Who Am I?

Hi. I'm Conan Bourke. I am a Software Engineer and Educator, with a background in Video Game Development, Real-time Visualisations and Simulations.

With 5 years experience in Video Game Development for cross-platforms titles across PC, PS2, PS3, GameCube, Wii and XBox 360, I decided to take my skills and help others realise their dreams to become successful game developers. I relocated from Melbourne to Sydney to take up a teaching role with the Academy of Interactive Entertainment (AIE), helping develop their Sydney campus to become one of Australia's premier training providers.

After leading the programming faculty at the AIE for many years I decided to move back into professional software development work, taking up a position with the Expanded Perception and Interaction Centre (EPICentre) at UNSW Art & Design as a Senior Software Engineer working on visualisation and simulation research projects. I am now the Lead Developer on the High-End Visualisation System (HEVS) platform, a software suite that allows easy development and deployment of real-time applications to multi-modal display devices including display walls, CAVE, Domes, Cylinders, VR, Mobile and Desktop.

In my spare time I enjoy researching the latest in Computer Graphics techniques, and I am an avid homebrewer of Craft Beer and Mead, having received a few awards for my creations. I am now also a register BJCP Beer and Mead judge, assiting various local compitions including the NSW Amateur Brewing Championships.

Research & Visualisation

18 months experience in visualisation and simulation for research and data science

Software Engineering Training

9 years experience in training and curriculum development at undergraduate levels

Video Game Development

5 years experience in professional cross-platform video game development with 6 credited titles

Publications, Projects and Credited Work

High-End Visualisation System (HEVS)

EPICentre, UNSW Art & Design

Marvel Super Hero Squad

BlueTongue Entertainment THQ Pty Ltd

El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera

BlueTongue Entertainment THQ Pty Ltd

Nicktoons: Attack of the Toybots

BlueTongue Entertainment THQ Pty Ltd

Nicktoons: Battle for Volcano Island

BlueTongue Entertainment THQ Pty Ltd

Nicktoons: Unite!

BlueTongue Entertainment THQ Pty Ltd

The Polar Express

BlueTongue Entertainment THQ Pty Ltd

My Skills

As a Software Engineer my primary programming languages are C/C++/C#, with experience using Python/JavaScript/Lua.

I have worked with several industry-standard game engines and toolsets, including Unity3D, Unreal Engine 4, Renderware, Gamebryo, Torque, Auran Jet, Ogre3D, and custom in-house engines. Additionally I have created multiple custom render engines and tools over the years, utilising many APIs, such as DirectX, OpenGL, Vulkan, OpenCL, ZeroMQ, RakNet, PhysX and many more.

I have been told that I have a great speaking ability which aided me greatly as an educator, and I have also spoken at events and conferences, including speaking at the 2013 Game Developer Conference Game Career Seminar in San Francisco USA, on the topic You Don't Need a Degree to Make Video Games.

C/C++

90%

C#/Python/JavaScript/Lua

75%

OpenGL/DirectX/Vulkan

85%

Unity3D/Unreal Engine 4

75%

VR/AR/XR Experience

70%

Artificial Intelligence for Games

80%

3D Mathematics

80%

Plugin & Tool Development

75%

Experience

Senior Software Developer - EPICentre, UNSW Art & Design 2018-Present

Lead developer for the High End Visualisation System (HEVS), a software platform allowing for the creation and deployment of 2D/3D visualisations onto interlinked multi-modal viz platforms including desktop, CAVE, VR, dome displays, cylindrical displays and clustered platforms. Primary technologies include C/C++/C#/Python/Unity3D and the creation of various plugins.

Also responsible for the development of visualisation and research-related projects with various third parties, including the National Measurement Institute (NMI) and CSIRO.

Head of Programming - Academy of Interactive Entertainment 2015-2018

Responsible for the creation, maintenance and ASQA compliance of all programming-related courses on offer at the AIE, including:

  • ICT50215 Diploma of Digital and Interactive Games
    • 1 year full-time course, focus on C++, C#, Game Maths, Tool Development, Game Artificial Intelligence, Code Design and Data Structures, Cross-platform Development, final project involving Art, Design and Programming students
  • 10702NAT Advanced Diploma of Professional Game Development
    • 2 years full-time course, focus on C++, C#, Game Maths, Tool Development, Game Artificial Intelligence, Code Design and Data Structures, Cross-platform Development, Computer Graphics, Physics for Games, Networking, Multithreaded and Parallel Programming including GPGPU, Game Engines, and multiple cross-discipline projects developed as capstones to both years involving Art, Design and Programming students
  • ICT30215 Certificate III in Information, Digital Media and Technology
    • 2 years part time course, focus on C# using the Unity3D game engine to teach first-time and intermediate-level programmers 3D game development techniques
  • ICT20215 Certificate II in Information, Digital Media and Technology
    • 1 year part-time course, focus on C# using the MonoGame game engine to teach first-time programmers 2D game development techniques including mobile development

Responsible for guiding and maintaining the curriculum for the ‘Bachelor of Games and Virtual Worlds’ (CRICOS code 07235M) under-graduate qualification co-delivered by AIE and the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT). Responsible for teacher training and upskilling, and the creation of unified training materials used at all 7 AIE campuses (Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra, Seattle, Lafayette, and the Online campus).

Lead Programming Teacher - Academy of Interactive Entertainment, Sydney Campus 2009-2015

Responsible for the training and assessment of:

  • 10343NAT Advanced Diploma of Professional Game Development
  • ICT20115 Certificate II in Information, Digital Media and Technology
  • ICT30115 Certificate III in Information, Digital Media and Technology
  • ICT30118 Certificate III in Information, Digital Media and Technology

Full-time delivery, consisting of lectures, tutorials, workshops and practical labs, including management of student groups developing cross-platform capstone projects.

Duties included:

  • Teaching C++, C#, Python and Lua programming languages
  • Game Mathematics for Vectors, Matrices, Quaternions
  • Artificial Intelligence including agent-based models, search, pathfinding, planners, fuzzy logic, genetic AI, game trees, blackboard architectures, flow fields and crowd simulations
  • Computer graphics using DirectX and OpenGL, including GLSL and HLSL shader languages
  • Multithreading and Parallel Programming including GPGPU using OpenCL and Compute Shaders
  • Network programming and architectures
  • Physics programming using Nvidia PhysX
  • Cross-platform programming using multiple game engines (Gamebryo, Unity3D, Unreal Engine 4) for multiple platforms (Windows, Android, iOS, Sony Playstation 3 & 4, Microsoft Xbox 360, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift)

Game Programmer - BlueTongue Entertainment THQ Pty Ltd 2004-2009

Game programmer on multiple commercially released cross-platform titles, including developing and utilizing in-house software architectures and tools. Worked in teams of 20-60 consisting of programmers, artists and designers.

I joined BlueTongue at a time when the studio consisted of around 20 employees as an independent studio, and worked on various projects over the years as we transitioned to being an in-house development studio for THQ consisting of 80+ employees, releasing multiple credited and uncredited video game titles with varying development schedules from 10-weeks to 12-months.

Duties included:

  • C/C++/Managed-C++/C# programming for Windows, Sony PlayStation 2 and 3, Nintendo GameCube and Wii, Microsoft Xbox 360 consoles
  • Development and maintenance of in-house level editing tools
  • Designed and developed the in-game Camera and cut-scene systems
  • Developed an entity system and related tools that allowed teams of artists to develop gameplay without the need for programmers, including one entirely artist-developed game released on Nintendo Wii (developed in 10 weeks)
  • Team sizes changed drastically between projects requiring programmers to often take on multiple roles, including player systems, AI NPC systems and game mechanics
  • Involved in the design of game mechanics, including concepting and prototyping systems

Junior Software Engineer - Micro Forté Pty Ltd January 2004

Before completing the Diploma of Computer Game Development I was offered employment with Micro Forté as a Junior Software Engineer. Unfortunately, due to the loss of a major project (Citizen Zero), my position was made redundant after 1 week.

Education

Training package required for the delivery and assessment of AQF courses level 6 and below from 2016 onward.

Previous training package required for the delivery and assessment of AQF courses level 6 and below.

Upon beginning my employment with the AIE I undertook RPL to be awarded the Advanced Diploma of Professional Game Development, based on my years as a professional game programmer for BlueTongue Entertainment THQ Pty Ltd.

During 2002-2003 I studied the Diploma of Computer Game Development at the Academy of Interactive Entertainment's Canberra campus, majoring in Software Engineering.

Classes consisted of full-time practical workshops in a simulated studio environment, working on multiple projects throughout each year and completing a major group project at the end of each year.

Coursework: C and C++ programming languages, data structures and algorithms, graphics programing, network programming, game design and prototyping, production planning and collaboration with artists.

Projects:

  • Year 1 Major Project: Networked ‘Mad Max’ destruction-derby style game with vehicle physics, implementing custom networking, physics, and vehicle editing tools. Co-developed with 2 programmers and 1 artist.
  • Year 2 Major Project: 3D ‘Golden Axe’ inspired game based on Norse mythology, co-developed with 8 programmers and 12 artists. Primarily implemented plugins for 3D Studio Max for creating and exporting cut-scenes, implemented gameplay camera mechanics, integrated C++ and Python languages to allow for gameplay event scripting.

Contact

Detailed CV is available upon request.