GenreDescriptionTechnologiesDevelopment Status
PlatformerMy first completed gameC++, SDLfinished

Cheezus is a typical platformer with a few twists in presentation and level design; it’s some of the worst code I’ve ever written, but I learned an immense amount putting it together and I’m still rather partial to it. You play as a piece of Swiss cheez and do some rather bizarre things(you’ll see what I mean). Music’s my original composition, sprites (the better ones, anyway) done by Rich “Spyke” DeFrancisco (this guy), and many thanks to the Lazy Foo for teaching me everything I know about SDL. Enjoy!


This project is my baby, in several senses. I’m proud of it. I want it to flourish. It’s been bittersweet watching it age five years (has it really been that long?); oh, and it was also sort of an accident.

Flash back to 2006. I’m a frustrated high schooler. My teachers rave about how talented I am, yet they continue to pour on tons of coursework that is all but irrelevant. I can’t find a summer job. My parents insist I should take the summer off, like a normal kid. I’ve recently discovered the wonderful world of computer programming, and I’ve been hanging out at a small GameFAQs message board trying to learn all I can. I’ve exhausted the novelty of Hello World, Guess the Number, and even Lazy Foo’s classic “move the ball” examples , so I decide to try something a bit more ambitious: a level editor.

A level editor, of all things?, you must be thinking, Surely, this must be in preparation for some delightful game project! Well, yes and no. It is true that my fledgling editor became my main tool for designing the levels in Cheezus, but I didn’t mean to! Honest! It started out as an exercise.

I’ve always been a huge fan of video games, and like many others, I’d considered making them as a grown-up, but I held no illusions about the difficulties involved, and made it a point to keep every proverbial door open for myself. I tried not to feed my growing interest in game development as a hobby, let alone as a profession. This notwithstanding, I finished a useful, if utilitarian, editor much more quickly than I expected to, and decided to spend the remainder of the summer programming a complete game to use the .lvl files my editor spit out.

I like cheez, so I made the player’s character a piece of cheez - running, jumping, adventuring, transforming cheez. The rest of the design came together haphazardly but remarkably well for a pile of satirical nonsense. Day by day, I chiseled out the engine - an awful, unmaintainable, memory-leaking mess, but a complete custom engine - hunted down bugs, tested each level relentlessly, and finally used some recent Music Theory knowledge to sequence background music. By the end of the summer, I had a game I was proud of, and that people even seemed to like!

Download: Windows only, I’m afraid, though I’ve been told it works under Wine.