Jonathan Gardner's Portfolio

Mods / Other Projects

    Here I have projects classified as a Mod or any special projects. I have done Mods for both Jobs and College Courses. Below you will find all of the details on the projects. Not all of my Mods have files available for download. The images provided should give you an idea of what was worked on in the mod. If you need any more information check out my Contact Info page and let me know. I retain all rights to the material that is available for download or viewable.

Project Title : GDIS2
Date Completed : June '09 (Still An On Going Project @ RNI)
Project Timeline : ~10 Months from September '08 to July'09
Team (roles) :
  Jonathan Gardner (Programmer, Designer, Developer, Documentation, Multimedia/Image Editing)
Application Type : Tactical Awareness, Military Simulation Trainer, Interactive Software (Game)
Location : Orlando, FL
Project Type : Work Related, Job
Applications Used :
  Half Life 2 Engine, C++, MS Office Suite, Photoshop, and Visual Studio 05 and 08
Sister Links :
  GDIS2 (Docs)
Clients :
  Army Research Institute (ARI)
  Department of Defense (DoD)
  US Army
  University of Central Florida (UCF)
Company I Worked For :
  Research Network Inc. (RNI)
Supervisor :
  Jay Saffold -President

My Responsibilities :
  Software Development/Programming (C++/C#), Customer/Client Support (Phone, Email, & In-Person), Documentation Specialists (Creation of new documents and Updating old documents), Multimedia (Photoshop & Illustrator), Demo Support, Hardware/Software Installation and Testing, Quality & Assurance, Bug Reports, Project Development, Team Interaction and Support.

GDIS2 Overview :
  GDIS2 is a project being developed for the US Army and DoD. GDIS. Has been developed for the US Army as an integrated system for embedded training of soldiers with immersive virtual missions. Its main purpose is to help prepare the soldiers for combat. It is designed to improve the soldiers' combat awareness in and out of battle. The back end of the GDIS2 mod is being developed in the Half-Life 2 Engine. There are a couple in house software tools being used alongside Half-Life 2. One of the biggest is the SimBridge connections. This software takes commands from multiple pieces of software and converts them into messages. The converted messages are the commands to the other various pieces of software. The converted messages tell the other software what is happening in other pieces of software.

  One example of this is the Half-Life 2 Engine and the DIVAARS system (An After Actions review system). Both of these pieces of software read information and messages differently. What SimBridge does is it takes a message from Half-Life 2, and converts it into a message that DIVAARS can understand. DIVAARS can then take the SimBridge message and update the software according to what has happened in Half-Life 2. The bigger picture is that SimBridge does this with multiple software connections. So it is kind of like a message converter in a way. But the Message goes both ways. As long as there is a message handler for both messages everything will operate correctly.

  The main aspects of the project are : Virtual and Live Training (both Mouse/Keyboard, and Live Trainees wearing a Body Suit), Both Urban and Rural (or Remote) terrains, Interaction with AI (this was to handle Insurgence and Civilian interaction), Ability to use vehicles (Hum-V, Tank, etc), In game Voice Chat, After Action Review (with playback features), and the ability for local and remote access (via internet).

  GDIS2 is fully compliant with the existing Army message protocols. DIS is one of the most important protocols that GDIS2 is compliant with. This helps make it compliant with other rapid production simulation tools such as : SAF, CGF, Trainers, etc. Half-Life 2 provides a 3D renderer for high fidelity models. This can greatly improve the realistic nature of the simulation. Half-Life 2 also provides a large database of existing models. This can save time in development from having to create each and every model from scratch.

  GDIS2 also provides administrative and regular user settings/privileges. Specific options and abilities are only allowed in the administrative (or as labeled in game as Instructor) roles. This can allow a single Instructor to alter and change the simulation at any point. While a standard use (usually a trainee) must react to these changes. Using the AAR (After Actions Review System) the trainees can replay their simulation. This can offer the soldiers a secondary way of learning. Using this system they can see what may have gone wrong and how to correct it. With the system also recording voice chatter, it can also show good and bad communication skills. All of these are essential to the training of the soldiers.

  Some of the key aspects of the mod are : AAR; RNI Logger; DIVAARS system (developed by ARI), and the DIS support. The After Actions Review is linked up with the DIVAARS system. With DIVAARS, we can record the training exercise and all of the actions the trainees do. We can play this information back for the trainees and help them improve. There are a lot of features to DIVAARS besides just playback. Some of what DIVAARS can show is : individual shots from trainees, view cones, where a trainee has walked, and what objectives trainees (or teams) have completed. All of this is a wealth of information for the trainees to review.

  The RNI logger is similar to DIVAARS. One of the big differences is that DIVAARS is a separate application and the RNI logger is part of the mod. The RNI Logger can playback the training exercise without exiting the mod or Half-Life 2. This can help with AAR when trainees are not all located in the same location. They can get at least some form of AAR without having to relocate to use the DIVAARS system. The RNI logger is similar to a video replay. The user can stop, rewind, fast forward, play, and pause.

  Since the Half-Life 2 mod is multiplayer, it is able to have soldiers connect to the mod from remote sites. This is extremely helpful and important for training. The main idea for this is that we can have any number of trainees connect to the training exercise from a remote site. This can cut out a lot of travel for the trainees to participate.

Project Details :
  The GDIS2 software mod is built with the Half-Life 2 Engine. It is developed and programmed in C++ using Visual Studio 2005 and 2008. I programmed a wide variety of parts on the project. I added new weapons, new player abilities, created scenarios, voice recognition, user interface, user input, class architecture, AI routes, external files, AI decisions, user display, scoreboard/AAR, and other various bugs and features.

  Since I was working remotely in Orlando, I was the only local contact for the clients. So I also performed customer and technical support the entire time I was working with RNI. I provided this support in person, over email, and over the phone. I also provided new ideas for the client to expand on. This helped provide more work for myself and the company. Working directly with the client was one of the best parts of this position.

  Being the only RNI person in Orlando, I also provided Demos and demo support. I did a lot of QA testing on the client machines (as well as my own machine). I was always working with the client during a demo period. I also traveled with the client on a few occasions for live demos. One of the locations I traveled to for demos was Fort Patrick Air force Base in Cocoa Beach. I helped install and setup all of the software in their lab. I also provided customer and technical support for their lab. Working with Patrick AFB, I also helped with a couple live demos. These demos included some remote connections as well.

  With the wide variety of services provided it's hard to expand on all of them. The majority of my time I did spend programming on the mod. I developed the new scoreboard and AAR display. This displayed all kinds of AAR review information. It would display a list of objectives and tasks for the scenario. It would also time stamp all of the key points in the scenario and display them. I added player functionality to the mod. The player can now pick up and move certain non-static objects in the game. I also updated the users input. One of the newest features to this was the toggled crotch. While this sounds trivial, it does become an issue in the training exercise to press 8 or 9 keys at once. So you can see how relieving input on 1 key is important here.

  One of the bigger parts I worked on was the development of the Preferences UI. This had to be able to handle both Instructor and Trainee input. The options here can alter the scenario and training experience. An option like Gun Safety On/Off was very important for the trainees. This setting is available to the Instructor only, and turns on and off all gun fire. This stops trainees from accidental discharges during setup and briefing. I worked on all the programming for that feature as well. Along with the UI here, I updated a lot of the other Interfaces for the mod.

  During my time at RNI I spent a good amount of time developing scenarios for the client. At one point I worked with a few military personal to develop specific training exercises. The military personal had a general idea of what the training exercise was going to need. My job was to help refine that idea and create the scenario. After some iterations and testing, we developed a version that was very useful. I do have some image below of this scenario. It gave the trainees basically a crash course in the controls and objectives for more advanced simulations.

  One of the most important things I worked on was documentation. Not to really dock the documentation that was there, but in a lot of places it was pretty bad. I spent a lot of time improving the documentation for this mod. I made it much easier for the Clients to read and understand everything about the mod. There were some issues while I was as RNI with the old documentation being incomplete or to technical. This made it very hard and frustrating for the clients to understand new and old features. I thing this was one of the best things I did while at RNI.

  Lastly there are the screenshot below. I hope these are enough for everyone to get an idea of the Mod. I would like to provide a download of this mod, but it's just too large. Plus the project is still being worked on by RNI, so there may be issues if various people could download it. So if you have any further question or concerns just contact me.

  Screenshots :

  These are some of the Menus and Guis in the mod.

Front Menu - Team Selection      Prefs Gui

Object Creation Gui

AAR Scoreboard Player Summary Tab      AAR Scoreboard Players Tab

  These images are from a test scenario that we us. I did the level design and the map/scenario from scratch.

Intro To Scenario      Maze Section - Team Split

Obsticle Course      Grenade Range

Vehicle Display      Shooting Range Operator

Shooting Range

  These images are from another test scenario that we used. I helped with the creation and testing of this map.

Overview Of Scenario      Red Building To Raid


Project Title : Antz!
Date Completed : April 2006
Project Timeline : 2 Weeks in April '06
Team (roles) :
  Jonathan Gardner (Programmer, Developer, Documentation)
  Jonathon Hubbard (Programmer, Developer, Writer)
  Neil Goldstein (Artist)
  Jeff Johnson (Playtester)
  Michele Moore (Outsourced Support)
  Adam Steffl (Outsourced Support)
Application Type : Interactive (Game)
Location : Phoenix, AZ
Project Type : College Course
Sister Links :
  Antz! Documentation (Docs)

Team Details :
  This was one of the most interesting projects I worked on at UAT. I was technically not even in the course. Jonathon Hubbard and I were working together on some other projects this semester. So I just joined him in the class since I had the free time. Originally I wasn't even a real member of this team. I did participate in all of the assignments and events for the course. I helped out were I could, but I didn't want to do the other members work. The team really had about 2.5 months to work on this project. I was going to be a supporting role and help anyone on anything.

  Well about 3 weeks to go before the project was due, Hubbard asked me if I wanted to finish this project with him. I didn't want him to fail the class, so I joined the team and more or less became team lead. I would say about 90% of this project was completed by Hubbard and me in 2 weeks. We both probably clocked in about 150 hours in 2 weeks doing this project. It was kind of odd because I try not to do the 'crunch' thing with my projects.

  So for about 2 solid weeks all Hubbard and I worked on was this mod. The good thing for him was that I worked so far ahead in my other courses that I had nothing else to work on. Below is each team member's role in the project.

  Jonathan Gardner - Documentation Specialist, Combat resolution, Interaction Matrix, All Game Balance, Other Various Parts, Triggers, Level Design, Levels and Maps, Some Models, Play tested.
  Jonathon Hubbard - Lead Writer, Menus, Models Icons, Storyboards, Game AI, Levels and Maps, Triggers, Level Design, Game Doc, Play tested.
  Neil Goldstein - Concept Artist, Game Elements, Level Design, Models and Maps, Play tested.
  Jeff Johnson - Game Mechanics, Play tested, Triggers, Helped balance.
  Michele Moore - Various aspects, play tested.
  Adam Steffl - Various aspects, play tested.

Project Details :
  This project was to use an existing game engine and toolset to develop a game. The team I eventually joined decided to use the Warcraft 3 Engine and tool set. This was helpful for a few of the members. Simple because they had used the tools before. The team decided to create a single player scenario in WC3. There would be 4 levels that the player would have to make there way through.

  I spent a lot of time planning out the mechanics and game balance. WC3 is notorious for being an unbalanced game. So for this project we wanted there to be at least some game balance. The units had 3 tiers that progress in strength and defense. After running a bunch of number and trials, I finally got a relatively balanced setup.

  While most of the game doc was designed by the entire team, I spent the time to try and make it a little better looking. I also created on of the levels in the mod. I helped design the rest of the levels with Hubbard and Goldstein. Johnson and I spent a lot of time play testing the mod and balancing it.

  I have included some documents for download. I don't think I will be uploading the maps or scenario file. If you would really like to get a copy of them just email me. Other then that there images below are it.

  Screenshots :

  Level 1 Images.

Level 1 Overview      Level 1 InGame 1

Level 2 InGame 1      Level 1 InGame 3

Level 1 InGame 4

  Level 2 Images.

Level 2 Overview      Level 2 Enemy Base

Level 2 Players Base      Level 2 Players Base 2

  Level 3 Images.

Level 3 Overview      Level 3 Map Bottom Left

Level 3 Map Center      Level 3 Map Center Bottom

Level 3 Map Center Top      Level 3 Map Top Right

Level 3 Enemy Base      Level 3 Enemy Base 2

Level 3 InGame      Level 3 InGame 2

Level 3 InGame 3      Level 3 InGame 4

  Level 4 Images.

Level 4 Setup

Website Home
Std Ver Home

  -Professional Experience
  -Personal Intel
  -Contact Info


Personal Data

Site Map

Error Reports