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
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    Quarantine Zone I - NEW!

    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 >

    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

    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 >

    Poly Plaza

    PERSONAL PROJECT

    Mall Management Sim

    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


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    Space Race

    PERSONAL PROJECT

    Space Exploration Sim

    Age of Gladiators II

    COMMERCIAL PROJECT

    Sci-fi Gladiators Sim

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

    Revery Online

    PERSONAL PROJECT

    Fantasy MMORPG

    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


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    The Greatest Place

    COMMERCIAL PROJECT

    Children's Story App

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

    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


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    Book Ends

    PERSONAL PROJECT

    Fantasy CoOp RPG

    ZomBros

    PERSONAL PROJECT

    Zombie Twin-Stick Shooter

    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


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    Poly Farm

    PERSONAL PROJECT

    Farming Sim

    GameDevGame

    PERSONAL PROJECT

    HTML5 Simulator

    RTS Template

    PROTOTYPE PROJECT

    Real-Time Strategy Template

    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


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    FPS Parkour

    PROTOTYPE PROJECT

    FPS with Parkour Mechanics

    Toon Adventure

    PROTOTYPE PROJECT

    Mobile Adventure Game

    Dungeon Crawler

    PROTOTYPE PROJECT

    ProcGen Dungeon Crawler

    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


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    3D Platformer

    PROTOTYPE PROJECT

    Basic 3D Platformer

    Archenaut

    PROTOTYPE PROJECT

    Mars Terraforming

    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


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    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


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    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


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    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


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    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


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    Vehicle Weapons I

    DEVLOG #94
    Friday, April 30

    With my last meeting for the week wrapped up and nothing on my schedule until this weekend, I'm diving right into getting my first vehicle weapon set up and ready for killin' some zombies. I'm going to try something a little different tonight and post updates on progress as I make it, rather than my normal routine of only summarizing the process after the fact. Over the course of the last few weeks, I have been adding features to my custom devlog code to make the process of writing these posts a much simpler one, since before the implementation of these updates, posting a devlog was often as time-consuming as doing the work I was trying to share. I'll go into more details about the admin system I've built for this website in a future post, but for now, all you need to know is it's giving me the opportunity to share more steps along the way without feeling like it's getting in the way of the actual work.

    Just a little Blender work was needed for prep


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    AI Drivers

    DEVLOG #93
    Friday, April 30

    For those of you who've been following along with this development process since the start, you may recall that about 9 months ago I leveraged scripts from an old racing prototype to use for vehicles in my zombie shooter. Well, I've spent some time over the course of the last two nights grabbing the AI scripts from that same project and incorporating them with the vehicle updates I've been working on this past week or two. Here are the results:

    Not bad for 2 year-old code


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    Bailing On Vehicles

    DEVLOG #92
    Wednesday, April 28

    I am currently debating on whether or not to begin work on vehicle weapons. Part of me wants to dive right in, but the wiser, more experienced part of my brain is telling me to hold off until I have the time to sit down and really focus on it for more than an hour a day. I will likely delay their implementation for now, but I figured I could make a bit more progress on my project as well as share a devlog that was more than simply "here's the latest thing that's been added." Tomorrow is my day off and so tonight I will be ignoring various movies playing in the background while I hole up in my office and knock out whatever small features from my to-do list that I can.

    The first vehicle weapon is just a bumper


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    A Lazy Cameraman

    DEVLOG #91
    Wednesday, April 28

    After playtesting the recent updates to my vehicle camera system, I quickly realized that - while manual aiming is helpful - constantly moving the mouse to see where you're going was a bit of a nuisance when racing or driving to a destination. I've since gone back through my camera scripts and combined both the aim & follow versions into a single setup. The camera will now follow the car unless the player presses the right mouse button to enable aiming, and when released the camera transitions back to its follow position and rotation.

    Quite the combo


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    Removing Blind Spots

    DEVLOG #90
    Tuesday, April 27

    Last night yielded a few more vehicle updates for my zombie shooter. I've completely abandoned the vehicle camera setup I was using before and am now using the same camera when driving as when walking. This new configuration gives the player complete control over their view when using vehicles and will be leveraged in the future as a means for aiming vehicle weapons.

    These camera updates make for much better videos


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    Buckets Of Fun

    DEVLOG #89
    Friday, April 23

    Free time these last two nights has gone towards my most pointless mechanic yet: a tractor that can be used to clean up zombie corpses. As before, this is the same vehicle controller as both the Buggy and the Combine Harvester, although this time I have set steering to all four wheels and added controls for the bucket. I have more important things to be working on for this project, but for now, I am enjoying the simplicity of expanding on my vehicle controller as well as the fact that I can now move around this world I am building much more quickly when needed.

    A tidy workspace is important


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    Amber Waves Of Brain

    DEVLOG #88
    Tuesday, April 20

    Most of what I've managed to find time for lately has been behind-the-scenes stuff that wouldn't make for anything particularly interesting to share. To counter that, I spent last night expanding on my vehicle controller and now have a working combine harvester for mowing down large groups of zombies at a face-melting 12 MPH.

    Every bit as gruesome as I had hoped


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