Hi, I'm RJ

Hi, I'm RJ

Game designer & developer

About me

I design and develop games

Hi, my name is Robert-Jan and I study game design and development. I'm in the last phase of my study and I love to play games myself, both board games and digital games. I am currently combining these hobbies by digitalizing the board game Nine Worlds by Medusa Games. Nine Worlds is a fantasy strategy game which features amazing artwork and has lots of game pieces and details. Making this into a game that fits on a small screen is a big challenge, which I really enjoy taking on. You can read more about this project in my portfolio. I have worked with various styles, such as 3D art, vector art, 2D handdrawn art, etc. I've made most games with Unity, but I have experience working with Unreal Engine and am creating Nine Worlds with Godot.

Another passion of mine is making music. I have studied music in the past, and therefore have a lot of experience in writing and recording music. I have combined this passion with game design by creating the music for some of my games.

If you're looking for someone to create you a game, or digitalize your existing game, feel free to contact me! I'm always looking for a nice challenge and look forward to working with you.


Recent work

Become a Norse god in Nine Worlds

Nine Worlds, by Medusa Games, is a board game for 2-6 players. In this game, players battle for control in the Nine Worlds of Norse and Anglo-Germanic mythology. My job for this game was to create a digital port of the original game, made especially for small touch screen devices like phones and tablets. The biggest challenge with this game was to make it feel and look good on mobile devices. To overcome this problem, I've used iterative design methods to create a good UI, and I've redone a lot of art so it looks easier on the eye on such small screens.

I've done everything myself except for the original board game artwork that was re-used, from coding to artwork and from visual effects to sound design. The game was built using Godot. Art was made with Blender 2.80 and Photoshop CC, sound and music was done with Studio One 4.

A rollercoaster ride gone terribly wrong

During my job at Team6 Games, I was the technical artist for a game called Thrill Rush. In Thrill Rush, players control a rollercoaster cart that rides through all kinds of hazardous environments. I was responsible for placing all art into the engine, and did quality checks on all artwork that came through. I assisted programmers in solving problems, and used other artists' 3D assets to create interactive elements in the game. I've also made a few simple visual effects for the game.

The game was a reboot of an old web game by the same name. It was made in Unity.

Become the biggest, baddest street race driver

Both during my placement and during my job at Team6 Games, I was responsible for sound effects and visual effects for their major title Super Street. In the game, players buy a horrible car that's really at the end of its life. By winning street races, players can earn money to upgrade their car, all while growing their status as the best street racer around. A big challenge with this game was to make the cars sound convincible. The engine sounds were done by third party software, but I created all kinds of extra sounds to enhance the experience; things like whistling turbos, turboflutter sounds, screeching tyres, etc. The visual effects I worked on were smoke from slipping tyres, smoke and debris from car crashes, afterfire from the exhaust, boost flames from the exhaust, and more.

All these effects were implemented into the game together with the programmer who was responsible for the car physics, who worked off site. We discussed how to implement everything, how to make everything feel good, and generally worked together on every single effect.

The game was made in Unreal Engine. I used Ableton Live and Studio One 4 for sound design, and Blender 2.79 and Krita for visual effects.

Become best buds with your virtual buddy

For Accare, a child and youth psychiatry facility based in Groningen, my team mates and I created "Maatje", or "Buddy". Maatje is meant to be a central hub for children with autism, from where they can open all kinds of games and apps. Children have to interact with their virtual buddy, with the goal to keep their buddy happy. The goal for this app was to become a central part of a social skills training system. The app itself was one of the training methods, here players can see the effects their communication has on other people in a controlled environment.

I was the frontend developer for this project, which meant that I was responsible for all UI, character animations, and linking everything to the back end of the app. It was developed in Unity.

Sing at the top of your lungs as Vincent

Together with a team of five, I created "De Symfonie van Vincent" (Vincent's Symphony) for a game jam organised by the Sint Maartenskliniek in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. For a virtual reality treadmill system called the GRAIL, teams had to come up with fun games to let patients with mobility problems enjoy their rehabilitation more. In our game, players control the vocal cords of a classical opera singer. By positioning themselves on the treadmill, players make sure Vincent sings the correct notes, scoring points and beating the high score as they go. For this project, I created all music and sound effects, and I sang all of Vincent's (hopefully) beautiful notes. The GRAIL has a 4.1 surround system, for which I mixed the entire game. I placed the orchestra in such a way in 3D space, that it made players feel like they were at the center front position of an orchestra, with the audience cheering or booing in front of them.

Our project was chosen to be further developed for the GRAIL by Motek, the creators of the machine. I was responsible for finishing all code, which worked with Motek's own Lua based engine. All music was created with and recorded in Ableton Live 9.

Provide legal advice to kids in need

For the KJRW, a Dutch law advice centre for children and teens, we developed a game where children can play as an employee of their organisation. The purpose of the game was to familiarise children with the organisation, and to make them feel safe about calling the KJRW. We made a game where kids can solve a few cases, to give them some idea of what the KJRW can do for them. In the game, players control a superhero-like character that works at the KJRW. They have to choose a case, find clues in a sidescrolling platformer level, and answer the initial question using those clues. I wrote virtually all code for this game, which included building my own platformer engine. The game was written in Haxe and OpenFL, and was playable on the KJRW's website until 2018.


I would love to talk to you about your options

If you're interested in having a game developed, or if you are interested in working together in any other way, feel free to reach out to me. You can do so by sending me an e-mail on the below e-mail address or giving me a call, and I will get back to you as soon as I can. I look forward to working with you!

Robert-Jan Zandvoort
+44 7464 732055