I’ve been a game developer since 2011. Maintained here is a list of the primary interactive projects I’ve worked on a lead capacity, along with information about them and my roles within them.
From 2011 to 2020 I ran Flat Earth Games with my brother, Leigh, with whom the indie studio was co-founded. Since then I have done other work for various studios, and continued work on my own personal projects.
Note: Works done with Flat Earth or in a professional / employed capacity are usually as Elissa Harris, and for current personal work I use my pen-name, Elissa Black.
Deck & Conn (tba, solo)
This is my current project, a retro ’90s style turn-based space ship command game. Its moment to moment gameplay has mechanics that are heavily inspired by the 1971 classic mainframe video game “Star Trek” (better known by its latter name, “Super Star Trek”), and the meta game takes inspiration from numerous other games from the ’90s, notable many of those published by Microprose.
I am the game designer, coder, artist, writer, and sound designer, and you can read the live dev log of its construction here on this site. My plan is for it to be released in the coming months, with a playable alpha to be ready in early April. It is written in C++ and libSDL, using a cross-platform game engine I am also designing named Sapphia, which is also being designed to be used for the games that are to follow this one.
“So, About Last Night…” (2022, Solo)
An interactive novella, created in Ink.
Los Angeles, CA
Okay, so it’s not the first time you’ve hooked up with a stranger at a party.
And it’s certainly not the first time you’ve woken up feeling like death after a party.
This is, however, the first time you’ve hooked up with a stranger at a party, woken up feeling like death… and discovered a newfound compulsion to drink human blood.
Time for you and your beat-up car to trek back across town to the party and track down this strange girl… before the sun comes back up.
I wrote, designed, and released it, developing it in Ink, an interactive fiction tool.
Accolades & Notes: Pride at Play Official Selection, an exhibition of queer video games from Asia-Pacific.
Objects in Space (2019, 505 Games & Flat Earth Games)
A real-time “modem-punk” single and multiplayer space trading game made over four years. Set in the near future using a retro-futuristic style, the game sees you as a fish-out-of-water, commanding one of three space craft and sneaking and fighting your way across dozens of sectors to earn a living trading goods and completing missions for various characters while learning more about the world you have ended up in due to an accident of time dilation.
I was the coder, co-creator, co-designer, and game writer. It was made in C++ using Cocos2D-X for Mac, Windows and Linux.
Accolades & Notes:
- selected to be shown at the Australian Centre of the Moving Image’s “Code Breakers: Women in Games” exhibition
- alt.ctl.gdc finalist
- partly funded by a Screen NSW grand to support the writing team of 12
Super Death Fortress & Super Undeath Fortress (2015, Flat Earth Games)
A fast-paced artillery shooter series for mobile – a sort of inverted “Lemmings”, where you drag a trajectory onto the screen to blow up wave after wave of soldiers (or zombies in the game’s sequel) to protect your fortress and upgrade it with fancier and fancier weapons.
I was the coder, co-creator, co-designer, and sound designer. It was created in C++ and Cocos2d-X for iPhone and iPad.
Metrocide (2014, Flat Earth Games)
A fast-paced cyberpunk top-down shooter where you play a hitperson working for shady and unknown figures, taking on riskier and riskier jobs in an effort to escape each part of a dystopian city where it never stops raining.
I was the coder, co-creator, co-designer and senior writer. It was created in C++ using Cocos2d-X for Mac and Windows.
TownCraft (2013, Flat Earth Games)
TownCraft is a cozy crafting game & city builder, originally designed for iPad and later released for iPhone, Mac and Windows. Combining elements of crafting games, city builders and life sims, you start on an empty plot of land with nothing and have to build and maintain an entire township with employees, shops, taverns and farms.
I was the coder, co-creator, co-designer, and senior writer. It was made over two years in C++ using Cocos2D-X.
Accolades & Notes:
- Digitally Downloaded dot net’s 2013 Australian Game of the Year
- Partly funded by a Screen Australia grant