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Tim Trzepacz

Phone: (818) 588-6344
E-mail:
Professional Experience
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 ScreenShot Year Style Genre Platform
Iron Storm Iron Storm Screenshot 1995 Strategy World War II Sega Saturn
Localization reprogramming, translation, asset recovery, art.
 
Dragon Force Dragon Force Screenshot 1996 Strategy/RPG Fantasy Sega Saturn
Localization reprogramming, text engine, translation, asset recovery, art, gameplay enhancements.
Albert Odyssey Albert Odyssey Screenshot 1997 RPG Fantasy Sega Saturn
Localization reprogramming, translation, asset recovery, loading speed optimization, gameplay enhancements.
Magic Knight Rayearth Magic Knight Rayearth Screenshot 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 Lunar: The Silver Star Story Screenshot 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 Silhouette Mirage Screenshot 1998-1999 Action/Platform Science Fiction Sony Playstation
Localization reprogramming, text engine.
 
Vanguard Bandits Vanguard Bandits Screenshot 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 Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Screenshot 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. 

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