1217Design.com

Welcome to the portfolio of Sean Ahern

About

Games:

Heroes of the Storm SC2: Heart of the Swarm SC2: Wings of Liberty Resistance 3 Ratchet and Clank - All 4 One Fuse


Companies:

Blizzard Entertainment Insomniac Games EVEO Digitas Health


Software:

Graphics/Motion:

  • Level Design:

  • 3D:

  • Wireframe:

  • Web:

  • Audio:

  • SC2 Observer UI

     

    Streamlined Interface

    Streamlined

    Split Interface

    Split

    Minimal Interface

    Minimal

    Blizzcon Heroes of the Storm Interface

    Heroes


    Philosophy

    Overall Philosophy:

    The overall goal of the interfaces that I created was to increase the visibility of the most important information while removing any extraneous and unnecessary visual clutter that was ultimately preventing the viewer/observer from having the most optimal experience possible. After thoroughly studying the existing system and truly looking at the user experience of viewing eSports, I found that the bottom 1/3 of the screen was more or less “wasted space” that, for the most part, is usually covered up by tournaments and streamers. By allowing the bottom 1/3 of the screen to only display information when there’s information to be displayed (information-on-demand), we allow for a much more unobstructed viewing experience. I also felt that by allowing a number of elements to be toggled on and off, the viewer/observer can tailor the viewing experience to best-suit their own needs. Additionally I wanted to help smaller grass-roots tournaments that might not be able to afford external overlay software the ability to display information such as the win-loss count in a best-of series, team logos/player images, player bios and information, or even the logo of their tournament built completely into the interface.

    Streamlined Interface:

    While I was excited to give the community a variety of different ways of displaying the information and experiencing Starcraft 2 eSports, I also understand that it may not be for everyone. It is because of this that I developed the Streamlined interface, which is the interface which most closely resembles the normal, default interface. The only changes that I made beyond removing the un-necessary interface elements, was to re-skin the existing interface and make text larger and easier to read. This was done primarily due to the way that compression handles the small text when viewing a stream at a lower bitrate, and my attempt at still relaying all of the important information to the viewer.

    Split Interface:

    Design Process

  • Split Mockup 1
  • Split Mockup 2Split Mockup 3
  • Split Mockup 4
  • Split Mockup 5

  • For the HoTS launch event as well as the “grand reveal” of the power of our new custom interface system, I wanted to try a radically new approach for displaying what is happening in the game to the viewer/observer. With this in mind we decided to break up the interface to have each player essentially “own” a side of the screen. By allowing this split, I feel as though there’s an extremely clear delineation and separation between who is doing what, and also feel as though this is a very interesting way of presenting the information to the viewer.

    Minimal Interface:

    Design Process

    Minimal Mockup 1 Minimal Mockup 2 Minimal Mockup 3


    I created a third direction for the custom observer interface setup, which is the “Super Minimal” version of the interface. A number of changes from the traditional interface are present within this version, and I’d like to explain the decisions that were made with this interface so as to help others understand the direction that I ultimately went.

    As was mentioned earlier, this was the first version of a very new way of experiencing Starcraft, and may be very different from what a person may be used to. After a number of times watching replays and live games with this interface enabled, it felt as though this was the correct direction to head with minimalism in mind. While I may eventually push this direction further by possibly eliminating more elements and further streamlining the experience, I feel as though this is a great first step towards an optimal viewing experience.

    Heroes Of The Storm:

    Design Process

  • Heroes Mockup 1
  • Heroes Mockup 2
  • Heroes Mockup 3
  • Heroes Mockup 4
  • Heroes Mockup 5
  • Heroes Mockup 6
  • Heroes Mockup 7
  • Heroes Mockup 8
  • Heroes Mockup 9
  • Heroes Mockup 10
  • With Heroes Of The Storm, I was given a chance to fully evaluate and see how the experience of observing a MoBA game could be improved upon. Since this was going to be the first time that anyone outside of Blizzard viewed Heroes, I felt as though I could omit a lot more of the information that would normally be present in an observer interface, because it wouldn’t mean anything to anyone who hasn’t been playing the game for months at that point (hotkey labels, buffs and debuffs, ability tooltips, mana bars, etc). My main goal with the Heroes Of The Storm interface was to make the game and the players the rockstars – I wanted to strip out as much of the un-necessary visuals that often-times supersedes the gameplay and give people a chance to really see the action. I also needed to make sure that we displayed all of the important information and distilled down all of the action happening throughout the map, making it as easy to understand as possible. One of the biggest issues for many people new to MoBA style games is needing to have an enormous amount of “tribal knowledge” before you have a basic understanding of what’s going on. I felt that it was extremely important to effectively display as much of this information in an easy to understand manner for both a MoBA Veteran and a person viewing it for the first time.


    Interfaces currently in use by:


    WCS America RedBull LAN OGN Starleague MLG Starcraft 2 Pro Circuit Global Starcraft Team LeagueGlobal Starcraft 2 League Dreamhack Starcraft 2 Copa America

    UI/UX

    GDC 2012 Presentation:

    It Stinks and I Don’t Like It – Building a Better Engine Experience at Insomniac Games

     

    Description

    Video game development has progressed significantly over the years – from punch cards and user made tools to enterprise level applications. While the technology that we use on a daily basis has changed significantly, can we really say that the experience of creating games has improved as well?

    Studios are constantly on the look-out for the next best tech, middleware, or ideas to help make their next title a reality (and success). With licensed tech and often-times even proprietary software, the User Experience is frequently viewed as a second class-citizen when efficiency and deadlines are in the fore-front. At Insomniac Games, we’ve decided to make the user experience of our tools a priority. By leveraging traditional engine programming with web application technology, Insomniac Games has created their new engine from the ground up with a focus on the user experience.

    PDF Location:

    http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1015459/It-Stinks-and-I-Don

    Video Location: (GDC Vault Subscribers only)

    http://www.gdcvault.com/search.php#&category=free&firstfocus=&keyword=ahern&conference_id=

     


    UX at Blizzard:

  • Task Dashboard Roadmap
  • Task Dashboard Tasks List
  • Editor Event Logging
  • Web Store CMS - Add An Item
  • Web Store CMS - Create a Sale
  • Node Graph Components
  • Node Graph Interface
  • Extension Mods Wireframes
  • Extension Mods Wireframes
  • Extension Mods Wireframes
  • Extension Mods Wireframes
  • Extension Mods Wireframes
  •  


    Please check back after BlizzCon for full details about a number of additional systems that I helped to develop – many of which are forthcoming in future patches.

     


    UX at Insomniac:

    Editor UI Design

  • Animation Editor
  • Cinematic Editor
  • Material Editor
  • Level Editor
  • Editor Style Guide

    Primary Typography Color Scheme Panel Organization Grid Layout

     
    While at Insomniac, I was tasked with designing not only all of the interaction logic and flow for our internal web-based editor, but also prototyping and developing the majority of all user-facing systems and UI. What you see above is a small sample of what was done during my time at Insomniac. Please feel free to contact me if you wish to see more.

    Video

    Heart of the Swarm – Animus Vox Montage

    Client:

    Personal

    Year:

    2013

    Work Done:

    After Effects – Was done as a fun, personal project to create a “music video” using The Glitch Mob’s “Animus Vox” with the cutscenes from Heart of the Swarm.


    MedIQ Attract Loop

    Client:

    NovoNordisk

    Year:

    2008

    Work Done:

    After Effects, Design


    Crestor Conversation Starter

    Client:

    Crestor

    Year:

    2008

    Work Done:

    After Effects, Green Screen Keying, Compositing, Design


    Diabetes in America

    Client:

    NovoNordisk

    Year:

    2009

    Work Done:

    After Effects, UI Design, Matchmoving, Design, Green-Screen Keying


    Us Against Athero for CNN

    Client:

    Crestor for CNN.com and FitNation

    Year:

    2008

    Work Done:

    After Effects, Concepting, Design


    Fluarix eDetail Intro

    Client:

    GlaxoSmithKline

    Year:

    2010

    Work Done:

    After Effects, Design, 3D, Compositing


    Levemir

    Client:

    NovoNordisk

    Year:

    2009

    Work Done:

    After Effects, UI Design, Matchmoving, Design, Green-Screen Keying


    Liraglitude

    Client:

    Liraglitude

    Year:

    2009

    Work Done:

    3d Modeling, Texturing, Lighting, Rendering, Compositing, Animation, Matchmoving

    Level Design

    Resupply Tanker

    Literally the best 2v2 ladder map you’ll ever play

  • Resupply Tanker
  • Resupply Tanker
  • Resupply Tanker
  • Resupply Tanker
  • Resupply Tanker
  • Resupply Tanker has an easy to take fast expansion, but allies can’t easily assist each other on this map, so be careful not to grab this expansion too soon. The two attack paths along the sides of the map are good for focusing attacks on one opponent, but taking some time to clear out the center Xel’Naga Watchtower area before initiating an attack will often be a much safer way to engage on this map.

     

    Unique Features:

  • A natural expansion located above a player’s main base – making it easy to secure and difficult to attack.
  • A high-yield mining base located in the center of the map – a prime location for establishing a forward mining base while dividing the map.
  • Multiple attack paths separated in the middle with high-ground terrain.
  •  

    Software Used:

    Starcraft 2 Editor

    Year:

    2013


    Destiny

    Gears of War: PC Single Player Level

    Destiny Destiny

    You and the rest of the CoG forces are sent to investigate an abandoned facility, codenamed “Destiny”, and come under attack via entrenched Locust forces.

     

    Software Used:

    Gears of War Editor

    Year:

    2008


    Abandoned Spanish Mission

    Environment Art and Modeling Exercise

    Mission Mission Mission Mission

    This was an exercise in creating an entire environment and props from start to finish. This exercise included: modeling, texturing, creating material graphs, lighting, and sculpting terrain.

     

    Software Used:

    UDK, Maya, Photoshop, 3D Studio Max

    Year:

    2010

    3D

    Face Anatomy Sculpt Dual Processed The Forest King Pillar Facade Pillar Facade Pillar Facade ZBrush Pillar Sculpt Light Props Misc Props Mission Props Maya Pillar Variations Novolog Flex Pen


    Contact

    Contact me, I would love to hear from you!

    Thank you! I have received your message.

    name

    email

    message

    Contact Info

    610-246-9432

    sean@1217design.com

    Dallas, Texas