John McKenna

Tech Art &
Sound Design

Game Projects

Our project group is called Hade Haj Studios and we work in an inhouse engine called One Engine created by the programmers.

Project #1: Sunborne

The game is a hack n slash based on Diablo III where our main character is a sacrificial victim who is reanimated by the gods to seek vengeance against a bloodthirsty cult. This project was 14 weeks (4hours/day).

My responsibilites during this project were environment shaders in HLSL, shaders and particles VFX, and creating SFX. For the first project that Technical Artists take part in, there is a learning curve getting aquainted with the inhouse engine created by the programming students, and learning the ins-and-outs of the pipeline between graphics, animation and level designer.

Horde Enemy Monkey Claw attack:

Elite Enemy Fresnel & Bloodbomb attack:

Poison Gas & Heavy Axe attacks:

SFX for the game:

My main learning during this project was the importance of communication and scope. Early on I took on the responsibility to create a river of blood that would flow in different directions around the map. I learned so much about shaders and HLSL during the development, and managed to create a vertex painted flowmap that flowed faster when vertical, unfortunately we had trouble implementing it into the game.

In hindsight I would have focused more time on prototyping many diverse types of shaders, vfx and particle systems for enemies. 

Project #2: Serpentine Estate

The second project took place over 14 weeks (4hours/day). The game is a Third Person Shooter based on Resident Evil 2, where you play as a journalist investigating the mysterious occurances at the Serpentine Estate. My responsibilities in this project were Storyline, Voice Acting, Shaders, VFX, and sound implementations.

Muzzleflash & Smoke VFX

Interactable Object Shader

Portal Effect:

In the beginning of this project I believed we had a moderate scope for all disciplines, but during the production it became clear we had created some challenges in scope and scale. I feel we were good at navigating this together, to find the relevant cuts and to refocus what we wanted to achieve individually and together. A personal challenge I found was writing, recording and implementing voicelines so that it fit the pace of the game and finding the balance between what the player needs to know and what we want them to know.