Joe Linhoff's
Published Game Grid


StarPower: Galaxies, 2011.  For iOS and Android.  This game is inspired by Tempest.  This is my first mobile game using my own engine and tools.

From 2006 until the present, I've worked with DePaul students on many games.  I was the technical advisor on Devil's Tuning Fork shown above.  This game was a 2010 IGF Student Showcase Winner.

Big Buck Hunter Pro, PlayMechanix, Inc., Glen Ellyn, IL 2006.  For the Arcade.  This game looks great. We pulled out all the stops and I re-wrote the Big Buck system from scratch. The system is written in C and uses OpenGL. The game uses skeletons with weighted-vertex animations for single skin, seamless animations. Projecting geometry into the stencil buffer creates great shadows that cover the world with reasonable overhead.

Action Hero, PlayMechanix, Inc., Glen Ellyn, IL 2004.  For the Arcade.  This is a great, classic-style gun game. When you pull the trigger, the screen flashes white and the optics in the gun 'see' the video beam. With Action Hero, we finally got the hardware and software that convert this into a shot dead-nuts-on. I am particularly proud of the asynchronous gun / interrupt code in this game. Also, the two guns, two players system worked well.

Big Buck Hunter, PlayMechanix, Inc., Glen Ellyn, IL 2001.  For the Arcade.  The other programmers at PlayMechanix took the WarGods/Invasion game engine, and converted it from DSP code into C. This system was used in a series of games including: Special Forces, Action Hero, and most popularly, Big Buck Hunter. The team at PlayMechanix, led by the superstar developers Will Carlin and Mark Macy created Big Buck Hunter. This is when I was in law school. But, I did come back for a few incredibly intense weeks, to get Big Buck out the door.

Indigo Swing, PlayMechanix, Inc. Glen Ellyn, IL 1999.  For custom hardware.  Near the end of the Invasion project, I wrote the game system to create video slot machines for PlayMechanix. This was a simple DirectX based system written in C. This platform was used for a number of successful video slot machines.

Invasion: The Abductors, PlayMechanix, Inc., Glen Ellyn, IL 1999.  For the Arcade.  My friend, George Petro, left Midway and started PlayMechanix after WarGods. I left Midway shortly after and joined him first as a contractor and then as a full time employee. George and his crew are incredibly talented and have created some amazing games. Invasion was one of our first games at PlayMechanix. We started with all of WarGods code, tools, and hardware and greatly improved on all the systems to make Invasion.

WarGods, Midway Games, Chicago, IL 1996.  For the Arcade.  This is one of my favorite projects. Midway was a great place to work. I started the WarGods project in 1993 with one artist and finished in 1996 with a team of about 10. I wrote the arcade game and game engine from scratch in TI 320C31 DSP code. This was a great processor because it had single cycle floating point multiplies! This was Midway's first 3D fighting game. My tools turned motion captured polygon animations into vertex-keyframes and vertex-delta frames -- which provided very fast, fully skinned, 3D animations.

Chaos Strikes Back, FTL Games, San Diego, CA 1989.  For Atari ST, Amiga, Mac SE.  A friend of mine, who was also on the UCSD programming team, helped me get a job at FTL. Software Heaven / FTL Games was a unique place. We had great discussions about programming. Writing portable code was paramount. The Amiga, Atari ST, and the Macintosh SE were our core systems.  We did target the PC, but, as a game machine, it was a mess.

Certificate Maker, Springboard Software, Inc., Minneapolis, MN 1986.  For the Mac.  This was my first big project on the Mac.

Stickers, Springboard Software, Inc., Minneapolis, MN 1984.  For the Apple ][.  This was my first commercially produced game. I programmed the graphic routines in 6502 assembly. If you look at the screenshot on the label, you can see some of my first and last 'artwork' -- the greenish shapes along the bottom!
My first self published games were Buzzy Bee and Willy Worm for the the Apple ][ sometime around 1982.  These were educational games.  My friend and I 'packaged' the 5.25" floppy disk in a sandwich bag and sold the games at the neighborhood Computerland.