My name is Ryan Tan. I’m a creative professional from Singapore with several years of bootstrap experience in the gaming industry.

I thrive in creative and collaborative environments where hard work and passion for making games are valued. I firmly believe in the concept of “idea refraction”, whereby each fresh design concept is made better through iterated contributions from other team members. 

Regardless of what game genre I design for, I always try to tell a story.

I honestly can't remember when I first started. When my father first brought home a Gamecube in the early 2000s, I knew there was something special about this medium and its ability to bring fun and enjoyment to people's lives. My fondest memories are of watching my family play classics such as "Battle for Middle Earth" and "Dynasty Warriors" whilst I relentlessly backseat game from the side. Oh how the carefree days have gone by...

 

However, it wasn't until 2009 when Minecraft multiplayer came out that really crystallised this sense of wanting to join the industry within me. In fact, it was the earliest exposure I had at the age of 11 to the very basics of game design and programming. I would spend weeks tinkering on plugins with my buddies and putting together medieval fantasy servers that the public would then join and play on. The earlier servers we made were pretty shabby if I do say so myself, but the knowledge I had gained from all the successes and most importantly, failures, would come to benefit my work even now.

 

Over time, I would find success joining teams such as Hypixel and starting out professional servers with teams across multiple disciplines. Who knew that Minecraft would eventually also teach me how to balance my checks and handle game monetisation?

 

Alas, when the time came for me to finally head to college, or polytechnic as we would call it here in Singapore, I went right into a game design course (after some tumbles and fumbles) and the rest is history.

Here in Singapore, we have a mandatory military service obligation consisting of a 2 year tenure in whichever vocation we're assigned to. I'm personally part of the SAF's 1st Transport Battalion, and will be released from full time service in May, 2022.

 

I'm intending to continue my studies at the DigiPen Institute of Technology, taking up Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation. In short, lots of programming and game related modules that will serve to further my knowledge in this field.

 

My dream is to ultimately take my startup, Exousia Studios, which is currently in its infancy stages and turn it into a game development powerhouse known both locally and globally. Until then, I'll need experience and the right people - both I'll hopefully attain as I continue to move forward on this path.

- Experience designing/implementing gameplay mechanics, camera sequences and game modes.


- Experience writing huge narrative universes, forming complex characters and designing quests.


- C#, C++, Ruby, Java, Python, and quick to pick up new coding/scripting languages.


- Experience writing technical documents, design specs and bug reports.


- Great at teaching others and communicating ideas.


- Proficient with project management tools such as Jira, ClickUp, DevTrack and Hansoft.


- Working knowledge of version control tools such as Git, GitHub, SourceTree and Mercurial.


- Experience with handling small teams and business aspects of projects.


- Knowledge of Maya and 3DS Max with added proficiency with Adobe Suite, Visual Studio, and 3D engines such as Unreal and Unity.


- Working experience with networking engines such as PhotonBolt and SpatialOS.

Without a doubt, Solus: Remnants of Attera. This project was the culmination of years of development experience, and was worked on by some of the most talented students I had the pleasure of working with.

 

While we managed to pull through for our first prototype, we had already hit so many bumps along the way, ranging from an inconsistent vision for the game, hardware failures, file corruptions, manpower shortages and worst of all, inadequate knowledge for some of the more advanced techniques we were trying to utilise such as rootmotion and A*. Also, everyone was just really nice in general and some things which could be improved by leaps and bounds weren't being pointed out timely.

 

Naturally, when that prototype was released for playtesting by a public audience, we discovered even more issues stemming from a lack of quality assurance and internal playtesting. Every game development mistake new teams are known to make - we had done it all. At this point, we had a 5 day gap before Scrum began for the next milestone of the game, and everyone on the team was anxious as to how we will take this game further.

 

Alas, as the game's Creative Director, I had come to slowly understand the weight of my role in the grand scheme of things. After figuring out some of the more fundamental issues we had on creative decisions and gameplay direction, I held with my team the very first game pitch for Solus - something which I should have done a long time ago. From that point on, while we still had the occasional meeting to figure certain things out (this is a game after all, which meant iteration after iteration of concepts), we were going at a pace much faster than we had been ever before.

 

Finally, while we didn't quite finish everything on our Scrum board, we had a game that we were very proud of across every discipline, with members of the public complimenting on just how much things had improved for the better.

 

I can't stress how much I had learnt from this project which spanned across 8 months, and while I still look back and shake my head at all the things we had done "wrongly", I ultimately am thankful for them for they made us better developers and myself, a better leader than before. 

 

As I'm currently still serving in the army, I unfortunately do not have time for freelance work. However, do feel free to contact me at my email regardless if there's anything I can help you with. You may find my social media handles above.

Deck Clash

2020

Built on top of Unity's royale framework, Deck Clash expands upon the original by adding more units, tower types and introduces rebalances across the board. A custom mana system is also introduced for both the player and enemy AI.

Inspired by Clash Royale, I started working on Deck Clash to keep myself updated on Unity's ever evolving technology as I continued working on my personal game engine and endeavors in life. With an abundance of tools to continuously explore new concepts and features, I can consistently create unique units and try them out in the field on the go.

Deck Clash now serves as a way for me to quickly prototype and foolproof ideas as I use them in future games.

Country Story

Ongoing

A game inspired by a classic of the same name that has since closed down, Country Story is an ongoing project that is being worked on slowly whenever I'm not tending to other projects or matters.

The game's core theme revolves around the concept of relationships as you play as a struggling farmer attempting a getaway from modern life. Till your crops, form meaningful friendships with those around you and fight off those who would try to attack your peaceful sanctuary. With intricate resource management mechanics and seasonal advantages, micromanagement is highly vital for your survival.

The game is being coded in high level C# and features custom editors as I aim to save progress as templates that I may further reuse in future projects.

The Stone Guardian

2020

The Stone Guardian is a hack and slash action RPG inspired by Dark Souls and Soulsborne. The game follows a lone adventurer on his journey to cull ancient stone guardians that had awoken in a forest known as the Undying Woods. By utilising careful resource management and available combat mechanics, players must restore peace to the forest and destroy the Guardian's Core.

As my first foray into Unreal Engine, I found things to be quite manageable due to prior experiences in game development. With the amount of assets and knowledge base available to the public, I was able to put together both the game level and programming blueprints quickly. Challenges revolved around camera movements and animation events, although they were eventually solved by researching further online.

Solus: Remnants of Attera

2019 - ?

Solus: Remnants of Attera is an action adventure, hack and slash RPG which follows Ark, a boy whose village comes under attack from otherworldly invaders known only as the Legion. In this climatic battle between ancient magic and highly advanced extraterrestrial technology, which side will emerge victorious?

Serving as the game's Creative Director, I led a 9 member team in crafting the game in its entirety. Initial issues revolved around incoherent game pillars, hardware failures and design blockades, although they were subsequently remedied by the game's second prototype. In addition, I programmed all core gameplay systems ranging from complex item classes to UI integrations. Finally, I led all marketing and promotional efforts across all social media platforms.

As of 2020, the project has been put on indefinite hold due to team commitments.

Aeternum: Destiny's Call

2018 - 2019

Aeternum: Destiny's Call is an action MMORPG which draws heavy inspiration from classics such as the Diablo and Torchlight series. After years of waiting in the Dark Plains, the Eldari Crusade has launched yet another assault on Aloria. Face the unforgiving landscape of the once magnificent Aloria, forge connections with new and familiar faces alike and fight your way to the the root of the invasion itself!

The project was my first "AAA" take on game development. I led a team of three talented developers in crafting out the entire game across multiple disciplines, filling out roles when needed. Initial challenges revolved around a lack of time and monetary budget, which led to project scaling and outsourcing efforts. In addition to programming the entire game, it was also my first attempt on multiplayer using PhotonBolt within Unity, which was ultimately highly successful and brought new dynamics to the gameplay.

My Monster Story

2019

My Monster Story is a mixed reality pet simulation game which revolves around fantasy pets, items and furniture interacting with the player's environment in real time with voice commands, touch gestures and spatial mapping.

Built for the Microsoft HoloLens, this project was my first time developing for a completely brand new platform, consisting of APIs and technology I had never been exposed to. Serving as the game's sole programmer, I spent 2 weeks getting up to speed with integration within Unity and the wearable itself, before building out the game in the remaining 2 months.

The final product is now actively used as a tech demonstration in schools.

Dumpster Dining

2019

Dumpster Dining is a mobile based cooking simulation adventure consisting of unique minigames, mind-throbbing puzzles and an engaging story which drives players to achieve that perfect three stars rating on the dishes they conjure.

Built for iOS and Android devices, I served as the project's lead game designer and programmer. Initial design roadblocks revolved around being confined to a touchscreen, although deeper research allowed us to circumvent and come up with unique levels made possible only with mobile devices. The project also gave me insight on how to work with various APIs such as Android Studio and Xcode as I integrated them with the game within Unity.

Incubus: The Last Tape

2018

Incubus: The Last Tape follows an archaeologist by the name of Ryan Drake, whose treasure hunting adventures leads him to seek out Iram of the Pillars, a lost city mentioned in the Qur’an rumored to harbor massive amounts of gold and riches. However, as he documents the experience with his camera and seeks out the forgotten legend, a mysterious entity seeks to warp Ryan’s senses as a battle ensues between his deepest fears and his innermost desires.

The project was a solo endeavour by myself as I handled all aspects of design, writing, asset creation, programming, VFX and sound design. As I continued to draw inspiration from classics such as Slenderman and Amnesia, it was an absolute joy to work on this game with full creative freedom and I learnt many things that would come to benefit me in future endeavours.

Ancient Tidings

2018

Ancient Tidings is a physical board game revolving around the recurring theme of disasters. Players take control of unique civilisations that are warped from their respective timelines onto an island filled with darkness and instability. Will they work together and survive the onslaught of mother nature, or sabotage one another into the ashes of history?

Working together with a group of designers, we had one core pillar to work with: there would be no direct conflict across the board. This severely lead to design blockades, although we eventually shifted focus to having disasters and player placed traps drive conflict across the civilisations. I also drafted out the game's story and designed a companion application to primarily aid in point tracking in addition to other functionalities.

Amalgam

2018

Amalgam is a physical card game revolving around the theme of, well, amalgamations. In the aftermath of a nuclear fallout, society has crumbled and four mad scientists now wrestle for control over the world. With their monstrous creations driving their evil agendas across the globe, who will emerge at the top?

The project was an absolute joy to work on as it really called out to a favourite past-time we all had as children - card games. As the project's lead designer, I drew combat inspiration from popular classics such as Duel Masters and Yugioh whilst carefully balancing out stats and abilities across the board. As combining minions to form stronger amalgamations was a recurring theme in the game, we had to ensure that there was a give and take when it came to resource management and board control.

The final product was an absolute blast, and received widespread applaud in its initial public playtesting session.

Tales of Lunaria

2018

Tales of Lunaria was my second foray into gaming servers after graduating high school, which was the leading reason behind my previous server's closure. Combining all development expertise from Sylvan across the board, Lunaria boasted high-end hardware, polished plugins and a wide array of external infrastructure ranging from a full story wiki to professional analytic solutions.

At its peak in beta, Lunaria saw peak populations of 50 daily active players across its two month tenure, although the server was never officially fully released due to other opportunities I had to take up to further my studies. The project ceased operations in late 2018, which also brought my professional career in server hosting and management to an end.

A Space Odessey

2017

A game that expanded way beyond its original scope, A Space Odyssey serves as one of my fondest projects to date. After years of research and preparation, Humanity has finally taken up residence on the red planet - Mars. However, the first signs of extraterrestrial life has manifested in the form of hostile invaders from the nearby galaxy of Andromeda. Navigate the colony and drive off the invasion before mankind is forced to abandon their hopes for space!

As one of my first few projects in Unity, I had a lot of fun learning about particle effects, timelines and rendering pipelines whilst putting together bits and pieces of sci-fi assets I had in my possession into a full fledged lunar base. Whilst this was more of a showcase of environmental design skills, I spent some time putting together a second level, where players will fight off invading spacecrafts similar to the classic Space Invaders.

Unnamed Hospital Project

2016

This project served as my first official foray into Unity game development - one that caused me mental shock for a period of time as I tried to absorb information about everything that laid before me. Ironically, my first introduction would also involve integrating a relatively new VR handtracking hardware into the game, meant for hospital patients to aid in rehabilitation.

It started out almost like a hot mess as I was thrown into the project by my school without prior programming experience, although several weeks of learning time would prove ample for me to get up to speed. My team and I had to design mechanics that would suit the game's unique way of engagement which would utilize the player's hands directly, all whilst simulating a virtual environment in VR space. It was a unique experience to have a jumpstart like this to working within Unity, and solidified my programming knowledge for future endeavours.

The project was highly successful, and is now actively used in hospitals across Singapore.

Sylvan

2015 - 2016

Sylvan was a gaming server which provided a unique RPG experience coupled with player abilities, factions and a whole fantasy universe built upon the foundations of Minecraft. It ran for over a year, which saw peak populations of 150 players daily and monetisation based upon cosmetic microtransactions.

The server was my first foray into game development officially after having worked for several other Minecraft teams in past years. I led all forms of technical implementations, design, level building, assets outsourcing, recruitment and marketing efforts, which brought me my first insights into game development and external tools such as IntelliJ and cPanel. By the end of the server's lifespan, the team grew to 8 members across multiple disciplines.

In October 2016, I passed on ownership to my co-founder to focus on schooling, with the server officially being closed in December that year.

Miscellaneous

2015 - 2020

To check out my other hobby projects, do head over to my GitHub!

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I create  project templates for my own personal use, such as in-depth Inventory Systems and A* Pathfinding algorithms. Feel free to use them in your own projects! You may visit these templates in my repositories.

Prism is my own proprietary game engine developed to improve my understanding on the technology and architecture behind modern day development tools. 

  • Not adding those I had lost access to, or requires monetisation to obtain certificates. Do visit my LinkedIn for the full list.