About Me

My interest in programming and video games started when I was about 7 years old with my first computer the KC 85/3! This sweet machine was the East German clone of the popular Commodore 64. I couldn’t wait to connect it to my Russian Junost TV and boot it up. Programs were stored on a cassette drive, so you could hear every byte when loading a game.

A friend had a C64 and introduced me to adventure games like Maniac Mansion and Zak McKracken. We spend hours trying to solve the puzzles (this was the time before the internet). I soon started to dream about telling my own stories. The great thing about being a kid is that you are not afraid of learning complicated stuff and so I had my mind set on figuring out how to make games. I started playing with the BASIC interpreter that came with the KC 85/3 and it didn’t take me long until I programmed simple text-based adventure games.

A few years later I got a 386 PC (which had a Turbo button!) for Christmas. Not only could I play cooler games on that machine, but it also allowed me to switch to Turbo Pascal. At the same time I was shocked and inspired by the immersiveness of Doom. This sparked my interest in computer graphics and POV Ray taught me how to render 3D scenes (with fractal patterns on spheres).

But I really wanted to know how the images are calculated, so I bought the book Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice which is lovingly called the ‘bible’ of computer graphics. Eagerly I read the book from cover to cover and started to program my first raytracer. This opened my eyes to the fact that math can be a lot of fun and I’ll be forever grateful for that.

Not long after that I started to program in C++, in order to be able to use DirectX (in immediate mode) to write my first ‘3D engine’. Because of this I was able to get an internship at a small German games company called Terratools. I’m very thankful for the fact that I was able to turn my hobby into my profession.

Since then I have worked for Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, LucasArts and Double Fine Productions. If someone would have told me as a kid that one day I would create a new adventure game with my childhood hero Tim SchaferI would have laughed. Man I’m lucky!

Some Games I’ve Worked On

I was lucky enough to have contributed to a lot of great games. The following list contains a few projects I’m particularly fond or proud of. You can check out the full list of credits on my LinkedIn page if you are interested in that.


Broken Age

Double Fine Productions

I’m the Lead Programmer of Broken Age and the game is in many ways a dream project for me. I never thought that I would be able to work together with Tim Schafer on a completely new point-and-click adventure game. One of our objectives was to make this game accessible to as many people as possible, which means that Broken Age will be available on a lot of different platforms. This goal had a huge impact on a lot of the tech and art decisions. Please check out the publications section for more information on this topic.


The Cave

Double Fine Productions, 2013

Working on The Cave was a lot of fun, because I was able to contribute as a Graphics Engineer. My favorite effect is the dynamic screen-space smoke, which was used for volumetric fog and the smokey interaction pop-ups. I just love the swirly motion around the characters as they walk or run through the fog. Even though the movement resembles proper fluid dynamics the implementation simply uses the curl of a dynamic pressure field.


Once Upon a Monster

Double Fine Productions, 2012

I was the Lead Tech programmer on Once Upon a Monster (OUaM), which means that I was responsible for all non game-play related code. As OUaM is a Kinect game that meant a lot of camera-based systems (and TCRs). I did end up implementing some neat graphical features as well like Exponential Variance Shadow Maps and Soft Binary-Alpha.



LucasArts, 2009

Lucidity was unfortunately the only released LucasLabs project. Our goal back then was to create small creative games with a production timeframe of 6 month. Basically we were supposed to be LucasArts’ indie sub-studio. Because of the aggressive schedule it became clear to us, that we wouldn’t be able to reuse much of the existing tech-base. So we ended up writing a new game engine and tools framework from scratch that allowed us to iterate quickly. I wrote a lot of code during that time!


Monkey Island: Special Edition

LucasArts, 2009

I had a great time working on Monkey Island. In fact it was like a dream come true. Since I was the leading Graphics Programmer on the project my responsibilities included writing the cross-platform rendering engine that made it possible to (re)release the game on so many different platforms. I also had a lot of fun implementing dynamic screen-space based character lighting and inventing the Funk-buffer!



Terratools, 2004

Ballance was one of the first games I worked on. The game is essentially a physics-based puzzle game in which you have to navigate a ball to the exit of a level. I implemented a particle system for the project as well as bunch of other game-play related features.