Hello.

I'm Jonathan Moallem, a games developer, software engineer, and researcher who loves to create unique, interactive experiences.

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More About Me

Based in Sydney, Australia, I am currently working as a pipeline software engineer at Animal Logic, developing and maintaining animation & VFX software based on Pixar's USD 3D scene description format in C++ and Python.

In addition, I have been working in my spare time for almost two years to co-found and lead an independent, open-source, game development team, Caps Collective. We recently published our debut title on Steam: Fantasy Town Regional Manager, selling over 1000 copies in its first week.

Previously I had graduated from the University of Technology Sydney, with a BSc. (Honours) in Information Technology, achieving a high distinction and earning the university medal. I majored in enterprise systems development, and wrote my thesis on emergent narrative, studying game AI techniques and engineering practices, with research published at the IEEE Conference on Games (CoG) 2020.

If you were to ask me about what gets me out of bed in the morning, I would say it's making cool stuff. At my core, I am a creator, and I love to craft experiences. I've developed a passion for learning in service of creation, so if I'm not working hard on one of my projects, I'm likely at a game jam, learning a new skill, or off hiking somewhere.

For more on my previous experience, please check out my resume or LinkedIn below:

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 Email  Mobile  LinkedIn  GitHub  Twitter  itch.io

My Skills

Games I've Made

Fantasy Town Regional Manager

Created with Unity engine as part of a small team of university graduates, FTRM is a card-based, satirical fantasy town-builder in which the player manages a hub for adventurers. The game features over 200 unique, hand-written events, quests and unlockable buildings, as well as an original soundtrack that I wrote for it.

After 19 months in development the game was released on Steam, selling over 1000 copies in its first week.

View Repository on Github


Run for Covert

Developed in Unreal Engine 4, the tactical first-person shooter was built by a team of two for a subject in advanced games programming techniques. The game features HFSM-based enemy AI that utilise an intelligent cover system and fully procedurally generated levels and terrain. The game is also built to support multiplayer online and LAN for cooperative play.

Download & Play
(Available on Windows & macOS)

View Repository on Github

A Dark Discomfort

A custom, cross-platform C++ game engine, using Raylib for rendering (switching to Vulkan). The core library provides modularly designed entity, collision, and scene management systems, as well as custom maths, logging and service locator utilities. The project includes editor tools, a dev console, unit testing, and CI/CD.

View Repository on Github

Smack Back

Created with Unity engine as part of a small team, Smack Back is a local-multiplayer game about being a pair of legs in a table-tennis traphouse. The game also includes some vaporwavy original assets as well as an original soundtrack that I wrote for it.

Download & Play
(Available for Windows & macOS)

Listen to Soundtrack on SoundCloud

View Repository on Github

Emergent Narrative Testbed

Developed in Godot engine to provide a testbed application to my honours research into interactive drama systems titled "Authoring Interactive Drama Games via Agent-Based Drama Managers", it features an emergent environment built using a smart objects, GOAP-based AI agents and an HGOAP drama manager (hierarchical GOAP).

View Repository on Github

ALLCAPS

Created as part of a 5-hour game jam in Unity engine, as part of a team of three, ALLCAPS is mechanical key clicking, keyboard tilting, pinball bouncing fever-dream cross nightmare. It features a haunting industrial 3D environment, as well as fun and addictive gameplay to boot.

View Repository on Github

CyberHeist

Developed over a 1 month period in the Godot engine, CyberHeist is the first project of my "12 games in 12 months" challenge. Featuring a retro terminal simulation, funky CRT-monitor shaders and a 3D visualisation, the game is a product of my interests in programming, 80s and 90s hacker-core sci-fi, and retro nostalgia.

Play In Browser
(Chrome & Firefox Only)

View Repository on Github

AI Behaviour Testbed

Developed in Godot engine to provide simple implementation examples, it effectively demonstrates the benefits and limits of different AI behaviour selection algorithms. It can hotswap various selection algorithms at runtime including: Finite & Hierarchical Finite State Machines (FSM & HFSM), Behaviour Trees, Goal-Oriented Action Planning (GOAP), and Hierarchical Task Networks (HTN) planners.

View Repository on Github

Move Fast, Break Faces

Developed in Unity engine as part of a team for a university subject in games design, "Move Fast, Break Faces" delivers exactly that, with fast-paced goblin-face-splattering in a topdown gameplay style. The game was selected for the UTS Student Games Showcase.

View Repository on Github

Emergence Testbed

Built in Godot engine as a testbed for research on controlling emergent properties in a complex system, the project simulates a small population of "dudes", which appear to work together to build a settlement to avoid certain death. The project also outputs a running transcript of events that can be later analysed for research purposes.

View Repository on Github

Curve Flattener

Built in Godot engine, the game draws on simulations and data modelling for epidemiology in order to demonstrate the place of quarantine and social distancing in combatting outbreaks. Players attempt use these tools in order to quell the outbreak and flatten the curve which is sharable to social media.

Play In Browser
(Chrome & Firefox Only)

View Repository on Github

UTS Discover

Built for the University of Technology Sydney's international marketing team, the app delivers an alternate reality (AR) experience using the Unity engine alongside the Vuforia AR library. It features the ability to display a map of the university campus on an AR marker card, as well as a 360 degree tour of the UTS campus. The game was selected for, and won the UTS Student Project Showcase.

Join the iOS Beta

Join the Android Beta

View Repository on Github

RNG Stronghold

Created as part of another 5-hour game jam, in the Godot engine with a team of three. It eventually turned into the second game of my "12 game in 12 months" challenge. The game is heavily inspired by resource allocation-based board games, and features a quirky, pixelated art-style for lots of physics-based dice rolling.

View Repository on Github

The Innkeeper

Created as part of another 5-hour game jam in the Godot engine with a team of four. The game sees you, an innkeeper, serve patrons food and drink in a fantasy tavern setting, featuring a fun, cutesy artstyle, with a minimalist, atmospheric approach to game UI.

View Repository on Github

Love Lunatic

This project, built with the LÖVE 2D graphics library using the Lua scripting language, was an attempt to create something of a top-down RPG framework/engine. It features a tile-editor program that renders scenes with the same system used in gameplay, and includes event and dialogue systems which work hand-in-hand with the map-centric authoring tools.

View Repository on Github

M*A*S*H

Created with Unity engine for a class assignment in agile games development, the project attempts to recreate the classic Atari 2600 game, M*A*S*H (1983). The original game assets were found or recreated to provide as close of an experience to the original game as possible.

View Repository on Github

Super Mario Bros.

Created with Unity engine for a group class assignment in agile games development, the project attempts to recreate the classic NES game, Super Mario Bros. (1985). The original game assets were found or recreated to provide as close of an experience to the original game as possible.

View Repository on Github

Phantom Notes

Built in Unity engine, the game is a 3D, first-person, bullet-hell that attempts to illustrate the truly horrifying experience of being trapped in a haunted jazz club. The game features procedural music as played by enemies, and relies on the player's ability to fire notes to the beat. The game won "best sound design" in the UTS audio-first game jam, sponsored by Dolby.

View Repository on Github

Pongagon

A hand-drawn, minimalist mobile game for Android & iOS built in the Unity engine about "keeping the pong inside the gon", essentially being a single player game of the classic arcade game, Pong. To date it has accrued over 20 thousand downloads on the AppStore alone. "Like Skyrim with Gons" - Not Polygon

Download on Android & iOS

BubbleTime

Developed for iOS devices using the Swift programming language for a university subject in iOS app development, the game uses the phone's gyroscope for bubble-popping action.

Download on iOS

View Repository on Github

BirdBrains

Developed using Processing 3 and Java for a university subject in interactive media, the experience pulls realtime data from Twitter to deliver a turn-based interactive experience about how Twitter was used through the 2016 US election for social engineering based gameplay. The project was selected for the UTS Student Major Works Expo.

View Repository on Github

The Gumption Fables

Developed in the Ren'Py visual novel engine and modified in Python, the game was made as part of my high school Software Design & Development course major work. The engine's functionality was modified to accomodate for point & click gameplay and features an original story with properly bizarre puzzles and absurdist dialogue.

View Repository on Github

Signature Keys

Built for iOS devices using the Swift programming language for a university subject in iOS app development, the game takes advantage of a number of Apple's libraries, as well as Firebase, and AudioKit to teach players simple piano progressions with fun, rewarding gameplay, and online leaderboards.

View Repository on Github

Sunk

Developed for iOS and Android devices in the Unity engine, the game features a minimalist, two player game of pool for touch devices with unrealistically realistic ball physics and gripping snooker-esque gameplay.

View Repository on Github

CodeSprint

Created using the Android SDK with Java, CodeSprint is a multiplayer coding trivia platform for Android that helps users learn to program through coding challenges made to be done fast. The game includes social features for competing with friends on daily challenges, and utilises Firebase for auth and leaderboard tracking.

View Repository on Github

Software I've Made


Other Things I've Done

A Review of Agency Architectures in Interactive Drama Systems

In August of 2020, I had my games design research paper on AI and narrative design titled "A Review of Agency Architectures in Interactive Drama Systems" published in the proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Games (CoG) 2020. The paper is a review of the interactive drama field in video games research, re-framing the field's key literature as existing upon a spectrum based on their use of scripted or emergent properties - theorising and proposing a new style of hybrid, emergent-scripted solution to drama manager design.

During the conference, I delivered a recorded presentation, summarising the paper's content, findings, and providing additional background on the research area of the interactive drama field. The paper was eventually adopted as the base of my honours research into agent-based drama management systems.

View Paper on Conference Site

Get Paper on IEEE Xplore

Watch Presentation on YouTube

Agile Adventures - Game Story Bible

As a part of a university subject in narrative design for games, I created a cross-section of a "game story bible". The document spans a number of different design scopes, from dialogue to item descriptions, NPC barks, quest details, storyboarding, and more. Agile Adventures is my take on a fantasy RPG satire, where adventuring is big business, and every kid wants to make it in big-league adventuring.

View PDF Document

GDC Game Narrative Review & Poster Presentation

In early 2019 I was invited to attend and present my work at GDC after winning gold for a paper I had written, as selected by a panel of industry veteran narrative designers.

The paper lays out my critiques of the narrative design of the game Aviary Attorney, applauding it for its use of setting to punctuate the themes of the game, as well as its broad-over-deep approach to the branching narrative. While some of the game's dialogue falls a bit flat, especially with regards to tone in certain sections, it is altogether a quality experience that deftly illustrates the powers unique to an interactive genre.

At the conference, I took part in the poster presentation session, where I was able to exhibit a poster that summarises my paper in a visual style to GDC attendees and a select number of professional game narrative designers.

View Document on GDC Vault