Benjamin Keckley

Game dev generalist, student, musician, and admirer of a good morning coffee.

Hey! I'm Ben.

I'm a 19-year-old Computer Science major located in Virginia. I've been studying and furthering my experience in game development over the last ~5 years.

Welcome to my website! Here, I talk about some projects I've worked on over the years as well as some info about who I am + my ambitions.

You can contact me at bpkeckley@gmail.com and with the social media links up above.

Blanco: The Color of Adventure

Level Designer + Environment/Character Artist

I worked on Blanco for roughly three years, using Blender and paint.net for most of everything. The game was to be released on Steam and Xbox One, but I eventually chose to switch projects when progress outside of my contributions was sluggish.

Goal 1: Design moveset-centric, fun-to-explore, large-scale 3D worlds

  My original attempt to make a world for Blanco ended up being barren of challenges and aimless to explore because I hadn't done any prelimenary design steps. It was scrapped. So, for the tutorial stage, I began with a topography sketch and a list of moves to teach, iterating from there. It was concise and taught players the basic moveset.

  For my first world, a spooky theme park, I wanted to ensure that it wasn't empty and numbing to explore, as I'd heard a few 3D platformers been dubbed as such. So, I decided upon a few landmarks to design the world around.

Together, these landmarks acted as locations of interest, housed challenges, and were points of spacial reference.

Goal 2: Pinpoint a new, readable, efficient-to-work-with art-style

  Before I was brought on, Blanco sported a voxel artstyle (the original mission statement for the game was "NES game in 3D"). However, I immediately realized that creating large worlds in a voxel aesthetic was extremely time-consuming.

  So, after some brief iteration, I developed a new artstyle that was eye-catching, easy to read, fast to work with, and still complementary to the core game. This was also a great learning opportunity, as I had never broken outside of pixel art prior to Blanco.

Blanco fantasy kingdom world screenshot

Blanco spooky movie studio world model screenshot Blanco spooky movie studio world screenshot
Ricoshot (Game Jam)

Designer + Artist + Programmer Download

The 48hr 2019 GMTK Game Jam was my first game jam. Its theme was "only one," and my game that came from it was Ricoshot - a top-down mobile game-esc puzzle game.

Goal 1: Finish the game within 48 hours

  Because it was a game jam, the most obvious and primary goal was to complete the game within the 48 hour period. I spent roughly 30 hours making Ricoshot - the remaining time was spent sleeping, and working a shift at my job. I also livestreamed the majority of the progress on YouTube, but the archive is inacessible due to hitting over 24 hours.

Goal 2: Develop an engaging core gameplay concept from the theme "only one"

  You play as a character who can shoot around 2D stages, ricocheting off walls. However, you only have a set amount of starting momentum, so the objective is to touch the exit warp before coming to a halt.

  I didn't want the game to be frustratingly difficult, so I made it reasonable challenging. However, I included an optional challenge with each stage for replayability and to offer optional difficulty.

Goal 3: Design the game to allow for future updates

  As the player progresses through each stage, they gradually get more complex and challenging.

Ricoshot info menu screenshot Ricoshot gameplay screenshot
Falchion (Mockup)

Designer + Artist + Programmer

This was a mockup for an NES-authentic action-adventure game that I made in 2019. This included a test level with functioning enemies, traps, collectibles, and player character.

Goal 1: Design an aesthetically pleasing art-style that fulfills the limitations of NES graphics

  The level utilizes 4 background palettes, with 4 colors each in each:

- for stone architecture, which had strictly collision-less tiles, so it uses darker colors (to be easier for the eyes to ignore). One was for Was was for green details - these hues particularly complemented , and a warm one for platforms, doors, and windows. I designated the architecture tileset for collision-less

Falchion castle test level Falchion sprite assortment Falchion castle stage tileset 1 Falchion castle stage tileset 2
DOOM: Siege on Hell (Mod)

Level Designer

One of the games that I always seem to return to is DOOM 2. More specifically, its vast plethora of mods (.WAD files). It's easy to find the top-rated megawads, download them, and give them a spin. DOOM: Siege on Hell Wretched Warehouse computer room

Certain ones, such as Back to Saturn X, are arguably so good that they deserve to be an entirely separate retail game. Something about these world-spaces and their usage of Doom's tight, visceral gameplay ends up being so immersive to me, even moreso than some triple AAA games.

This, along with its extreme easy workflow of map development resulted in me messing around in DOOM Builder 2 and making a few maps, myself. The second of which I ever made, I kept iterating and iterating upon until I have MAP01 of a WIP fan episode of mine titled DOOM: Siege on Hell.

Its two playable maps are a few years old, but I return to them now and then to see how they're doing, making small improvements here and there as I improve my skills as a level designer. It's interesting seeing how far they've come. Here's a download of its current version, consisting of two maps, in case you're interested! All you need is a copy of the DOOM2 .WAD and a source port that supports zDoom features.

Falchion sprite assortment Falchion castle stage tileset 1 Falchion castle stage tileset 2
Benjamin Keckley

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