Storage Informer
Storage Informer

Level Up Past Winners

by on Jun.25, 2009, under Storage

Level Up Past Winners

In the coming weeks leading up to Austin GDC where we will announce the winners of Level Up 2009, I’ll be sharing the outcome of recent conversations with some of last year’s winners including information about their winning game demo, what they have been up to since winning the competition, what they learned while developing for the competition, who they admire and more.

Today I’d like to introduce Mauro Persano. Mauro Persano is a programmer in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He has many years of experience as an I.T. worker, most of which has been spent maintaining all sorts of boring applications that get stuff to and from databases. In the evenings, Mauro secretly hones his skills for the day when he&aposll finally get the opportunity to make computers do what they were really meant to do: play games. His game demo, Protozoa, won 2nd place best game on Intel® Graphics and 5th place best game-on-the-go in the 2008 Intel Game Demo Challenge. Protozoa is an arcade game inspired by Robotron, Smash TV and Geometry Wars. It can be downloaded here.

Following the competition, Mauro took a break from serious coding outside work. He’d like to publish Protozoa, but says it needs a bit of work before that – better art, more levels and boss fights. He is also starting work on another arcade game, inspired by Starfox!

When asked what Mauro learned while developing for the competition, he said he learned quite a bit about OpenGL optimization and resource management. Before this project, he had programmed quite a bit of graphics, and had written one or two simple games, but this was his first “completed” non-trivial action game. So, quite a learning experience! Mauro also learned the hard way what *not* to do. For example, the game loop assumes the game will run at least 30 fps. On slower machines that can’t keep up with that, there are noticeable temporal aliasing artifacts (the animation “shutters’’ a bit). The way around this is to use sub-frame interpolation.

Mauro says the biggest advantage of being an indie game developer versus working for a major game developer/publisher is creative freedom. He is free to work on game that he likes. Computer programmers can create whole universes out of thin air. Well, that and a lot of hard work of course.

Mauro admires indie developers like Kenta Cho and Hikoza Ohkubo. They are insanely productive (despite working alone and having “day jobs”), quite skilled and, more importantly, they make the same kind of games he likes to play!

We are sure to see more of Mauro in the gaming scene.

Stay tuned for more “where are they now since winning the competition in 2008?” in upcoming blog posts.

Thanks for reading!



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