About me

Hello! I’m a games programmer from Melbourne. I’m currently employed at Mighty Games Group, working on Shooty Skies, an endless mobile scrolling shooter. From April 2015 to February 2017 I worked at Tin Man Games as lead programmer on The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (both Steam and iOS versions), a modernisation of the company’s long-running Fighting Fantasy adaptation series.

In 2014 I completed a Games & Graphics Programming degree at RMIT, with a GPA of 3.9. Over my time there, I programmed or helped to program a bunch of different kinds of games – platformers, shooters, flight sims, board games. Through 2014 and 2015 I was involved in several research projects at RMIT as a programmer. I have been immersed in Unity and C# for the last few years for both my employment and hobby projects, but I also love playing around with Python when random ideas take hold or for getting random side-tasks done. Particular interests include procedural content, visual effects, motion and camera control, and virtual reality.

Long before getting into game development, I studied linguistics at Melbourne University, and produced and engineered heavy metal albums for friends and their bands. I also like photography, wordplay, fashion, speculative fiction, feminism, the Oxford comma, and cheese toasties. Toasties are important.

You can reach me on Twitter at @LxFrancis, or by email at lexa at lexafrancis.com. My name was formerly Oscar, so if you see that name floating around anywhere, that’s why :)

Languages, in order of expertise:
C#, Python, Java, C, C++, Perl, Javascript, PHP

Current or recent game projects:
See the games page for more detailed info.

The Warlock of Firetop Mountain
Tin Man Games’ adaptation of the 1982 gamebook. I was the lead programmer working in a five-ish-person team. Released in September 2016 on Steam and March 2017 on iOS.

Ithir: A procedural rogue-like game with a Celtic mythological setting. I’m the sole programmer on this one. On indefinite hiatus.

Derailed: A four-player party battle game along the lines of Towerfall, but with a twist. Completed in July 2014. I was the lead programmer in a five-person team.

Non-game projects (2014-2015):

For RMIT’s GEELab, I worked on a VR visualisation project in Unity that uses an Oculus Rift, Kinect 2.0 and LeapMotion in conjunction to transport users to recreations of existing or unbuilt places. The system allows people to physically walk around in a space and have this motion replicated in the VR environment, including an avatar that moves along with their whole body. I was responsible for integrating the avatar model, unifying the input from the Kinect and LeapMotion, and polishing everything. This project was completed before the announcement of the HTC Vive and other mass-market VR body-tracking products.

Bushfire evacuation simulation: This was a two-part research project at RMIT, with an agent-oriented modular Java system simulating town residents evacuating a bushfire, as well as a Unity-based visualiser for the simulation. I’ve been largely responsible for creating the agent simulation, and eventually took over maintenance of the visualiser.

Auto-Play: Also for GEELab, this project explores what types of games one might play in an autonomous, self-driving car, with the game reacting to the car’s current speed or other factors, and interacting with a pair of exercises pedals via an Arduino. I was the main programmer on this project, working together with the designer to iterate the game based on test feedback, and implementing the car and pedal interfaces.

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