Founded in 2002, Ludum Dare is the largest and longest running online Game Jam event in the world. The Ludum Dare challenges developers from around the world to make a game, from scratch, in a weekend. Many thousands of people accept that challenge every April, August, and December.
Part of the team that established the event nearly 15 years ago, Mike has been its caretaker for the past 8 years. Organizing, hosting, administrating, fixing bugs, and supporting. If there's a job to be done, Mike probably did it.
Launched in 2015, Jammer is _, The culmination of more than a decade , and nearly 2 years of research and engineering.
The Ludum Dare of today is powered by Jammer.
Spun-off from Ludum Dare and an unreleased project, Jammer TV is a hub of Live Game Development. It aggregates live video streams from Twitch, Hitbox, YouTube, Beam, and other services offering a single place to watch Game Development.
A mini version Jammer TV is integrated in to Ludum Dare and Jammer as a widget.
I'm always doing something. :)
I've been involved in gaming for well over a decade. I worked for several game development studios, and ran my own one-man independent studio for many years.
Smiles HD (TOO MANY)
PuffBOMB HD (Unreleased)
Atomic Betty (GameBoy Advance)
Barbie Gotta Have Games (PlayStation)
Secret Agent Barbie (GameBoy Advance)
The Emperor's New Groove (GameBoy Color)
Hoyle Card Games (GameBoy Color)
Zardez (Commodore 64, Unreleased) - As an homage to my younger self, I took some sketches and designs from my teenage sketchbook, and started building a Commodore 64 game based on them. It's functional, with graphics and music working on real hardware, but it's not really a playable game. VINE VIDEOs
this is totally incomplete, just writing down a few things I can remember
2010 - Smiles HD, Osmos (Intel App Up)
2009 - Smiles HD
2008 - Smiles
Unreleased "Samurai Jack" pitch prototype
Unreleased "Physics Platformer" pitch prototype
Barry Bonds Baseball
? (Neo Geo Pocket Color, Homebrew)
1999 - Poke Da Mon (GameBoy, Homebrew), Combat Soccer (GameBoy, Homebrew) - I won a bunch of prizes with these
1988-2000 - Lots of unreleased Commodore 64 and DOS games.
Though not always credited as such, in many of my jobs, I've been the go-to guy for foundation and toolchain development. I'd get things started, wiring up and ocassoinally building the systems used by the rest of the team to build our projects (games).
I wrote a lot of them.
To make my game engines better, I taught myself physics.
Fancy as Fuuuu
Later versions supported skeletal-animation and physics, but the project was shelved when I switched my focus to Ludum Dare.
Ludum Dare/Jammer and the "DairyBox" Toolchain
This was a big 360 for me. I'd never seriously done web development before (well I'd done it, but the key here is "done it seriously"). A lot has changed since I first started dabbling with the web. . Rather than use what was hot and trendy, I wanted to figure out if it was actually good.
Again, my background is embedded+low level+technical stuff, and I wanted to apply that to the web. That meant customizing servers, running better software, optimizing disk/network/database latency, shrinking the file size of transimissions, security features like HTTPS and every e-mail server equivalent, and so many other things. But that also meant using modern cutting edge tools, getting more for less.
I can make PHP go fast. So all the backend is done with PHP.
Blah blah ES2016.
So basically, I wrote Facebook. ;)
Writing and PR
I write sometimes. I've done numerous interviews on behalf of Ludum Dare, some in pretty serious publications. I've also done a few podcasts. Blah blah.
Game Jam Survival Guide - I'm the subject of one chapter
iPhone Book - I wrote a chapter
I've been doing this a while, so it's silly to list everything I know. Better to list what I like.
OS: Linux - I used GNU tools on Windows for more than a decade (Cygwin, MinGW, GCC, Make), and decided to switch outright a few years back. No regrets. I now do all my development (embedded, GPU and shadercoding) on Linux. I prefer Ubuntu (Desktop and Server, no funny distros), but Debian is fine too.
Architectures: Any (Intel, ARM, MIPS, AVR), as long as its Little Endian. Goodbye Big Endian gaming consoles! I'll miss you for your games, not your architectural choices.
Tabs vs Spaces: Tabs. Fundamentally I'm a C coder. Definitely Tabs.
Middleware: I don't mind middleware, I just don't like black boxes. If I can't probe it/see how it works, I don't trust it.
Besides gaming, some other things I'm passionate about are Cooking and Electronics. I sometimes fiddle with music and art (cartooning, typography), but meh, lets focus the other two.
STFU Cooking - My cooking show, because why not have a cooking show? The format is a unique rapid-fire cooking show, design to cover a recipe from prep to result in about a minute.
Digital Moisture Monitor mk1 - I have an herb garden, but I'm notoriously bad about remembering to water them. So I challenged myself to built a custom piece of hardware to monitor my plants, and let me know when they need water.
2015-TODAY - Jammer/Ludum Dare (formerly known as "Project: Starship")
2013 - Subcontractor for Itaas/Contracting for Shaw Cable - On-site engineering gig building a prototype next generaiton set-top-box UI with HTML5
2006-2014 - Sykhronics Entertainment - Owner, Lead Developer
2004-2005 - Big Blue Bubble - Technical Director
2002-2004 - Digital Illusions Canada - Senior Programmer
1999-2002 - Sandbox Studios - Senior Programmer
1997-1998 - Microcad/Computers Canada - Technician, Web Designer, Programmer, Sales
Some newspaper routes