Richard Lawrence Harrington

Richard L Harrington

Software Engineer & Technical Artist

Project: Aero!



After working on ThermoBot, GameDesk tasked me with building a new project called Aero!

Aero! is an iOS app funded by Iridescent Learning and the Office of Naval Research. The purpose of the app was to function as an entertaining aid in understanding the basic aerodynamics of flight and force vectors.

The game allows the player to control a bird in flight using an intuitive touch-based system, as well as to focus in on individual events and detail dialogues.

In addition to the main iOS-based game, I also developed experimental alternate versions of Aero! for Embodied Learning systems.

One was alternative build was for a system called SMALLab, which took advantage of professional motion capture hardware installations and used trackable wands for controls.

The other embodied learning project used modified Wii controllers installed in a set of wearable wings and was played within an enclosure of Dyson Air Multipliers, which varied the intensity of air coming out of them based on the direction of flight and relative air currents in the game - it was AWESOME!

As Lead Engineer on Aero! I handled all of the programming needs for early development, and later lead a team of programmers up until my departure from GameDesk.

Highlights of my work include:

    • Building a dynamic character controller that could account for the flight methods of many different birds.
    • Researching and integrating aerodynamic concepts in a way that was not over-taxing for mobile platforms.
    • Developing a touch-based information dialogue pop-up system which could be made available during learning critical events.
    • Programming all the special effects.
    • Building a touch-based flight controls system that allowed for independent control of each wing.

Download Aero! on the Apple App store here!

For more information on Aero!, visit its section of the GameDesk website at:


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