Eat. Sleep. Indie. Portfolio

Professional Freelance Game Design

Eat. Sleep. Indie. is a small game development team founded by myself (Al Ridley) and my daughter (Zoey). With more than a decade's worth of game development & testing experience, we recently combined our efforts as Lead Developer & Lead Play-tester to help bring Creative Storm's title Age of Gladiators II to Steam. We have both been holding controllers and sitting at keyboards since we were old enough to hold up our heads, and we bring that passion for gaming and a keen dedication to any project we work on.

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Email: info@eatsleepindie.com
Skype: live:eatsleepindiedev
Discord: eatsleepindie#0989
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Al Ridley

Programmer / Developer

I have over 2 decades worth of experience as a freelance programmer and almost 10 years experience with Unity and game development. I began my freelance career programming data-driven web applications using Coldfusion & PHP, and following over a decade of success, I decided to cash in all my chips and begin a life-long dream of developing video games for a living.

Work over the last several years has ranged from having a small part in games - setting up Steam SDK, building multiplayer frameworks, etc. - to Lead Developer for Creative Storm Entertainment's sequel Age of Gladiators II. The development team was small and so my responsibilities were numerous, ranging from rigging character models to programming AI for the arena.

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Zoey Ridley

Play-Tester

Don't let her small frame or single-digit age fool you; Zoey is a pro at finding gameplay bugs. Possessing a knack for attempting to do things in ways that most others wouldn't, her contributions to the work at ESI have been paramount in ensuring a top-quality game is delivered.

Her love of video games began before the age of 2 when she would join me at my desk, grab the mouse and wander the world of Revery. Since then she has helped prepare several projects for release, including a children's book about the Forbidden City in China and receiving her first game development credit with the release of Age of Gladiators II.

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  • Unity 2019 & 2020
  • SmartFox Server
  • Mirror
  • Blender 3D
  • Steam SDK
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Dreamweaver
  • MySQL Server
  • C#
  • UnityScript
  • Java
  • HTML5
  • CFML
  • PHP
  • 01000101

    Demo Reel

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    Email: info@eatsleepindie.com
    Skype: live:eatsleepindiedev
    Discord: eatsleepindie#0989
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    Bite Me

    PERSONAL PROJECT

    Zombie Shooter

    Al Ridley

    Programmer / Developer

    I have over 2 decades worth of experience as a freelance programmer and almost 10 years experience with Unity and game development. I began my freelance career programming data-driven web applications using Coldfusion & PHP, and following over a decade of success, I decided to cash in all my chips and begin a life-long dream of developing video games for a living.

    Work over the last several years has ranged from having a small part in games - setting up Steam SDK, building multiplayer frameworks, etc. - to Lead Developer for Creative Storm Entertainment's sequel Age of Gladiators II. The development team was small and so my responsibilities were numerous, ranging from rigging character models to programming AI for the arena.

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    Skadonk Showdown

    COMMERCIAL PROJECT

    Split-Screen Taxi Racing

    Various Mechanics | Al Ridley
  • Unity 2019 & 2020
  • SmartFox Server
  • Mirror
  • Blender 3D
  • Steam SDK
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Dreamweaver
  • MySQL Server
  • C#
  • UnityScript
  • Java
  • HTML5
  • CFML
  • PHP
  • 01001001

    Flying Hot Dogs - NEW!

    DEVLOG #114
    Tuesday, July 13

    I have been working on the storytelling side of my project the last few days, mostly because I knew I could test out several concepts very quickly given that they leveraged packages from the asset store that I have past experience with. Beyond that, the work consisted mostly of playing with filter effects in Photoshop to try and nail down the look I was going for regarding the graphic novel I intend to use for advancing the narrative.

    Future-me will put the pieces together


    Read more >

    Orcs v Humans

    PERSONAL PROJECT

    Fantasy RTS

    Zoey Ridley

    Play-Tester

    Don't let her small frame or single-digit age fool you; Zoey is a pro at finding gameplay bugs. Possessing a knack for attempting to do things in ways that most others wouldn't, her contributions to the work at ESI have been paramount in ensuring a top-quality game is delivered.

    Her love of video games began before the age of 2 when she would join me at my desk, grab the mouse and wander the world of Revery. Since then she has helped prepare several projects for release, including a children's book about the Forbidden City in China and receiving her first game development credit with the release of Age of Gladiators II.

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    MMO Demo

    PERSONAL PROJECT

    WebGL MMORPG

    Holiday Weekend II

    DEVLOG #113
    Friday, July 09

    I haven't had to chance to write a new post covering the second half of my holiday weekend's work, but today has freed me up a bit so I wanted to share how the weekend ended. In keeping with putting the game physics through its paces, I decided to tackle an idea I've had for a while now: replicating a Mythbusters myth. I have been a huge fan of this show since it first aired and it is constantly playing in the background when I work on this project. I find the ways in which Buster fills his role in first-person data acquisition run right in line with the ways that I mess with these zombies, and the show has often been a source of inspiration as I work.

    I created the ram, the truck is 100% Synty Studios


    Read more >

    Poly Plaza

    PERSONAL PROJECT

    Mall Management Sim

    Holiday Weekend

    DEVLOG #112
    Monday, July 05

    I've been taking advantage of some free time during this holiday weekend to knock off a few quick tasks from my Trello list as well as trying to wrap up a few half-finished items as well. The first of these updates was to make use of the bullet hole decals that came with the asset package I am using, and these are now being spawned whenever projectiles collide with world geometry. I've also combined and tweaked a few particle systems that came with this package to create some splash & ripple effects when the same projectiles collide with water. These two work exactly the same, the latter is spawned in the former's stead when the object that a bullet collides with is tagged as water.

    Gotta love a holiday weekend


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    Space Race

    PERSONAL PROJECT

    Space Exploration Sim

    Poly Royale

    PERSONAL PROJECT

    Low-Poly Battle Royale

    Age of Gladiators II

    COMMERCIAL PROJECT

    Sci-fi Gladiators Sim

    Lead Developer | Al Ridley
    Lead Play-Tester | Zoey Ridley

    Reverse BR

    DEVLOG #111
    Friday, July 02

    There was a bit of a change in my schedule earlier so I decided to go through and start making some changes to my demo reel. I was watching the gameplay footage of the BR project I built a while back when something clicked, and having just finished up the first gameplay test for this idea that came out of nowhere has me very excited to see it working so well.

    It's like BR in reverse for single player


    Read more >

    Revery Online

    PERSONAL PROJECT

    Fantasy MMORPG

    Brain Matters II

    DEVLOG #110
    Sunday, June 27

    Tonight I have been playing around with a concept for the new brain samples which would involve using them to craft a serum. This serum would be the only cure for a zombie bite, leaving the player in a position where the only means to gain a cure would be to face the very thing that caused the ailment to begin with. In this scenario, brain specimens would be the item that is fairly common and the other required ingredient - empty syringes - would be fairly rare, located only in limited quantities via ambulances and hospitals (and perhaps nurse/doctor zombies). The player may find themselves in a position where they drop the specimens they've collected in order to free up some space in their inventory which would leave them vulnerable if they happened to get bit before collecting more; the rarity of syringes would be a way of ensuring a limited supply of doses, and capacity limitations of the inventory system will prevent the player from simply stockpiling specimens if they have no syringes to work with.

    The only way to fix a bite is made with brains


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    The Greatest Place

    COMMERCIAL PROJECT

    Children's Story App

    Lead Developer | Al Ridley
    Lead Play-Tester | Zoey Ridley

    Book Ends

    PERSONAL PROJECT

    Fantasy CoOp RPG

    Brain Matters

    DEVLOG #109
    Sunday, June 27

    I grabbed a quick feature from my Trello board's to-do list this morning and put it in place since I haven't had a chance to work on my shooter for quite some time. Nothing big, just the addition of zombies randomly dropping brain fragments on their death that the player can then collect and use later on in the game.

    The frontal, parietal, and temporal lobes


    Read more >

    ZomBros

    PERSONAL PROJECT

    Zombie Twin-Stick Shooter

    Poly Farm

    PERSONAL PROJECT

    Farming Sim

    GameDevGame

    PERSONAL PROJECT

    HTML5 Simulator

    Quarantine Zone II

    DEVLOG #108
    Monday, June 14

    I was able to start tying everything together during my nights this past weekend and I'm glad that I took the time to do so. I now have gameplay footage of my zombie shooter that is much more recent than what was featured in my previous demo reel, and this handful of updates also made play sessions much more entertaining. I've finally put a bit of work into a concept for a quick bar that is now located at the bottom of the screen, which I will cover in more detail later in this post.

    Starting to feel like a game


    Read more >

    RTS Template

    PROTOTYPE PROJECT

    Real-Time Strategy Template

    FPS Parkour

    PROTOTYPE PROJECT

    FPS with Parkour Mechanics

    Toon Adventure

    PROTOTYPE PROJECT

    Mobile Adventure Game

    Quarantine Zone

    DEVLOG #107
    Saturday, June 12

    After finishing up client work for the day, I decided to spend my Saturday night working on my zombie shooter while half-watching episodes of Dirty Jobs for the hundredth time. These zombies now have a lot of animations to bake, and they bake frame by frame individually, so it took a fair amount of time for me to get all of the different zombie types updated. Luckily, I am able to work within the scene while the baking process takes place, so I decided to make use of the quarantine wall prefabs to section off a part of the current city scene. The Synty art asset package I am using came with these giant quarantine walls included, and there is a variant that makes room for a large metal door.

    First quarantine zone test


    Read more >

    Dungeon Crawler

    PROTOTYPE PROJECT

    ProcGen Dungeon Crawler

    3D Platformer

    PROTOTYPE PROJECT

    Basic 3D Platformer

    The Quick And The Undead

    DEVLOG #106
    Saturday, June 12

    Last night I began including more animation options for zombies, and currently have 7 of each for idle, walking, and running. These new animations have only been put in place for the Convict zombie, so he is the only character featured in the gameplay video below. I have plans to extend these to work with the remaining zombies tonight.

    Nuns with guns


    Read more >

    Archenaut

    PROTOTYPE PROJECT

    Mars Terraforming

    Flying Blind

    DEVLOG #105
    Friday, June 11

    Lately, I haven't had much time to work on my zombie shooter beyond fixing an occasional small bug here and there. The most notable of these fixes is depicted in the video below and was at the top of my list of annoyances that had no real impact on gameplay due to the fact it was purely visual. It was an easy fix and while I'm not sure why I left it for so long, at least it's taken care of now. I've since made adjustments to transition speeds but didn't feel it was worth re-recording a clip.

    I put off fixing this for far too long


    Read more >

    Out Of Bounds

    DEVLOG #104
    Wednesday, June 09

    This afternoon's work ended up getting postponed until later this week, so I decided to spend some time recording more gameplay footage. I've put a lot of work into optimizing this zombie shooter to reach the point I am at, and up until now, most of what's been shown has been solely for the purposes of testing these new systems. For this next video, I spawned several hundred zombies, dropped in a few primitives for them to walk around, and then stood just outside the bounds of my pathfinding grid to let lead fly.

    Full video available on YouTube


    Read more >

    Walk This Way

    DEVLOG #103
    Wednesday, June 09

    I decided to put some time into updating my pathfinding system to work with my new zombie spawner last night and I'm happy to report that things went fairly well given the short time I worked on it. Pathfinding was previously using the OnAnimatorMove method to calculate the movement for the agents, so I just wrote an accompanying method for my custom animator class that passes similar data for the agent to use instead based on the data that has been baked to textures from those animation clips. Once that was done, I went ahead and selected various walk and run animations and baked their data to textures as well, and then extended all of this work to several more zombie models.

    Zombie count dreams coming true


    Read more >

    An Urban Open-World

    DEVLOG #102
    Friday, June 04

    After posting my last devlog, I decided to play through half of my current city scene, which is the same city scene that I've been using for months. I played as though I were searching structures for items as well as clearing a path through the 1,000 spawned undead as I moved. The day/night cycle and weather were both switched off during this session, saving me from having to bunker down during the night or from seeking shelter to ride out the storm. It took me roughly 30 minutes to progress through in a linear fashion, which means the map pictured below provides roughly an hour's worth of gameplay if the player is only exploring and killing random, motionless zombies without meeting any resistance whatsoever.

    Bird's-eye view of the quarantine area


    Read more >

    Back In The Saddle Again

    DEVLOG #101
    Friday, June 04

    Immediately after having finally reached the point where I could start writing out a game design document for my side project, my dev rig's PSU flatlined and I got incredibly sick. The latter explains why I was too tired when writing the previous devlog - even though it was still relatively early in the evening - to capture and edit video, opting for a screenshot instead. I completed a 2-day contract about an hour ago and have nothing scheduled until tomorrow at the earliest, so I figured I would finally get around to sharing some gameplay footage of the updates I spent 3 days implementing.

    Full video is available on YouTube


    Read more >

    Germ Warfare

    DEVLOG #100
    Thursday, May 27

    After a long shift yesterday spent reworking one of my client's world generation systems and building some environment meshes in Blender, I decided to convert 3 more zombie prefabs so they could be used with the new spawning system I've been working on in my zombie shooter. After completing that - which took roughly 20 minutes - I ran some tests and performance was still on-point. Exhausted for reasons that I hadn't realized yet, I pushed forward and decided to drop this new spawning system in the old city scene that has been featured in several videos I've shared in the past. Not only did I end up finally proving the last and most difficult concept for this game, but I apparently did so while falling ill. Suffice it to say that celebrating a moment that took 15 months of my free time to get to has been all but non-existent.

    Doesn't look like much, bit this is a huge milestone


    Read more >

    More And More Zekes

    DEVLOG #99
    Wednesday, May 26

    After my shift yesterday I decided to spend a bit more time with my new zombie spawning system. The process to go from a standard skinned mesh to this more performant version needs to be done for each individual zombie. It's a fairly easy process, but one that I had only successfully completed for a single zombie version. Over the course of this work week, I plan to spend an hour or so at the end of each day focused on going through all of my zombies and converting them, thereby solidifying the process in my mind and allowing me to eventually create an editor tool that automates the process in the event that I need to redo any of these in the future.

    2,500 zombies ready for carnage


    Read more >

    1,000 Zombies

    DEVLOG #98
    Monday, May 24

    I have reverted my zombie shooter project back to Unity 2019 LTS for the time being, which marks the first time since its creation that it's been both performant and using an LTS version of Unity, which has me feeling much more comfortable about its future as I write this. I'm not saying that I will never update to 2020 or URP, but neither of those is a priority and, in hindsight, I feel a bit foolish for having made them such.

    A milestone worth celebrating with much-needed sleep


    Read more >

    Floppy Ears

    DEVLOG #97
    Monday, May 03

    An unexpected day off today - or rather, night off given that my current schedule has my workday ending at about sunrise. I'll be splitting my free time today between working on some of the smaller to-do items for my zombie shooter, watching a movie or two, and trying out a few games. There's really not much else for me to do given that most of the town is asleep and I don't think my neighbors would appreciate me mowing my lawn at 2:30 AM.

    Da, da, da-ba-da Da, da, da, ba-da-ba-da-ba


    Read more >

    Vehicle Weapons III

    DEVLOG #96
    Saturday, May 01

    Here it is: the first working vehicle weapon for my zombie shooter. I ended up creating a prefab variant of my rocket to get it to work a bit better with the vehicle at high speeds, but it is definitely going to need some tweaking - mainly setting its initial velocity to more closely match that of the vehicle at the time of firing. For now, though, I'm pretty happy with the chaos featured in the video below.

    Not too shabby if I may say so myself


    Read more >

    Vehicle Weapons II

    DEVLOG #95
    Saturday, May 01

    It's taken me a week and a half of making short steps forward during 1-2 hour blocks of free time to get here, but I can finally say that I am one step away from firing my first vehicle weapon. I expect things to come together pretty quickly when it comes to firing the actual rockets given that I already have working rockets that operate independently of the weapon they are fired from; in other words, all I need here is to designate where I want to spawn the rockets, spawn them, and my existing rocket scripts will take care of the rest, including sending corpses flying through the air upon impact.

    A bit of polish here and there


    Read more >

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