Personal blog of Rutger Harder

About me

My name is Rutger Harder and I am currently a Producer and Gameplay Programmer at Abbey Games, working on their latest title Godhood, which you can read about on the project page. In my spare time I develop small games and game tech tools, and sometimes try to draw stuff. You can read about (and sometimes try out) some of my projects on the project page. You can also follow me on Twitter: @_nubilous.

I also sometimes help organise stuff in the local game development scene, such as the first and second edition of the only independent game development conference in the Netherlands, Indievelopment.

Work history

Before working at Abbey Games, I worked at various other companies. Most recently (September 2012 to March 2014) I worked as a full-time C++ programming intern at MeinMein, a small game company, for my master thesis project. At MeinMein I worked on researching and implementing prototypes of growth models for use in artificial life games. You can find out more about my master thesis project on the Projects page.

AGRN interface

At the end of my bachelor’s (February 2010 to July 2011) , I got a chance to work at TNO Defense and Security, a Dutch company that performs a lot of research in the fields of the military and public safety. There I worked two days a week as a C++ programmer on small research projects and helped various teams when they needed to implement their experiments. During my time at TNO, I worked on a few major projects:

  • Implementing a conversation system for first person combat simulator VBS2 using its proprietary scripting language, to enable non-combat training simulations.
  • Scripting several non-combat training scenarios for VBS2.
  • Creating a realistic crowd simulation for tactical simulator VR-Forces. The goal was to create realistic day-to-day behaviour (going to school, work, shopping, visiting friends) for a large group of civilians. This was realised as a plugin written in C++ using the VR-Forces API, plus a custom Qt UI for configuring the simulation. I was mostly responsible for the implementation.
  • Building an immersive virtual reality cave setup for VBS2. Using large screens and motion tracking for the limbs and head, we created a VR cave in which the movements and actions of the trainee were directly translated into the character in the game. A combination of IMUs (Inertial Measurement Units) tacked on the trainee and Kinect-like motion tracking was used to form the final representation of the in-game character. I coded part of the setup of the environment and the conversion of the IMU data to usable in-game animations and positions. The training scenarios were again scripted in the proprietary VBS2 scripting language, while the IMU and motion tracking code was written as a C++ plugin.

VR-Forces ScreenshotVBS2 Screenshot

My first major programming experience was with web-based scripting languages like PHP, so a lot of my first professional work was in web-design. Besides small freelance projects, I worked for companies such as (unfortunately not online anymore), where I developed a search engine for multiple video websites, and Sanoma Media’s internet division Ilse Media, where I helped with the development of