IAN Grossberg
 

 Welcome!

Below you will find projects I have done over the years.

In my work I feel strongly about considering morally the impact of what we do and create.

I am equally comfortable collaborating and leading,
in rapid prototyping and in bringing a project to release and beyond.

I prefer to make things
for people and about people,
in games and applications,
in software and hardware,
in VR, in mobile, in web, console, handheld and PC…,
sometimes serious and sometimes silly.

I like silly.

 

Adorkable

http://adorkable.io

Adorkable is a playful and curious creative collective for consulting and passion projects. Co-founded by two friends and myself in the Summer of 2010 we work with clients in a variety of fields including education, social good, environmental good and venture technologies.

While collaborators are found all over the globe, nowadays Adorkable HQ is located in good ol'Bedstuy, Brooklyn, New York, USA, Planet Earth.

Consulting services we offer include:

  • Structuring and facilitating product ideation and research.

  • Building initial software and hardware prototypes for testing concept directions and technologies.

  • Feature development and iteration on existing products.

  • Advising teams on workflow, engineering architecture, and hiring.

Some examples of work for clients:

 
 
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Open Source Software

Together we all get better

 

I am a big believer in open source software and the strength of the open source community.

You can see some of the nearly 50 open source projects I’ve made or collaborated on (not mentioning those I’ve contributed to) at my personal Github and Adorkable’s own Github.

 
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Stealth-mode Environmental Startup

I am completing work at a startup where we have developed and demonstrated multiple hardware devices meant to be deployed in urban environments with the goal of reducing plastic bottle usage. Check back for further news!

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Specialty coffee hardware for baristas and cafes

http://poursteady.com

 

The Poursteady is an automated, cloud connected, pour-over coffee machine made to precisely and reliably do the tedious, repetitive work of making a cup of pour-over coffee. The machine by no means removes the role of a barista; before brewing a barista expertly sets all the steps necessary to build a recipe for their beans. The Poursteady then repeats these steps with the tap of a button.

At the time of writing we have sold over 450 machines to cafes and restaurants spanning eight countries.

I planned, architect-ed, and built the software for our entire stack, from the machine and its companion app to our backend and all internal and external tools.

  • Planned short and long term goals for both our product and potential new products and platforms.

  • Designed and iterated user experiences for baristas, small cafes, large chains, etc.

 

 
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Mobile app for pet adoption

 

AllPaws is a mobile app and website with the lofty goal to improve the process of adopting a pet. Not only does it provide a modern experience for finding a dog, cat, or whatever type of pet you're looking for but AllPaws worked with adoption agencies in an attempt to build an online common application and create a much needed standard of process so that shelters and adopters can focus on the important things.

I was tasked to work with the owners of the company to design, built, and deploy the app.

AllPaws Mobile has received many accolades and has been featured in the Apple App Store's Adoption Category. AllPaws has since been acquired by PetSmart.

 
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At Codecademy I led direction and development of two mobile apps as well as gave in-person tutorials and talks with the community at large about topics including learning to code, making a game, and engineering career advice.

Mobile Block Coding

Visual and tactile coding environment for mobile coding

Mobile Block Coding is a block and flow based visual coding environment for programming on mobile devices, allowing for users to code and run their own program right on from their phone. The app provides a coding experience with minimal typing and replaces text code units with visually and physically tactile code blocks drawing inspiration from Scratch, Max/MSP and other visual coding environments.

The system is flexible enough that with minimal effort it can represent any language. It also allows for building a course structure similar to Codecademy’s web class offerings.

 

Hour of Code

Codecademy: Hour of Code is Codecademy's introduction and engagement app for Code.org's Hour of Code initiative. Through interacting with simple Mad-Libs like exercises the app serves to expose people who have never programmed to what coding feels like and what sorts of things they can do with code .

The app has been featured on the Apple App Store over 25 times and spent time as the #1 Free Education App worldwide.

It was later renamed to Code Hour when Hour of Code was ™ed.

 
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Discretion May Be Advised

Cultural Product Design

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Over the course of a 3 day workshop exercise during the 2014 Startup the Party conference Naoko "Funky" Yamanaka, Hiro Maeda, Lauren Nguyen, and I were tasked with investigating the culture around the famous Love Hotels of Japan, pay per hour hotels generally used for sexual congress.

In an accelerated sprint the team interviewed customers and toured the hotels and their neighborhoods.

Ultimately we identified common problems customers encounter in areas of discretion and ease and delved into potential solutions for the industry to adopt. However, recognizing that technology can have surprisingly widespread and deep cultural impact and due to the sometimes amoral usage of the hotels potentially being enhanced we felt it necessary to frame the proposal as the most obvious solution as well as the solution that should not be made.

We presented both the product and the counterpoint at a PechaKucha night at Superdeluxe in Tokyo, Japan.

 
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Press Play NYC

City-wide collaborative mixtape scavenger hunt

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Press Play NYC was a combined real world and web experience collaboration between Bernice Au, Trish Ang and myself that had individuals stumble upon cassette tapes hidden around New York City, each of which brought the user to a unique song about the city and collaboratively helped unlock the entire 50 track mixtape.

By traveling to the web address found on the tape the individual unlocks the track and can listen to the tape's song. He/she is also shown that there are 49 other tracks and 49 other tapes to be found, sees which other tracks have been already unlocked by other people and can listen to any of the other unlocked tracks.

Trish and Bernice were visiting NYC from Oakland and Sidney respectively. Bernice, having traveled so far, wanted to do something big and fun and brought 50 beautifully painted cassette tapes, each with a different Youtube address to an NYC song, to post around the city for people to find. Hearing this we were cued to ideas of mixtapes and sharing and Trish and I conceptualized and built a collaborative unlocking scavenger hunt half to Bernice's original experience.

 

 
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Mobile brain training app

http://lumosity.com

At Lumosity we created an online platform for exercising brain training through games.

The Lumosity mobile app is frequently featured as the #1 Free Education App and ranked as high as #5 Free Overall App in Apple App Store.

At Lumosity I was tasked with building the mobile team and co-led the creation of the mobile product.

  • Served as engineering manager of the mobile team.

  • Created and implemented short and long-term product timeline and strategy.

  • Led development of app, games, cross-platform framework, tools, and workflow.

  • Responsible for hiring and training, monitoring progress goals, and conducting performance reviews.

 
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anitype submissions

Animated lettering

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anitype.com put out an open call for a moving alphabet. These are my submissions.

A and X demonstrate at simple language for describing the form of a letter and a system that would automatically generate how one would draw the letter from that language.

9 imagines how number would be have in the real world.

 

 
 

Wonderground

Mobile variety arcade game platform

Roger Royce, Brandon Milos and I conceived of and built a proposal prototype and video for a game platform that would provide as much variety to players as it would to the developers creating the games that would populate the platform. When we presented this proposal the sentiment at ngmoco was that there weren’t any big player-base games and that employees weren’t excited about the games they were working on. Wonderground would have alleviated this issue by creating a regularly expanding, endless variety of games interconnected through an engaging, evolving, larger meta experience. It would have featured:

  • An unlockable world full of regularly released arcade style games.

  • Players competing against and worked with friends and community members to unlock further access to the world and its games.

  • Players choosing a highly personable guide character to accompany them through the game.

  • Opportunity for ngmoco to reach a wide audience with very accessible and different games while provide exciting, ever changing projects and a playground for developers within the company.

 
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A social game ngmoco purchased and maintained, their biggest money maker for a long time. My responsibilities included:

  • Led engineering team through a major update release.

  • Implemented key features for update release.

 
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Steam mobile app

Steame was the first iPhone App to allow Steam users to log directly into their Community Profiles through a polished, accessible and streamlined interface.

Our goal was to get you to the Steam Community's content quickly with the ability to review the latest news, your friends status, game achievements, and more.

 
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Brooklyn Bunny Mobile

http://brooklynbunny.com / sourcecode

 

Brooklyn Bunny Mobile was a proof of concept app for the folks over at Brooklyn Bunny, meant to be a simple, delightful way to check in on Roebling and his day to day bunny activities.

 

 
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Cupcake Corner

Jon Vermilyea, EJ Mablekos and myself created OMGPOP's first Facebook game. The game’s engine was designed to be infinitely expandable to allow both regular new content releases as well entirely new games with entirely different mechanics of play. My responsibilities:

  • Designed and built the world, object, and interaction system.

  • Designed and built the rendering and 3d cache system.

  • Designed and built a simple, easily scriptable AI behavior and pathfinding system.

 
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Frontlines: Fuel of War was Kaos Studios’ entry into one of the types of games we collectively enjoyed playing. We set out to do threefold:

  1. Paint a picture of a world starved on oil dependance with the events of the game unfolding in a war-torn Kazakhstan.

  2. Take a different approach than most FPS games, hoping instead to highlight the terrible nature of war rather than glorify its violence. The game culminates in an attack involving nuclear weapons and a dramatic, horrific mushroom cloud.

  3. Innovate the on gameplay mechanics to provide a strongly team oriented game.

Frontlines was released for both Xbox 360 and PC.

My contributions as a founding member of Kaos Studios meant playing an instrumental role in taking an AAA title from prototype to release.

  • Implemented game rules and core gameplay features.

  • Implemented initial UI tech and acted as initial UI tech lead.

  • Worked on numerous engine additions in sound, graphics and input.

  • Designed and built specialist weapons and worked on AI features.

  • Worked closely with artists and level designers expanding on their tools.

  • Did discovery work and risk assessment on untested platforms (PS3) and third party licensed libraries.

  • Built initial versions of automated build creation and distribution system, acted as build tech lead.

  • Mentored and managed full time employees, interns and an off site contractor.

 
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DICE Prototype

As Digital Illusions' NY office we were tasked to create a new game in the then in-development Battlefield 2 engine. I came on after high level direction had been decided to design, create, test and iterate on new features. 

The resulting prototype we built was so liked by DICE that they wanted to move the team to the headquarters in Sweden to develop it into a full game.

  • built UI and menuing

  • optimized networking performance

  • built additional prototype gamemodes

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Rittai Picross

3D puzzle game web port

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A clone of the at-the-time-Japan-only-release Rittai Picross (立体ピクロス), a 3d take on classic Picross. The goal of the project was to learn Javascript, O3D (Google's abandoned 3d Web Browser plugin) and basic shader writing while bringing an addictive game to audiences that wouldn't have had a chance to play it otherwise. The port featured an in-engine editor for constructing your own puzzles and sharing them.

Rittai Picross made a short round in Newgrounds.com (remember them?) but unfortunately relies on O3D, Google's long abandoned abandoned 3d Web Browser plugin built on early WebGL.

 

 
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Software Telephone

Computer on Computer action

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What happens when you let a computer talk to itself? Or when different voice software play a game of Telephone?

This toy lets you queue up any number of supported Text-To-Speech and Speech-To-Text softwares in succession and see the hilarious results. It also provides a simple plug-in interface to hook up your own Text-To-Speech or Speech-To-Text software.

 

 
 

Tony Hawk Underground 2

Released Game Boy Advanced. My responsibilities:

  • Created game progression system.

  • Expanded on HUD system.

  • Fixed bugs in handheld side-scroller tool chain.

 

Crash Nitro Kart

Released N-Gage. My responsibilities:

  • Built N-Gage Arena (online GSM) features.

  • Expanded menuing system and built game menus.

  • Built in-game particle systems.

  • Built features for progression system.

 
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