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

    Floppy Ears - NEW!

    DEVLOG #96
    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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    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

    Vehicle Weapons III

    DEVLOG #95
    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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    Poly Plaza

    PERSONAL PROJECT

    Mall Management Sim

    Vehicle Weapons II

    DEVLOG #94
    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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    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

    Vehicle Weapons I

    DEVLOG #93
    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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    The Greatest Place

    COMMERCIAL PROJECT

    Children's Story App

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

    AI Drivers

    DEVLOG #92
    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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    Book Ends

    PERSONAL PROJECT

    Fantasy CoOp RPG

    ZomBros

    PERSONAL PROJECT

    Zombie Twin-Stick Shooter

    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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    Poly Farm

    PERSONAL PROJECT

    Farming Sim

    GameDevGame

    PERSONAL PROJECT

    HTML5 Simulator

    RTS Template

    PROTOTYPE PROJECT

    Real-Time Strategy Template

    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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    FPS Parkour

    PROTOTYPE PROJECT

    FPS with Parkour Mechanics

    Toon Adventure

    PROTOTYPE PROJECT

    Mobile Adventure Game

    Dungeon Crawler

    PROTOTYPE PROJECT

    ProcGen Dungeon Crawler

    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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    3D Platformer

    PROTOTYPE PROJECT

    Basic 3D Platformer

    Archenaut

    PROTOTYPE PROJECT

    Mars Terraforming

    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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    Editor Purgatory

    DEVLOG #87
    Friday, April 10

    I figured I'd take a little time to share a visual of the editor issue I am experiencing. The video below depicts gameplay footage featuring 220 zombies spawning in a pre-defined area and highlights the fairly significant performance impact I experience when updating my project to any editor version released since 2020.1.17f1.

    On the bright side, this is only mildly infuriating


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    Like A Surgeon

    DEVLOG #86
    Monday, March 30

    Today is a rare blank-schedule day and I am taking full advantage. I will be powering through the final leg of this "jetlag" that stems from switching back to a day-routine versus the recent night shifts I had been working by keeping myself busy. The plan is to bounce between cleaning my house and making some progress on my project in a way that I haven't really had the time to recently. I am past the point of being too tired to work on anything complicated, so my plan is to knock as many small and/or polish items off of my to-do list as possible; nothing too complicated or with any chance of causing problems that I might not be able to scope for given how many times I yawned just typing out this paragraph.

    Working my way up to 3 limbs with a single trigger pull


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    Back And Forth

    DEVLOG #85
    Monday, March 29

    I am very tired as I write this due to the fact that I'm still in the process of moving from working nights back to days, so this post will be brief. I hadn't planned on sharing anything and instead was just recording some new gameplay footage of my time manipulation system. I was curious how slow I could set the time scale and still get decent-looking results, and it turns out that I can slow things down to a crawl.

    Original gameplay footage


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    Feels Like Rain

    DEVLOG #84
    Sunday, March 28

    I spent some time playing around with another particle system from an Asset Store package last night, this time adding the first weather effect to my zombie shooter. This scene is created using a simple particle system, some fog enabled in the render settings, an updated skybox, and lastly a small adjustment to lighting. It was thrown together in a hasty manner but I hope to polish things up soon.

    Even the zombies seem bummed by this weather


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    A Range Of Options

    DEVLOG #83
    Saturday, March 27

    I recently built a simple shooting range in my test scene so that I'd have an easier way to try out weapon updates. Nothing special here really, but it's already proven to be worth the effort when it came to testing out a new crosshairs package I purchased from the Asset Store. I've set up a few cubes that hold targets which pop up at random intervals and the goal is to continue to shoot targets to prevent all of them from standing up at the same time.

    I'm very happy that my oversized crosshairs are finally gone


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    Spray n' Pray

    DEVLOG #82
    Wednesday, March 24

    My YouTube channel recently hit 100 subscribers, and as a way to celebrate, I decided to showcase updates to the minigun special weapon using a horde of 100 zekes. I've improved the particle effects for shell casings by adding just a touch of a trail and also adding collision detection for static world colliders. Audio has been improved as well, ditching the previous version's method of playing a sound effect once for every projectile that was fired that had locked me into a minimum value for the fire rate in order to keep too many effects from compiling and playing over one another. I've since leveraged the same code used to play the looping sound effect for the flamethrower to play a looping clip for the minigun and the difference is music to my ears.

    I am lovin' the fire rate of this beast


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    No Chimney Required

    DEVLOG #81
    Monday, March 22

    I had a bit of time last night to work on my placeholder safe house last night. Free time for working on this project is pretty rare these days, but this upcoming week it seems as though I'll have some time to add polish where it's needed and to really test out the concept of nighttime hordes trying to break through the barriers.

    Smoke inhalation is not a problem in this world, apparently


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    A Home Away From Home

    DEVLOG #80
    Wednesday, March 17

    Last night was likely the last chance I'll get to work on my project until next week, so I decided to spend some time inching my way towards implementing the next game mechanic: fortifying safe houses. As much as I would love to say that this concept came to me quickly and easily, it was actually a several-month-long process in which I spent a fair amount of time letting my mind wander whenever I was away from my desk and free to bounce around ideas. I considered a lot of things and came up with a lot of concepts, and this is the first step in the right direction I have taken in a while. That's not to say that I feel I've taken wrong steps, but more to say that the progress I have made has essentially been building on the core mechanics that existed, and this new progress is really beginning to expand things into something that could be considered a game loop.

    Sometimes this outline effect doesn't render correctly in builds


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    Rest Your Arms

    DEVLOG #79
    Monday, March 15

    I added some new layers to the player-character's animator this weekend and now have states for both relaxed and unarmed. This is another short-but-sweet update that required very little code to pull off and, as you can see from the video, will certainly need some polish at some point. My goal here was to put the unarmed state in place so that I can build the next major mechanic for this project, freeing the character's hands to work with items that will be implemented over the course of the next several days (hopefully).

    He's finally learned to relax a bit


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    Messin' With Time

    DEVLOG #78
    Thursday, February 11

    I went down the 2020.2 rabbit hole a bit further last night and can say with confidence that the performance decrease I am experiencing is due to ragdolls. Somewhere between 2020.1.17 and 2020.2 character joints took a small performance hit, and when that small hit is extrapolated to 200 zombies, it drops my framerate down by about 20%. It is a bit disheartening to know that my project currently exists in Unity editor purgatory, but I have a plan that I intend to implement tonight that could render the issue moot - fingers crossed that it works so that I can finally leverage URP to the extent that I have wanted to for months.

    After confirming my suspicions, I decided to have a little fun.

    I will mess with time!


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    On Unity 2020.2 and URP

    DEVLOG #77
    Saturday, January 30

    With the release of 2020.2.3, I've decided to finally take the plunge down the URP rabbit hole. I spent a lot of the Unity 4.x and 5.x cycles keeping up with the latest version of the editor and dealing with the growing pains that come with that; these days I tend to wait for things to get ironed out before diving into any major additions to Unity, and as a result, URP has been sitting on my "learn to-do" list for a long time now.

    A work-in-progress RTS template updated to leverage URP

    My quick review of URP: I love it! I like the overall look of the default URP shader over that of the Standard shader and there are also significant performance improvements for any projects that are using real-time lighting - especially those with a single real-time light source, a configuration I use for just about any prototype I am working on. I'll get more into details regarding performance improvements a bit further into this devlog; for now, I want to cover the issues I ran into with regards to my zombie shooter.


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