Eat. Sleep. Indie. Portfolio

Professional Freelance Game Design

My name is Al Ridley and I'm a freelance game developer with a focus on working with small teams and individuals to assist in the process of bringing game design documents to life. With over 20 years of general programming experience, I bring plenty of knowledge and passion to any project I work on. Whether your goal is to test out a game idea via the construction of a prototype, or you're looking to add another team member to meet deadlines, I am available to work with you remotely to get your project ready for release.

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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Looking to hire a game developer?
Contact me anytime.

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

Programmer / Developer

I have over two 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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  • Unity 2020 & 2021
  • SmartFox Server
  • Mirror
  • Blender 3D
  • Steam SDK
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Dreamweaver
  • C#
  • Java
  • HTML5
  • CFML
  • PHP
  • MySQL
  • 01001111

    Demo Reel

    01000101

    Looking to hire a game developer?
    Contact me anytime.

    Email: info@eatsleepindie.com
    Discord: eatsleepindie#0989
    01011001

    Al Ridley

    Programmer / Developer

    I have over two 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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    RIZN

    PERSONAL PROJECT

    Zombie Shooter

  • Unity 2020 & 2021
  • SmartFox Server
  • Mirror
  • Blender 3D
  • Steam SDK
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Dreamweaver
  • C#
  • Java
  • HTML5
  • CFML
  • PHP
  • MySQL
  • 01001000

    Runiq Online Demo - NEW!

    DEVLOG #157
    Monday, May 16

    I've been continuing to make progress on my MMO demo and have settled on a placeholder title: Runiq Online. On top of adding several new features including spells, a lantern, and a complete UI overhaul, I've also released a Windows download for those who would prefer it over WebGL, available here and on itch.io.

    Free to play


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    Runiq Online

    PERSONAL PROJECT

    WebGL/Windows MMO

    Skadonk Showdown

    COMMERCIAL PROJECT

    Split-Screen Taxi Racing

    Various Mechanics | Al Ridley

    Poly Royale

    PERSONAL PROJECT

    Battle Royale

    Orcs v Humans

    PERSONAL PROJECT

    Fantasy RTS

    Poly Plaza

    PERSONAL PROJECT

    Mall Management Sim

    Space Race

    PERSONAL PROJECT

    Space Exploration Sim

    MMO Demo is Live

    DEVLOG #156
    Monday, May 02

    I just finished up moving my MMO Demo project to a SmartFox Overcast server (with some generous help from the SmartFox team), and I'm happy to announce that the WebGL demo is available to play for free directly in your browser again.

    Free to try right in your browser


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    Age of Gladiators II

    COMMERCIAL PROJECT

    Sci-fi Gladiators Sim

    Lead Developer | Al Ridley

    Revery Online

    PERSONAL PROJECT

    Fantasy MMORPG

    The Greatest Place

    COMMERCIAL PROJECT

    Children's Story App

    Lead Developer | Al Ridley

    Painting the Town Red

    DEVLOG #155
    Friday, April 29

    Freelance work has been keeping me pretty busy these last two weeks, but I've got some free time this weekend to wrap up the few things remaining in order for me to record a 20+ minute gameplay clip. With the culling system now complete and fully tested, I've spent a lot of time playing through two quarantine zones and putting props, crates, etc. in place to ensure that as much of what's done can be shown as possible. I'm circumventing random generation for this clip in favor of loading predetermined zones and structure layouts to make sure that everything plays out according to plan, especially considering that I've still got a ton of work left to do insofar as balance.

    Crackin' skulls never gets old


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    Book Ends

    PERSONAL PROJECT

    Fantasy CoOp RPG

    ZomBros

    PERSONAL PROJECT

    Zombie Twin-Stick Shooter

    Poly Farm

    PERSONAL PROJECT

    Farming Sim

    GameDevGame

    PERSONAL PROJECT

    HTML5 Simulator

    RTS Template

    PROTOTYPE PROJECT

    Real-Time Strategy Template

    FPS Parkour

    PROTOTYPE PROJECT

    FPS with Parkour Mechanics

    Toon Adventure

    PROTOTYPE PROJECT

    Mobile Adventure Game

    Dungeon Crawler

    PROTOTYPE PROJECT

    ProcGen Dungeon Crawler

    3D Platformer

    PROTOTYPE PROJECT

    Basic 3D Platformer

    The Great Culling V

    DEVLOG #154
    Monday, April 18

    My custom real-time zombie culling system is finally complete. In the end, I saw even more of a performance boost than I had originally anticipated. I was immediately able to spawn 1,000 zombies in a quarantine zone, upping the previous max count from ~600 in scenes that contained a lot of world geometry.

    Even with 600 zombies, I often run out of room to move


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    Archenaut

    PROTOTYPE PROJECT

    Mars Terraforming

    The Great Culling IV

    DEVLOG #153
    Monday, April 13

    Work on my zombie occlusion culling system is finally complete. The following video might be easier to see on YouTube so I've provided a link below for convenience. Zombies on the left side of the screen (frustrum culling only) will be sent for rendering anytime they are within the view frustum, which includes zombies that are occluded (hidden) by world geometry. On the right, the system I've been working on in my spare time now culls any zombies that are occluded, skipping the rendering process for any that cannot be seen; in practice, this will often amount to several hundred zombies that no longer need to be rendered every frame.

    >>> View on YouTube <<<

    Your GPU will thank me


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    The Great Culling III

    DEVLOG #152
    Tuesday, April 12

    I just finished up the next milestone in my real-time occlusion culling system. With this update, the only step remaining is to apply it to zombies and reap the rewards. I'll likely save the final step for tomorrow since there's some clean-up I need to do, and I also want a good night's sleep before I wrap things up.

    My max zombie count is going to soar


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    The Great Culling II

    DEVLOG #151
    Saturday, April 09

    I'm already overdue for some sleep so I'm going to have to make this short, but I just hit another milestone in my zombie culling system and wanted to share before I turn in. In my previous post, the data being used for the video only ever queried the culling data for the position that the player spawned at; I've since expanded on this by baking all necessary data and performing the query based on the player's current position, which results in the following:

    Now with movement!


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    The Great Culling

    DEVLOG #150
    Saturday, April 09

    I'm currently working towards a major update for RIZN: real-time occlusion culling for moving zombies using data that is pre-baked in the editor. Frustum culling has been in place since the start, and for those that are unfamiliar with these terms, I'll explain what they do, why they're important, and why it's worth the time to do this.

    (Teal) View frustum. (Red) Zombies that can be culled


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    Betty Goes Bang

    DEVLOG #149
    Thursday, April 07

    I decided to try out a new zombie type yesterday and am happy to introduce Betty, an oversized zombie that charges at the player and self-destructs once she's in range. I've set her up with ballet lessons for this video, but the concept should be pretty evident, especially considering this type of zombie is fairly common in zombie shooters.

    Betty has indigestion


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    Loop Quest

    DEVLOG #148
    Thursday, March 31

    I've just hit another milestone in my quest to finally get a full-fledged gameplay loop in order. Quarantine gates and doors are now working, consuming a key from the player's inventory and providing a way to move on from their current quarantine zone to the next. The zone generation system I covered in a previous devlog - now implemented in actual gameplay - has added a lot of fun to my dev sessions in that I am can now take short breaks from the work and do a quick playthrough. With these new additions in place, the only part left to close this loop is to expand on my zombie spawner so that more undead can be spawned efficiently in these new zones as the gates/doors are unlocked.

    Closer every day


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    Pi Day

    DEVLOG #147
    Monday, March 14

    Today is March 14th which means it's Pi Day, and to celebrate I decided to test the limits of my zombie spawner with 3,141 zombies at once. Happy Pi Day everyone!

    3.141k zombies


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    Level Generation

    DEVLOG #146
    Thursday, March 10

    I've been slowly pushing forward with random level generation over the last few months and have finally reached a point where I can say with confidence that the concept is proven and working even better than I'd originally hoped. I opted for randomly generating levels at runtime so that the demo I release later this year can feature Survival Mode, a game mode that lacks any narrative and instead tasks the player with simply surviving the hordes of zombies as they work towards finding a cure for their infection. This would allow me to release the demo much sooner, leaving me the remaining time until release to focus on the narrative itself and fixing any bugs, etc.

    Quarantine zones


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    Panjandrum vs Zombies

    DEVLOG #145
    Saturday, March 05

    Every once in a while, I get inspired to work on something completely pointless purely for the sake of gaining more experience with the tools I use every day as well as having some fun. Yesterday was one of those times. Inspired by an episode of Adam Savage's "Savage Builds," I've wanted to build a Panjandrum ever since I watched him attempt to build his own. Sadly, Adam's efforts did not pan out as he'd hoped, but I'm happy to say that even though this little side project took twice as long to complete as I had expected, my Panjandrum was both lethal and left me laughing on a level that this project seems solely capable of achieving.

    My Panjandrum is ready for action


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    The Two-Year Mark

    DEVLOG #144
    Thursday, March 03

    Today marks two years since I first decided to start messing with zombies and I've compiled a short video to highlight the journey thus far. This game started as a fun way to test out updates I was putting in place for my third-person character controller but I quickly grew fond of finding more and more ways to decapitate and delimb the undead.

    Two years of progress in ~2 minutes


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    A New Name

    DEVLOG #143
    Thursday, February 24

    It has been nearly two years to the day since I first decided on a whim that I wanted to shoot some zombies in the head. After more than 75 YouTube videos and over 140 devlogs, I finally reached a point where I was confident in committing to the title I'd been sitting on for the last month and a half. Partially inspired by the copy of BRZRKR that sits on my home office desk and partially inspired by the formula1 used for calculating the rate at which such an infection spreads, (S/N)(bN)Z=bSZ, the project formerly known as "Bite Me" not only has an official title, but also a brand new IndieDB page as well.

    RIZN

    RIZN /ri-zen/ (noun, slang): a reanimated corpse infected with R1Z-N; zombie; undead


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    (Un)Plesantville II

    DEVLOG #142
    Wednesday, February 16

    I've just finished up work on a new shader that effectively mimics what had been done manually for the original (Un)Pleasantville post. The desaturation effect that was featured therein was done solely for the purpose of satisfying my curiosity and as a short break from the level-design work I have been lost in for over a month now. After receiving a fair amount of positive feedback via social media when the video was posted, I decided to see if I could make the effect work in a way that enhanced gameplay and ultimately decided to tie it directly to the player's infection level.

    A not-so-subtle reminder that infection is constantly spreading


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    Granny's Walker

    DEVLOG #141
    Saturday, February 05

    It's 3 PM on Saturday here which, due to the freelance schedule I have been keeping, is effectively my Friday night. I've had a few items on my to-do list that would be pretty quick to implement and, having just finished one, I felt the need to share it. I enjoy working on things that make me laugh out loud and this one evoked a full-on belly laugh multiple times during the testing phase, so here's a rare follow-up post. I'm quite proud of the fact that like the microscope before it, I modeled this walker from scratch and had no issues whatsoever during the process. The more experience I gain with Blender, the more I feel like chains that have held back my game development are removed, freeing me to be as creative - and arguably deranged - as I want to be.

    I'd feel guilty if it weren't so damn funny


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    (Un)Pleasantville

    DEVLOG #140
    Saturday, February 05

    Free time this week has mostly been spent making more progress on my level editor, but I diverted for a bit to start work on some props for the research lab. These areas will be used for advancing the player's character in the area of skills, buffs, and similar things. I really enjoyed creating the mesh for the microscope, which was one of the more complicated things I've created from scratch in Blender so far. I haven't quite decided exactly how skills will progress yet, but at least I have the props at the ready for when that time comes.

    Pleasantville with a twist


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    Undead Fashion

    DEVLOG #139
    Friday, January 28

    I just finished up work for this week and my next plan is to organize my Trello list so I am prepared to spend some time this coming weekend on my level editor, but I figured I'd write a devlog first since I had not done so in a while. The last several mornings while drinking my first cup of coffee I changed focus to a bit of work that I could share since I have a way to go before showing the work I've been doing with level design. There were several zombies at my disposal that I hadn't included in the game yet due to their design existing just outside my realm of knowledge with Blender. I also have a Trello card that is nothing more than a 40+ point list outlining every step to go from mesh to in-game zombie, a process I had worked out a long time ago and had used for the over 30 zombies that were already in use. With more Blender experience under my belt, I decided to take the plunge and force myself to get at least a few of the remaining zombies ready for dismemberment.

    Accessorizing the walking dead


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    Once Bitten

    DEVLOG #138
    Thursday, December 30

    Continuing this week's theme of writing as little code as possible, I have here some simple retargeting tests for zombie attack animations. I purchased this pack from the Asset Store recently when I saw they were on sale, and I had never worked with animations from this particular artist before, so I was curious. I figured I'd take a short break from UI updates to retarget the more-complex animations that came in the pack to see how well they worked with these Synty characters, and the results were even better than I'd hoped.

    Time for vittles


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