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Tim Trzepacz

Phone: (818) 588-6344
E-mail:
Objectives Contract work in creative or technical industries.
Summary of qualifications Platforms and Titles
Sony Playstation Portable (PSP) Nintendo GameCube Actionscript / Flash Microsoft X-Box Sony Playstation 2 Sony Playstation 1 Sega Saturn MS-DOS Sega Genesis Nintendo DS
Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters
Silent Hill:0rigins
From Russia with Love Unwell Mel (port from Java) From Russia with Love Ratchet and Clank
Ratchet and Clank 2: Going Commando
Ratchet and Clank 3: Deadlocked
Portal Runner
From Russia with Love
Portal Runner*
Lunar 2: Eternal Blue
Vanguard Bandits
Silhouette Mirage
Lunar: The Silver Star Story
Iron Storm
Dragon Force
Albert Odyssey
Magic Knight Rayearth
Princess Maker 2*
Magic: The Gathering*
Pirates! Gold

Rhythm Core Alpha
Math Blaster
DSiMap.com

* = unreleased titles
Skills and Duties Click on the company name for more details
2004-Present SoftEgg Enterprises Los Angeles County, CA
Freelance Consultant / Programmer / Designer

Provides freelance consulting services on a large variety of technical and creative projects. From video game programming, to defense contracts, to websites, I've done it all!

Most recently: Released internally developed project "Rhythm Core Alpha" for Nintendo DS (on DSiWare). Handled all aspects of the product: programming, sound, art, marketing, business development, etc. Product released in the Americas (North and South) on August 9th 2010, and in Europe, the UK, and Australia on January 21st, 2011.

For games, my specialty is gameplay programming, but I am well versed in most areas of game programming and design. In the past, I mostly worked with engines that were custom coded for each game, but I have worked with external engines like RenderWare as well.

Most recently I ported the Java game Unwell Mel into Flash / Actionscript for Pretty Good Games, wrote several game design documents for TimePlay / Big Deal Games i-Cinema platform, and programmed a section of an as of yet undisclosed educational game on Nintendo DS for the Knowledge Adventure Company. My latest large contract was providing programming services for Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters for High Impact Games, to be released on Sony Playstation Portable (PSP). Before that was Silent Hill: 0rigins for Climax Group, and Electronic Arts "James Bond 007: From Russia with Love".

I've also done some military programming for BAI Aerosystems, and a large number of small business websites.

"With SoftEgg, your project is Over-Easy!"

2001 – 2004 Insomniac Games Burbank, CA
Senior Gameplay Programmer
Level management and gameplay programming for Playstation 2:
  • Responsible for managing whatever is needed to get level done on schedule.
  • Programming for all creatures, objects, vehicles, and special effects in levels 7, 9, and 13 for Ratchet and Clank 1.
  • Programming for nearly half of the weapons and gadgets in Ratchet and Clank 1.
  • Programming for all creatures, objects, vehicles, and special effects in levels 1, 8, and 9 for Ratchet and Clank 2.
  • Created simple animated prototype objects, levels using Maya.
  • Coding for additional creatures, vehicles, etc. in several other levels in both games.
  • Coding for many prototype levels for both released Ratchet and Clank games.
  • Coding for secret prototype stuff for Ratchet and Clank 3.
2000 – 2001 3DO Redwood City, CA
Software Engineer III
Playstation One and Playstation 2 programming, including:
  • Shadow subdivision
  • Camera Specification
  • Localization system
  • Memory card
  • Text and menus
  • Windows based tools (MFC & C++ Builder).
1995 – 2000 Working Designs Redding, CA
Lead Programmer

Localization programming for Sega Saturn and Playstation One, including:

  • Asset recovery (data hacking)
  • Utilities programming
  • Dual shock programming
  • Data compression
  • Memory card system

Additional Duties:

  • Programmer training
  • Translator management
  • Light translation (Japanese to English).
1995 + Adventions/SoftEgg Columbia, MD
Producer / Programmer
  • Licensing
  • Team management
  • Localization programming (8086 assembly).
1992 – 1995 Microprose Software Hunt Valley, MD
Programmer

Sega Genesis and MS-DOS programming, including:

  • Programming (C and 68000)
  • Animation system design and programming (MS-DOS and Sega Genesis)
  • Animation scripting
  • User interface programming
  • Movie player programming.
Education
1987 – 1991 Virginia Tech Blacksburg, Virginia
Electrical EngineeringBachelors of Science Degree
Concentration in Computer Engineering
Professional Experience
2004-Present SoftEgg Enterprises Los Angeles County, CA
Freelance Contractor SoftEgg Logo

SoftEgg is a full-service consulting, creative and technical services company. I have worked and bid on all manner of freelance contracts, from programming to website construction, from IT work to antenna wiring, from managing outsourced contracts, to military contracts.

I have since been working on an original project, a music creation program called "Rhythm Core Alpha" for the Nintendo DSi, now sold in the Nintendo DSiWare Store. It is now being sold in the Americas (North and South), as well as Europe, the UK, and Australia. On this project I have handled everything: programming, art, sound (lots of sound!) and all manner of production and business management tasks.

2001 – 2004 Insomniac Games Burbank, CA
Senior Gameplay Programmer - Ratchet and Clank Series Ratchet and Clank Logo

The Ratchet and Clank series from Insomniac Games was a huge success around the world, including being a huge seller in Japan where it was the only foreign game to be bundled with the Playstation 2. The first game sold over 2 million copies, and the second seems poised to break that record! I was a part of it from the very start... I was hired only three weeks into production on the first Ratchet and Clank!

Of all the work I've done in the game industry in my twelve-year history, I'm the most proud of my work on the Ratchet and Clank games. As a gameplay programmer I was responsible for the code implementations of every single object in a level, and often a lot more than that. I programmed enemies, vehicles, weapons (the game's selling point!) special effects... everything down to the lowliest door, and even the dust kicked up by Ratchet's feet when he walks! When prototype art wasn't available, I created my own objects and animations in Maya. When textures for particles and special effects weren't available, I made my own using photoshop. Before we had a person available for sound effects, I used Buzz and Sound Forge to create my own sound effects.

I definitely had the most fun on Ratchet and Clank one. We were just getting started and there was a lot of room for experimentation and freedom to try stuff. The deadline on Ratchet and Clank 2 was a lot tighter (only one year as opposed to eighteen months for the first game) and I felt really burned afterwards. I'm happiest when I get to wear a lot of hats and do lots of different things, not just be a programmer.

2000 – 2001 3DO Redwood City, CA
Software Engineer III - Portal Runner Team Portal Runner Logo Small
I started at 3do as a member of the team for the Playstation One version of Portal Runner, which was to be based on the source code from Army Men: Sarge's Heroes 2. My tasks included:
  • Modifications to the camera system.
  • Programming of a shadow system that would allow shadows to conform to the terrain geometry.
  • Implementation of a Windows program (in Borland C++ Builder) to aid the designers in setting attributes and sound effects for terrain tiles.
  • Implementation of the Texter program for Windows, written with Visual Studio and MFC, to allow creation of font and formatted (WYSIWYG) text data with an eye toward easing future localizations.
  • Design and programming of a text engine that would work with the formatted data, and integration of this engine with the already existing Sarge 2 codebase.
  • Implementation of all game menus and necessary support code.
  • Programming to add all cheat codes.
  • Creation of an endurance testing mode using semi-random simulated pad input.

Part way through that project, we merged the PS1 and PS2 teams, and then eventually the PS1 project was cancelled. My tasks for the PS2 project included:

  • Reimplementation of the Texter font and text program for the creation of PS2 fonts and data.
  • Reimplementation of my text engine on the Playstation 2 and the addition of special features to take advantage of the PS2 hardware, including animated text effects, scaling, and GS features like bilinear filtering, fractional pixels, and alpha channel.
  • Implementation of all game menus with additional PS2 features, such as animated 3d objects and particle effects.
  • Porting of my cheat code and endurance mode from PS1 to PS2.
  • Reimplementing portions of the data path to use compressed data files.
2000 – 2001 Working Designs Redding, CA
Lead Programmer - All Products Working Designs

I started at Working Designs as a contractor porting Iron Storm for the Sega Saturn in 1995, and ended up taking a full time position in 1996. At that time I was the only programmer in the company. I worked on most of Working Designs products up until 1999, when a second programmer was hired.

Here is a chart detailing all of my products with Working Designs, and what I did on them.

Product Title Year Style Genre Platform
Iron Storm 1995 Strategy World War II Sega Saturn
Localization reprogramming, translation, asset recovery, art.
 
Dragon Force 1996 Strategy/RPG Fantasy Sega Saturn
Localization reprogramming, text engine, translation, asset recovery, art, gameplay enhancements.
Albert Odyssey 1997 RPG Fantasy Sega Saturn
Localization reprogramming, translation, asset recovery, loading speed optimization, gameplay enhancements.
Magic Knight Rayearth 1996-1998 Action/RPG Fantasy Sega Saturn
Localization reprogramming, text engine , lip-sync system, keyboard system, cinepak movie recombination and editing tools, map editor, translation, asset recovery, art, gameplay enhancements.
Lunar: The Silver Star Story 1997-1998 RPG Fantasy Sony Playstation
Translator management, localization reprogramming, text engine, memory card, dual-shock, bonus games, movie playback, dual disc, translation, asset recovery, art, gameplay enhancements, scenario modification.
Silhouette Mirage 1998-1999 Action/Platform Science Fiction Sony Playstation
Localization reprogramming, text engine.
 
Vanguard Bandits 1999-2000 Strategy/RPG Sci-Fi/Fantasy Sony Playstation
Translator management, localization reprogramming, text engine, translation, asset recovery, art, dual shock, memory card, automated comment translation system.
Lunar 2: Eternal Blue 1999-2000 RPG Fantasy Sony Playstation
  Translator management, localization reprogramming, text engine, translation, asset recovery.

My most notable accomplishments while at Working Designs were:

  • Creation of an automated system to match mouth movements of animated characters to pre-recorded audio data for Magic Knight Rayearth, saving the company thousands of dollars in manpower to resynchronize animation!
  • Built a system to automate extraction, translation and replacement of Japanese source code comments to English Fujitsu's ATLAS translation software, saving the company tens of thousands of dollars of translation costs!
  • Programmed the "Cat’s Eye" generic art extraction program (a Windows program written in Borland C++ Builder) to graphically browse undocumented binary data files and extract art data when the source data is not available. This reusable tool can operate on almost any uncompressed graphics format.
  • Salvaging Magic Knight Rayearth's lost video files by creating tools to insert frames and replace Japanese audio in compressed Cinepak data files without decompressing the data.
  • Design and programming of two "bonus games" for Lunar: The Silver Star Story and Lunar: Eternal Blue completely on my own. These are multi-player (up to 8 people!), competitive, arcade games in a retro-style running in the Playstation's high-resolution mode at 60 fps.
  • Writing a complete map editor for Magic Knight Rayearth so that I could restructure the game maps to deliver a better frame rate.
  • The E3 version of Vanguard Bandits was localized in a mere six days in time for the show, despite missing a crucial compression utility and most of the actual art and text assets. I reverse engineered the compression utility and created a new, compatible utility from scratch.

As Working Designs is a very small company, I had to wear many hats. Here are some of the non-programming tasks I performed at Working Designs.

  • Managed outside contract translators from around the country, scheduling and billing work for for Lunar 1, Vanguard Bandits, and Lunar 2.
  • Translation from Japanese to English of smaller game assets, as well as a performing a partial localization of Fujitsu's ATLAS machine translation software that normally only runs in Japanese.
  • Art modifications to replace Japanese text embedded in game graphics and creation of art assets such as fonts and icons using Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro. Although I'm not much of an artist, I am an expert in using Photoshop.
  • Edited English-language audio assets using Sound Forge and Cool Edit. I also created all of the sound effects for the "bonus games".
  • Created art and 3d model assets for "bonus games" using Photoshop and Lightwave.
  • Wrote design documents for Lunar "bonus games" as well as several proposed original games.
  • Trained a new programmer to take over my duties.

I am very proud of the work I accomplished while at Working Designs. Ultimately, I left that position because I was very lonely living in such a remote location, and I have a desire to do work that is more creative and challenging than merely converting Japanese programs to run in English. 

2000 – 2001 SoftEgg / Adventions Columbia, MD
Producer, etc. - Princess Maker 2 Princess Maker 2 Logo

Princess Maker 2 is a raising-up game for MS-DOS by Gainax of Japan that I attempted to get released in the United States.

The effort to bring Princess Maker 2 to the United States was entirely a home-grown effort. I was responsible for initiating the project, which was initially placed under the auspices of my friend David Leary's company Adventions. I contacted the Japanese company Gainax and, along with David Leary, worked out the licencing details, resulting in our initial two year license. I directed all aspects of the project's completion, and personally handled the programming (with Bryan Buck), art modifications, and manual layout.

When the game was complete enough to show to companies, David Leary acted as the head of Adventions to contact companies to sell the game. Alas, he was unsuccessful in his efforts to sell the game, so I formed SoftEgg to handle the task of finding distribution. At that point in time, I was working full-time for Working Designs, but I had the full blessing of that company to complete my work on Princess Maker 2.

After a long and discouraging search (MS-DOS games were on their way out) I finally was able to license the game to Intracorp (aka Capstone). They, in turn, licensed the game to Ignite (aka Inscape, aka Graphix Zone) which had financial troubles and quickly disappeared. Intracorp, filed for bankrupcy soon after, and Princess Maker 2 was never released as a result.

Still, I feel the effort with Princess Maker 2 was a valuable one, as it shows my capacity to act as a producer and manager as well as a programmer. Although the effort was unsuccessful, I feel that we may have been more successful with another product on a different platform. Trying to release an MS-DOS simulation game (particularly this one) in the shadow of Doom and Windows 95 would have been a difficult task for any company, and we made the best possible effort.

1992 – 1995 Microprose Hunt Valley,MD
Programmer - Sega Genesis and MS-DOS games. MicroProse Classic Logo

I started my career in the game industry at Microprose in 1992 shortly after graduating from college. I joined their newly formed console games division to work on the Sega Genesis version of Pirates'!Gold.

My primary task on Pirates was initially to design and program an animation tool that would allow a user to easily create animations for the Sega Genesis using an MS-DOS PC. The program I implemented used a text-based windowing interface running on a dual-monitor PC. Later, I implemented all of the animations in the game using the system I created.

Part way through the Pirates project, the lead programmer left, and the rest of us rose to fill the void. I ended up implementing the fencing combat engine, the towns, and several other sections of the game.

After the project's completion and release, I worked on an international version of Pirates (which was cancelled), did post-production work on several of Microprose's other Sega Genesis and Gameboy titles, and worked on code and design in preparation for our next Sega Genesis titles Dynatack, and Top Gun, both of which were cancelled when Microprose decided to leave the console game market. I did accomplish some significant work during this time, including:

  • Created various game engine prototypes for Top Gun, as well as a 4-window scrolling multiplayer game, and several others.

  • Software to convert binary files into linkable COF files that could be easily included in the project and accessed by label.

  • Reverse-engineered EA's multitap.

  • Wrote low-level systems code to automate DMA calls and shadow system registers.

  • Analyzed Sega's SVP chip and wrote documentation on it.

  • Created game design documents for new game concepts.

Upon the disolution of the console games division, I was assigned to program the MS-DOS version of Magic: The Gathering. I wrote all of the user-interface code for that product. Some highlights include:

  • Implemented all necessary low level code for displaying bitmaps in protected mode DOS using the XVM32 DOS extension.

  • Wrote a full windowing interface with animated sliders, picture frame windows, push buttons, animated scaled cards, and a full non-modal dialog system.

  • Created an animation player to play 256 color Autodesk Animator FLC files.

  • Implemented data compression algorithms that allowed for instant "on-the-fly" decompression, allowing art to be stored in RAM compressed.

  • Implemented a face-maker program to allow the player to create their online persona.

  • Implemented the main game interface screens, menus, and outer game loop.

The Magic: The Gathering project for MS-DOS was cancelled in anticipation of the release of Windows '95, and my position was eliminated in August of 1995.

 

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