Eat. Sleep. Indie. Portfolio

Professional Freelance Game Design

Eat. Sleep. Indie is a one-man game development studio focused on working with small teams and individuals to assist in the process of bringing game design documents to life. With nearly 30 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 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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  • Unity 2019 & 2020
  • SmartFox Server
  • Mirror
  • Blender 3D
  • Steam SDK
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Dreamweaver
  • MySQL Server
  • C#
  • Java
  • HTML5
  • CFML
  • PHP
  • 01001111

    Demo Reel

    01000101

    Looking to hire a game developer?
    Contact me anytime.

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

    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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    MMO Demo

    PERSONAL PROJECT

    WebGL MMORPG

  • Unity 2019 & 2020
  • SmartFox Server
  • Mirror
  • Blender 3D
  • Steam SDK
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Dreamweaver
  • MySQL Server
  • C#
  • Java
  • HTML5
  • CFML
  • PHP
  • 01001000

    Once Bitten - NEW!

    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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    Skadonk Showdown

    COMMERCIAL PROJECT

    Split-Screen Taxi Racing

    Various Mechanics | Al Ridley

    Poly Royale

    PERSONAL PROJECT

    Low-Poly Battle Royale

    Graphic Inventory

    DEVLOG #137
    Wednesday, December 29

    This is my first vacation from freelancing in a very long time and I've been spending parts of it working on UI updates for my zombie shooter. My current freelance gig is very heavy in the programming department - specifically complex physics simulations that are performant on mobile devices - and since the motive for taking this week off was to take time to clear my head, I've set my goals for this week to make progress in my zombie shooter while programming as little as possible. So far, I've only written around 20 lines of code since last Thursday, but I've still been making what are in my opinion some of the most impactful advances in the overall aesthetic of my shooter.

    If you can't find it, create it


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    Orcs v Humans

    PERSONAL PROJECT

    Fantasy RTS

    Santa's Naughty List

    DEVLOG #136
    Thursday, December 23

    If you've visited this devlog in the past, you may have noticed two things when it comes to the clips I share, whether they were shared to social media or here on my portfolio site: the gameplay is much smoother but there are a lot of artifacts on the screen that lower the overall quality of the video. I've been recording my gameplay clips at 1080p60 for a while now and I don't think I ever will again. The loss of quality on the individual frames - especially when the camera is panning quickly - is too great to make the boost in framerate worth it. I think the following video stands as evidence of that fact more than any of the clips I have shared before, and while up to this point the compromise left me on the fence, the video that resulted this time has me absolutely convinced that 30 FPS is the way to go.

    Making a list and checking it twice


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    Poly Plaza

    PERSONAL PROJECT

    Mall Management Sim

    Space Race

    PERSONAL PROJECT

    Space Exploration Sim

    Age of Gladiators II

    COMMERCIAL PROJECT

    Sci-fi Gladiators Sim

    Lead Developer | Al Ridley

    Nothin' But A Poser

    DEVLOG #135
    Thursday, December 16

    I've just finished up my shift for the day (at 9 AM nonetheless) and finally have the time to share the most recent work done on my zombie shooter: a character pose editor. This work was completed and shared on social media several days ago, I just hadn't had the time to write up a devlog to go along with it until now. Some of you will likely recognize the inspiration behind the following video as the intro sequence to the Netflix series Arcane, which happened to be playing in the background while I worked. Once everything was in working order, I figured this would be a good way to test everything out and also to get more experience with lighting, and I'm pretty happy with how everything turned out in the end, even if the only part that will be used in the game is the pose editor itself. A high-quality version of this video is available on my YouTube channel as well.

    Inspired by the Arcane intro sequence


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    Revery Online

    PERSONAL PROJECT

    Fantasy MMORPG

    Building Blocks II

    DEVLOG #134
    Sunday, December 12

    Freelance work these last few weeks has been centered around vehicle physics and as a result, I have been focusing on the map editor for my zombie shooter in my spare time. Physics can be a bit of a drain as far as programming, testing, making small adjustments, and then repeating that cycle over and over until you get things working just right. On the other hand, this map editor is pretty straightforward work that - although requiring a lot of programming - is fairly simple to execute and rarely requires testing during the development process itself.

    Saving myself lots of time


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    The Greatest Place

    COMMERCIAL PROJECT

    Children's Story App

    Lead Developer | Al Ridley

    Book Ends

    PERSONAL PROJECT

    Fantasy CoOp RPG

    Building Blocks

    DEVLOG #133
    Friday, December 03

    I just wrapped up the first stages of my new map editor, which should help me make short work of the most tedious parts of level design: placing all the sidewalks and streets. It is still very basic and already in need of a rework, but given that it works in both editor and play mode (which means this could lead to an in-game map editor for players to experiment with), I'm pretty excited at the thought of how much time this going to save me when creating new levels for my shooter.

    Future-me will be grateful


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    ZomBros

    PERSONAL PROJECT

    Zombie Twin-Stick Shooter

    Poly Farm

    PERSONAL PROJECT

    Farming Sim

    GameDevGame

    PERSONAL PROJECT

    HTML5 Simulator

    Photo Mode II

    DEVLOG #132
    Sunday, November 21

    I finished work on my project's new photo mode feature late Friday night. Most of the UI work done so far is placeholder, but my main focus was to start working towards a system that would make it much easier for me to capture screenshots that will be used in the comic book to advance the game's narrative. I wanted to be able to use this new feature via builds rather than just the editor so that it can also be offered to players.

    Building my comic book just got easier


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    RTS Template

    PROTOTYPE PROJECT

    Real-Time Strategy Template

    FPS Parkour

    PROTOTYPE PROJECT

    FPS with Parkour Mechanics

    Toon Adventure

    PROTOTYPE PROJECT

    Mobile Adventure Game

    Photo Mode

    DEVLOG #131
    Wednesday, November 17

    I just finished up the first round of testing for an in-game photo mode. It's fairly basic in its current state, but I have plans to add a lot of features this coming weekend which should come together fairly quickly now that the basics are in working order. I'll be sharing gameplay video of this new photo mode once done; the screenshots below don't capture the effect of moving your camera around in a world with blood droplets and body parts suspended mid-air, so I'm excited to get some polish in place so I can share here and on social media.


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    Dungeon Crawler

    PROTOTYPE PROJECT

    ProcGen Dungeon Crawler

    3D Platformer

    PROTOTYPE PROJECT

    Basic 3D Platformer

    Off To The Races

    DEVLOG #130
    Monday, November 08

    It's been a very busy few weeks since my last devlog and I've only got time to quickly go through what little I've been able to get done on my project since then. Two weeks ago I turned my focus back to vehicles in an effort to update the controller to work with my new zombie spawning system. Luckily, this work wasn't overly complicated and the majority of my time was spent driving around aimlessly in the desert and racing my less-than-talented AI opponents. The setup only works for the vehicle pictured below as of now, but it won't be much more work to extend this to the other vehicles once I am motivated to do so. For now, at least I am back to running over the undead and sending their body parts flying as I speed through the game scene.

    As much fun as it looks


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    Archenaut

    PROTOTYPE PROJECT

    Mars Terraforming

    Helmets 2.0

    DEVLOG #129
    Friday, October 22

    It's been a week since my last post, the reason being that I've been spending most of my free time updating the new zombie spawning system in the hopes I'd finally be able to solve an annoying problem: bringing back zombies with helmets didn't seem like it was ever going to be feasible due to some of the limitations inherent in the methods being used to accomplish 1000+ zombies spawned simultaneously. Several months and a lot of dead-end ideas later and I have a solution. I am now able to spawn more football-player zombies wearing full headgear than I'll ever need, each of which can have their helmet popped off individually with a few well-placed shots.

    Score one for stubbornness


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    A Day In The Apocalypse

    DEVLOG #128
    Friday, October 15

    I'm a bit behind on sharing my most recent gameplay video to this devlog, but after spending so much of my free time tying all of these features together into a cohesive vertical slice, I needed a bit of a break from everything. The following video depicts recent footage of a full day in this zombie apocalypse world and is the best representation I have of what the final gameplay will be like. The full video is available is on my YouTube channel.

    All this work is paying off


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    Home Renovation

    DEVLOG #127
    Sunday, October 10

    Freelance work has been keeping me pretty busy but I did manage to make some progress on the game's first safe house last night. The structure being used for this purpose in previous videos was done quickly in an effort to test out the concept; now that I am leaning in that direction, I figured it was time to give this some attention.

    Safehouse updates


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    Keeping Warm

    DEVLOG #126
    Friday, October 08

    Today was an unexpected day off so I am taking full advantage of that by knocking a few more items off of my zombie shooter's to-do list. It is a great feeling to finally be investing my free time into my own project again, and comparing the rate at which I am now making progress in this project to the previous few months makes it very clear to me that some of my recent decisions were the correct ones to make. This brings me to what I have done with my surprise day off: fire barrels and sleeping bags.

    Sleepin' like a baby


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    Black Powder & Soup

    DEVLOG #125
    Thursday, October 07

    I've taken my jack-o'-lantern zombies as far as I will be taking them for now. This Halloween-themed distraction came about for no reason other than I thought it would be funny to give these zombies pumpkin heads and have those pumpkins smash into a bunch of pieces when shot. I have multiple people who are planning on hiring me for some work within the next few days, and for that reason, I have decided to buckle down and get something done tonight that actually adds something to the core gameplay loop; preferably something simple that allows me to half-watch horror movies playing in the background.

    Scavenge, craft, rinse, repeat


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    Pumpkin Carving II

    DEVLOG #124
    Wednesday, October 06

    Continuing with my Halloween-themed distraction, I've made quite a few improvements with this version of my Ichabod Crain zombies. The jack o' lantern mesh has been redone, the new version of that mesh has been split into chunks for effect, and I've also extended the system to work with a second zombie. This has been an enjoyable diversion so far given the fact I've been having a holiday-inspired horror movie marathon playing in the background the entire time. It has been a very long time since I've had the freedom to work on my own project at this pace, and so I have been diving in and getting lost in this playground while I am afforded the opportunity.

    Pumpkin Spice Splatte'


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    Pumpkin Carving

    DEVLOG #123
    Tuesday, October 05

    I felt like getting in to the Halloween spirit with my time off today, so I am currently distracted with creating new zombie prefabs that have jack o' lanterns for heads. There's no point to this other than the sake of doing something, but with my first draft already tested and looking better than I'd expected, I'm definitely going to put some time in tonight polishing things up a bit by leaning into what's working and pulling away from anything that is not.

    Amateur Pumpkin Carving Contest


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    Death Is Inevitable

    DEVLOG #122
    Tuesday, October 05

    I've just wrapped up another short freelance gig and am again free to focus entirely on my zombie shooter, at least for the next few days. I'm enjoying these one-off jobs lately; history suggests that the longer I work with a client, the less they value my time. I've had clients go from being perfectly pleasant to acting out their own rendition of Single White Female as they (apparently) stalk the whole of Reddit's gamedev communities crying out to anyone who will listen; that or I have clients who I've worked with for the better part of a year meet my 60+ hour volunteer coding-sprint with nothing but paragraphs of new ideas to tack on to the work that I just completed for free - work they have admitted on numerous occasions they cannot afford to pay me for. When giving your time away to a long-term client is met with the words "more, more, more" then it becomes clear very quickly that short-term gigs spent working for fellow developers who need a bit of help is the best route to take. Fellow devs get it and are often nothing but appreciative, which is a nice break from what I've been experiencing these last few months.

    You're screwed from the start


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    UI & Stick Updates

    DEVLOG #121
    Monday, October 04

    I've spent a fair amount of time since my last post cleaning up my zombie shooter project files as well as knocking some bugs and annoyances off of my to-do list. After losing interest in this type of work, I decided to finally tackle the task of updating the layouts for the character and weapon panels. These layouts were the best I could design at the time given how little I knew about the game I was making when they were first created. Now that I'm slowly zeroing in on a direction to take this project, I felt it was time to see if I could come up with anything better.

    Some updates to the main canvas


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    Naked Gun 3.14159

    DEVLOG #120
    Monday, September 27

    If you've tried (and failed) to visit this site in the last few days, here's a summary of events explaining why it was down: the web host I have used for years got a false red flag that suggested my server was running a crypto miner. Rather than look into this or reach out to me, they destroyed my entire hosting account. Not the suspected server, but my entire hosting account, complete with my portfolio site, MMO server, and more. After several days of going back and forth with them in an effort to prove that there was no miner on my server, they finally admitted their mistake and offered to restore my account, my server environments, and credit my account with an amount equivalent to 3 hours of freelance work at my current rate. Apparently, nobody on the engineering team was able to recreate the server I had built, so I rebuilt it from scratch. I finished this about 10 minutes ago. My MMO server is still non-existent (I didn't even bother with having them restore that config, it is much more complex than restoring my portfolio's environment) but I will eventually get around to rebuilding that from the ground up as well.

    Hot dog on a stick


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    Half Past Dead

    DEVLOG #119
    Thursday, September 23

    I still do not have a working title for my zombie shooter, but I may have a title screen for when that day finally comes. After a multi-day coding sprint for a client, I decided to avoid programming as much as possible yesterday. I randomly had the idea to try out a guitar-playing animation on my main character prefab with the Jackhammer in place of the instrument. One thing led to another, and what follows is the result.

    Undead crowd of rock fans coming soon!


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