Ross Kakuschke


Computer Consulting

Truck Modz

Truck Modz truck game for kids

Created by the team at Lotusland Studios Inc., this children’s game features animated interactive 3D trucks. The wrench button takes the player into the garage, where they can swap out the front or the back of the truck, as well as paint the truck various colours.

All 3D models and animation were created in Maya, then exported to our custom 3D format, Granola3D. Selection volumes were placed and used to trigger animations on different parts of the truck.

Animation Controller classes managed the state machines of all the parts. The background is a seamless loop of 3D geometry, with random color, vegetation, and animal combinations to create a never-ending landscape. Smoke, Dust, Sparks, and Paint particles are featured in the game and add a cartoony realism. The CB button plays random CB chatter samples, recorded by us.

Art direction by Jake Pokorny, technical direction and programming by Ross Kakuschke, programming by Tom Schulz.


Hive Board game for iPhone / iPod Touch

An unexpectedly complex board game turned into an iPhone/iPod Touch game by the team at Lotusland Studios Inc.

The game features 3D pieces and interaction using our proprietary 3D engine, Granola3D, which uses the native OpenGL ES API. The user can play with 5 different tile sets, including a set with real 3D insects poised on top of them.

The AI was by far the most challenging piece of code to write. The AI is a minimax algorithm, featuring alpha-beta pruning, the Killer Move Heuristic, and Iterative Deepening. Many optimizations were made to this recursive search algorithm to eliminate parameter passing and allow for threaded execution.

Networking was later added to Hive, and is implemented using Bonjour and TCP/IP, in an effort to support earlier iPhone API’s. This became moot as Bluetooth was offered in OS 3.0.

All the menu screens were laid out in Interface Builder and saved to separate files, which were dynamically loaded as needed. A 3D animation plays in the background of all menu screens.

Art direction by Jake Pokorny, Technical direction and programming by Ross Kakuschke, programming by Tom Schulz.

Original Hive game by John Yianni at Gen42 Games. Soundtrack by John Tennant.