Sombr Studio


Work on my top-secret project now has a proper “home” under my new development company: Sombr Studio. I’ll be keeping a running development blog there, full of code snippets, game design examples, revelations, and honest missteps along the way. I love to read these from other peers, so I hope to provide something useful and entertaining to beginner/intermediate developers.

There’s a bunch of topics up already, including a little background to the project, company branding, custom Unity tools, inspiration, shader effects, and explosions with “life.” Something for everyone!

Custom Unity Tools


I’ve been cranking away on a Unity project for a few months now. I can’t go into details about the project just yet, but I will say that I’ve been using third-party tile map editors (Tiled) to create maps for the game. However, I wasn’t able to find an editor that suited my specific needs – namely to create maps based on soft links to individual tiles, rather than a single master tile atlas image. I will be adding to the tiles all throughout development, so I didn’t want the maps to be that fragile and break whenever the master tile atlas was updated. It seems that every tile map editor I came across was ultimately based on image atlases, so I decided to take a stab at writing my own within Unity, as a custom Editor Window. After just a couple of days, I have a personalized editor that completely handles all my needs (for this title). The more I use Unity, the more impressed I am. It’s just as fun to build tools as it is the game itself!

Hawken Soundtrack Released!


The official Hawken OST has been released! Ali and I worked very hard on this over the last couple years – stretching already long work days even later into wee morning hours. The opportunity to work on this was a blessing and a challenge, and I’m thankful to Khang for his trust and art direction (and casual insanity, which honestly helped us get things done on time). It was not that long ago, but I am still nostalgic about the early days of work on Hawken and many tracks on the album remind me of that period – from the amazing interactions with fans at PAX to the crazy LA windstorm that almost took us out while working on music with falling trees.

The OST is available now on our bandcamp page. It’s $5 and gets you 19 tracks at any quality level (from MP3 up to high quality lossless formats). Thanks for all your support and friendship over the years, and help me spread the word! :D

Explosions! Debris!

I’ve been working on a side project in Unity (which I’m loving by the way), and tonight was some fun times. Explosions and random debris!


I’ve been amazed at how liberating the engine and editor are. Attaching behavior scripts to objects clicks with the way I like to think about engineering a game, and I haven’t really hit any major roadblocks yet. A couple nights ago I wrote a simple script that will generate my map layouts based on .json files saved from Tiled (handy little tile map editor), and tonight I worked on an effects atlas using Pyxel Edit (handy little sprite editing app).

8 Months Later

What a shameful gap in posts. I’ve been meaning to convert my custom Rails backend running this site to WordPress for quite a while, and it’s finally done – so I hope that’ll make it much more convenient to keep a steady stream of blogging going. I’m not going to attempt to recap the last 8 months, though it can probably be summed up as:

  • Work on Hawken
  • Sleep
  • Repeat

Hawken is now fully free to play on Steam. If you’ve been meaning to check it out, now’s the time! Speaking of Hawken, Ali and I have completely wrapped up the official sound track and it will be released really, really soon. I can’t wait!