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Michael Barba

Associate Gameplay Programmer at Lightforge Games

Lightforge Games

Blizzard - Diablo 2 Resurrected

Buh! Gaming

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Biography

Michael Barba is an Associate Gameplay Programmer at Lightforge Games working (remotely from Western Massachusetts) on an unannounced project. He graduated in Spring 2022 with a Bachelors of Science in Computer Science from UMass Amherst, and previously spent 8 months at Blizzard on the Diablo 2 Resurrected Gameplay/UI team as a co-op engineer. He also has created multiple well performing game jam projects, which you can view below.

At Blizzard, working in the last few months of production on D2R, he mainly worked on UI features and UI/Gameplay bugs, which you can read more about here. He also assisted with Nintendo Switch (NintendoSDK), and audio tasks. He authored and owned the Input Method Editor (IME) implementation, interfacing directly with Windows and enabling chat input from Korean, Chinese, and Japanese players.

Michael also previously worked as a Software Engineer (Contract) for Buh! Gaming creating the third person MOBA Tournament of Tamers, where he worked in a variety of areas such as gameplay, minion AI, UI, networking, and animation, in addition to authoring and owning the player analytics system used to balance gameplay and track player retention.

Michael likes to participate in game jams, such as the Brackey's 2020.1 Game Jam, in which his game ANTIGOLF was selected as one of the 10 winners from over 700 games, and the WGJ160, where his game HUEb won 2nd place overall.

Interests

  • Gameplay
  • UI/UX
  • Console/Platform
  • Audio
  • Accessibility/Localization
  • Animation/Rigging
  • Networking

Education

  • CS 187 Programming with Data Structures

  • CS 197u Introduction to Unix

  • CS 220 Programming Methodology

  • CS 230 Computer Systems Principles

  • CS 240 Reasoning Under Uncertainty (Stats)

  • CS 250 Intro to Computation (Discrete)

  • CICS 305 Social Issues in Computing

  • CS 311 Algorithms

  • CS 320 Software Engineering

  • CS 373 Intro to Computer Graphics

  • CS 377 Operating Systems

  • CS 575 Graph Theory and Combinatorics

  • CS 596 Independent Study - Targeting Motion to Neural-Net Generated Rigs

  • Math 131, 132, 233 Calculus 1-3

  • Math 235 Linear Algebra

  • Math 551 Scientific Computing

Projects

Unannounced Project

Unannounced Project from Lightforge Games

Diablo 2 Resurrected

The Lord of Destruction Returns!

Tounament of Tamers

An exciting new third person MOBA created by Buh! Gaming, where you pilot a dragon into multiplayer combat.

HUEb

A 3D first-person puzzle game inspired by Portal and Antichamber, made in Unity.

ANTIGOLF

A 2D puzzle game made in Unity, for the Brackey's 2020.1 Game Jam, and selected as one of the 10 winners.

Quaternion Demo

An educational advanced math demo, created in the Unreal Engine.

ARORA (OLD PROJECT)

An award winning app that can help astronauts identify objects on the International Space Station.

Police Trainer VR (OLD PROJECT)

A modern Virtual Reality arcade shooter, created in Unity.

Experience

 
 
 
 
 

Associate Gameplay Programmer

Lightforge Games

Jun 2022 – Present Remote
Working on an unannounced project. Learn more on our company announcement press release here.
 
 
 
 
 

Software Engineer Co-op

Blizzard Entertainment

Jan 2021 – Aug 2021 Albany, NY
Working on the gameplay/UI team of Diablo 2 Resurrected on a wide variety of tasks. Quickly familiarize myself with a custom C++ engine and tools to iterate on many areas of the codebase. Work with existing UI metadata system to create new UI features and iterate on existing UI. Own crucial localization features such as IME support with the Windows API for Korean, Japanese, and Chinese. Maintain the audio system, and support the console team with development of the Nintendo Switch port. Close off the game strong working on polish and bug fixes in a variety of areas, mainly UI, gameplay, and audio. Work closely with artists and producers on our team to quickly implement features, like a new notification system, controller navigation, and accessibility options.
 
 
 
 
 

Software Engineer Intern

BAE Systems

May 2020 – Jun 2020 Merrimack, NH
Canceled due to COVID-19.
 
 
 
 
 

Software Engineer

Buh! Gaming

Sep 2019 – Aug 2020 Kirkland, WA
Developed many systems in Unity (C#) for the upcoming third-person MOBA Tournament of Tamers. Presented at the Seattle Indies Expo after being selected by their judge panel. Currently released on Steam early access with over 3,000 players. Built an analytics system to easily observe player trends and balance characters. Worked on gameplay (new characters abilities), UI, minion AI, Steamworks API integration, networking.
 
 
 
 
 

Software Engineer Intern

Buh! Gaming

May 2019 – Sep 2019 Kirkland, WA
 
 
 
 
 

Junior System Administrator

Dean Bank

Apr 2019 – Aug 2019 Franklin, MA
Write scripts to automate bank IT processes. Integrate new VMs into bank environment.
 
 
 
 
 

Technology Assistant Intern

Dean Bank

Sep 2018 – Apr 2019 Franklin, MA

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