 cables sold out rapidly, but there are more batches on the horizon, check periodically for more information.

Absolute Terror

Absolute Terror is a 3D PC game published by Crystal Interactive in 2001 and developed by SymbioSys Software (now Neko Technologies).

From the manual (i.e. from Ben’s twisted sense of humor):

In Absolute Terror, you venture into space, the last best hope for Earth in their war against rebelling colonies on distant worlds.  Or maybe they’re aliens; hideous space-monsters who threaten all mankind. No, no, actually, they’re definitely rebelling colonies – not that it really matters.  What really matters, of course, is that you get a state-of-the-art spacecraft (with big guns), a sarcastic co-pilot (with big… uhhh, nevermind!) and a license to blow things up in a spectacular and over-the-top fashion!

I wrote the scripting engine and many of the special effects used in the game while working for SymbioSys.

Munchies game and editor


Munchies is an implementation of the classic nibbles game with a built in level editor. The concept is dead simple, you play a snake that has to eat all of the apples in the level while avoiding your own tail and the barriers. After you eat all of the apples, your snake will proceed to the next level, and the cycle begins anew.


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