Jed Merrill, Producer/Game Designer

Week 9

Monday, March 7, 2016.

amazon-lumberyard-logo-r225xI try out Amazon’s new Lumberyard game engine for the first time while working on my Experimental Gameplay project.  Several required plugins are blocked on the EAE machines, so the effort doesn’t go far, but it looks like Lumberyard is a capable engine.

41TrArWjnkL._SL150_I spend part of the day listening to a book called Nail It, Then Scale It that has some useful insights that will help B.E.S.T. be better.  One of the things we did right was start by focusing on the actual needs of organizations like POST instead of making assumptions.  When we are fully funded, I plan to spend a lot more time with actual future clients to make sure we really meet their pain points with our solution.  One case study from the book stands out,, and is something that to some degree we will emulate.

In other news, we receive our travel itinerary for the Imagine Cup Finals!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016.

Business Card

Nidal and I order business cards, and I set up email forwarding so we can use emails like Jed @  We receive and discuss new information from Imagine Cup.  Looks like HealthX is also a finalist, so EAE will have two projects in the Finals!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016.

gal_1_17I attend UDEN 9 at Adobe‘s impressive headquarters near Thanksgiving Point, Utah.  Besides being the one year anniversary of the Utah Digital Entertainment Network, we get to listen to a YouTube panel moderated by Chad Mustard (an early founder of ChAIR Entertainment Group) and starring Utah YouTube stars like Scott Witt (High School Dance Battle) and Dark Pixel, famous for Super Mario Parkour and Star Kart (see below).  The food is sponsored by the Culinary Institute at UVU and is excellent.

We spend the last hour of the three hour event networking, and I get to know three composers, one of whom has a connection at the company that sells more software to police than any other company.  As work on B.E.S.T. progresses, this could be a very important connection.  We can at least study how they do it, but they could become a valuable distribution partner.

I also meet a girl who just moved here from Boston who is a VR filmmaker.  She shows me some of her work, and there may be a way we can integrate what she does with B.E.S.T., though we still plan to focus on the Oculus and The Void as initial delivery systems.

Overall a very productive night for B.E.S.T., and I have some new ideas for user experience design that could also reinforce our mission to save officer and civilian lives.

Thursday, March 10, 2016.

The t-shirts are in!  We proudly present B.E.S.T. shirts to Brian, Mark, and Roger, and try out our own.  Updated business cards should be here tomorrow.

I present my findings from last night.

Ahmad says he has a friend who has been in the Imagine Cup Finals before who got to talk directly to Bill Gates!  He says Imagine Cup wants us to start successful companies, as that makes Microsoft and Imagine Cup look good, too.  If I do get to meet Bill, he will be the seventh billionaire I speak to face to face, and probably the best known.

Team PicTeam B.E.S.T. is down to three official members for purposes of the Imagine Cup, as Ahmad will be representing HealthX.  We try to substitute Nidal, but it is too late.  He will still attend the event.

At 1:00 PST, Eric, Shahbaz, and I have a ten minute Skype call with Microsoft to help prepare us for Imagine Cup.

GDC is just days away!  Eric and I make plans to make a few changes to our video prior to the event.

I drop off our initial Emotiv Epoc to the department that loaned it to us.  (We have a new one.)

Also, EAE buys us pizza from The Pie again.  Thanks EAE!

Feed_the_Pig_Game_Design_Challenge_banner_blog_634px-634x333In the evening, I submit a game design to the Feed the Pig Game Design Challenge sponsored by the Ad Council, AICPA, and Games for Change.  My entry is called Change Your Life:  Pay Your Future Self First.  Team name: Carpe Crastinum (Seize Tomorrow.)

I then attend an IGDA Salt Lake event in Orem with a sponsored speaker from out of state…


The complete list of teams to reach the Microsoft U.S. Imagine Cup Finals for 2016:

  • iclogoNFP
  • Team Spite
  • Grim Goblin
  • Earl Grey Games
  • IoT Education
  • Team No Sleep
  • Team Tactile
  • Gun-Ioc
  • RecycleBot
  • Nova
  • BeanCo
  • BEST Police Training
  • Mild Beast Games
  • HealthX
  • Localpulse

Our Updated Logo:


A “Collection” of EAE Games greenlit or currently being greenlit on Steam: