Kiera Williams

Hi, I'm Kiera. I'm a generalist game programmer. When I was a kid I wanted to grow up to make video games, and I feel super lucky to be living that dream today.

I particularly like gameplay programming, but I also love tools and game engine work. Really I'm a fan of learning about every part of the game development process I can.

I've put some info on projects I've worked on below. Please take a look!

Professional Work
Unannounced Game
at AdHoc Studio

These days I'm working as a generalist game programmer on a cool new unannounced narrative game at AdHoc Studio, a small studio founded by some ex-Telltale folks. Obviously I can't give any details yet but I'm super excited for folks to see what we're working on!

Keep an eye out 👀

at HaptX

At HaptX I worked on the SDK that powers a set of haptically-enabled gloves for VR. It's really very cool to be able to touch objects in the virtual world and actually feel like you're touching stuff with your hands. I was part of a small team working on the SDK as well as the plugins for Unreal and Unity, mostly in C++ with a bit of C# code.

Being on a small team meant I had a pretty high level of autonomy and ownership over the elements I worked on. In particular, I was the driving force desigining and implementing the vibrotactile API. This includes adding multithreading to our SDK where there was none before as well as making vibrotactile interactions with our physics-based hands feel good and tuneable by external developers.

Diablo IV (Tools)
at Blizzard

I spent almost 2 years as a tools programmer on the Diablo IV team. I worked on a variety of features and bugfixes for the game editor, using C#/WPF tooling and the C++ game engine. Usually the process was to get a feature request, talk with the designers/artists about their workflow and how the feature will improve it, and then implement that feature into the tool.

I also regularly helped out our artists and designers with the tool when they ran into problems with it, pointing them in the right direction or fixing reported bugs as necessary.

I'm proud of my work and happy with how much I learned about dealing with large existing codebases and AAA game teams. I think the game turned out pretty well, personally!

Nintendo Switch CPU Profiler
at Nintendo Technology Development

I had a summer internship at Nintendo Technology Development working on the Nintendo Switch CPU profiler. During my 4 months there I added a handful of quality-of-life features to Nintendo's C#/WPF-based CPU profiler application.

Game Jam Games
Time to Deliver the Mail to Robots by Shooting Them With a Letter, Somehow!
for Ludum Dare 53

Ludum Dare 53's theme was "Delivery" and I responded to that by blatantly shoehorning the first-person shooter I wanted to make to technically fit the theme. You play as THE MAIL CARRIER here to make a delivery to EVIL ROBOTS INC. Your letter is a gun, somehow.

This is probably the most I've pushed myself for one of these game jams. My first jam game with 3D modeling. My first FPS jam game. My first jam game with 3D level design. The result is a simple little shooter (the enemies don't even move haha) but all in all I'm pretty proud of it.

Shoutout to Realtime CSG for making 3D level design in Unity a really fun process! Ludum Dare
for Ludum Dare 51

Whereas most of my other Ludum Dare games use Unity and C#, for Ludum Dare 51 I decided to use the custom C++/SDL engine I had been developing in my spare time. It was a fun exercise in taking an engine that was very much made for one game and using it for a totally different game.

Could I have made a better game by using a mature engine like Unity? Definitely. But it was a fun challenge regardless.

The game itself is basically a tiny little WarioWare clone. Ludum Dare
Frogmented World
for Ludum Dare 49

For Ludum Dare 49 I made a little puzzle platformer with a cool toggleable screen-wrapping mechanic. This is probably my favorite of my game jam games, and the one that I've most considered expanding into a larger game. I felt like I did a solid job making a unique mechanic and then exploring its various implications.

The other Ludum Dare participants seem to have agreed with my fondness for this game. It ended up getting 3rd place in the fun category for this jam! Ludum Dare
for MiniJam 66

This one is a neat little puzzle game that you control with the mouse. I was even shorter on time than in most game jams on this one so this is probably the shortest game I've ever made.
Odd Jobs on a Day in Summer
for Ludum Dare 44

A short Unity adventure game about helping some people out and getting paid for it. This game jam was an exercise in attempting to make a game that relies more on writing and aesthetic than making a mechanically complicated game. It ended up getting 10th place for humor in Ludum Dare 44, which I would consider a decent success. Shoutout to Doodle Studio 95 for making the art process on this one pretty fun! Ludum Dare
Walls Closing In
for Ludum Dare 42

For Ludum Dare 42 I made a horror game! Aaaaaahhh! Ludum Dare
for Ludum Dare 39

Ludum Dare 39 was the first game jam that I really participated in. The end result is a neat little endless runner with a handful of different movement mechanics that you switch between. In retrospect it kind of reminds me of Vlambeer's Super Crate Box in endless runner form.

I'm still a fan of the cute little pigeon birds I drew for this one. Ludum Dare
Academic Projects
Cat's Cradle
with Haphazard

Cat's Cradle is a 3D platformer with a unique rope mechanic, made by a team of 9 programmers and designers. My role on the project was in helping architect the C++ ECS engine, writing tools code, and implementing the rope-based platforming mechanic.

Recorded Playthrough
with Haphazard

Shortstack is a 4-player co-op platformer I made with a team of 7 programmers and designers. I worked on architecting the core C++ ECS engine as well as binding Lua as a scripting language, doing some work on the level editor, and writing the gameplay code for some of the level elements.

Shortstack is probably my favorite of the games I worked on in college. We ended up with a game that's genuinely fun to play, and many of the folks I worked on it with are still my very close friends.

Website Download
Relics of Light
at DigiPen

Developed in about 4 months, Relics of Light was my first time really working with a team on a game. It's a puzzle game where you ride a raft between islands and solve puzzles by shooting beams of light. We built it in C using a simple sprite rendering library. My role on the project was a lot of core game engine work as well as some gameplay programming.

It's definitely rough around the edges but it was super helpful for me in learning the actual process of making a video game with a team.

Website Download
Other Stuff
Skillshot Wars
Dota 2 Mod

Back when Dota 2's Lua-based custom game API was coming out I figured I would make a simple little mode where I gave every player 4 of the "skillshot" abilities many Dota players love and let them loose in a team deathmatch arena. It turns out that this was something that a lot of Dota players were into! Skillshot Wars has ended up getting over 4 million subscribers on the Steam Workshop!

I added a few updates over the following year or so (mostly new item types), but the updates petered out as I went off to college. These days the gamemode has been left kind of broken due to not keeping up with changes from Valve's end, but who knows, maybe some day I'll find the time to clean it up...

This was a good early exposure to gameplay programming and level design in a networked multiplayer context for me.

Steam Workshop