Friday, May 26, 2023

New Avalon on a semi-hiatus

 After roughly a year of working unsuccessfully to secure funding I'm putting New Avalon on the backburner for a while. We talked to more than 50 publishers, venture capitalists, other investors, consultants and other experts looking for a way to support development but in the current climate there's not a lot of appetite for risk, especially from a new team without an advanced prototype.

I'm planning on pushing the project forward in my spare time in the hopes that we can one day get the band back together and find some funding once we're a little bit further along. In the mean time I've accepted a job at Odyssey Interactive to work tech on Omega Strikers and anything else they cook up, I did some contract work for them last year and they're a great bunch!

As a parting gift, here are two pieces of early concept art from our work at New Avalon. To the right is the brilliant character work from Yishu Ci ( and below is the amazing robots from Esther Wu ( I hope I get to work with them both again!

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Some Podcast Appearances!

No news about New Avalon yet (we're still working on our prototype right now) but I was invited to speak on two podcasts recently to talk about anti-cheat. Links below!

Malicious Life - The Problem With Kernel-Mode Anti-Cheat Software [ML B-Side]

Cheat! - Gaming the Gamers

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Going indie!

Another update!

For the last 10 months or so I've been doing consulting work for game studio startups, helping them with their tech. In particular I've helped with game networking, server performance & infrastructure, and security. At least one of the games is coming out soon and I'll make sure I post about it here.

While that's going on I've been exploring starting a game studio, after a few attempts trying with a Venture Capital compatible model I've changed course and instead started a small indie style studio. The studio is funded for now from my consulting work and hopefully augmented with additional funding from publishers or platforms in the future. The goal is to create a studio where creative people come together to build games to be proud of that find an audience sufficient to power the next project.

So here's the studio, New Avalon, our first project is a single player narratively driven strategy game. Not much to show yet, but I'm excited for the future!

Thursday, September 16, 2021

An Epic Games Portfolio

My time at Epic Games has come to an end. It was brief but I learned a lot, I got to dust off some long unused skills (management) and got to work with some great people. Unfortunately the pandemic prevented me from spending time at Epic Games HQ or meeting many Epic employees in person but I'm sure the practice I got with remote work (and management) will come in handy!

I joined Epic Games as a Principal Engineer on the Fortnite anti-cheat team but soon moved over to a Tech Director role to take over management responsibilities for the anti-cheat team and the related Gameplay Integrity team. This position had me looking after the anti-cheat technology for Epic Games (primarily for Fortnite) as well as being responsible for the competitive integrity of Fortnite in general (specifically Fortnite competitive events).

Beside management duties I also found some time for technical work but unlike previously almost all of my technical accomplishments were invisible to players. Over the course of the year I worked on technology for Fortnite all over the stack, including tech in the game client, game server, build systems, analytics pipeline, services infrastructure and operations tooling. This tech was usually anti-cheat or security related but occasionally I'd work on other areas such as performance or reliability issues.

The one exception to the behind the scenes nature of my work was the occasional feature or bug fixes for Unreal Engine. In particular in UE4.27 some of my work is mentioned in the release notes (and more of my changes can probably be found in the semi-public Github or Perforce logs). It was definitely a privilege to contribute (in a small way) to a game engine that I've spent so many years working with!

Two examples of my engine changes from the release notes

Next up after Epic I plan to be more of a generalist and spend less of my time on anti-cheat issues. The form it'll take is still up in the air but when I have something to announce I'll try and remember to post it here!

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

A VALORANT Portfolio

I'm changing jobs (after almost 7 years at Riot, that's a long run!) and I wanted to post a bunch of links to public facing stuff from my time at Riot, mostly VALORANT stuff from the past year, this is very self indulgent but think of it as a portfolio of sorts.


Riot Tech Blog - Fog of War




Ask Valorant #5

Dev Blog: Anti-cheat What, Why, and How


Reddit comment about the first cheaters banned

Reddit comment about running a driver at boot

Reddit comment about a performance regression

My Riot Reddit Account history

Tweet about how many cheaters exist in games and how that feels for players:

Interviews / News clips

I did a lot of interviews and got asked for quotes many times, I didn't do a good job keeping track of how those quotes and interviews were used but here are some of them that I could find after the fact.

Polygon: Valorant: How Riot finally made something new

InvenGlobal: Valorant has prepared to deal with hacks from the very beginning

Polygon: Valorant team bans over 8,000 cheaters in closed beta

ChinaJoy Keynote Video

VICE: The Vigilante Hunting Down Cheaters in Video Games

Riot: A Message About Vanguard From Our Security & Privacy Teams

Engadget: Valorant’s always-on anti-cheat system, Vanguard, is invasive AF

Valorant Game Features

Most of what I build for Valorant was behind the scenes technical systems there are some more visible features that I want to highlight below.

Fog of War

Map targeted abilities

omen ultimate minimap

Minimap footstep audio circles

Valorant: Beginners guide – Gameplay mechanics you need to know

Player facing no-hud/cinematic mode

Early grenade physics (~2015 version)

Character select (the first version ~2015)

VALORANT Early Thoughts | Phantom Distillery

Security error messages / ban messages (UI and plumbing)

Lots of behind the scenes stuff 

Anti-cheat and security systems, network encryption, performance optimization, UI tweaks, gameplay telemetry system, engine upgrades, middleware integrations, code analysis tools and lots more that I've already forgotten.