Alex McGilvray

AS_Caliber timelapse development video and new screenshots

September 28th, 2011

I recently did some major work on the map AS_Caliber for Firearms|Source .

It’s getting very close to done and is going through a final art pass by some of the FAS team artists.

I’ve also taken a time-lapse video of me working on some of the new areas. I think the video will be a lot more interesting if I had shown myself working on something from scratch but some people still might find this interesting 🙂

Mah First Article : Designing Assault maps in Firearms|Source

August 27th, 2011

Finally got around to putting up an article I wrote about a month ago about designing assault gameplay maps for the game Firearms Source. If you are interested in multiplayer level design it might be worth your time to give it a read.

Check the articles section to read the article. Or this link

Firearms:Source featured in PCGamer this month!

October 8th, 2010

Just found out PCGamer did a mini article on Firearms|Source this month. Gotta run to the store and pick up a copy!


August 15th, 2010

So last night, I went on a bit of a mapping bender and put this map together. Work went extremely fluid and seamless, moreso than any mapping I’ve done in recent memory.

This map is a small map I put together to get some dense foliage-based fighting and fast gameplay. I’m pretty happy with how it’s turned out so far. It should be in a future version of Firearms|Source.

Update for May 2010 : What I’ve been up to

May 7th, 2010

Long time since my last post. Been finishing up school and havent had a lot of time for getting things done. Looking forward to finishing up a lot of projects this summer, some that have spanned 4 years. Here is a breakdown of where I’m at:

Firearms|Source : Valve Source Engine mod

I’ve been involved with this mod (and it’s previous mods before the merge) for over 4 years now. I would have never guessed it would take this long but then again I didnt know a lot about game development at the time when I joined. One of the best things about this project is due to necessity I ended up learning a passable knowledge about many aspects of game development, from character rigging/animation to code to general engine function. I would agree with the people who say that working on and completing a mod is probably more important to learning game development than taking some kind of game development course (and a hell of a lot cheaper). It’s good for training yourself to find answers to problems yourself rather than rely on a superior.

FAS should be released sometime in the month of July 2010! As per the timeline we posted here :

The Loop : Flixel Game

I’ve been working on this game in short 4-6 hour bursts when I have a brief moment or can’t take any more mathematics homework.  The gameplay is done, I’m having trouble writing the story though. I have a LOT of trouble with writing, I have the ideas in my head but I can’t articulate them well ingame. Hopefully a large bag of summer reading novels will help me get into the spirit.

The Loop should be released in June. After working on a 4+ year project it’s insanely satisfying to be able to make a whole game with all my own art, music and code in a matter 3 months on a very part time basis.

I can see Flixel being a part of my game development life for a long time (assuming flash doesnt get killed by HTML5) . Working with it is what I might consider game development stress relief.

Willow Engine : XNA Engine

I’ve begun developing the Willow Engine for fast XNA 2D game prototyping and development. I’ve been working on 2D game libraries for the last year on XNA but I had also been learning .NET and C# at the same time so naturally I made a lot of questionable design decisions while learning. Now that I have a much firmer grasp on C#/.NET/XNA I’ve begun to pursue something far more “professional” in nature.

The Willow Engine will consist of a few things:

  • The Game Library DLL
  • A Tilemap editor
  • A sprite editor

So far I haven’t begun on the tools, I’m currently in college learning .NET winforms development, so I plan on taking that on once I’m further into my winforms studies. As for the DLL, here is what I’ve completed:

  • Input management : Basic input management
  • Tile Engine/Tilemaps : Pretty basic tile engine
  • State Management : There is an emphasis on making this very easy
  • A Base -> Sprite -> Entity class heiarchy for game objects
  • SpriteLayers : for managing rendering more easily, everything must be committed to a sprite layer, currently no object has the ability to draw itself, I’m trying to keep it that way.
  • Animations : I’ve written a 2D animation system about 4-5 times and have a good idea of what I need. Easy submission and use of animations.
  • ToolBox : A Set of tool functions that exist in a global class. Some features include a texture repository to avoid duplicate textures in memory, housing for the input manager, & sound management.
  • 2D camera system : This has been fun to implement, it’s interesting to see how linear algebra is interpreted in programming code.  Currently only supports translation but rotation/scale is being worked on.

A short list of features I plan to work on

  • Entity > Physics : A physics adhering sprite for simple collisions
  • Particle Emitters : self explanetory
  • Defferred Rendering

I’m still deciding on whether to release this to the public. I think once the tools are done and I reach alpha I’ll release the engine for others to use.

Big thanks to Cale Dunlap & Venom Game Labs for providing SVN space and coding advice on this project. My singletons would still probably be not working if it was for his help. You can visit his site here :

Cult Retribution : XBLIG Game

I have teamed up with artist Shea Lane to make our first XBLIG release. It will be a top down shooter with light RPG elements in the vein of a Diablo skill tree. It will have a fairly dark artistic style which Shea is doing entirely.  Concept and design has REALLY ramped up over the last couple months and Shea has been banging out concept art and game art. I will be posting up some concept and possibly in game shots in the very near future.

PS_Caliber : Source engine map (I’m still mapping!)

While I have been coding a lot, I never plan to give up on level design and mapping, I have too much of a passion for it. I’ve now taken on the adage  that all my future maps should have ideally 100% of the assets created by me. So everything you see these shots, models, textures etc are all custom stuff I did the last month or so.

The map aims to fill the void FAS currently has for outdoor open maps. Historially it’s been very hard to get a outdoor map that both feels open yet doesnt alienate the FAS style of gameplay. I hope that this time around I achieve the right balance.

I’ve attached a few screen of it’s current very early state.

Level/Environment Portfolio update March 2010

March 17th, 2010

The portfolio was getting severely out of date so I took some time the last couple days to update it.

Check it out here:

PS_Derailed 2010 update

February 7th, 2010

Well I’ve been working steadily on ps_derailed over the holidays getting it up to visual standard for RC1 release. Most of the updates involves some new and redone brushwork, a fairly major retexture, and a handfull of skybox props made by me and Schmung from the FAS team. Schmung is responsible for the awesome crane model.

e crane which really looks nice as it hangs over the map in a skybox.

Ps_derailed update

December 22nd, 2009

I havent had time to map much lately because of school but the nice thing about being away from a map for so long is your mind keeps subconciously working on it. I had no lack of ideas for this map.

The progressive spawns are completely redone and are moved a bit further away from the center cap point. There is now about 200% more upper level sniper and support spots. There has been a lot of re-texturing to give it a more industrial and unified feel. The texture theme before was a little all over the place. HDR exposure is reduced and the lighing is getting there, it still needs some more incremental changes though.

The shots here show off the redone areas and sniper points over the 3rd cap point. Note that the 3rd cap point goes into the garage and is now much more heavily fortified, it should be easier to defend despite the increase of sniper points focused on it.

Ps_Crossfire update

December 22nd, 2009

Crossfire has had a few issues relating to holding flags. Before there was a flag that was fairly difficult to defend because it had roughly 270 degrees of overwatches focused on it.

I’ve moved that flag into a nearby warehouse and opened up a few more paths towards this warehouse. It should be much easier to defend now.

I will probably be doing another update for “the ghetto” flag to make it easier to defend.

I’ve also added a sewer system under the park area, hopefully this will make it easier for blue to hold as well as make it easier for red to cap.

Ps_ForestPass an attempt an outdoor map in the source engine

October 23rd, 2009

Here’s a map I’m working on for FAS. It attempts to do an outdoor forest scene in Source which is a little rough.

I learned the value of modulation blend textures from this map, the quality increase from using them on your terrain blends is huge. The tree model is about my 4th attempt at doing an evergreen, I’m still not entirely happy with it but it’s improving every time which is good.