Monday, September 6, 2010

Profile: Jack Davis, Lead Programmer

We had our internal forum up and running back in May of 2009, and a new member mysteriously appeared under the name "freelancejack". His second post on the forum, under the section "what's your goal here?" was this:

"My goal for Cosmic Logic is to help make the kinds of games that I miss seeing as a kid and don't often see in today's big ticket releases. I'm especially interested in platformers and games that focus on unique design or story elements, and I'd rather work to put those kinds of games on the market than wait and hope that somebody else does for me."

I first met Jack Davis on May 27th 2009 at Second Cup in Kelowna. At that point, the company had been incorporated for over a year, and I had been approached by many artists and programmers, but no game designers (which I found highly unusual). So I was immediately impressed that Jack came to me with the intention of focusing on game design. By the end of the meeting, I knew I wanted to collaborate with Jack.

When it came time for our first official "Doc Logic" meeting (June 24, 2009), my goal was to create a solid design document and all the artwork before finding the programmer. At that very meeting, Jack suggested that he could try programming the game.

I was shocked at how ambitious he was! He was clearly intelligent and confident, and was months away from starting his Masters degree in Mathematics. I was thrilled by his enthusiasm, however, I initially felt reluctant, wondering if he'd be able to complete the project. The game already felt too ambitious for an amateur programmer, but Jacks self-confidence gave me confidence in his ability.

So it was June 24th when Jack decided to start coding "Doc Logic". Less than a month later, Jack released "Doc Logic: July 19 Alpha". I was beyond impressed!

- Time is functional (clock counting down, with yellow jewels adding time to clock)
- Score is functional
- Radar is functional
- Upgrades are in place (back then we had agility and power as two separate upgrades)
- Combo multiplier works
- Expanding level in place

I knew instantly that this was the guy that would make Doc Logic real. To this day, he continues to completely exceed my expectations.

Throughout these last 14 months, Jacks contributions to Doc Logic have gone beyond programming. Jack designed all of the levels, each of which have interesting characteristics that Jack recently broke down for me:

"For the record, the added elements in each level are:
1st Level - Basic Game
2nd Level - Jump challenges
3rd Level - Maze elements
4th Level - Vertical Level
5th Level - Vert/Horz Level, Sloped Ground
6th Level - Teleporters
7th Level - Blast Doors
8th Level - Odd/Even Walls

The rule of thumb is not to make a new level without something new to offer."

Jack also has had game design input on almost every element of gameplay. He came up with some of the enemy types, he created "turbo mode", he created an entire boss battle sequence, he changed the shield recharge rate (based on movement and attacking), and many other details that currently slipping my mind.

Doc Logic would not exist with the passion that Jack has put into the game, and everyone should be excited about Jacks' career in the video game industry, as he is a true game designer at heart, and truly passionate about video games.

1 comment:

  1. The intro video to Doc Logic is narly :D Gives a decent teaser for #2 as well :D