Personal Projects

When I'm not at work, I like to do projects at home! Some of them are more for my own learning, others have the added benefit of being content users to enjoy as well. This section showcases some of my personal projects, ranging from community maps to short music pieces.

 

Cubi, Portal 2 Community Map

Cubi is one of the maps that I'm most proud of. It was designed to be approachable by most players, but with fresh puzzles so that experts can also enjoy the experience. It has three chambers, each testing a different set of problem solving skills. I analyzed how Valve presented its puzzles in Portal 2 to keep the feeling and quality consistent, but also wanted to include combinations and puzzle designs that players have yet to experience. For a more in-depth look at Cubi's development, feel free to read the Cubi Design Process.

Cubi was originally designed for a community mapping initiative, then re-released on the Steam workshop when that became available. Since its release, Cubi has been very successful and remains as one of the top Steam Workshop maps for Portal 2, with a 5 star rating with over 58,000 ratings given and a 97% positive rating.

Portal 2 was developed and published by Valve.

Download Cubi from Steam Workshop

 

Conundrum, Portal Community Map

Playing some of Portal's community maps got me inspired to make one of my own. While many were well designed, quite a lot of them were very difficult to beat or required twitch gameplay that I felt Portal wasn't really about. My goal was to make a more approachable series of puzzles in the Valve style. I utilized some exploration and navigation with moody ambiance in my puzzles as well as order of operations design.

The results were very positive. Conundrum ranks as the top rated Portal map on PortalGameMaps, and rated very high on the main community sites at the time (now defunct MyApertureLabs and ThinkingWithPortals).

Portal was developed and published by Valve.

Download Conundrum from PortalGameMaps
Download Conundrum from Moddb

 

Fading, Piano Composition

This is a nocturne written in c# minor. Influences include Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata as well as Chopin's Prelude in E Minor. The slower tempo and triplet in the left hand drive the piece, when a melancholic melody in the right hand.

When I composed this, I was going through a bit of a stressful time, so I focused my energies into composing this piece, as well as tapping into some other somber memories. I was happy with where it lead, and soon after was feeling a lot better!

 

Remorse, Piano Composition

This piece is an Adagio in d minor in 3/4 time. I wanted to capture the feel of something or some one that was remorseful or sorrowful. I also wanted to break away from driving triplets a bit like I've done in previous pieces and try something a bit different. In this one, it's solid chords and quarter notes for the left hand, with some varying rhythms in the melody.

 

Firanul's Theme, Piano Composition

This piece is inspired by and dedicated to Silver Ruby, a friend of mine.

This is a slower piece composed in e minor, utilizing a fair amount triplets both left and right hands. A brooding, pensive feeling is what I was going for based on Silver Ruby's character, Firanul.