Hello , I’m Matthew Hodge

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Hi,I develop digital content and games. When I’m not doing that, I work as a high school game design teacher. Use the preceding links to find out more about my projects, and for my AR enabled business card viewing instructions.

Thanks for finding out more about my projects.

Sincerely,
Matthew Hodge

AR Business Card Viewing Instructions

These demos currently work with the Argon3 browser. You can get it at the following links:

  1. iOS : Argon3
  2. Android : Argon4 (coming soon-ish)

Once the app is installed, open it up and navigate back to this page ( hello.step2digital.com ), then click the following links to view the demo:

These AR demos are designed for use with the Argon web browser. Argon is a browser that supports viewing AR content via HTML5 and the ThreeJS rendering library. Argon is currently being developed by the Augmented Environments Lab at Georgia Institute of Technology. For more information on this browser, and how to develop for it, visit the official website.
My card is the AR image target. If you don’t have one, you can print this ( click for larger version ).

What Can the “Tactical Twitch” AR Demo Currently Do?

At this time the demo features the helicopter with Twitch from the game I’m currently working on, “Tactical Twitch”. The elevation and rotation can be controlled. Additionally, there is information about the upcoming game in HTML elements that are rendered in 3d space.

Where are You Going With the “Tactical Twitch” AR Demo?

My goal is to build a complete AR promotional website for my upcoming game, complete with a mini game where the player controls the helicopter to accomplish various objectives such as shooting down enemies, and airlifting soldiers to safety. I will have a traditional promotional site for all browsers; however, I love HTML5/WebGL technology. I can’t pass up the opportunity to develop a real show piece, even if it requires an obscure ( for now ) browser.

When Will the Full AR Website & Mini Game be Complete for “Tactical Twitch”?

This particular project is one that I give attention to as time allows. My primary development focus is on completing “Tactical Twitch”, which I’m developing in the Unity3D game engine. However, since I am using Argon as a teaching tool with my students I may have interactivity wired up within a few weeks. It’s a great way to get high school students interested in fundamental web technologies, and programming skills. I’ll likely have the rockets working by the end of May. The full experience will be completed over the next few months, and be finished in time to promote my game.

If you’d like to get updates on this project, the best way is to follow me on Facebook, or just load the site up in Argon to see if there is anything new.

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Current Project: “Tactical Twitch”

I’ll go over it in brief. For a full rundown of the game, please visit the official game page at: twitch.step2digital.com.

What is “Tactical Twitch”?

“Tactical Twitch” is a casual shooter where everything and everyone that is destroyed can alter the situation faced. Enemies and friendly support mechanics change with the fluctuating attitude that the game world inhabitants hold toward the player.

What is Game Play Like?

The player interaction with the world is modeled after a tile based board game. Certain tiles offer actions, such as taking cover, or peaking under doors. There are four directions of movement, and abilities such as strafe, and an OTS sniper mode. Additionally, there is an attack helicopter that offers larger firepower, and the ability to fast rope Twitch across the map. The players ability to use the helicopter, and its repair times are directly affected by the inhabitants outlook towards the player. If they like Twitch, the player is allowed to set up base in the map. This leads to short repair times. If they don’t want Twitch around, the helicopter must fly out of the map for repairs, leading to longer repair times.

Exact workings of the game-play will be revealed in upcoming developer diaries, and when I resume working on the project this summer ( 2016 ).

Why is Twitch a Cat?

First of all, if you’re asking this, thanks for recognizing that he’s a cat. Most people think he’s some sort of fox, or raccoon. I just don’t have the whiskers in yet. I’m sure everything will make sense when he has his whiskers.

Okay, seriously, there is a good reason. I’m not ready to reveal the story to the internet just yet. I’d like my short introductory cut scene to be somewhat surprising when players first see it. That said, if we happen to meet in person and you’re curious, I might talk about it. I told my current class of high school game design students about the story. It caused many of the boys to feel a connection to the cat, and a number of the girls got a little choked up. I’m excited about it, and I can’t wait to share the story when I launch the game.

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What’s Step 2, and who is Hodge?

Most of us are probably aware of the Underpants Gnomes from South Park. “Phase 1: Collect Underpants. Phase 3: Profit.” This idiom goes back a ways, and is often used as a movie plot device (that substitutes the lack of plot). It’s also been the result of many politicians in human history… The first Step is having a great idea.

I’ve had many great ideas for stories and games. I got Step 1 locked down; however, day dreaming about how great one’s own ideas are is the easy part. Step 2 is the work that brings great ideas to fruition.

Yep, I’m a nerd with an attractive geek wife… I found a unicorn!

I quit dreaming about Step 1 and 3 in 2005, when I decided to start a degree in digital animation. The degree focus was game design, and the classes offered were so interesting that I took over 120 units. My educational background has extended into motion graphics, web development, and IT services due to my community college addiction.

Since 2008, I’ve been working professionally as a web and multimedia developer in the Fresno area of California. My experience ranges from developing a summer visual effects workshop for elementary students in a local school district, to a position as Senior Web/Multimedia developer with a local branding agency.

Around 2011 (give or take) I received my first job that required programming skills. I was tasked with building an e-commerce system with php/mySQL as the back-end technologies. I’ve been programming ever since. My professional work experience has lead to an understanding of Object Oriented Programming (OOP), relational database design, and game programming  concepts. When I first set out I never expected to be programming. Now it’s so much a part of everyday life that I’ve decided to make it official. As of right now (October 2015) I’m working on my 4 year degree in software development, and loving every bit of it (see what I did there, “bit” of it.).

Step 2 is my major move in pursuit of step 3.

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Skills & Other Info of Interest

If you’d like to know what skills I actually posses, here is a thorough breakdown. I’m rating myself on a scale of 1 – 5. I haven’t given myself a 5 yet, because it seems I’m never done learning, and getting faster as I go. 5 is my destination. I’ll always be moving towards it.

Ability Knowledge Agility Experience
Softimage 4 4 Education
Work
Hobby
Maya 2
(Quickly rising as I
migrate from Softimage)
3 Work
Photoshop 4 4 Education
Work
Hobby
After Effects 3 2 Education
Work
Hobby
Premier Pro 3 3 Education
Work
Hobby
Unity 3D (JS or C#) 4 3 Work
Hobby
HTML5/CSS3/JavaScript (Vanilla) 3 4 Education
Work
Hobby
JavaScript Libraries (i.e. jQuery, ThreeJS) 3 3 Work
Hobby
PHP 3 4 Work
Java in General 2 2 Education
C# in General 3 (higher when in Unity3D) 3 (higher when in Unity3D) Education
Hobby

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